Obama's 'Cardiff Giant'
The Cardiff Giant, known as "America's Greatest Hoax," has new competition for the title -- Global Warming. Recent revelations of what appear to be doctored data, corrupted scientists and pressured peer reviews have produced terms such as "Climategate," "Climaqquidick," and similar pejoratives. Describing the events of the past week, Senator Jim Inhofe, a consistent critic of the science said: "Ninety-five percent of the nails were in the coffin prior to this week. Now they are all in."
Despite what appears evidence of outright fraud, President Obama refuses to acknowledge, no less investigate, what is increasingly becoming known as "The World's Greatest Hoax." Obama's intentions to go off to Copenhagen, pretending that "the science is settled," is a political gaffe of enormous proportion. It puts whatever is left of his rapidly diminishing credibility at risk, as well as his agenda.
Most political disagreements are ideological and too complex to easily prove anything. Health care is a good example. It is ideological and many-faceted. There is no definitive way to "prove" that one side is right and the other wrong. In health care, this was particularly evident as the objectives ("marketing' to the public?) shifted as required. In situations like this, credibility is all important. "Can I trust what this man says?" becomes the measure that the public uses to support or reject these complex issues.
Obama's position will be devastating because it is counter to science. Science, done properly, is black or white. It does not rest on consensus, it rests on facts. Al Gore tried to cut off debate on the subject by claiming there was a "consensus." Every scientific advance has been made by one or a small minority that conflicted with "the consensus." That Gore has made millions by a form of street-hustling does not help the credibility of climate-change supporters.
The public had serious doubts about the validity of climate-warming before the recent revelations. They know they will suffer from cap and trade legislation. Their lifestyles will be adversely affected by forced legislative changes (lightbulbs, centrally-controlled thermostats, etc.). Their cost of living will be driven up substantially. Industrial growth will slow. America will become less competitive in the world. Additionally, many sense that the plan will include a redistribution of wealth from richer to poorer nations and may be a step toward world government. If the future of mankind were truly at stake, such sacrifices might be worthwhile. Without that, the proposed legislation is viewed as nothing more than masochistic and controlling. It becomes just another way to extract taxes from the American public.
That Obama wants to proceed full-speed ahead without hard science suggests that his objective is to inflate his image in the eyes of the rest of the world. While I don't believe that will happen, the attempt is clearly at the expense of the American people. To those that realize that the science is faulty, Obama loses all credibility. To others, his credibility may merely decrease. Regardless, his ability to pass health care and other parts of his agenda depends on his credibility. He has little left.
An eerie parallel is that the Cardiff Giant was made in Chicago and buried in NY. We may be witnessing another Cardiff Giant made in Chicago, but "buried" in Washington, DC. An earlier post surmised this outcome.
Monty Pelerin: www.economicnoise.com