Thursday, December 18, 2014

San Francisco Chronicle: "Global-warming true believers are in denial"

Global-warming true believers are in denial

By Debra J. SaundersSan Francisco Chronicle columnist
December 18, 2014 9:08am 

I have a theory as to why Americans don’t worry all that much about global warming: High-profile purveyors of climate change don’t push for reductions in greenhouse gases so much as focus on berating people who do not agree with their opinions. They call themselves champions of “the science” — yet focus on ideology more than tangible results.
Their language is downright evangelical. Recently, science guy Bill Nye joined other experts who objected to the media’s use of the term “climate skeptic.” They released a statement that concluded, “Please stop using the word 'skeptic’ to describe deniers.” Deniers? Like Judas?
Why, they even hear voices from science. “Science has spoken,” U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon recently proclaimed. Some men think God talks to them; others hear Science.
Back to my original point: San Francisco liberal plutocrat Tom Steyer has called climate change “the defining issue of our generation.” He told the Hill, “Really, what we’re trying to do is to make a point that people who make good decisions on this should be rewarded, and people should be aware that if they do the wrong thing, the American voters are watching and they will be punished.”
You would assume from the above statement that Steyer wants to punish businesses or people who emit a super-size share of greenhouse gases. But no, Steyer’s big push for 2014 was to spend some $73 million to defeat Republicans who support the Keystone XL pipeline. But stopping Keystone won’t reduce America’s dependence on fossil fuels by one drop. It simply will make it harder to tap into Canadian tar-sands oil.
On Monday, state Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León said he plans on introducing a measure to require that the California Public Employees’ Retirement System sell off any coal-related investments. In recent years, demands for disinvestment have visited universities. In May, Stanford voted to forgo investments in coal mining. Student groups have been pushing for Harvard and the University of California to dump fossil-fuel assets as well. It’s a good sign that those efforts have not prevailed at either institution. It’s a bad sign that de León has found a new soft target — CalPERS.
The problem, Harvard Professor Robert N. Stavins wrote for the Wall Street Journal, is: “Symbolic actions often substitute for truly effective actions by allowing us to fool ourselves into thinking we are doing something meaningful about a problem when we are not.” Disinvestment also does nothing to reduce energy use.
Matt Dempsey of Oil Sands Fact Check sees disinvestment as the new environmental talking point for 2016 races. It requires no visible personal sacrifice — while feeding activists’ sense of self-righteousness. Its emptiness is part of the allure. De León even told reporters that he’d write a bill that in no way “hurts investment strategies.”
Then there are the conferences — Kyoto, Copenhagen, Rio de Janeiro. The venues for Earth summits would make for a great episode of “Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?” The scions of science ought to get acquainted with Skype. If the future of the planet is at stake, shouldn’t the champions of science at least look as if they’re trying to curb their emissions?
Debra J. Saunders is a San Francisco Chronicle columnist.


  1. The Alberta Oil Sands are not tar sands and the oil sands contain contain various mixtures of sand (or rock) with bitumen or heavy crude oil and not tar. One the oil sands crude oil is processed, one of the products will be tar.

  2. For more than ten years I have been posting on any blog I could that the if CO2 is causing 'Global Warming" an must be reduced then we should be building as many Nuclear Power Plants as possible. The 100+ nuclear power plants in the USA have prevented the emission of more than 500 Million Metric Tons of CO2 annually. If the same amount of money spent on "Green" energy was invested in new Nuclear Power Plants that amount could have been doubled. The fact that this has not been done, advocated or even proposed proves that CO2 and AGW is a SCAM.

  3. When I was young, and learning to play sports, particularly football, I was told to watch the hips. If you watch a player's head and shoulders, they'll have an easier time faking you out, but the hips don't lie. The legs are going where the hips are going.

    When an elite-liberal says the world is going to fry, the waters rise, and storms inundate and tear us apart, but they not only continue to consume more than their "fair-share" of "our" resources, but build and buy property on the oceanfront, they are counting on us not watching their hips.

    They aren't concerned, so why should we?

    I truly believe that liberal causes are the window-dressing they use to make themselves not look guilty for being in the 1%.