Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Another Day, Another Exxon-Funded Climate Smear

Policymakers in the nation's Capitol used to look forward to August, a time when Congress left town for a month-long recess and the rest of us could take a much-needed breather to recharge our batteries before the fall session.

Unfortunately, those days seem to be history; we have witnessed one of the most politically charged summer recesses in recent memory. And while no one here discourages passionate discourse on any of the issues facing our country today, it would be a bit more productive if Big Oil wasn't single-handedly bankrolling every event advocating a do-nothing approach to tackling our nation's energy challenges and curbing carbon emissions.

But, in what's becoming a daily occurrence, a panel discussion in West Virginia on capping our carbon and moving to a clean energy future turned into a forum to slam any proposal to do so (via Huntington News):
Dr. Margo Thorning, senior vice president and Chief Economist of the American Council for Capital Formation, projected that by 2030, WV’s gross state product would be lowered by $1.32 billion dollars, a loss of 5,611 jobs, gasoline up seventy cents a gallon, and , depending upon whom you rely, electricity costs shooting to infinity.
Electricity costs shooting to infinity, you say? We're no chief economists here, but infinity seems, well, a bit exaggerated.

Until you realize that the American Council for Capital Formation is yet another Exxon beneficiary, to the tune of $1.64 million. As you may remember from our post The Exxon Three-Step Guide to Blocking Climate Reform, it's a classic Step One maneuver from the mischievous oil conglomerate.

But that wasn't the extent of the night's lunacy. State Delegate Kevin Craig enlightened the audience with his uniquely informed take on climate change:
“The earth’s temperature is constantly changing,” Craig explained, due to the sun’s heat. Projections used in the controversial proposed legislation have the sun’s heat as a constant. He urged a “scientific debate” before rushing to adopting the bill which is hyped as the next “clean air act.”
While we understand that climate science is no simple subject, Mr. Craig's presentation of "facts" invites criticism, if only because he is an elected official speaking at a public forum. And, man, is he wrong. You can read a detailed analysis of the causes of global warming here, but let's just begin by saying it has absolutely nothing to do with the sun's temperature rising or falling. Perhaps if Mr. Craig had paid attention to even the most rudimentary aspects of the debate (for example, all this talk of carbon or the greenhouse effect), he'd understand that the increased emissions of greenhouse gases is trapping the sun's rays and making the planet warmer.

In terms of a "scientific debate," how does a Nobel Prize winning panel of scientists or a clear consensus in the national and international community work for you?

Of course, having none of these facts at his disposal (or at least not caring enough to find out for himself), the author of the Huntington News piece ends his apparently objective report with a plea for readers to write their senators and urge them to oppose any climate bill.

Instead of intelligent blog posts or reasoned debates, perhaps Really? Seriously? should buy a copy of this for Mr. Craig and the Huntington News.

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