Are Republican Candidates Good Businessmen?

climate change debateThe water level in Galveston Bay, off the Texas coast, is rising, faster than ever recorded. That’s what the five scientists who wrote the most recent “State of Galveston Bay” report, commissioned by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, discovered. But the TCEQ commissioners, appointed by Governor Rick Perry, don’t want Texans to know that, so they censored the scientists’ report to remove their projection that this rise will accelerate in the future and that it is “one of the main impacts of global climate change”. These political appointees deleted or altered nearly all references to the effects of global warming on the Bay. All of the scientists have asked to have their names removed from the report.

This example of scientific censorship comes on the heels of the firing of Georgia’s state climatologist, David Stooksbury, by the Republican Governor, Nathan Deal, who apparently did not like his acceptance of the scientific consensus that human activity has contributed to global warming.

Herman Cain said in June, “I don’t believe global warming is real.” In August, Perry said in New Hampshire that global warming is a hoax perpetrated by a “substantial number of scientists who have manipulated data”. The Republican candidates for President often say that government should be run like a business. Yet businesses take a very different attitude toward the science of global warming than Republican politicians.

steve hochstadt

Insurance companies across the world have built warming into their rate structures for years. In 2006, Marsh, the world’s largest insurance broker, sent a 36-page “risk alert” to clients that said: “Climate change – often referred to as ‘global warming’ – is one of the most significant emerging risks facing the world today, presenting tremendous challenges to the environment, to the world economy, and to individual businesses. Businesses – if they haven’t already – must begin to account for it in their strategic and operation planning.”

A report last month by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners discussed a 2010 survey of 88 major US insurance companies: “the survey revealed a broad consensus among insurers that climate change will have an effect on extreme weather events.”

Some forward-thinking businesses see opportunity in global warming. During the last 10 years, the polar ice sheet has shrunk by about one-third from its previous size. The Norwegian Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program estimates that within 30 or 40 years the entire Arctic Ocean will be ice-free in the summer. Now that the Arctic ice is melting, companies in Russia are taking advantage of new sea routes and fishing areas, as is Exxon Mobil, who hopes to drill for oil. Planning ahead is just good business.

global warming hoaxBut for Republican politicians, it’s bad politics. They have worked hard to convince their base that global warming is a fiction dreamed up by evil liberals. Now they have to shut up the scientists, who keep producing inconvenient evidence.

So here is a plausible scenario. Perry is elected President. Someone in the CIA, who knows about Russia and about foreign policy, especially security, wonders what will happen when more ice melts and the sea route from Russia to North America opens up. No problems yet, but she combines the latest global climate science, with measurements of Arctic Ocean ice, and business data from Russian shipping companies and ship manufacturers, and thinks that in 20 years world naval strategy will be transformed. Since new navies for new challenges in Arctic waters take decades to develop, she wonders why anyone hadn’t caught on to this before. She’s proud of herself.

Perry has demonstrated no capacity to understand, much less deal with complex scientific and foreign policy issues. So he relies on his closest aides. His science advisor knows how to handle this situation – the same way they dealt with the specialists who measured the rising water in Galveston Bay. We can’t admit that, because then we would have to admit that the world was getting warmer. We would have to explain to the American people what our futures might look like, very different from today. Steve HochstadtWe would have to consider how much our modern industrial society contributes to the warming, and then explain what steps we would take to reduce that. We would have to admit that we were wrong, wrong for years, wrong when all the evidence showed we were wrong, wrong because of politics, not science.

As Staples says, “That was easy.” A true no-brainer. We’ll just shut her up in whatever way works best. Eventually the truth will come out, but by that time we’ll be long gone. No need for moral qualms. All the other Republican candidates would have done the same thing. Obama wouldn’t, but would we want to support anything he does?

Sorry for the depressing fairy tale. Perry won’t get elected. But some Republican might, and they already control the House. How can we make sure that this scenario remains a fiction? How can we prevent politics from trumping science, and our security?

Steve Hochstadt
Taking Back Our Lives 

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Comments

  1. Ryder says

    It’s wrong for politicians to be erasing what could be good information out of studies, but then again, the IPCC has done similar things, where the political heads of the IPCC override scientists in order to “pump up” global warming. And much worse are the very high profile scientists that have issued reports, but refused to share their data and methods so that their work can be peer reviewed, including the most famous global warming icon of all, the “hockey-stick” graph published by Michael Mann.

    After many years of freedom of information acts (and CRU-linked scientists developing means to get around freedom of information requests), the data and the methods used to make that famous graph were brought into the open, and the hockey-stick fell apart under scientific scrutiny… and not even the IPCC that featured this bogus chart in assessment reports early on, no longer uses it.

    When scientists are corrupt with regards to science (some, not all), that is a far worse situation than politicians that embellish or omit science.

    The thing is, the models that were used to predict global warming and cause extreme concern are now known to have been well off the mark. There is no debate that the models over the years have consistently overestimated temperatures. None predicted that warming would stop for 10 years, as it has.

    If the models are wrong, significantly, and prominent scientists are known to have done bad science, and made attempts to hide it… then I would expect that LA progressive would have an article about all of this, especially having to toss out the infamous hockey stick. I don’t recall reading one.

    This “selectivity” at LAP is really not all that different from what Rick Perry did, now is it…

    • says

      Ryder,

      This “selectivity” at LAP is really not all that different from what Rick Perry did, now is it…

      Let’s see, in his official capacity, Texas Governor Rick Perry ordered state employees to suppress important scientific data, which could cause harm to his state’s residents and did cause the scientists who developed the research to remove their names from their own work.

      And that’s similar to LA Progressive not publishing global warming-denying claptrap?

      Too silly for words.

      There are a zillion websites in this world that could publish the misleading information you want published. We wouldn’t be in position to suppress that publication, even if we wanted to. Which we don’t.

      — Dick

  2. Ray Bishop says

    Bush thought he was a genius because he had Cheney and Rove. Look at his history in business – a failure. Bankruptcies in the oil business and bailed out by the Saudi Bin Laden family among others.
    Check Russ Bakers book, “Family of Secrets, to get an idea as to what really goes on.

  3. says

    Actually, the Goppies in practrice mostly do believe in global warming and think that they and their corporate sponsors can take advantage of it, especially if for as long as possible it’s treated like insider info (guarded of course by external denials). Like Obama’s big corporate supporters, they are all FOR it. They view it as an opportunity, not a problem.

  4. Bian Knowles says

    I do wonder how long it will be until we hear of gorons chucking virgins into volcanoes to appease the weather gods..

    The T.D. Lysenko branch of the CRU of East Prefect emails revealed “Global Warming” as a science on par with poly water and cold fusion..

    IMHO, revocation of the perpetrators educational credentials would be an appropriate remedy for aiding and abetting this scam.

    bk

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