Election 2012: Climate of Doubt

As a political issue in 2012, climate change has taken a back seat in the presidential campaign. It wasn’t mentioned at all in any of the debates.

Why? Isn’t a global catastrophe inevitable if we don’t do something about it now?

Investigating why last night, PBS’s Frontline broadcast a fascinating program seen in full here:
Climate of Doubt
  – John Hockenberry, PBS Frontline, 10/23/2012

PBS did a terrific job as far as they went.

What Frontline left out, though, is far more interesting than what they included.

Frontline’s Broadcast Synopsis

Frontline’s story is not about climate change; its about politics.
It is part of their 2012 presidential election series.

They delve superficially into climate change science but basically conclude the smart money is on the 97% consensus of scientists who believe that observed global warming is human caused. That is not an unreasonable position.

The thrust of the program is putting a magnifying glass to global warming skeptics.
It answers these questions:

  • Who are the skeptics?
  • Why are they winning politically?
  • How are they winning?
  • What are they doing?
  • What is their politics?
  • Who are their financial backers?

For PBS, it is good investigative reporting.

It concludes with John Hockenberry asking a skeptic the ominous question, “What if you are wrong?”

The Door Swings Both Ways

Frontline would need a separate program, but they could just as easily turn their magnifying glass on AGW backers. (AGW is human-caused global warming).

That program would answer these questions:

  • Who promotes AGW?
  • What are they doing?
  • What is their politics?
  • Who are their green financial backers?
  • What are the flaws in AGW science?
  • What is Climategate?
  • How did Al Gore make $100 million off AGW investments?

That program would be equally as insightful into AGW backers.

It would end with Hockenberry asking this question:
“After taxpayers spend $10s of trillions, what if you are wrong?”

Food For Thought

To Frontline, its a liberal/conservative U.S. political battle. Conservatives are winning the battle of public/political opinion while warming continues unabated.

Frontline overlooks the global politics of climate change. If they peeked for but a moment, they would see what is happening in the United States reflects geopolitically what is happening all over the world.

The most important political concern in climate change is cost. When cost confronts climate change, AGW loses every time!

Look to the United Nations for proof.

The effort to fight human-caused global warming was started by the UN. The IPCC, a branch of the UN, is sounding the scientific alarm bells.

To fight global warming the UN passed the Kyoto Accord. It was ratified by enough nations to became international law in December 1997.

Kyoto requires nations to reduce their CO2 emissions back to 1990 levels. Penalties result if you don’t.

Legally binding benchmarks on the way back to 1990 levels were set for all nations. Oddly, the world’s largest CO2 offenders are exempt. They include China, the United States, Russia, India and Brazil. The U.S. is exempt only because Kyoto has not been ratified there, otherwise it would be held to the standard.

Even given its exemptions, enforcement of the benchmarks have already been twice delayed by the UN.

To this day literally no progress toward limiting greenhouse gas emissions globally has been achieved by Kyoto. Japan and the European Union are the only countries taking Kyoto seriously.

Why? Because no country can afford to meet the benchmarks. So the UN has simply pushed back the benchmark implementation dates. They probably will delay them again when the first one now must be met in 2015.


In their report, Frontline overlooked the single most import climate change news in the world today.

The United States, who never even signed Kyoto, is the only nation on Earth making progress toward meeting the UN’s 1990 standard!

The U.S. has got half way there over the last 5 years. If things continue as they have over the next 5 years then the U.S. will meet the UN standard without any taxpayer funding.

Frontline exposed the fossil fuels industry as the financial backers of global warming skeptics. Ironically, the fossil fuel industry is responsible for the decrease in U.S. CO2 emissions.

Now THAT would have made a great investigative finding!


About azleader

Learning to see life more clearly... one image at a time!

Posted on Oct 24, 2012, in 2012 Elections, climate change, culture, economics, Life, news, Opinion, Politics, science, Thoughts. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. MET in Great Britain recently came out withtheir report that global warming stopped 15 years ago. Whatever. My position has been if the global warmers are right, we have two choices. We can go backto living in caves, which few people are equiped to do and next to nothing will change anyway; or we can spend our time and effort figuring out how we are going to adapt and suvive on a warmer planet. Having said that, I don’t think they are right. mankind maybe having some nominal impact on climate but the real drivers of climate are the sun and the nuclear dission reactor we call the earth’s core which among other things affects the earths electromagnetic fields and ocean currents.

  2. Met actually did not come out with a report, per se. They released updated data, which is not the same thing.

    I agree with you that “adapt and survive” is the proper course of action whether global warming is human-caused or not. Prevention is impossible.

    There is strong physical evidence to suggest the sun is heading into a prolonged quiet phase and experimentally verified evidence at CERN suggests it will result in global cooling.

    The physical evidence for AGW is slim. Support for AGW mostly comes from climate modeling which is open to question. No actual experiments have been performed to see if the models are correct. So far, they’ve had no predictive value at all… as evidenced by the 15-year lull.

  3. The absence of AGW (human-induced global change) debate is a very bad omen:

    Why? Earth’s global climate is controlled by the Sun’s pulsar core !:


    It means both candidates will continue to manipulate information (government science) to control the public, exactly as George Orwell predicted in 1948 for post-World War governments that would emerge by “1984”:


    With deep regrets,
    Oliver K. Manuel
    Former NASA Principal
    Investigator for Apollo
    http://omanuel.wordpress.com/about/ , . . . .

    • Agreed the sun has the greatest potential influence on climate change… duh!!!… you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure that out. lol!!

      I’m super impressed with Danish physicist Henrik Svensmark’s solar magnetic climate change theory. Its straightforward and experimentally validated with CERN’s CLOUD Experiment.

      Assuming the sun enters a quiet phase as expected, I believe during the next solar cycle or so it will supersede AGW as the more generally accepted explanation for climate change.

  4. Whether AGW exists or not, the prudent course of action is to leave a small footprint. So, we should still attempt to limit carbon emissions; but, as you point out the cost is very expensive. All the green technologies seem to need taxpayer subsidy. And then just as luck would have it, technological change and fracking create low prices for natural gas, which is now the fuel of choice for electric generation not coal, and as you point out a big reason CO2 in the US is dropping. The ironies abound. Back here in my part of the country the utilities want to mothball a nuclear reactor because burning natural gas is cheaper at making electricity. Finally when I was in college in the late 70s one of the class projects was writing about how man was cooling the Earth. That was the consensus then. I am not a big believer in consensus science. The very use of the adjective on the word science is quite telling that it is not scientific fact. Like you, I believe as a species we must learn to adapt and survive and put resources to that endeavor. The IPCC report does state that actually, if I recall the Executive Summary properly.

  5. I think AGW is a contributing factor in Earth’s recent temperature rise. How much, though, hasn’t been determined.

    The AGW folks make assumptions and models that eliminate this and that and the other thing and what is left over, they say, must be AGW. That isn’t a compelling argument, especially without any experimental evidence backing it up.

    It is no wonder folks in your area are considering bagging nuclear for natural gas. When available, even 100% pollution free CCS natural gas is something like 30% cheaper per megawatthour than nuclear. Without CCS it is half the cost to produce.

    Like you, I remember not long ago climate alarmism was over a coming ice age. That same alarmism is gonna make a return engagement soon enough. AGW will fall out of favor.

    CO2 is the misunderstood gas. Its plant food. They love it. They need it to live. And we need the oxygen plants exhale to live. So what do we do? – chop down the trees and slash and burn vast tracks of land. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you. What does that result in? – more CO2 in the atmosphere! Where is the logic in that?

    Humans are serial polluters. Pollution is the real problem we need to solve. Pollution’s effects are tangible and visible everywhere. I see it commonly in the most remote places in the 48 states where I often work.

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