28 Jan 2007 Enron’s Green-Fingered Successors
I won’t let the week end without a fisking of the Washington Post’s silly global warming op-ed Monday by in-house writer Sebastian Mallaby.
Mallaby says: “While the White House was sorting out its message, the rest of Washington was busy. Over at the Reagan building, a conference on carbon trading sold 600 tickets at $595 a pop and turned away 150 executives hungry to study the intricacies of permit allocation.”
Response: Hungry to study the green — or to reap the green? People who understand the global warming debate more than superficially have long known there is a constituency among profit-seekers to impose cap and trade. There is money to be made, even though cap and trade would hurt the economy, and especially harm low-income individuals and families and small businesses operating at the margin. There’s a reason Enron pushed so hard for Kyoto and other limits on carbon — that reason is money. We now speak of Enron’s green-fingered successors.
Mallaby says: “Meanwhile, multiple climate bills were floating around Congress, and the House leadership promised to create a special climate committee to force legislation past the auto lobby.”
Response: It appears Mr. Mallaby is implying that the House Committee on Energy and Commerce is synonymous with “the auto lobby.” Since mere months ago the enviromentalist slur against said committee was that it supposedly was controlled by the oil industry, one looks to see what might have changed. Oh, yes, the new Chairman, Rep. John Dingell, is married to an auto industry lobbyist. I guess Mallaby believes Mrs. Dingell wears the pants in the family. Do you think Mallaby would be willing to say that to Mr. Dingell’s face?
That amusing picture aside, Mallaby apparently is unfamilar with Pelosi’s proposal. The new global warming committee is to have have no powers to move legislation. Score one for the UAW.
Mallaby says: “Team Bush appears to believe that a cap-and-trade system would burden business, but business leaders are saying they want cap-and-trade enacted.”
Response: #1: See profit motive, above. #2: It is dishonest writing to say “business leaders” when it is just a few business leaders. #3: Wasn’t Mallaby’s propaganda rant against the Dingell family based on Mallaby’s belief that the auto industry opposes draconian global warming measures? Mallaby has business leaders cast as both the heroes and the villians of his piece. (Pick a theme, sir!)
Mallaby says: “Chortling climate-deniers, expecting an easy propaganda victory over the man whose energy-tax proposal they killed in 1993, greeted Gore’s movie with glee.”
Response: Citation, please. I don’t recall any glee. I have to think I’m a member of what Mallaby calls the “climate-denier” club, so I think I’d know, although the phrase “climate-denier” is unusually ludicrous, even for the anti-skeptic “all-we-will-ever-know-about-climate-science-we-know-already-but-send-your-research-grant-money-now-please” crowd. Who denies we have a climate? (I ask again: Does the Washington Post edit its “edit”orial pages?)
Mallaby says: “A House Republican hearing ridiculed a graph that features prominently in Gore’s movie showing the world’s temperature puttering along in a steady state before shooting upward like the handle of a hockey stick.”
Response: Two full hearings of House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, not a single rump “show trial” hearing featuring only Republicans, as Mallaby implies, heard from expert witnesses who demonstrated significant, fatal weaknesses in the so-called ‘hockey stick’ graph. In fact, the hockey stick was badly broken — most notably at the first hearing by the eminent statistician, Dr. Edward Wegman, who has described himself as a Gore voter, and by a Canadian, Steve McIntyre, neither of whom were likely to have been motivated by a zeal to aid the Republican Party. More than the hockey stick broke: In unmasking “peer review” as cronyism, the hearing dealt what appears to be a significant blow to the reputation of the science community generally, at least for folks who get their news from a broader series of sources than does the Washington Post, and who like their science journal writing to be more reliable than, say, a Bob Woodward deathbed reportabout Bill Casey.
One should be unsurprised to find ignorance about the hockey stick hearings among Post personnel, as the Post declined to cover the hearings as they took place. The Post deems the hockey stick hearings important enough to warrant multiple critical editorial pieces while simultaneously too insignificant to cover as news.
But credit should be given where credit is due. Sebastian Mallaby is correct in noting that Al Gore, like other climate alarmists and associated government-grant receivers, has used the discredited hockey stick graph as a proof of his theories.