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24 Hour Storm Warning - The House is about to Punish the Economy

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Recent data (recent in geological terms) show a warming trend in the last century.


This Friday, tomorrow, the House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on a complex regulatory regime that will punish all US industries that generate carbon dioxide (CO2), in other words, 99% of all manufacturing and transportation.  The net effect would be a dramatic escalation of prices at the consumer level, a huge increase in the costs of doing business in America (but NOT Chinese or Indian or other Third World businesses) and such a drag on the fragile US economy that the current recession will be deepened and prolonged as a result.


"I think we will hold the environmentalists," Waxman said. "This is a good environmental bill because it achieves the reductions in carbon emission that we must accomplish in order to avert the dangers from greenhouse gas emissions and global warming. I think the environmentalists will see this bill overall as a major win."

“Democratic staff are expected to release legislative text today on the agriculture compromises, as well as a number of other items that had still gone unresolved, including tax and trade provisions requested by the House Ways and Means Committee. Waxman said all of the new language would be folded into a manager's amendment before the floor debate.”

6-24-09 New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/cwire/2009/06/24/24climatewire-house-dems-improve-climate-bills-chances-for-17335.html


House members are being pushed to do this because a putative consensus of scientists holds that industrial CO2 emissions are the primary cause of the recent global warming.  The timing is outrageous. (1) We are in the worst economic decline since 1982 – and this measure, if it is implemented, would drive recession into depression. (2) The world is experiencing a ten year pause in global warming.


CO2 is not a toxic poison or pollutant.  Without it, all vegetation would die – and so would we -- CO2 is part of the oxygen production cycle. 


My article early 2008 article summarizing the conflicted science on these questions is still pertinent.  Here is the link: http://jaygaskill.com/StGoreAndTheIceAge.pdf .


The data that the warming trend has been in remission for several years is corroborated by current climate data.  An excellent source is a brilliant data analyst who posts detailed charts at: http://digitaldiatribes.wordpress.com/ .  To get the flavor of this intellectually honest source (rare in the current milieu) here is one ‘pull quote’:


“Another interesting trend line I keep track of asks the question “How far back can we go to see a non-warming trend?” This is, by design, an exercise in cherry-picking. But it serves a purpose. Obviously, the further back we can go, the higher the probability that the flat line actually means something. It’s valid to suggest that such periods can occur during warming trends. But it’s also valid to suggest that a long period could indicate an end to current warming. More likely, since we know that the long-term trend from surface measures – over 150+ years – indicates some warming, we can see this as an example of another part of the natural cycle taking place. It would be foolish to take the current non-warming trend and suggest that there will never be warming again. It seems every bit as foolish to be projecting runaway warming over the next Century in the midst of 12 years where no warming has occurred. My own analysis here, here, and here leads me to believe that cooling is on the way. But in each of those analyses, it recognizes cyclicality, and this cooling will once again be replaced by warming. And it has nothing to do with people, carbon dioxide, or plastic bags.


If you want to keep track of the conventional wisdom on the topic, here are the pertinent links:












But here is the bottom line:  Warming has abated for now.  We are in a deep and DANGEROUS a recession.  The Chinese and Indian economies are producing more CO2 than we are, and they will not stop any time soon.  The “benefits” of US unilateral action are marginal at best.  THERE IS NO EMERGENCY. 


Hundreds of job-creating projects have been held up for the preparation an evaluation of an E.I. R. (Environmental Impact Report).  We need an Economic Impact Report on this one.  The House Leaders are pushing now because they know that, on sober reflection, the measures would be delayed then defeated.   



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