The Case for NOT Wrestling with Pigs

James Hansen, head of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, offers this as a reason for scientists to decline public debates about climate change:

… public discussion of global warming is befogged by contrarians, whose opinions are given a megaphone by special interests that benefit by keeping the public confused. Some of the contrarians were once scientists, but now they behave, at least on the topic of global warming, as lawyers defending a client. Their aim is to present a case as effectively as possible, citing only evidence that supports their client, and making the story appear as favorable as possible to their client. The best, the most articulate, are sought out by special interests, and even by much of the media, because the media likes to have “balance” in its coverage of most topics – and especially this topic because special interests have influence on the media.
The barrage of e-mails that I have received from the public highlights another aspect of the global warming story: it is now very political. The people sending these messages are not generally scientists, even though in many cases they parrot “scientific” statements of contrarians. In their opinion these matters should be discussed in you-tube “debates” between scientists and contrarians. My guess is that scientists may not fare very well in such a format.

Monckton vs. Littlemore: To Think I Could Have Been Doing Something Useful

As might have been anticipated, the radio “debate” today (click here for full annotated transcript) twixt me and the tireless Christopher Walter (Third Viscount Monckton of Brenchley) descended quickly into name calling and then further into pointlessness - an argument about science that neither of us is qualified to pursue.

In hindsight, I played perfectly into the hands of Monckton and his happy radio host, Roy Green, who share the same goal - not to win an argument about global warming science, but merely to show that there still IS an argument. Of course there's not. But while we danced angels around the head of a pin, I can imagine Green's listeners thinking, “Oh my. This is very confusing. No wonder the government says it's too early to take action.”

Score one for Monckton.

Monckton vs. Littlemore Debate Airs Noon PDT

Lest anyone believe it will be worth 22 minutes of their time, the widely anticipated debate between Christopher Walter (the Third Viscount Monckton of Brenchley) and Richard Littlemore (the Third Stucco Homeowner on Belcarra) airs from 12:05 to 12:37 p.m. Pacific time on the Corus Network. A helpful DeSmogBlog reader (thanks Frank Bi) has discovered that you can go to the 630 CHED website and click on the “Listen Live.”

Nuclear Energy: Expensive, Dangerous, Not Cost-Effective

Amory Lovins and Imran Sheikh have penned a new report on nuclear energy as a fossil fuel option, concluding that  nuclear is still dangerous and complicated, not particularly reliable, creates a pollution problem that lasts for many millennia and is therefore a waste of money that could be spent more productively on renewable energy.

Perhaps most devastating to the free market fans, Lovins and Sheikh note that “nuclear power plants are unfinanceable in the private capital market because of their excessive costs and financial risks and the high uncertainty of both.”

T. Boone Pickens Sniffs the Wind, Makes a Plan

I Love Capitalists

Takeover king T. Boone Pickens has a plan to save America from its unaffordable dependence on foreign oil: switch to wind.

Of course, critical to this plan is a national willingness to support the switch and to start buying wind power in large amounts from - well, more likely from T. Boone Pickens, who is currently building the largest wind farm in the world in Pampa, Texas. Excellent!


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