By Megan Toombs
Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) is a potential running-mate choice for presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. Yet he recently joined other Democratic Senators on the Senate floor to attack the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation and other Virginia-based organizations, in an attempt to defend climate alarmism against its critics.
As has been the case with other attempts to vilify, intimidate and silence experts who disagree with alarmist views on global warming and climate change, Kaine presented an argument rife with logical fallacies – appeals to emotion, straw men, ridicule, oversimplification and misrepresentation.
The one thing the good Senator forgot to include in his speech was any sound science and ethics!
According to Kaine, the Cornwall Alliance is part of a “web of denial,” a “shadow organization,” “bizzaro,” and “greedy.”
Senator Kaine read just a tiny piece of our Open Letter to Pope Francis on Climate Change, in which we quoted Psalm 19. He then said, “So somebody is really using Scripture to argue that making our energy production cleaner, safer, cheaper, violates the Christian tenet of caring for the poor?”
No, Senator Kaine, if you read the full Open Letter, you would discover that it addresses both science and economics. More important, it explains that pushing wind, solar, biofuel and other technologies that are not currently cheaper or better for the environment also hurts those in poverty. You would also have seen that it was signed by hundreds of scientists, including over 20 climate scientists. But you didn’t mention any of that.
Senators Kaine, Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and others have banded together to attack the alleged “web of denial” that appears to be made up only of conservative organizations that they claim are funded by ExxonMobil and other fossil fuel corporations that they consider immoral – even though the energy they provide has been indispensable to lifting and keeping billions of people out of poverty, and even though ExxonMobil has not given any of these groups a dime for a decade or more.
Moreover, there is another “web of denial,” the one created by climate alarmist organizations that are funded by renewable energy corporations, wealthy liberal foundations and government agencies that stand to gain money, prestige, and power from promoting scares about climate change. As Kathleen Hartnett White brilliantly demonstrates in her booklet Fossil Fuels: The Moral Case, they have been caught exaggerating, fabricating and falsifying data to support their views, suppressing contrary data, intimidating scientists who disagree, and corrupting the scientific peer-review process.
There is no evidence that 70% of Virginians (or Americans) agree with this. They may agree that global warming and climate change are “real” and that humans today are contributing somewhat to these cycles and fluctuations, which have been ongoing for millennia. But to convert that into saying a huge majority believe humans are causing catastrophic changes is disingenuous. To say they want to spend trillions of dollars to try controlling Earth’s climate has no basis in fact.
Then there is the fact (observable fact, mind you, not computer models) that shows there has been no statistically significant long-term global warming for nearly all of the last 19 years.
Yet they deny this, too.
Carbon dioxide (CO2) has increased quite significantly during this time, as developing countries built coal-fired power plants, created jobs, lifted people out of abject poverty, dramatically improved the living standards for billions, built roads and highways, and put millions of cars and trucks on them. So where is the correlation between increased temperature and rising CO2 levels?
There is none.
No one argues that humans have absolutely no effect on the environment or on potential warming.
What is in question is whether human CO2 emissions will create temperature increases and other planetary changes so dramatic that they will cause catastrophes that justify spending trillions of dollars in vain efforts to stabilize climates and temperatures that have never been stable. What is also in question is whether we can ethically do so by restricting or eliminating the fuels that countries all over the world depend on for 80% of the energy that makes economic growth, jobs, poverty reduction, health and welfare possible.
Those trillions of dollars should instead be spent to lift billions more people out of poverty, and reduce the high rates of disease, malnutrition, and premature death that invariably accompany that poverty.
Right now, the only “proof” alarmists have is computer model projections that are wildly inaccurate, and a “hockey stick” graph that is utterly worthless and has been derided by the scientific community for the ability of that computer model to create suddenly rising global temperatures when it is fed random numbers from a phone book.
That’s some serious denial – of the uselessness of climate models, of what is actually happening in the real world, and of the fundamental human right of people everywhere to use fossil fuels to improve their living standards, health and well-being.
NOTE: Megan Toombs is the Director of Communications for the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation. You can follow her on Twitter @MeganToombs.