Weatherdem's Weblog

Bridging climate science, citizens, and policy

Climate Change and Con-servative “Think Tanks”

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As we move toward the upcoming Obama presidency, the most important issue to address will be averting catastrophic climate change.  Obama made clear his intentions to approach energy quite differently than the current “administration” has done.  Instead of corporate welfare giveaways to oil, gas and coal corporations, Obama will work to ensure renewables make up an increasing share of our national energy portfolio.

The same interests that pushed drilling and mining so hard during the Bush administration will not cease their efforts just became Obama has been elected President.  The fossil fuel industry has invested millions of dollars in think propaganda tanks.  Those tanks regularly produce position papers on the “shortcomings” of climate change and its effects.  Here are just a few samplings:

The Cato Institute continues to push its nonsensical opinion that the market will solve everything, just in case peak oil ever occurs, and global warming isn’t real.  Those who continue to blindly follow the free-market faith will increasingly find themselves in a world that has passed them by.  There is no market without government.  A melding of the two are necessary in the effort to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions problem.

The Competitive Enterprise Institute is producing ads that deliberately seek to confuse people into thinking that reducing greenhouse gas emissions really means restricting energy access.  What?!?!  No one is proposing anything of the sort.  Climate realists are advocating shifting our fossil fuel-based energy to renewable energy.  There is more than enough renewable energy resources to completely make that shift and stop emitting greenhouse gases.  The costs of doing nothing, by the way, far outweigh anything we do to change our behavior.

Recently, American Enterprise Institute resident scholar Kenneth Green showed how lockstep his propaganda tank was with the remainder of the far-right.  How incapable are these folks from talking about the subject?  So removed that they make up their facts.  In this case, Mr. Green claimed global temperatures recently declined to the same value they were at in 1978.  Few things could be so demonstrably false.  Temperature anomalies have risen since the 1970s quite steadily.  In fact, despite the presence of the most recent La Nina, the past few years’ temperatures continue to make it into the top of the list.  Anything AEI or anyone else says after making things up can’t be seriously entertained in an energy policy discussion.

The time left to change our behavior is running out.  Right-wingers will do everything they can, including lie, distort and distract, to alter the course President-elect Obama and most of the rest of the world want to take.  The good news is there are a growing number of activists that recognize this and are ready to provide support for taking that course.  [big h/t to Climate Progress’ Romm]

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