Sonny To Save the GOP

With a tip of the hat to the Political Insider, I bring you this from the Politico about Sonny and the RGA trying to save the party.

The project is the brainchild of Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue, who heads the Republican Governors Association. The way Perdue sees it, Washington Republicans haven

51 comments

  1. Rusty says:

    It sounds from the article like they are going to embrace the myth of global warming

    Perhaps that’s become a more expedient political position than embracing the myth of a bearded Jewish guy in sandals dying on a couple of sticks coming back to life a few days later.

  2. AlanR says:

    I hope each of the governors will at least change their registration and be honest about it.

    And as far as myths — feel free to believe whatever you want about whatever you want.

    Just make sure your myth doesn’t cost me money, make my life worse and destroy our national economy.

  3. dingleberry says:

    Rusty,

    You could be rich if you only knew how to back up half the crap you say…take the challenges, make yourself some coin, and pay someone to get Phil Fulmer’s fat-a** out of Tennessee!!!

  4. Rusty says:

    dingleberry,
    What am I backing up again? I don’t recall making a statement that needed to be backed up.

    But yes, perhaps I should look into entering the Hovind contest. $250,000 buys a lot of Krispy Kremes with which to bribe the Great Pumpkin.

  5. StevePerkins says:

    I worry about conservative and libertarian activists painting themselves too deeply in a corner with the global warming rhetoric. Some people have their heels dug in SO deeply on the issue… if Christ himself came back to proclaim the truth of CO2 dangers, they’d probably crucify him again to shut him up. That was all fine and well 30-50 years ago, when all this stuff was more debatable. However, we’re long past the point where most of us with science backgrounds will see you as a moron for denying the issue wholesale… and we’re now past the tipping point where the general public will view you likewise.

    The thing that irks me about this stubbornness is that most of the conservatives I talk to don’t really seem to know anything (or even care) about global warming itself. They just don’t like the PEOPLE who have been sounding the alarm. In all fairness, it’s a perfectly valid complaint to note that the environmentalist movement has been “piggybacked” by too many people pushing anti-globalisation, socialism, and other separate agendas. However, that doesn’t make the core issue itself untrue. What’s more, if it were the *government* that was responsible for most of our CO2 emissions… global warming would be the #1 conservative and libertarian issue going today, with the liberals arguing that it’s all just myth and fantasy.

    Good Lord, I hate this Left vs. Right crap… it’s to the point where it’s more like cheering for a certain sports team than it is about actually standing for anything real.

  6. GodHatesTrash says:

    Reality check, rednecks.

    Do you think normal people actually take grown men seriously that call themselves “Sonny”?

    Buzz, Rusty – especially interested in your comments…

  7. rugby_fan says:

    Do you think normal people actually take grown men seriously that call themselves “GodHatesTrash”?

    For me, its not in the name, but what you say and do.

  8. Erick says:

    Ditto Harry.

    I take two points of view. I don’t think our contribution is as significant as is claimed and even were it, there would be very little we could do because already China has passed us in emissions and India is catching up to them.

    Robert Samuelson, in his takedown of Newsweek’s hatchet job, made the same basic point.

  9. GodHatesTrash says:

    Global warming/climate change is not a theory that can be proven the way a seventh grade science class – or your even less sophisticated Georgia voter – would like to see something proven – you would need a planet the size of Earth, and the ability to pump extra CO2 and CO into the atmosphere.

    But even my dog knows if he poops too close to where he eats, he ain’t gonna stay well.

    So why haven’t you rednecks figured out the basics of pollution, but my dog has?

  10. Erick says:

    Grift, I’m pretty sure I will remain unpersuaded that we are as significant a factor as is claimed. I tend to think it is a natural phenomenon.

  11. griftdrift says:

    Time to don the myth busting gear!

    Actually Joe that was a rather hysterical article written in Newsweek. It was never part of a scientific paper. However , the genesis of the mainstream story was a rather obscure paper written about an observed mild cooling period from the 40s to the 70s. This was then extrapolated by the unscientific press as to mean an impending ice age. Upon seeing what was occurring, the scientific community quickly pointed out that in no way were they predicting an ice age.

    NEXT!

  12. Doug Deal says:

    Climate change is real, it happens all the time. Extreme temperatures, redish tinted skies clouded with so much sulphur that nearly every living organism dies, super high concentrations of oxygen, super low concentrations of oxygen, constant planetwide unceasing rains, planetwide deap-freeze, and almost everything else imaginable has happened to our planet and will happen again.

    Sadly, the liberals have turned it into a religion (I guess filling a vaccum that their “clever” witticism about how stupid, yet diabolically brilliant, Bush cannot fill).

    Climate is way too complicated to model with any degree of accuracy. For an example, look at the concentration of CO2 as a predictor of global climate. Currently we are around 350 ppm, thats about a third of a percent, and we go up about 1 ppm per year.

    Way back in the Cambrian period (600 million years ago), CO2 levels were 20 times higher. Yet, the global average temperature was only about 10 degrees warmer.

    Further, during the Ordovician period (450 million years ago), the levels of CO2 were about 12 times greater than they were now, yet the global average temperature was about what we experience today. If you graph the CO2 concentration over the last billion years, you will see that there is about a zero correlation between temperature and CO2 levels.

    Also, you would also note that todays “hottest average temperatures of all time” are actually at the very bottom of global average temperatures for the history of our planet, and for most of the last billion years, temperatures have been closer to the 10 degrees warmer of the Cambrian period than the reletively chilly present day.

    If you want to see a graph go to http://www.scotese.com/climate.htm

    The point of all of this is to demonstrate that alarmism is unfounded. The Earth has historically been more inhospitable than it is now, and will one day be inhospitable again. The worst case scenarios that the global warming faithful spew forth tell us about 1-2 degree C variences in temperature, over the next century. These are WORST CASE. If history is our guide, there is little to fear tomorrow.

    Instead of wrecking the global economy on a whim, and increasing the ever expeanding controls of government, how about waiting and designing experiments going forward to actually see what is happening in a scientific way?

  13. griftdrift says:

    I would point out that in the periods you reference, homo sapiens twarnt around.

    You’re right. The Earth will continue spinning around for about another 4 billion years or so. And it will undergo all kinds of changes.

    It’s a question of how long our stay will be.

  14. AlanR says:

    The novelist Michael Crichton had a lengthy discussion with Charlie Rose on global warming. I think he got all his information from Doug Deal. If you have the time, it is well worth hearing Crichton’s point of view. And he is no dope. Phd in Anthropology and MD from Harvard. Makes you want to smack him, doesn’t it? If the link doesn’t work it is the Next interview.

    http://www.crichton-official.com/video-charlierose-2-17-07.html

  15. griftdrift says:

    My hats off to you, Doug. You nearly stumped me with that Ordovician thing.

    It is an item which has hung over the climate debate for sometime. How do you have the Ordovician Ice Age when CO2 levels were much higher than they are today? (Not the same as you said although I am sure they were at some point. The Ordovician was around for a long time).

    Well, it turns out science has the answer. New evidence solved the anomaly. It was a problem in dating. Not in the theory of the correlation of CO2 and warming. Turns out that ice age started about 10 million years earlier than previously thought. At the low point of CO2 in the Ordovician.

    http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/earlyice.htm

  16. Doug Deal says:

    Grift,

    Yes, there were no humans, but there were shelterless animals who had no access to science, engineering or even language who survived happily, Heat has never caused mass planetwide extinctions in the history of the planet, cold has.

    In any event, you are correct. It is not about the planet, it is about us, and how long we survive. I just wish people would get hysterical by something that WILL be a problem in a couple of decades. The Social Security system is on it’s way to wreck our nation, yet, Gore doesn’t go around the country milking it to pay for his lifestyle.

  17. Doug Deal says:

    Grift,

    The levels of CO2 were still 10 times higher than they are today, and the peak of the cooling was not much different than todays temperature. In the terms of the historic record we are plastered at the bottom end of average global temperatures for the last billion years.

  18. Federalist says:

    This is great. GOP leaders from around the country are coming together in the capital of georgia to decide what they will sell as being true. Like the nicene council deciding what truth the church will sell to the masses. I live for this stuff. I hope all around the country this is pasted on the front page…I can see the headlines:
    “GOP Leaders Gather to Decide New Republican Truths.”

  19. joe says:

    griftdrift,

    The real point is that in 2001, scientists showed that CO2 was not the problem. In 2005, they showed oops, flawed data. There is nothing to say that in 2009, scientists won’t show something else. Science is in-exact. It is based on assumptions. Most of the assumptions may be right, but every time the body of science grows, some assumption gets thrown out. We very well may be in a period of global warming. It quite possibly has been caused to some extent by humans. There just isn’t any proof yet. Wasn’t it last year that NASA reported global warming on Mars?

    There are things that humans do that need to be changed. The pollution in Atlanta bothers my eyes. I think we need less. If your theories are right, then cutting poluttion will cut warming. But what is absolutely true is that my eyes will quit burning. There just is no reason to get hysterical about warming.

  20. Doug Deal says:

    joe,

    Cutting pollution increases warming.

    Every time a major volcano goes off, it blasts little bits of liquified and vaporized materal high into the atmosphere. This material cools and condenses into fine particulate matter that stays aloft for a very long time. Anyway, this dust blocks solar radiation in two ways. It creates a condensation point for high level moisture (creates clouds) and also reflects the radiation on it’s own. (This is the basis of the idea of a Nuclear winter).

    Anyway, the same thing can happen with anything that sends small particals aloft. If there is indeed a current state of global warming caused by man, it may actually be the fact that he dwitched to cleaner burning fules last century, returning our environment ot a more natural state.

  21. Federalist says:

    Yeah doug we know. You always say that, and I think I speak for a lot of people when i mention that you were not the only one to watch that special on the discovery channel. Sure science changes…that is its nature. That is no reason to not have faith in science…it is the very reason why faith should be placed in science before all else. It is real, not make believe. It is based on facts, when conducted by objective individuals…rather than emotion. The earth is not too much different than any other living organism. There is millions of inter-related parts…some living, some not, but all are essential. What happens when you put poison in a living body? It is not to different than what will happen when poison is pumped into our biosphere. It will obviously take much longer because earth is much larger than a human. This is just a very simple analogy, but it is fundamentally a description of what is going on. For years research showed that smoking tobacco was not unhealthy. Obviously that research was promoted by an agenda…just like most of the research that shows that human created pollutants are nothing to worry about. I think that the steps we have taken so far are about the same as a smoker going from “marlboro reds” to lights. Fact is we are still polluting at an unsustainable rate.

  22. Federalist says:

    We will just have to see what happens. If Sonny and the RGP decide that global warming is real…then I am certain most of your rhetoric will change.

  23. griftdrift says:

    Whew. This is a lot. Let’s take it in what I think is the order.

    Umm Doug. No it wasn’t. If you follow my link you will see once the dating error was corrected, the CO2 was much lower. But even if it was, you are comparing apples and oranges. In the Ordovician, Europe was approximately where the south pole is now. Yes, weather is complex and the fact that the configuration of the continents and oceans during that time period has to be factored into any calculations.

    As far as those shelterless animals? They were sheltered in a sense as they were all in the ocean. The Ordovician was known as the age of fishes. The only thing living on land were very primitive plants.

    Joe, please show me where in 2001 scientists determined CO2 as not a contributing factor. As far as Mars? It may be warming. So what? Once again, apples and oranges. Mars has a completely different biosphere than the Earth. Even so, the scant evidence available for Mars warming pales in comparison to the ever growing multiple lines of evidence for warming on the Earth.

    But at least you concede the possibility man may be causing the warming.

    Now Erick. About that hockey stick.

    There is some dispute about one individual study published 8 years ago. It amounts to a pair of scientists trying to recreate the work of a couple of other scientists and they were unable to recreate it exactly. The discrepancies however were minor. But the original scientists published an adddition to clarify some of their methodology. The debate does continue with both sides claiming to be correct, although the majority of climatologist agree the original had some flaws but the overall conclusion was correct. The disagreement is highly technical and frankly gets to the point where I can’t understand it.

    Having said that, the questions about that original study in no way invalidates the dozens of subsequent reports which show a rapid increase in the global mean temperature.

    You guys can argue the long term effect of warming, how disastrous it might be and what should be done. There’s certainly some room for discussion there.

    But if you continue to try to argue on the scientific merit that global warming does not exist, you will continue to draw dead.

  24. griftdrift says:

    Didn’t I cover this already? With you Harry or was it someone else? Its okay, I’ve had plenty of practice. Maybe next we can talk about evolution?

    Indeed. Solar radiation is a cause of warming. In fact its the primary cause. All of our warmth (or more technically correct, energy) originates with the sun.

    However, since accurate measurements have been taken of solar radiation, it has remained constant while the global mean temperature has markedly increased. No correlation between an increase in solar radiation and increased warming because there has been no increase in solar radiation.

    Don’t believe me? Google the Max Planck Institute. They have the data.

  25. Doug Deal says:

    Grift, you are flat out wrong in your comments regarding the Ordovian period. According to wikipedia…

    The most commonly accepted theory is that these events were triggered by the onset of an ice age, in the Hirnantian faunal stage that ended the long, stable greenhouse conditions typical of the Ordovician. The ice age was probably not as long-lasting as once thought; study of oxygen isotopes in fossil brachiopods shows that it was probably no longer than 0.5 to 1.5 million years.[6] The event was preceded by a fall in atmospheric carbon dioxide (from 7000ppm to 4400ppm) which selectively affected the shallow seas where most organisms lived.

    Notice that the level of atmospheric carbon is 12-20 TIMES the current level of CO2 which is around 350ppm.

    Also, I am not only talking about a single period in the geologic record. The entire last billion years had CO2 levels much higher than we have today, and global average temperatures are currently plastered at the extreme low end of temperatures in the entire history of complex life on this planet.

    If CO2 is the end all be all driving force of temperatures on this planet, the Earth would have been then, like Venus is today.

  26. Doug Deal says:

    Grift,

    And is this what you mean by the Max Planck Institute saying that solar radiation has not changed and has no correlation…

    Max Planck

    How much do these solar fluctuations influence the climate? To answer this question, simulations have been carried out with the same global climate models used to estimate the effect of the anthropogenic greenhouse. They suggest that a part of the warming observed over the last century can be explained by the rise in solar intensity, although only about a third of it (0.2

  27. griftdrift says:

    Okay, Doug, I’ll concede your numbers and admit my error. Honestly, at the time I couldn’t find accurate numbers and wasn’t sure they existed. So I’ll stipulate your figures.

    However, you fail to address my other two points. The Ordovician Ice Age began when the era’s CO2 was at its lowest and the configuration of the biosphere was completely different.

    One of the greatest misconceptions about CO2 affecting the climate is it is solely due to an increase. We’ve known for a long time that there have been periods where the CO2 has been higher and where it has increased dramatically. Always by natural means.

    These increases and decreases have certainly led to climate change. However, they were always relative to what was happening in the entire biosphere.

    In the Ordovician, the massive continent Godwanaland was located around the south pole. This places the vast majority of the dry surface area in a location with the least solar radiation. This combined with what probably was a period of low solar radiation, the affect of the ocean currents dramatically different from just about any other area and CO2 being at a relative low level certainly would lead to a massive cooling in certain areas of the earth.

    The difference between the Ordovician (actually one of many differences) is although there was an increase in CO2, the biosphere had natural means to deal with this increase, i.e. the increase of ocean size meant larger CO2 sinks. In today’s world, instead of an increase of natural CO2, we have an increase of non-natural CO2 with no offsetting ability by the biosphere to reduce it. Quite simply we are upsetting the balance which has been around for 2 billions years.

    Doug, as you and others have said. It’s a complex system. You have to take into account all factors.

    So I concede your numbers but not the overall conclusion.

    As far as the Max Planck institute. I was actually referring to this.

    http://www.mps.mpg.de/en/projekte/sun-climate/

    Which supports your paragraphs conclusion which is solar irradiance cannot be solely responsible for warming as Harry claimed. And in fact is a very minor factor.

  28. Doug Deal says:

    Grift,

    I would not say that 30% is a “minor” cause; it is simply not the sole factor.

    In college, I studied equilibrium systems in great detail. The one thing you learn is that systems do not stay in dynamic equilibrium without mechanisms to chain it to some central set-point; otherwise we would have either boiled off all the water on the planet or frozen it permanently.

    So, what anchors our climate system? The big thing is water. Ever notice that on a humid night the overnight low is higher than a very dry night? The reason is that a huge amount of energy is stored in water in the vapor form. In order to lower 1 gram of dry air, from 40C to 30C (104F-86F) requires the removal of 10 J of energy.

    If that air was instead at 100% humidity, it would not only have to release the 10J from the air, but would also have to condense 22 mg of H20. Water vapor needs to release about 2,000 J per gram in order to condense to a liquid, so that means 48 J, which is 4.8 times the amount of energy to cool dry air. (This is why A/C bills go up astronomically in humid weather; most energy is used to dry out the air).

    This water-air system acts as a huge amount of inertia to keep the system moving slowly.

    Next, as the temperature goes up, the amount of water vapor that can be carried increases. As more water vapor enters the atmosphere, there are more clouds. More clouds, means that the earth reflects much more of the sun’s radiation, which means the earth cools down.

    A cooling earth has less water vapor. Less water vapor means fewer clouds, which means more radiation hits the ground, meaning more warming of the atmosphere.

    But, that’s not all. More carbon dioxide means more carbon is used by plants, plankton, and anything else that undergoes photosynthesis, which convert CO2 back to oxygen, resulting in a faster conversion of CO2 into O2, as well as a faster sequestering of carbon in the form of biomass.

    Less CO2 means fewer of these organisms, which means that CO2 will suffer less sequestering in biomass and less conversion to O2.

    There are countless numbers of systems that keep our climate from “spiraling out of control”. If these were not present, we would have spiraled out of control a long time ago. Anyone who claims that it will happen in the next millennia without some catastrophic event beyond human means (like an asteroid, magma plume eruption or something on a cosmic scale) is an idiot, and deserves derision.

    Perhaps the planet will get warmer. Perhaps the planet will get colder. We do not know what tomorrow brings. If the readings are accurate, if the planet is currently getting warmer, we need a whole lot more than a scant 2 decades of data to clearly define a global trend in anything as complicated as climate, especially when it amounts to a .15% variance (298.0 K to 298.5K) in the temperature record, of which even the supporters admit 1/3 is solar energy output related.

  29. Holly says:

    Wow, I’ve just read all through these comments and my head’s spinning. Doug and Grift, thanks for laying out a case for both sides. I’m going to go back and re-read it to make sure I got it all. I love seeing discussions like this on this blog.

    In theory, I tend to agree with Doug. Now, I do think that there are some great ideas for helping the environment that the Global Warming enthusiasts (?) have put forth, and I think we should look at them – not because we’re going to stop all the climate change if we do them, but simply because protecting the resources for future generations is smart practice.

    By the way, Joe is right about Mars : it has had a similar warming trend to the Earth in the past 50 years. You know, those Martians are ruthless on their environment. . . (tongue and cheek, Grift; tongue and cheek. 🙂 ) But it’s not really apples and oranges. Yes, there’s a different biosphere, but I think it suggests that we are looking at a problem that will occur (the warming trend) regardless of our “intervention.” I’m not trying to sound defeatist when I suggest this, but perhaps the focus shouldn’t be that, “HUMANS ARE CAUSING GLOBAL WARMING, OMG STOP!” but it should be that, “hey, we’re in for a climate change; here’s how we can prepare.” Doesn’t that make more sense?

    Science does deal with facts, not emotions. That’s what’s so great about it. But then, Federalist, couldn’t we say that the global warming phenomena is also being fueled by an agenda? Of course we can.

    Again, it’s not that I don’t think there isn’t global warming. I just don’t see where there’s a heck of a lot we’re going to be able to do to stop it because I think it’s a natural process that the earth goes through. That said, let’s start taking the steps to do what we can to save the environment. There’s certainly nothing wrong with Adrian Grenier heating his apartment with old jeans. (Wasn’t that him?) I applaud the university that is now able to heat its campus by recycling trash. For those of us who can’t be so fancy, we can take the smaller steps. These are good things to do regardless.

    Good Lord, I hate this Left vs. Right crap

  30. Doug Deal says:

    Holly,

    I agree with you, that we should study it, and examine what’s going on. I would even love to examine the raw data myself, and see the evidence, but after hours and hours and hours of searching on the web, I can only find pre-summed, filtered or biased data.

    I would love to find a data table of the location of temperature readings with every data point considered in the analysis. Any scientific claim needs to have serious questions asked, and too many political driven scientists seem to fail in that regard on this issue.

    Some questions that have not been answered to my satisfaction by any hard evidence, except by unsupported claims:

    1) What is the frequency of sampling of the temperature data?

    2) Under what conditions are temperature readings considered an anomaly and thrown out?

    3) What is the distribution of the temperature readings?

    4) How do they get adequate coverage of the artic, or do they assume one temperature station covers 100s of square miles.

    5) How do they get adequate coverage of the oceans, or do they mainly focus on the coast and assume one station can cover 100s of miles of open ocean?

    6) Do they weight the average based on the amount of area the temperature probe is supposed to represent?

    7) How often are the instruments calibrated?

    8) Do they examine the data to look for poorly performing temperature sensors that are giving obviously bad data?

    9) How do they insure that temperature probes in third word countries are performing accurately?

    10) Is the proportion of sensors in the cities where there is easy access, or are they evenly spread across the planet, including mountain peaks and deserts?

    11) Are the sensors placed in similar types of shelters across the world, or are they placed anywhere they can be fit, even if it is next to large buildings?

    12) etc… (I have a million)

    If I were going to design an experiment, I would have a computer create “zones” uniformly across the globe as possible (they would look like the sections on a soccer ball). I would then place at least one temperature sensor as close to the geographic center of each zone as is possible, or multiple sensors uniformly spread throughout the zone, with the average of all of them as the correct reading.

    Then, I would sample measurements several hundred times a day, so that each station keeps a daily average for the zone it occupies.

    I would take the sum of each temperature average multiplied by the area it represents and divided by the total surface area of the earth to get a global average temperature.

    Finally, I would calculate the global mean temperature, and keep track of both over time.

  31. Doug Deal says:

    At least W in in the last year of his whirlwind Destroy America tour.

    Then I can finally say “I told you so” to all the people who jumped on his bandwagon back in 1999, blocking out any real competition for the GOP nominee.

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