Thursday, May 17, 2007

Assemblyman Mike Doherty: Maybe he believes the Earth is flat, too.

Winston Churchill said, "A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on." On the Tuesday, May 8th, the lies that traveled around our world threatened by global warming were told by Assemblyman Mike Doherty [a presumptive candidate for US Senate in 2008], and his cohort, Jim Tayor, a spokesperson/lawyer from the Heartlands Institute, a reputed ‘think-tank’ funded in large part by big oil companies. The Heartlands Institute espouses that global warming does not exist and is just a scam to raise taxes.

I had the opportunity that evening to attend a debate between Mr. Doherty and Assemblywoman Linda Stender---a debate I thought would be on the ways we can endeavor to combat the dangers imposed by global climate change caused by the release of carbon dioxide in to the atmosphere. Instead what the attendees were treated to was a ‘debate’ on whether global climate change even existed.

Ms. Stender brought with her to support her position on the dangers of global warming, Dr. Alan Robuck of Rutgers University, a scientist who has worked on the issue of global warming for the past thirty-three years. Mr. Doherty chose to bring with him, not a scientist, but a ‘spokesperson’ [Mr. James Taylor] from the Heartlands Institute. The fact that the Heartlands Institute is funded in large part by big oil companies makes one question the credibility of their motivation herein.

After opening statements by the state representatives, the scientist and the ‘spokesperson’, questions came from the audience of about 50 people. The most telling question of the evening revealed Mr. Doherty’s questionable core belief system about science in general. He was asked whether or not he believed in evolution, ---a inquiry reflective of the question asked of the Republican Presidential contenders. In the recent Republican presidential debate, 30% of the presumptive nominees revealed that they did not believe in evolution. Mr. Doherty expressed a similar point of view, by saying, “It does not matter. Evolution or creationism. It just does not matter.” Perhaps he believes that the Earth is flat, too. Perhaps Mike should check out the Flat Earth Society at www.theflatearthsociety.org. But I digress.

Mr. Doherty’s denial of the existence of global warming and evolution, in spite of the overwhelming evidence for both, is alarming. The fact that this person is actually one of the members of the New Jersey State Assembly voting for our district is even more disturbing. Perhaps Mr. Doherty needs to go back to high school and sit in a basic freshman science class at Hunterdon Central. His position is narrow minded thinking at best and anti-intellectual scientific revisionism at its worst.

Don't be Like Mike.

12 comments:

Trochilus said...

If your certainty about the facts regarding global warming and global climate change are so indisputable, then why do noted experts actual climate experts, continue to challenge the assumptions underlying Al Gore’s Chicken Little crusade?

Over the course of the past century, there has been a minimal (about one degree) temperature rise, and the extent to which that is directly attributable to increased human activity is only now being examined. It is by no means settled that it has been exclusively or even largely caused as a result of human activity, or that this small amount of global warming will bring catastrophic changes.

Several centuries ago, Greenland was named because it was prime farming land – that is, before the medieval warming period ended. Tell us . . . was it increased human activity that cause that prior warming that made Greenland so arable?

Recently, Richard Lindzen noted that
"[t]en years ago climate modelers also couldn't account for the warming that occurred from about 1050 to 1300. They tried to expunge the medieval warm period from the observational record—an effort that is now generally discredited."

What do you say – or for that matter, what does Al Gore say – in response to the learned point of view of Mr. Lindzen, the current occupant of the Alfred P. Sloan Chair of Atmospheric Science at MIT, who also points out that “genuine scientific curiosity” has actually taken a back seat to proposals feeding an “alarmist gale” in the search for research funding dollars for climate science?

Says Lindzen, the currently popular notion that the small amount of global warming we are experiencing is driving a massive change in storm activity is patently unscientific and false. But Al Gore would have us believe we are ready to drown in some sort of cyclonic miasma. Real science simply doesn’t support Gore’s rubbish at all.

The year after Katrina, 2006, you will recall that we were told by the alarmists, armed with their models, that the hurricane season would be unprecedented. Yet, not one hurricane reached our coasts the next year! But, they’re back again with their dire predictions. Sooner or later we will have a bad storm season and they’ll all be crowing about how the proof is so solid.

Your smug certainty on a topic you probably know little or nothing about leaves a lot to be desired. It is only the latest in a series of leftist-generated predictions that have fallen with the test of time: the mini-ice age; Jimmy Carter’s silly 1977 prediction that we would us up all proven fuel reserves in a little over ten years – the list goes on.

Ed said...

Hey Joey,

Maybe Mike Doherty doesn't want to sell out to Globalist's and get sucked into a world "carbon tax". Maybe the sun is the real reason it is warming up. Clue... sunny warm.... cloudy cool.

Make the comments that you wish, but Mike wants no new tax programs and that's it. 95% of Heartland's supporters are energy consumers, and they are already getting squeezed with higher fuel prices. Do you think $3 a gallon doesn't make people cut back? Let me guess... will the Democrat ideas result in lower energy costs? I'll bet NO.


Blue collar Democrats... you guys better hope they never wake up.


Please tell Al Gore to turn those extra lights out at the mansion.

ImprovforLawyers said...

Trochilus: Like your post on Tom Poston. He was one of my fav comedians, from the days of Steve Allen to the Bob Newhart Show. He was a very funny man. But back to business.

However, as to your post on global warming and the "noted experts" cited----check the EPA website on the subject matter. I think they make the most sense as clearing house for this information---http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/.

and Ed: Yes, I know that 95% of the Heartlands supports are energy consumers. Probably it is actually 100%, Ed. We are all "energy consumers", Ed. Point is---who are the energy consumers that support the Heartlands folks? You make them sound like they are the moms and pops of America. More likely [given Heartlands background], they are oil companies, Big Business, auto makers, etc---those who would most profit from keeping us hooked on foreign oil.

Trochilus said...

Glad to hear we agree on Poston, but sadly, your follow-up comment on global climate change makes it very clear that you have little no capacity to make a reasoned case for your non-existent scientific position.

Richard Lindzen is one of the world’s top climate experts. He doesn’t fit between your quote marks. And he doesn’t take any funding from oil companies and other industry interests for his research – NONE.

Here's a hint. You never win an argument by generally citing a government bureaucracy's (EPA) website, as an answer to specific points addressed by the top climate scientist at arguably the top technology and scientific university the world has ever known -- the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Lindzen has thought about and studied this at length. So have a lot of other scientists. One theory is that cosmic ray activity is largely or primarily responsible for recent global climate changes. There are many others.

I don’t know what the answer is. The earth’s climate is an extraordinarily complex mechanism. But something very basic tells me that an idiotic know-it-all blowhard who once claimed that he invented the internet, is not who we should to turn to as the expert on the subject, especially when his so-called scientific "mentor" on the subject disagrees with him on some fundamentals.

Naturally, you're not in a position to take Richard Lindzen's arguments head on, but at least try to address them using someone else's specific expertise! Tell us, for example, your favorite expert's explanation for the medieval warming period.

Come on, Joey! You seemed so sure you knew what you were talking about when you put up this first post, so full of puff and pomp!

Obviously, your primary motivation was to try to take a cheap political shot at Mike Doherty. Could it be that’s what your entire blog is about? But now that you’re challenged, you hand us the EPA website? Heh!

Give us something to work with here, fella. Or, perhaps you should give us your best imitation of Emily Litella?

Maybe the lesson is that we shouldn't be like Joey?

Anonymous said...

Wow. So we agree on Emily Litella and Tom Poston. At least two things.

The reason I cited the EPA website, was not to 'win' the argument here, but to give you the correct and necessary information that thinking people [and our legislators] need to have in order to make intelligent decisions about the impact that controllable human activity has on global climate change. I have looked at both sides. I think Al Gore is right. I support limiting CO2 emissions where can and how we can.

Those of you who have politicized this debate are like those in the 1960s who opposed any kind of governmental interference in to environmental issues. First, folks like you [and scientists] said that water pollution and air pollution was not a problem (see http://law.jrank.org/pages/4206/Air-Pollution.html) in the 1960s, and that the sky and oceans were certainly large enough to handle all the dumping of waste. It was no big deal. Glad we did not listen to you folks then, and passed legislation combating such pollution. We have cleaner air and water because of it, too.

And I hope that the small minority of people who are trying to shout down the more rational thinking on the issue of global climate change don’t slow down the process to deal with this issue, either. Point is, there always will be Flat Earthers like yourself, and that is a problem.

And now for something completely different...

“What’s all this I hear about Global Worming? I think we have bigger problems in the world, we should leave the little worms alone. They are not bothering anyone. All they do is roll around in the dirt, rolling, rolling, just being happy in the dirt..”

“Emily, that’s Global Warming. Not Global Worming. It’s about global climate change.”

“Oh, that’s different. Never mind."

Trochilus said...

Nice job avoiding the question.

In the first place, making baseless claims about the 60s is really weak. Let me remind you that it was Richard Nixon who created the EPA, and in New Jersey it was Republican Governor Cahill that created the DEP.

Once again, your general citation to the EPA website is inapposite. I am familiar with the EPA website, as well as with a significant number of other sources of information regarding global warming.

The issue is not whether there is evidence of some global warming – there is -- slightly less than one degree over the past one hundred years! I said that in my first comment. It's still true.

The issues are whether that modest amount of global warming arises primarily due to human activity, and also whether it foretells significant global climate changes, particularly of the catastrophic kind "foretold" by Al Gore in his propaganda film. The fact is that Al Gore’s utterly dishonest representations with respect to "climate change predictions" are becoming legendary. And, his shrill insistence that the "case is closed" on all the issues, is clearly the mark of a dangerous demagogue.

I’ll opt for the views of respected scientific experts, not Al Gore. Richard Lindzen, Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), a top climate expert dissents from the "politically correct" fear-mongering view of the human effect on the phenomenon called global warming, and notes the unfortunate effects such fear mongering has had on the conduct of real scientific inquiry.

His thoughtful view on the subject was in an editorial published in the Wall Street Journal, where he said,

[W]hat the public fails to grasp is that the claims neither constitute support for alarm nor establish man's responsibility for the small amount of warming that has occurred. In fact, those who make the most outlandish claims of alarm are actually demonstrating skepticism of the very science they say supports them. It isn't just that the alarmists are trumpeting model results that we know must be wrong. It is that they are trumpeting catastrophes that couldn't happen even if the models were right as justifying costly policies to try to prevent global warming.

Because the most highly respected scientists now say there is little persuasive scientific basis for such alarming climate change predictions, that makes you and Al Gore the modern day "flat-earthers." What you and Al Gore obviously must want is to put people in a panic in order to lay a foundation for mammoth, costly government programs, with little or no justification.

As I indicated before, there are respected scientists who point to a variety of possible sources for the modest global warming we have experienced. Some point to increases and decreases in sun spot activity. You might want to take a look at this study on that subject, and check out the following statement near the end:

The current high level of solar activity may also have an impact on the terrestrial climate. We note a general similarity between our long-term SN reconstruction and different reconstructions of temperature : (1) both SN and temperature show a slow decreasing trend just prior to 1900, followed by a steep rise that is unprecedented during the last millenium; (2) great minima in the SN data are accompanied by cool periods while the generally higher levels of solar activity between about 1100 and 1300 correspond to a relatively higher temperature (the medieval warm period).
(footnotes omitted)

Hey, what do you know! Your type of scientists ignore the data from the medieval warm period, but it apparently corresponds to an increase in sun spot activity, and also to the increase in temperature over the past century.

What we should all want is a deliberative and intelligent process to protect the environment, including where needed to sustain and improve air and water quality, but without the huge spending mandates that you Democrats have always favored, no matter what the issue, or how serious it is. Such mandates are particularly unwarranted if the predominant concerns involve causation we can do little or nothing about – i.e., increases and decreases in sun-spot activity.

As an example of unwarranted mandates, Senator Frank Lautenberg, along with the Clinton-Gore administration tried to ram a hugely expensive centralized "enhanced" vehicle inspection program down the throats of the people of this State with their interpretation of the provisions of the Senator’s federal Clean Air Act amendments of 1990. Fortunately, the Republican Administration in New Jersey resisted the unnecessary "mandates" of that federal steamroller, and by implementing a far more customer friendly program, one that gave the people a choice of going to private licensed inspection facilities or to central lanes, New Jersey ended up saving billions of dollars over what the Clinton-Gore EPA tried to force the State to do. With all the screaming over a few start-up glitches at the time, even the McGreevey and now Corzine Administrations have quietly recognized the soundness of that model.

And the Whitman Administration was the first State to tackle the issue of diesel emissions with a highly innovative program of roadside and periodic truck testing, again by licensing convenient private inspection facilities, instead of mandating expensive centralized lanes. That program was copied by several other states in the northeast and elsewhere in the country.

Calling people flat-earthers may satisfy some strange (unusual?) urge you have to try and belittle people who simply don’t buy yours and Al Gore’s simplistic views, but your fear mongering and name-calling definitely won’t help resolve any problems -- real or imagined.

ImprovforLawyers said...

Nixon created the EPA under pressure from a DEMOCRATIC Congress; not on his own. Read the history.....not that you Flat Earthers need to politicize anything at all...

Point is, the arguments made against global climate change are the worst form of scientific revisionism, and dangerous, too.

It's like arguing with someone who says that the Holocaust did not exsit, or that we never landed on the moon.

So, I know you will continue to plug away, but I hope at some point you recognize that you're in a small minority of people on this issue, and that you're wrong and what you're doing is dangerous.

ImprovforLawyers said...

----Over the course of the past century, there has been a minimal (about one degree) temperature rise, and the extent to which that is directly attributable to increased human activity is only now being examined.---

A vector change of 'one degree can have huge impact on the final destination. I am sure that Neil Armstrong and company would have certainly minded if there was only a 'one degree' difference in their vector direction on the way to the moon. A 'one degree' difference in the temperature of the planet certainly can impact the environment in ways unimaginable a century ago.

Also, it is more than settled that increased human industrial activity has caused an alarming increase in water pollution, air pollution. How can you even declare that something like that is "by no means settled that it has been exclusively or even largely caused as a result of human activity"? Do you read history?

Trochilus said...

I do indeed read history, and I try my hand at writing a little of it, too. Sadly, today's "progressives" like yourself, would like to utterly ignore history.

At least when it came to the Marxists, they attempted to establish a scientific basis to their economic arguments in propounding their historical arguments.

Joey, I never said that water and air pollution were not attributable to human activity. Do not try to put words in my mouth. You know better.

What I said was that the extent to which the modest increases in global warming were directly attributable to human activity, is only now being examined. Furthermore, global climate change over time is a complex and unsettled area. Al Gore simply doesn't know what he is talking about. Read the experts.

Once again, the medieval warming period was obviously not due to increases in human activity, and yet it indisputably occurred. Some evidence -- which I noted out in my last comment -- point toward increases in sunspot activity over time corresponding with periods of global warming. It is by no means settled.

But you're a lawyer, Joey, yet you ignore or gloss over superior evidence. Let's take your statement in your latest comment above:

"Point is, the arguments made against global climate change are the worst form of scientific revisionism, and dangerous, too."

If you were in court and made an idiotic comment like that, the judge would look at you and ask, "Basis?"

What would you say? Huminahumina . . .

And what would you say if the Judge further pointed out (as I already have established above) that the top climate scientist at MIT – one of the leading experts in the world -- says exactly the opposite of what you say?

Would you say, "Well, that Richard Lindzen, he just doesn't know what he is talking about! You should read what Al Gore says, Judge!"

Or, would you just make another meaningless generalization arising out of your utter lack of knowledge of the subject?

ImprovforLawyers said...

Yes, I am an attorney. And the "basis" for my argument, was and is the information found at the EPA website----which, by the way you also never negated with any basic argument.

Linda Stender brought with her a scientist to the May 8th debate. Assm. Doherty brought with him to the May 8th gathering an attorney, and not a scientist. And while he claimed that "there are more than 17,000 scientists" who signed some sort of statements questioning the existence of global climate change---why couldn't Mr. Doherty bring just one of these to the debate? Are none of these learned people in the Philly or NJ areas?

It would have been good to see just one of these scientists actually show up and make the point.

Glad that you admit at least that "Over the course of the past century, there has been a minimal (about one degree) temperature rise, and the extent to which that is directly attributable to increased human activity is only now being examined." So, I assume that you agree that there has been an impact on global climate change by some degree due to human activity, and that the impact has had an impact to some extent. So, where I think we disagree is to the extent such activity has had an impact.

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