Sarah Mosko, Santa Ana

You might not know it, given who was recently elected president, but Americans everywhere want their government to tackle climate change. An impressive national survey of over 18,000 adults by The Yale Project on Climate Change Communication found that in all 50 states a solid majority, 60 to 78 percent, of the public both believe global warming is happening and 66 to 81 percent favored regulating carbon dioxide (CO2) as a pollutant.

A breakdown by individual districts revealed a similar pattern of opinions, even in historically conservative areas like Orange County. For example, here in California’s 49th Congressional District, represented by Darrell Issa, 72 percent of people surveyed said they believe climate change is happening and 74 percent want CO2 regulated as a pollutant. Given that we live in a representative democracy, one should expect Issa’s actions to reflect the opinions of his constituents. It’s not clear that he has in the past, but there are signs he is coming around.

He’s long been an outspoken skeptic of governmental initiatives to slow global warming and even voted in the last Congressional year in favor of repealing rules establishing limits on CO2 emissions from power plants as set by Obama’s Clean Power Plan (S.J. Res. 23 and 24). However, he recently took the bold step of joining the Climate Solutions Caucus, a nascent bipartisan coalition of now 34 House members (evenly split Republican-Democratic) dedicated to solving climate change. Whether or not his razor-thin win to retain his seat last November has anything to do with this apparent shift, he should be applauded for doing the right thing.

Next, he should also step up and co-sponsor the first all-Republican House resolution introduced on March 15 calling for action on climate change.

About The Author Capo Dispatch

comments (13)

  • Well written letter. For those interested in knowing more about climate change we are starting a local chapter of Citizens’ Climate Lobby on May 13 in San Clemente. Register at occlimateworkshop.eventbrite.com.

  • While I haven’t made up my mind on man’s role in climate change, I am suspicious when its proponents attempt to shut down all debate and declare the issue settled. Well, it isn’t settled for this atmospheric physicist:

  • David, you should spend some time reading and comparing peer reviewed scientific articles from both sides of the argument. Less than three (3) percent question the reality of climate change. When you read those articles, take the time to see who is funding their research. The same thing was done five decades ago to cast doubt on the connection between smoking and lung cancer.

    Take time to read what we know about the causative factors behind the great Permian extinction of 251 million years ago, where roughly 96-percent of all life went extinct. The changes that caused the extinction took place over hundreds of thousands of years. Today, those same changes are occurring, but they are occurring over a period of hundreds of years, not hundreds of thousands of years.

    We are seeing large dead zones were there is insufficient oxygen to support life. We are seeing ocean acidification that is destroying the bottom of the oceanic food chain.

    We have just experienced a six year severe to exceptional drought, and it is not over yet. Yes, the recent heavy rains recharged our reservoirs, but the vast majority of the rain did nothing more than cause flooding and mudslides on its way to the ocean. We still have an approximate 11 trillion gallon water deficit as a result of the drought because we have drained the majority of our aquifers.

    And then there is the issue of sea-level rise. As our oceans warm, they expand. Glaciers melt and collapse, and the same is happening to the giant ice-sheets of Greenland and the East and Western ice-sheets of Antarctica. As they collapse a significant rise in sea-level occurs. It is already occurring. Take a trip to Miami, Norfolk, or the islands of the Pacific, like Tuvalu.

    Do I trust Issa. No. It will take more than joining the climate caucus or co-sponsoring a climate protection bill. For now, I will just cross my fingers and hope.

    • Clarification: add “in our oceans” and replace “were” with “where” in paragraph 3 after “large dead zones.”–i.e. We are seeing large dead zones in our oceans where . . . ,

    • Here is some funding information re: Richard Lindzen, author of the above article on climate change, courtesy of Source Watch.

      “In a biographical note at the foot of a column published in Newsweek in 2007, Lindzen wrote that “his research has always been funded exclusively by the U.S. government. He receives no funding from any energy companies.” (Emphasis added). However, analysis of Peabody Energy court documents showed that the fossil fuel company backed Lindzen, proving that Lindzen was lying.”

      “Ross Gelbspan, journalist and author, wrote a 1995 article in Harper’s Magazine which was critical of Lindzen and other global warming skeptics. In the article, Gelbspan reports Lindzen charged “oil and coal interests $2,500 a day for his consulting services; [and] his 1991 trip to testify before a Senate committee was paid for by Western Fuels and a speech he wrote, entitled ‘Global Warming: the Origin and Nature of Alleged Scientific Consensus,’ was underwritten by OPEC.”

      “A decade later Boston Globe columnist Alex Beam reported, based on an interview with Lindzen, that “he accepted $10,000 in expenses and expert witness fees from fossil- fuel types in the 1990s, and has taken none of their money since.”

      From the above, it is pretty clear that Lindzen has been part of the Merchants of Doubt team.

    • @ Joanne

      Nothing you’ve said above refutes anything Lindzen said. This is the problem I have with activists when they ignore the arguments, facts, or data that doesn’t comport with their view point and instead, claim that those opposing their views are in the pockets of big oil or some other nefarious, greedy corporation.

      I believe nuclear power is the smart move and the way to go in this nation (and world) and supporting the theory that man’s activities measurably effects global warming advances the recognition of the need for nuclear power because per MWHr of electricity produced, NP has the least effect on the environment and produces no GHGs.

      Now, if the climate is heating up because of man’s activities (no one disputes the planet is heating up), WHY did the planet heat up during the Roman warm period (when temps were hotter than today), or the medieval warm period when grapes were grown in Scotland? What was man doing during these warming periods that caused such a heat up? Does any scientist dispute that there have been both warming and cooling periods throughout history (climate is always changing) and that if the planet is coming out of an ice age (mini ice age lasted roughly from 1300-1800), by definition, the planet is heating up.

      However, when the IPCC endorses the theory of man’s role in climate change, one cannot simply dismiss them because of ideology or views on how policies enacted to combat climate change effect the economy. Although AGW theory is not a great interest of mine, I usually find myself on the other side of the equation precisely because those advancing the theory seem so unwilling to discuss its weaknesses and wish to shut down all debate. The claim that 97% of all scientists accept global warming appears to be the usual, if only response from its adherents, a response and a figure I find suspicious. See below on a discussion (I don’t agree with all of his points) of this figure:

  • David, for nearly 800,000 years CO2 average 280 parts per million (ppm). Beginning with the beginning of the Industrial Age, atmospheric CO2 levels have steadily increased. Here is some history on Moore,

    “Patrick Moore is a Canadian environmentalist, often referred to incorrectly as a founder of Greenpeace, who believes that humans are not to blame for global warming. [49] According to a statement by Greenpeace, “Patrick Moore frequently portrays himself as a founder or co-founder of Greenpeace, and many news outlets have repeated this characterization. Although Mr. Moore played a significant role in Greenpeace Canada for several years, he did not found Greenpeace.”

    “While Moore was a leading figure with Greenpeace Canada, and worked with Greenpeace International between 1981 and 1986, he was not a co-founder of Greenpeace. Moore broke away from Greenpeace after he concluded that “[…] the environmental movement had abandoned science and logic in favor of emotion and sensationalism.” Greenpeace contends that “what Moore really saw was an opportunity for financial gain. Since then he has gone from defender of the planet to a paid representative of corporate polluters.”

    “In 1991, Patrick Moore established a consultancy business called Greenspirit Enterprises “focusing on environmental policy and communications in natural resources, biodiversity, energy and climate change.”

    “After he left Greenpeace, Moore began work with the Nuclear Energy Institute front group, the Clean and Safe Energy Coalition (CASEnergy). Moore stepped down from his leadership role at CASEnergy in January 2013, however said he would remain an active member.”

    “Moore has also worked for the mining industry, the logging industry, PVC manufacturers, the nuclear industry, and in defense of biotechnology. In October 2008, Greenpeace issued a statement distancing itself from Moore, saying he “exploits long gone ties with Greenpeace to sell himself as a speaker and pro-corporate spokesperson, usually taking positions that Greenpeace opposes.”

    Moore is the “chairman and chief scientist” of Greenspirit Strategies Ltd., a PR company that “work with many leading organizations in forestry, biotechnology, aquaculture and plastics, developing solutions in the areas of natural resources, biodiversity, energy and climate change.”

    “As of 2014, Moore was listed as a Board Member of NextEnergy, a Canadian energy services company.”

    “Moore has been criticized for his relations with “polluters and clear-cutters” through his consultancy and has earned his living since the early 1990s primarily through consulting and publicly speaking for a variety of corporations and lobby groups such as the Nuclear Energy Institute.”

    David, take the time to read “Merchants of Doubt.” Numerous individuals have profited by spreading questionable information. The did it in the 50’s to convince smokers that smoking did not cause lung cancer.

  • David, you wrote “believe nuclear power is the smart move and the way to go in this nation (and world) and supporting the theory that man’s activities measurably effects global warming advances the recognition of the need for nuclear power because per MWHr of electricity produced, NP has the least effect on the environment and produces no GHGs.”

    The problem with nuclear is two-fold. Like oil and gas, it is a finite resource, requiring considerable fossil fuel to recover. Second is the half-life of the expended fuel. No one wants, or likes, it stored in their backyard.

    Instead:

    ~

    How about we cover the California aqueducts with solar, thus conserving water while producing energy?

    ~

    How about covering every strip mall and major Mall parking lot and parking garage with solar panels, and include a minimum of five EV charging stations providing up to one-hour free charging while shopping?

    .

    ~

    How about mandating all new residential and business construction include solar, like Lancaster and Sebastopol have done?

    ~

    How about replacing our public transportation with fuel cell powered buses, trains (Europe is already testing and will start deploying by 2020, if not earlier)?

    ~

    How about replacing those 18 wheeled diesel powered trucks with fuel celled powered trucks?

    ~

    How about building wind farms?

    These are just a few of the things we could be doing to transition from both nuclear and fossil fuels.

  • Joanna, regarding the founding of Greenpeace, wiki had this to say:

    “Because of the early phases spanning several years, there are differing views on who can be called the founders of Greenpeace.”

    It’s understandable, given Moore’s justifiable criticism of Greenpeace, that Greenpeace itself would minimize his role in its beginnings. And can anything Greenpeace says be taken seriously when in response to a lawsuit against them for defamation, Greenpeace claims, farcically, that they can’t be sued because their claims are supposed to be recognized as hyperbole?

    https://energyindepth.org/national/greenpeace-claims-immunity-from-lawsuits-because-its-claims-are-hyperbole/

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2016/05/31/no-peace-for-greenpeace/?utm_term=.a0c30ba317ef

    How does Greenpeace’s statement here comport with YOUR statement above: “Numerous individuals have profited by spreading questionable information.”? Greenpeace profits from the excesses of its claims, claims they know are bogus but which bring in millions in donations. Greenpeace has been criticized by many and not just for their false claims.

    Do you remember when Greenpeace damaged the lines and geoglyphs of Nasca, a world heritage site in Peru?

    As for nuclear power being a finite resource, Thorium is an extremely abundant resource and should be exploited to the fullest extent possible. We live in a radioactive world receiving radiation from cosmic sources, from elements in the earth, and from the food we eat. We even receive radiation from the people next to us. Storage is only a political problem as fuel can be reprocessed (currently illegal but a process we used to do, like other nations still do) to make additional fuel insuring we have a fuel supply long into the distant future.

    I fully support additional research into solar power but currently, it is too expensive (w/out government subsidies) and solar panel production is a very nasty, polluting process the toxic metals of which (as far as I know) have no half-life, ie., last forever. I have solar panels on my roof, bad for the country, bad for the state, but great for the home owner since the government, ie., tax payers, pick up 30% of the tab. It is like a regressive tax; seen any solar panels on poor peoples’ homes? Should the pollution aspect be solved along w/ the cost, I would fully support solar panels atop the CA aqueducts.

    I don’t like mandates, they stink to high heaven but should the above be solved as I describe, I’d be for carpeting houses, malls, and parking structures w/ panels and let the market decide prices for EV charging stations.

    Providing the economics pencil out, I am all for the innovation you describe. However, we cannot place all our eggs in a basket that is weather dependent unless you are willing to do without power when the weather fails to cooperate. The sun doesn’t always shine (in fact only at best, half the day) or the wind blow. Battery production is again, a nasty environmental process and am unsure how well giant banks of capacitors (they’ve been used for years but unsure of the scale) would work.

    Remember, thus far, as solar and wind usage increases, so does the use of natural gas. Ivanpah Solar Plant has been a complete waste of money and is illustrative on how NOT to proceed.

  • I got my data from Greenpeace. IGiven that Moore has become a shill for the the fossil fuel polluters, he is now longer creditable.

    You state How does Greenpeace’s statement here comport with YOUR statement above: “Numerous individuals have profited by spreading questionable information.”? Greenpeace profits from the excesses of its claims, claims they know are bogus but which bring in millions in donations. Greenpeace has been criticized by many and not just for their false claims.

    Do you have first-hand evidence of this, or are you just repeating Fox News?

    I suggested in the beginning that you read the peer-reviewed research on both sides of the argument. Have you bother to read any of the peer-reviewed evidence?

    There are at least three studies where researchers combed thousands of peer-reviewed journal articles to separate those claiming climate change is a threat from those claiming it is not a threat.

    Let’s assume you have a child who has been ill for a couple of weeks and seems to be getting worse. You take your child to a local hospital E.R. By the end of the examination, multiple doctors have examined your child. Nine tell you immediate surgery. One doctor tells you surgery is unnecessary. They have all looked at the blood work and CTscan results. Who would you trust?

    Ninety-seven percent of the scientists involved in climate change believe we are in danger. Three-percent believe it’s not a threat.

    Sea-level rise, is it a threat. We’re safe for now, but go visit Miami or Norfolk at high tide. Go visit the Inuit of Alaska. They are being force to move their villages to higher ground, or go visit the Pacific Islanders of Tuval, or Ebeye. I spent two years on Kwajalein in the 70s, and I suspect they are having problems, as well,, because Ebeye is the next island up, about three-quarters of a mile, and they have been experiencing flooding at high-tide.

    Our glaciers are receding at an accelerated rate. Likewise the Greenland and West Antarctic ice-sheets are collapsing at accelerated rates.

    • John Holdren, President Obama’s science adviser, wrote these words in his book from the early 1970s, “Global Ecology: Readings Toward a Rational Strategy for Man.”

      “It seems, however, that a competing effect has dominated the situation since 1940. This is the reduced transparency of the atmosphere to incoming light as a result of urban air pollution (smoke, aerosols), agricultural air pollution (dust), and volcanic ash. This screening phenomenon is said to be responsible for the present world cooling trend — a total of about .2°C in the world mean surface temperature over the past quarter century. This number seems small until it is realized that a decrease of only 4°C would probably be sufficient to start another ice age. Moreover, other effects besides simple screening by air pollution threaten to move us in the same direction. In particular, a mere one percent increase in low cloud cover would decrease the surface temperature by .8°C. We may be in the process of providing just such a cloud increase, and more, by adding man-made condensation nuclei to the atmosphere in the form of jet exhausts and other suitable pollutants. A final push in the cooling direction comes from man-made changes in the direct reflectivity of the earth’s surface (albedo) through urbanization, deforestation, and the enlargement of deserts. The effects of a new ice age on agriculture and the supportability of large human populations scarcely need elaboration here. Even more dramatic results are possible, however; for instance, a sudden outward slumping in the Antarctic ice cap, induced by added weight, could generate a tidal wave of proportions unprecedented in recorded history…”

      https://patriotpost.us/opinion/49405

      In 1970, the late George Wald, nobel laureate from Harvard University, predicted, “Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless IMMEDIATE ACTION is taken against problems facing mankind.”

      Paul Ehrlich (of “The Population Bomb” fame) the same year predicted mass starvation between 100-200 million per year during the next 10 years (from 1970). Previously, Ehrlich had predicted Britain wouldn’t exist by the year 2000 and that within 10 years (from his statement in 1969), all important animal life in the sea would be extinct.

      In 1975, Nigel Calder warned, “The threat of a new ice age must now stand alongside nuclear war as a likely source of wholesale death and misery for mankind.” The same year, C.C. Wallen of the World Meteorological Organization, stated that, “The cooling since 1940 has been large enough and consistent enough that it will not soon be reversed.”

      In 1970, ecologist Kenneth Watt stated, “The world has been chilling sharply for about 20 years. If present trends continue, the world will be 4 degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990 but 11 degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age.”

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XpxGPZDB2fA

      All of the above statements do NOT mean that the present climate alarmists are wrong, but it does suggest that we need more than simple assurances that the “97%” of scientists agree and that these “scientists” need to start answering the objections and criticisms with something more than just “it’s settled”.

  • “I got my data from Greenpeace.”
     
    That was your first mistake.  Did you not read in the links I posted above where Greenpeace got sued by Resolute Forest Products for defamation and Greenpeace’s defense was to admit that their own accusations and claims were to be taken as hyperbole, not fact, ie., they don’t accurately reflect reality. It is therefore, Greenpeace who lacks credibility and can’t be trusted.  Where has Patrick Moore stated anything untrue, inaccurate, or like Greenpeace, acknowledged his claims are hyperbole?

“

    “Do you have first hand evidence…”
     
    Yes, view the articles I posted above, consider that Greenpeace has received millions in donations, and consider Greenpeace’s admission of engaging in hyperbole, a practice that convinced donors of the need to send them funds.  Here is what one of the above articles had to say:

    “The common purpose of the Greenpeace Enterprise was to target Resolute with a disinformation campaign that could be used to fraudulently induce millions of dollars in donations from individual donors and foundations that could be used to fund the salaries of the enterprise members and its leaders, perpetuate more fraudulent fundraising, and expand the campaign to direct attacks on Resolute customers that would provide even more powerful fundraising opportunities. . . .”

    “In perpetuating this fraudulent scheme, Greenpeace has developed a playbook that is readily recognizable. It identifies or manufactures a hot-button environmental issue; disseminates sensational, alarmist, and false claims about impending calamity related to that issue; targets a high-profile company to vilify for the impending calamity, including by staging fake videos, photographs, and other evidence (such as staging animal slaughters by Greenpeace members impersonating others, and misrepresenting ordinary trees that have fallen as “ancient trees” harvested by its targets or photos and videos of one location or event passed off as another); bombards supporters with urgent requests to “DONATE NOW”; and directs extortive demands, tortious interference, and other illegal conduct at its targets and their customers. When Greenpeace’s extortion succeeds, it insists that its target publicly endorse its campaign and lies,which it then uses to drive more donations and attacks.”
     
     
    “97% say…”  
     
    FALSE!  Please view the 5 minute video I posted above on how the 97% figure was derived.  This also demonstrates that your doctor’s diagnosis analogy is just a straw man argument because 90% of doctors do not state the patient needs “immediate” surgery just as 97% of scientists do not state global warming is an immediate problem caused predominantly by man.  Yours is a FALSE dichotomy.
     
    “Our glaciers are receding…”
     
    Yes, and Al Gore claimed in 2007 that within 7 years, summers at the North Pole would be ice-free. 

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVttichSzFk

    When alarmists, or scientists make claims DEMANDING the world, our nation, and/or even I, do X,Y, or Z to “save the planet for our children” , claim the science is settled and suggest those who remain skeptical are akin to flat earthers and merit prosecution, and all I see are a string of unfulfilled predictions, I become suspicious.
     
    Heretofore, global warming has not been a big interest of mine.  As its proponents have become increasingly shrill and demands more urgent, I believe I will take your advice and read more of what this faux “97%” has to say.  I cannot ignore the scientific gravitas of the IPCC but neither will I abdicate responsibility for all thinking as apparently so many who push this agenda have done.  Perhaps I’ll be persuaded, but I’ll be looking for answers to questions like these:
     
    1)Since the earth’s climate has always changed going from warming periods to ice ages, what caused the former warming periods such as the Roman warm period (when it was warmer than today) and the little optima, roughly 1000-1300 AD since man was not the cause?
     
    2)What caused and/or why did we come out of the mini ice age, lasting roughly 1300-1800, since man was not the cause?
     
    3)I understand that it is claimed by global warming scientists that the planet was heating up all through the 20th century (actually, since the end of the last mini ice age, 1800) but that only since about 1950 was the cause due to man’s activities.  If this is accurate, what caused the heating up prior to 1950?
     
    4)If scientists are going to take such a narrow slice of time (since 1950) and base their predictions (and do so based in great part on computer models) for planetary temperatures into the future, then why should people believe their predictions when temperatures since 1998 (the hottest year), have stabilized if not actually gone down? 
     
    5)If CO2 is the greatest component or predictor of earth’s temps (as CO2 levels are undeniably rising), what does that tell us about times in the distant past when CO2 levels were far higher than today and man’s activities could not be attributed to this rise?  Why must CO2 level rise be predominantly man’s responsibility and why must temperature increase be based almost entirely on the rise of CO2 levels when the graphs I’ve seen show they don’t correlate over time?          

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