How Many Carbon Offsets Will It Take To Offset Rescuing Those Global Warming Researchers?
    By Hank Campbell | January 6th 2014 09:32 AM | 12 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments

    Comments

    Yes, these people produced carbon emissions. So does the production of the electricity required for the server that hosts your column. So does the heating or cooling of your residence, and I'm sure that you travel occasionally, using vehicles that release carbon. We *all* release carbon. Insinuating hypocrisy on the part of those who embrace the results of scientific inquiry is a cheap shot. I understand a goodly amount of climate science, and I make an effort to reduce my carbon emissions, but I feel no moral need to reduce those emissions to zero. We are all in this together, we will all suffer the consequences of climate change, and we need a collective response to climate change. None of the policy options available to us are desirable, but the long-term consequences are even less desirable.

    Hank
    It's not hypocrisy on my part, all of those things you just wrote I have said numerous times. I just don't spend a lot of time telling poor people they should be stuck with no energy or a better life because emissions are already too high. Activists do just that. 
    I'm not accusing you of hypocrisy, I'm accusing you of wrongly insinuating hypocrisy. Yes, there are activists who say bad things. There are also activists who say good things, and scientists as a group are saying nothing more than "Climate change is real and will have serious consequences." There are also plenty of deniers who are saying idiotic things.
    I suggest that the rational thing to do at this point is to avoid straw man games and focus our debates on the various policy options available to us: mitigation, amelioration, and adaptation.

    Erasmus is right. Cheap shot. Cheap shot that plays right into the anti-science public relations campaign that the fossil fuels industry still sponsors. Of course carbon indulgences are a racket. Every problem in modern life spawns some kind of racket. That carbon indulgences are a racket does not reflect on the validity or importance of the climate related sciences. Insinuating that it does is one of the dishonest talking points from that PR campaign. Al Gore is not a scientist and has no influence on science.

    Hank
    I don't engage in the deficit thinking about the public that you do - that they are swayed simply by spending a little money. After all, climate awareness campaigns have spent 1000X as much money as climate denialists and some people still deny.  So claiming that slamming this pseudo-scientific indulgence is going to undermine science acceptance, in some sort of "If you criticize anyone, no matter how stupid, the terrorists win" George Bush-ian logic, feeds instead into the belief that science is about circling the wagons around political pet causes, and not science.

    Thor Russell
    1000X as much? That would mean something like $1 trillion spent by them unless you can rebut claims like this:
    http://www.ibtimes.com/climate-change-countermovement-funded-dark-money-...


    Thor Russell
    Hank
    I used real money. Of course, you are welcome to take an estimate of 'dark money' by a sociologist as data, in which case maybe Big Oil has spent trillions. Up to you.
    Surely you will agree, Mr. Campbell, that fossil fuel companies are contributing money to a variety of organizations denying climate change?

    Hank
    No argument there, I just don't think it does much good - at least not changing the proclivity of the public to take action. There is a mindset that impacts science, plain and simple. Money makes some difference - advertising works - but there is a lot more spent making people aware of the risks of emissions than is spent denying them.

    We see it on the other side too. Despite the fact that modern nuclear plants can't have a meltdown there is a belief by environmentalists that the science is bad there. No amount of money spent by energy companies will change their minds, and that's a shame, because nuclear energy is the best emissions-free technology we will have for the next 20 years.
    I can certainly agree with you on the left's unscientific approach to nuclear power, and I further agree that it is our best option for the next few decades. I'd like to see an energetic program to replace coal burners one-for-one with nuclear plants.

    MikeCrow
    As they also did to various climate change advocates as well.
    Never is a long time.
    Thor Russell
    Well wheres your data? how much "real money" has been spent by environmentalists and what gives you the confidence to dismiss the vast majority of $1B as not existing at all. The fact that the study was done by a sociologist seems to be a good enough reason to you without even bothering to look into it.
    Here is a link for those that will take the time to read it and form their own opinion

    http://drexel.edu/~/media/Files/now/pdfs/Institutionalizing%20Delay%20-%...

    Thor Russell