Jim covered Congress and The White House during the George W. Bush administration for The Washington Times, and worked as a reporter, editorial writer and columnist for newspapers in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and California. He has appeared on the Fox News Channel, CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, and many local and national talk radio shows to talk politics and policy.
Latest posts by Jim Lakely (see all)
Heartland Institute Senior Fellow for Environment Policy, James M. Taylor, was invited on the Laura Ingraham radio show the other day to debate Kert Davies of Greenpeace. You can listen to or download the MP3 of that debate below — prompted by the crazy weather we’ve experienced this summer: a freak storm from Illinois to the East Coast, wildfires in Colorado, heat waves, etc.
As expected, Davies was not so much interested in debating the facts — which are not on his side — as he was in engaging in ad hominem attacks against Heartland and James. Here’s a quick rundown, but listen to the 11-minute debate below.
People think global warming is a serious issue. “The average person knows that their climate is changing in fundamental ways.”
American Meteorologist Society members don’t think man is causing a global warming crisis. Happily, the Internet allows ordinary people to look up the data for themselves. And America has always experienced wildfires and heat waves and storms. What we’ve seen this summer does not represent an increase in those events.
Well, NOAA says we’ve had more than 40,000 hot temperature records broken since January, and just a fraction of that number for cold temperature records. Isn’t that a cause for concern?
In past years, we had a lot of cold records broken. Also, a lot of these temperature stations are in cities and they reflect not so much an increase in global temperature as they do an increase in the size of cities and the “heat island effect.” But, yes: Temperatures are warming, just not at an alarming pace. This gradual warming means we’ve emerged from the Little Ice Age, and that’s a good thing.
DAVIES (ad hominem attack #1):
The Heartland Institute is so out of it on the science that even Exxon droped them a copule of years ago.
[Editor’s note: It is true that Exxon stopped supporting Heartland in 2008, and it is rare when a environmental activist will publicly drop the lie that Heartland is awash in “Big Oil” money. But that was because Exxon, like many “Big Oil” companies, have switched publicly to support the “green energy” charade. The facts of the climate have not changed — man is not causing catastrophic global warming — so neither has Heartland.]
The weather is now on steroids thanks to global warming. We have more frequent big downpours. We’ve had 1,000 year events every year or every other year in the Midwest. The earth’s weather is no longer a natural event.
(Ad hominem attack #2): James is not a scientist, he is a lawyer by trade. This is not the place to get your facts.
You went to a liberal arts college, Kert. You’re not a scientist, either.
But I observe the science. I know who to trust: The National Academy of Scientists.
[Editor’s note: James, as he proved by citing so many specific non-alarmist studies by government agencies and peer-reviewed scientific papers, also observes the science — and a lot more closely than Davies.]
Debunks all that nonsense. Let’s talk about facts. What we know for a fact is the number of wildfires in the United States is on a 35 year downward trend and the total number of acres burned this fire season is below the 10-year average.
We know from peer reviewed studies that soil moisture has increased for a century. Here you have the rhetoric of the left vs. the science and the facts and the data that shows we are not facing a crisis.
Scientsits who agree with me are not getting paid to express their opinions and do their research. They are not getting rich doing this. [Editor’s note: Seriously? Billions in government grants is “not getting rich.”]
Runs off a bunch of anecdotal evidence and no specific studies.
You don’t mention any specific studies. I do. Kills him with specific study-citations debunking Davies’ claims.
People want to say the debate is over. Even people who are sympathetic with climate issues and we have to conserve nature, we do have to look at the validity of some of these studies. Kurt: On that UN study, the computer models they used maybe overstated the global warming in the future. Looking into this is legit, right?
Absolutely. This issue is being studied by more scientists and governments than any issue ever. That’s a filter to make sure the models are done well.
[Editor’s note: Laura’s question was, in essence: Shouldn’t we look into the UN’s methods and findings since they have been credibly discredited? Davies answer is merely state, in essence: You can trust the UN — an extremely weak argument to authority.]
You can’t connect any one event to global warming. I’d like you, James, to say there is no human impact on climate and weather.
There has been an impact, and it’s been primarily beneficial.
END OF SEGMENT … with a promise to have them both back on the show to continue the debate in the future. I’m betting Davies declines after that beat-down by James.