His speech on May 20 contained some good news. He reported the “default Republican position is that climate change is a hoax. It’s been said right on this floor, and in committees, and I haven’t seen a single Republican senator stand up afterwards in this chamber to say, ‘Wait a minute, that’s actually not the case.’”
The senator went on to say, “Yet not one Republican has ever gotten back to me, even quietly on the side, to say, ‘You know what? This is really getting serious. Let’s see if we can work on this.’”
This is great news. It means Republicans understand the real science and economics of global warming better than some of us on the skeptical side of the global warming debate could have hoped.
Recently, there have been rumors that a carbon tax – the left’s second choice of ways, after EPA regulations that ban the use of fossil fuels, to shut down manufacturing in the U.S. – might be part of a deficit reduction or debt ceiling agreement being secretly negotiated by Obama and Republican leaders. Thank you, Sen. Whitehouse, for putting those rumors to rest.
Amid the many erroneous claims made by the senator about the science and economics of global warming debate appear ad hominem attacks against global warming skeptics, standard issue for the environmental extremists who dominate this debate. The senator claims, without citing a source, that “more than 95 percent of climate scientists are convinced that human carbon pollution is causing massive and unprecedented change to our atmosphere and oceans.” This is untrue, as anyone familiar with the debate knows. I’ve discussed the myth of consensus here and here.
The senator claims “a lot of those five-percenters [skeptics] are on the payroll of the polluters. You know that. It’s public knowledge. Some of those ‘payroll scientists’ are the same people who denied acid rain, or the dangers of tobacco.” This is shameful. Tens of thousands of scientists, probably most scientists, don’t believe man-made global warming is a crisis or even a problem. Vanishingly few are on the “payroll of polluters,” indeed far fewer than the number of true believers who are on the payrolls of corporations and government agencies that pay them to believe in global warming.
Later in his speech the senator correctly refers to “The Heartland Institute, and the Institute for Energy Research, and the American Enterprise Institute, and the American Legislative Exchange Council, and The Heritage Foundation” as organizations that support the skeptical view. But he then slanders these groups by alleging they are all “front organizations … all just part of the same cheesy vaudeville show put on by the big polluters.”
Speaking only for my organization, The Heartland Institute, I can report that less than 5 percent of our income last year came from companies that either produce energy or have emissions that might qualify them for the title of “big polluters.” This is almost certainly less than the Center for American Progress, the biggest liberal think thank, raises. And unlike CAP, donors don’t dictate what our researchers say. I’m quite sure the same is true of the other organizations Sen. Whitehouse names.
The senator is simply repeating a phony charge against individuals and organizations that disagree with him. He should know better, do his homework, and then apologize to the people he’s defamed.
Sen. Whitehouse reminds us why it’s a good thing there are Republicans in Congress who understand, and not naively and wrongly believe in, global warming.
You can watch the senator’s speech below.