Obama: Climate Pessimism More Dangerous Than Climate Deniers

In a speech much anticipated by those tracking the D.C. environmental debate, President Obama today took on opponents of congressional action on climate change, decrying "naysayers" who "make cynical claims" that ignore scientific evidence of the harm caused by emissions.

innovation_obama.jpg(Photo: BusinessWeek)

But "far more dangerous" than the rhetoric of climate deniers or skeptics, Obama added, is the tendency towards cynicism about America’s chances of ending its dependence on fossil fuels.

Speaking at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Obama described a perspective that "we’re all somewhat complicit in":

It’s the pessimistic notion that our politics are too broken and
our people too unwilling to make hard choices for us to actually deal
with this energy issue that we’re facing. And implicit in this argument
is the sense that somehow we’ve lost something important, that fighting
American spirit, that willingness to tackle hard challenges, that
determination to see those challenges to the end, that we can solve
problems, that we can act collectively, that somehow that is something
of the past.

I reject that argument.

Obama’s speech, which focused on building confidence in U.S. scientific innovation and lawmakers’ efforts to find "consensus" on climate change, sounded broader political notes that proved effective during his campaign last year.

Still, while the president offered no shortage of hopefulness, he made few direct references to the Senate climate bill that will take its first major step towards passage next week with a series of environment committee hearings. Obama praised Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) for partnering this month with the Senate climate bill’s chief sponsor, Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-MA), on an op-ed that outlined a potential compromise approach on emissions limits.

But the question of where the White House would stand on some of the most contentious issues in the climate debate, including how much revenue to set aside for clean transportation, remains unanswered. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood suggested during the summer that the administration may not weigh in on the transport issue until climate talks reach their final stages.

  • PM

    I’m sorry, but this article and the president’s excerpt leave me pretty confused. I know that he supports the AGW ideology, but what did he say? “Climate Pessimism More Dangerous Than Climate Deniers” – what are those?

    “It’s the pessimistic notion that our politics are too broken and our people too unwilling to make hard choices for us to actually deal with this energy issue…” – what? People don’t even think we have much of an “energy issue”. And, politics? Politicians should pretty much just step aside and let us get on with our business of building our country. How not in touch with the issues and the people can a President get?

    We have massive new finds in oil, the largest supply of coal in the world and burgeoning CH3 discoveries and supplies for over 100 years so we will not be hindered one bit for the necessary 10 years in building adequate 100+ new nuclear power plants that will support our energy needs for the next hundreds of years. Where’s the problem?

    We don’t need to invest a dime on solar and wind power, leaving that up to individuals and niche applications.

    A “smart” power grid investment? With as needed modular nuclear plants any kind of a large scale grid will not be necessary.

    CO2? GHG? Scientists and science have not proven any harmful temperature effects by them, and to the contrary, modelers have failed in their predictions. As CO2 increases temps has stabilized, or decreased for over ten years. Historically, there is no correlation between CO2 and global temperatures. Forget about it.

    So, what’s there to be pessimistic about, except politicians trying to feed their egos by trying to impose another fraud upon us where: “Only they (politicians) can save us.” I don’t think so.

    So, Mr. President, how about you direct your attention to the real problems for a U.S. president and clean up the mess in the mid-east you campaigned to manage and harden our borders so we can actually have a real country with real defendable borders. And, how about working out appropriate, up-to-date legal immigration policies where we set up quotas and stick to them – or just leave it up to the states, whatever.

    Take it easy Mr. President. Shoot some more hoops, collect some more prizes and let citizens work on developing a prosperous future for us all – PM

  • Girma

    Global Temperature & CO2
    ————————

    http://woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/compress:12/detrend:0.707/normalise/plot/esrl-co2/normalise

    Is it not amazing that the CO2 increase matches with the increase in temperature from 1976 to 1998? Does a match of CO2 and mean global temperature between 1976 and 1998 means they will always match?

    Was CO2 decreasing from 1878 to 1911 like the mean global temperature?

    Was CO2 decreasing from 1944 to 1976 like the mean global temperature?

    At the moment, as shown in the above data, temperature and CO2 are moving in opposite direction. No relationship at all!

    AGW advocates, be quick with your tax before this becomes so obvious that even primary school students see no relationship.

  • sdcougar

    Too bad. The President could actually have learned something at MIT.

    Dr. Richard Lindzen of MIT, served on IPCC: “One of the things the scientific community is pretty agreed on is those things will have virtually no impact on climate no matter what the models say. So the question is do you spend trillions of dollars to have no impact? And that seems like a no brainer.

    Here, the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology at MIT, gives a clear, concise summary of the real problem: http://www.heartland.org/events/newyork09/pdfs/lindzen.pdf

  • Politicians Cost Lives

    Forget about average global temperatures. Forget about ice caps melting and Polar Bears floating across the Atlantic on ice cubes. Forget about rising sea levels, droughts, increased hurricanes, floods and on and on. Also forget about sunspot cycles or El-Nino and La-Nina, or whatever the hell else has been thrown into the mix as a distraction because none of it matters, none of it is relevant. All we have to do is drill down and focus on one thing only.

    That one thing is CO2.

    It is claimed that humans are responsible for Climate Change because of our CO2 emissions and that we need to have limits imposed because we need to reduce our emissions of CO2.

    So first simply ask yourself this:

    Can CO2 trap in heat?

    Answer: NO, nothing traps in heat, substances can only absorb and re-emit heat but they cannot trap heat.

    Next question, does CO2 absorb heat more strongly than the other gasses in the atmosphere?

    Answer: NO, CO2 is only 0.03811% of the atmosphere and remains as solid ice up to a temperature of 194.65 K

    Nitrogen and Oxygen which make up 99% of the atmosphere on the other hand, begin to melt at temperatures as low as 50-60 K and so are much stronger absorbers of heat and at the same time, make up most of the atmospheric gasses.

    This puts the effect of CO2 into context. CO2 cannot trap heat as no gasses in the atmosphere can. CO2 is a tiny proportion of the gasses in the atmosphere, so tiny in fact that compared to Oxygen and Nitrogen it is barely noticeable. The effect of such tiny amounts of CO2 being a much weaker absorber of heat than Nitrogen and Oxygen, also show that the warming effect of CO2 is insignificant.

    So the final question is, are we responsible for Climate Change through our CO2 emissions?

    Answer: NO WE MOST DEFINITELY ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR CLIMATE CHANGE.

    Take that to Copenhagen!

    If you would like to know more about the AGW fraud and carbon tax, download this free .pdf book

    http://www.spinonthat.com/CO2_files/CO2tdino.pdf

  • Michael D Smith

    “ignore scientific evidence of the harm caused by emissions”

    It seems the President is the one who is ignoring the scientific evidence. After spending $80 Billion on research, there is still no evidence of a direct link between CO2 and temperature. Perhaps he has written a peer-reviewed article on the subject that purports to have evidence of such a link? If so, why hasn’t the media covered that article? Evidence please, Mr. President.

    Thanks PM for your thoughtful response. I agree. The argument he rejects is a false one. “If it ain’t broke, fix it until it is” is not a cost effective policy.

  • Obama will continue to demagogue the science that proves AGW is a hoax because he, Kerry, Boxer, Waxman, Markey and the international kleptocrats see the utility in taxing carbon. It is everywhere, produced by every biological and industrial process. They will continue to lie that their “solution” will save the planet, just like the stimulus saved the economy.

    They don’t care about the science–never have. They care about money and subjugating the masses, and Thermageddon legislation is the best way to do so on a massive scale ever conceived.

  • Spartan79

    Global warming is mostly Mann-made.

  • prp

    Cbullitt is 100% correct, Gore makes millions and the government has another revenue stream. Win for the government and the people involved in the BS. We are left stomping on the burning bag of crap on our front porches.

  • artcohn

    The most critical energy problem is the de;endence of the USA and other industrial nations on petroleum produced mainly by Nations that support terrorists who wish to destroy America and kill Americans. As President, stopping our dependence on petroleum from these terrorist supporting nations should be Obama’s first priority! Until we do, we will be economically drained by these imports; plus the money will go to those nations and factions that wish to destroy us. This threat is real and happening now! The threat of climate change due to human caused CO2 emmisions is speculative,based on climate modeling that do not include accurately all of the climate affecting processes. There are some actions that are beneficial for both problems, such as the replacement of low-MPG cars by very high-MPG cars such as plug-in hybrids. Others conflict. The demonization of coal, our lergest domestic enery resource, retards its use to provide petroeum substitutes by coal liqidfaction, such as the Fischer-Tropps process, that are well proven and have been utilyzed in the past.
    All ways of reducing our dependence on petroleum from terrorist supporting states should take our first priority.

  • Rick

    Obviously, President Obama is not a scientist , nor scienfically minded. He is a great influencer, and in turn is easily influenced by “experts”. It is no wonder that he adopts AGW “spots”. If he can be so wrong about this, what else is he wrong about? PM is right. We need to go nuclear in a big way.

  • David Becker, Ph.D.

    It was said earlier, but bears repeating. There is no consistent correlation between CO2 increases in the atmosphere and global temperature. During the last 10 years (possibly even the last 12 or 16 years, according to a recent analysis of satellite data), the surface global temperature has plateaued or dropped as CO2 increased. When normal scientists do real science, such a discrepancy would kill a hypothesis, utterly. A further look at global temperatures for the last few thousand years shows that nothing dramatic or unusual has occurred in the last few hundred years, as AGW purveyors contend. The earth has been much, much warmer than it is now. President Obama has embraced a pathological science for political reasons.

  • sdcougar

    We do need action by citizens to continue to expose this and ‘educate’ our senators…esp. McCain, Luger…

    I wrote up a fact sheet and sent to everyone on my contact list, urging them to contact their senators. We all need to do as much as possible to expose these lies. I wish the Tea Parties had kept their powder dry till the Senate begins action on cap and trade…but its getting a bit chilly for demos in D.C.

    Reading in British newspapers, it seems many people there, too, are fed up with their government hawking this scam.

  • Peter Weggeman

    Obama is another fool who has fallen for the biggest hoax ever, driven by the “raw ideological willfullness of the progressive left”. This wonderful description in quotatation marks is from a Wall Sreet Journal editorial about Obamacare. It also fits AGW. I am a retired chemist who has studied energy and climate for years.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

White House Staying Quiet For Now on Transit’s Role in Climate Bill

|
Delivering his climate-change message to Congress yesterday, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood warned that fuel-efficiency advances secured by the Obama administration would not be enough to reduce emissions from transportation — not without encouraging Americans to drive less. Transportation Secretary LaHood said today he’ll weigh in later on climate-change money for transit. (Photo: HillBuzz) But when […]

Today’s Headlines

|
Obama Would Veto House Transportation Budget (The Hill) No Worries, The Senate Won’t Pass the House Bill. This Is What They’ll Be Doing Instead (WaPo) Anthony Foxx’s First Trip as Secretary Focuses on Rail Safety (Fast Lane) Chuck Schumer Wants Climate Adaptation Measures for Rail in Next Transpo Bill (The Hill) Sen. Wicker Pleads for […]

President Obama Proposes a “Fix-It-First” Program For Roads

|
In last night’s State of the Union address, President Obama launched a “Fix-It-First” program to repair aging infrastructure and put people to work. The president even took an indirect jab at officials who would rather build new than fix existing infrastructure, saying, “I know you want these job-creating projects in your district; I’ve seen all […]

Electrification in the Climate Bill: Thinking Bigger Than a Car

|
At today’s Senate energy committee hearing on climate change, there was much talk about electricity — how it could be generated under a cap-and-trade system and how prices could remain within consumers’ reach even as the nation begins to put a price on carbon. An electrified rail line. (Photo: Metrolinx) In fact, Sen. Mary Landrieu […]

Why Federal Efforts to Link Transportation to Climate Change Matter

|
Cross posted from the Frontier Group.  Twenty-five years ago this spring, I was a fresh-faced undergrad at Penn State enrolled in a course on existential threats to civilization, including climate change. We knew then (and yes, with a reasonable degree of certainty we did know) that emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases were […]

Senate Climate Bill Delayed Yet Again As Obama Takes Nobel

|
As my colleague Ryan wrote earlier, the congressional climate change bill no represents the most meaningful path for urbanists, and advocates for clean transportation in general, to make their voices heard in the national debate. President Obama, accepting the Nobel Peace Prize today. (Photo: AP) So it bears repeating that the bill is losing momentum, […]