Romney: I won’t back down on AGW

posted at 10:49 am on June 9, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Mitt Romney may have enraged the GOP base with his answers on anthropogenic global warming, but as Politico reports, he won’t back down from them in the face of withering criticism from conservatives.  Instead, he appears to be offering a compromise.  He’ll continue to declare his belief in AGW, but promises not to do anything about it:

Mitt Romney won’t be doing any apology tours on climate change.

The early GOP presidential front-runner has broken with his party’s conservative ranks to declare global warming a real threat to the planet that merits some sort of action to curb heat-trapping emissions.

But the former Massachusetts governor is also quick to trash cap and trade, carbon taxes and other controversial policies that have been kicked around over the last decade in Washington.

In a sense, Romney’s initial global warming stance sounds a lot like that of  former President George W. Bush, who during his two terms reluctantly accepted climate science while fighting Democrats and environmentalists over what to do about it.

Er … okay.  If one accepts the premise of AGW, doesn’t that more or less make it incumbent to craft policies that address it?  After all, the theory states that AGW is cumulative, which means that the longer it goes, the problem increases in at least an arithmetic projection, if not an exponential one.  It’s a bit like saying that the federal budget deficit is a real problem, but continuing to propose budgets with trillion-dollar annual deficits.

You know … like Barack Obama did this year.  Twice.

Of course, one hint that AGW isn’t a threat is that its predictions of arithmetic and exponential catastrophes have utterly failed to materialize.  We don’t have 50 million climate-change refugees, as the UN predicted for this year.  Sea levels haven’t swallowed up whole populations.  The modeling from AGW advocates have repeatedly and routinely failed at predictions, which for normal science would mean an end to the theories they claim to prove.

In fact, former AGW advocate and scientist David Evans drove the point home last month in his debunking of AGW:

This is the core idea of every official climate model: For each bit of warming due to carbon dioxide, they claim it ends up causing three bits of warming due to the extra moist air. The climate models amplify the carbon dioxide warming by a factor of three — so two-thirds of their projected warming is due to extra moist air (and other factors); only one-third is due to extra carbon dioxide.

That’s the core of the issue. All the disagreements and misunderstandings spring from this. The alarmist case is based on this guess about moisture in the atmosphere, and there is simply no evidence for the amplification that is at the core of their alarmism.

What did they find when they tried to prove this theory?

Weather balloons had been measuring the atmosphere since the 1960s, many thousands of them every year. The climate models all predict that as the planet warms, a hot spot of moist air will develop over the tropics about 10 kilometres up, as the layer of moist air expands upwards into the cool dry air above. During the warming of the late 1970s, ’80s and ’90s, the weather balloons found no hot spot. None at all. Not even a small one. This evidence proves that the climate models are fundamentally flawed, that they greatly overestimate the temperature increases due to carbon dioxide.

This evidence first became clear around the mid-1990s.

Physicist William Happer writes about the AGW “science” in First Things this month:

The earth’s climate has always been changing. Our present global warming is not at all unusual by the standards of geological history, and it is probably benefiting the biosphere. Indeed, there is very little correlation between the estimates of CO2 and of the earth’s temperature over the past 550 million years (the “Phanerozoic” period). The message is clear that several factors must influence the earth’s temperature, and that while CO2 is one of these factors, it is seldom the dominant one. The other factors are not well understood. Plausible candidates are spontaneous variations of the complicated fluid flow patterns in the oceans and atmosphere of the earth—perhaps influenced by continental drift, volcanoes, variations of the earth’s orbital parameters (ellipticity, spin-axis orientation, etc.), asteroid and comet impacts, variations in the sun’s output (not only the visible radiation but the amount of ultraviolet light, and the solar wind with its magnetic field), variations in cosmic rays leading to variations in cloud cover, and other causes.

The existence of the little ice age and the medieval warm period were an embarrassment to the global-warming establishment, because they showed that the current warming is almost indistinguishable from previous warmings and coolings that had nothing to do with burning fossil fuel. The organization charged with producing scientific support for the climate change crusade, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), finally found a solution. They rewrote the climate history of the past 1000 years with the celebrated “hockey stick” temperature record.

The first IPCC report, issued in 1990, showed both the medieval warm period and the little ice age very clearly. In the IPCC’s 2001 report was a graph that purported to show the earth’s mean temperature since the year 1000. A yet more extreme version of the hockey stick graph made the cover of the Fiftieth Anniversary Report of the United Nation’s World Meteorological Organization. To the surprise of everyone who knew about the strong evidence for the little ice age and the medieval climate optimum, the graph showed a nearly constant temperature from the year 1000 until about 150 years ago, when the temperature began to rise abruptly like the blade of a hockey stick. The inference was that this was due to the anthropogenic “pollutant” CO2.

This damnatia memoriae of inconvenient facts was simply expunged from the 2001 IPCC report, much as Trotsky and Yezhov were removed from Stalin’s photographs by dark-room specialists in the later years of the dictator’s reign. There was no explanation of why both the medieval warm period and the little ice age, very clearly shown in the 1990 report, had simply disappeared eleven years later. …

The frightening warnings that alarmists offer about the effects of doubling CO2 are based on computer models that assume that the direct warming effect of CO2 is multiplied by a large “feedback factor” from CO2-induced changes in water vapor and clouds, which supposedly contribute much more to the greenhouse warming of the earth than CO2. But there is observational evidence that the feedback factor is small and may even be negative. The models are not in good agreement with observations—even if they appear to fit the temperature rise over the last 150 years very well.

Indeed, the computer programs that produce climate change models have been “tuned” to get the desired answer. The values of various parameters like clouds and the concentrations of anthropogenic aerosols are adjusted to get the best fit to observations. And—perhaps partly because of that—they have been unsuccessful in predicting future climate, even over periods as short as fifteen years. In fact, the real values of most parameters, and the physics of how they affect the earth’s climate, are in most cases only roughly known, too roughly to supply accurate enough data for computer predictions. In my judgment, and in that of many other scientists familiar with the issues, the main problem with models has been their treatment of clouds, changes of which probably have a much bigger effect on the temperature of the earth than changing levels of CO2.

Scientifically, Romney is on weak ground.  Politically, it’s even worse.  He took a beating for his reversal on abortion in the 2007-8 campaign cycle, acquiring the sobriquet of “flip-flopper.”  As a result, Romney simply can’t reverse himself on RomneyCare in Massachusetts, nor will he be able to reverse himself on AGW.  He’s stuck with both positions, and the best he can do on either is to promise to end up doing nothing as President — which isn’t a credible stance, either with the base or with the moderates he seeks to attract.

Breaking on Hot Air



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Hey oakland. Ever seen Potholer54’s videos before? If not, you should check them out. They debunk all the Al Gores of the world as well as the climate change “skeptics” like blink and others here.

While I’ve done my share of studying scientific journals on this and many other subjects, he’s more interesting to listen to than reading a scientific journal. The science is obviously complicated but he puts it in laymen’s terms that most everyone can understand and assimilate.

And he’s very good at debunking the scams and myths foisted on the public by popular pundits and politically motivated hacks.

SauerKraut537 on June 10, 2011 at 9:21 PM

Btw, it’s also quite funny that you readily dismiss the opinion of:

113 Atmospheric Scientists;

93 Climatologists;

341 Meteorologists;

59 Astronomers;

and 26 Astrophysics.

Why is that? Bias?

blink on June 10, 2011 at 9:48 AM

Absolutely not… No bias there and I don’t dismiss the majority of climate scientists, because those people who signed the petition are only a small percentage of the total number of climate scientists on the planet. Now I certainly realize that science isn’t decided by numbers, nor is it decided like in a democracy with votes and popularity contests, but it’s clear that the vast majority of climate scientists agree that AGW is a reality. The extent of the damage we’re capable of doing, and the ability of the planet to counteract our effects is certainly up for debate, but there can be no doubt that we contribute to the warming of this planet in a major way that is only going to get worse as the population increases…

What changed in the last century? Massive increases in the numbers of humans who use fossil fuels to warm themselves and get around… It’s [email protected] common sense dingbat. 6+ billion people needing energy and where do we get the overwhelming majority of our energy? Fossil fuels! How hard can it be man? Good god!

Quit being dense.

SauerKraut537 on June 10, 2011 at 9:32 PM

You most certainly do. Your religion is CAGW.

blink on June 10, 2011 at 9:35 PM

Wrong, I don’t believe in CAGW. I think it’s certainly a possibility, but I’m just trying to get you to admit the truth that we DO contribute to GW… Whether that results in CAGW is another question altogether, but it’s certainly a possibility.

You see, you can’t give an inch because you think I’ll take a mile with it. I won’t.

I already agree with you that CAGW is a possibility at best but it’s still a possibility. Do you want to try to stop it from ever happening or do you want to enable the continuance of using fossil fuels forever and ever and let us gas our garage called earth?

SauerKraut537 on June 10, 2011 at 9:40 PM

A peer review process that they control like the mafia.

blink on June 10, 2011 at 9:39 PM

That’s nothing but conspiracy theory crap blink. Please, blink your way out of the fog in your mind. GW is a reality, and we can and do contribute to it.

SauerKraut537 on June 10, 2011 at 9:43 PM

Good to see that you acknowledge the fact that I bested you.

blink on June 10, 2011 at 9:37 PM

It’s called satire blink. It’d be nice to hear that you can appreciate it, but no, you didn’t best me… Only in your own mind and those who agree with your stances.

I’m sure some of your sycophants will show up shortly to extol your bravado and intelligence… Unless they’re sock accounts of yours…

SauerKraut537 on June 10, 2011 at 9:48 PM

Please give references for even one of these.

oakland on June 10, 2011 at 9:18 PM

Ask sauerkraut. I was asking him a question about his data.

The place I got the data on the 30,000+ “scientists” who “agreed” that global warming was a fraud is at this site, Global Warming Petition Project

Oakland, this “petition” has already been shown to be a fraud of its own… Read my posting from early this morning…

SauerKraut537 on June 10, 2011 at 2:16 AM It’s on (page 3) of this thread almost at the bottom.

SauerKraut537 on June 10, 2011 at 9:55 PM


Here’s an actual video completely debunking the 30,000 scientists against AGW claim…

Climate Change – Meet the Scientists

SauerKraut537 on June 11, 2011 at 12:43 AM

The early GOP presidential front-runner has broken with his party’s conservative ranks to declare global warming a real threat to the planet that merits some sort of action to curb heat-trapping emissions

It is fallacious to say that conservatives don’t accept the threat and reality of AGW. There are many folks like myself who are strong fiscal and social conservatives that are concerned about man’s role in warming the planet and bringing about climate change.

This simply is not a conservative-vs-liberal issue. It’s a people issue, and it’s only becoming more of one with every passing year.

oakland on June 11, 2011 at 12:35 PM

What? You run away every time I ask you anything scientific.

blink on June 10, 2011 at 9:37 PM

“Run away”? I’m right here.

You have a way of asking questions about non-defined matters (such as “hockey stick” and CAGW). When you start providing definitions, I’ll answer you.

oakland on June 11, 2011 at 12:38 PM

Oakland, this “petition” has already been shown to be a fraud of its own… Read my posting from early this morning…

SauerKraut537 on June 10, 2011 at 2:16 AM It’s on (page 3) of this thread almost at the bottom.

SauerKraut537 on June 10, 2011 at 9:55 PM


I have known for years that this petition has virtually no merit. I need no convincing.

It was vaguely worded, and nearly anyone could have responded and counted among the “30,000 scientists”.

Yet, denialists continue to spout it as some type of “proof” for their thesis that AGW theories are hoaxes.

oakland on June 11, 2011 at 12:41 PM

A peer review process that they control like the mafia.

blink on June 10, 2011 at 9:39 PM

It’s the same basic process used universally by all scientific bodies, and helps assure that valid research gets seen and poor research stopped in its tracks.

What would you suggest as an alternative?

oakland on June 11, 2011 at 12:44 PM

Are you crazy? You usually run and hide whenever I attempt to discuss the science and you NEVER answer my scientific questions.

blink on June 11, 2011 at 2:30 PM

You ask questions, and they are not scientific ones, as you can’t seem to define the terminology therein.

oakland on June 11, 2011 at 2:35 PM

On what planet are you from? Do you actually need me to give you a definition of the Mann Hockey Stick? Do you really not know what that is?

Or are you feigning ignorance as part of some lame attempt to distance your beliefs from it?

blink on June 11, 2011 at 2:26 PM

No, as I have said many times before, you need to define it, as it is not, to my knowledge, a scientific term.

The only hockey sticks I know of are ones that I used as a kid.

oakland on June 11, 2011 at 2:37 PM

I have no doubt that this is true for you.

blink on June 11, 2011 at 2:33 PM

Coming from you that means little to nothing. LOL!

He certainly isn’t very good at addressing the ridiculousness of positive feedback.

I suppose you believe in negative feedback though… If you do then the corollary is that there is positive feedback.

Here’s a good example… As rising concentrations of greenhouse gases warm Earth’s climate, snow and ice begin to melt. This melting reveals darker land and water surfaces that were beneath the snow and ice, and these darker surfaces absorb more of the Sun’s heat, causing more warming, which causes more melting, and so on, in a self reinforcing cycle.

This feedback loop, known as the ‘ice-albedo feedback’, amplifies the initial warming caused by rising levels of greenhouse gases.

It’s the proverbial snake eating its tail dumbass, and it IS a reality. Just look at all the receding glaciers and huge chunks of ice sheets breaking off in Antarctica…

You are as dense as lead you know that?

SauerKraut537 on June 11, 2011 at 2:43 PM

It’s hilarious that you refuse to answer inconvenient questions by claiming that you need some type of formal definition.

blink on June 11, 2011 at 2:49 PM

Still no definition?

See you next time round.


oakland on June 11, 2011 at 2:49 PM

This simply is not a conservative-vs-liberal issue. It’s a people issue, and it’s only becoming more of one with every passing year.

oakland on June 11, 2011 at 12:35 PM

Bravo! I’m glad to hear you say this! I too am a social and fiscal conservative that cringes when other conservatives lose this argument to the often more liberal proponents of global climate change.

It’s just insane to me that so many conservatives can’t make this issue their own and look at it as a more liberal viewpoint. JUST because more liberals forward it as a hypothesis people like blink makes it a liberal vs conservative argument rather than what it is… A people issue.

We’ve got too many people on this planet as it is, and idjuts like blink think that we can just keep on keeping on with business as usual, burning increasing levels of fossil fuels so that we can support all these people with heat and transportation…

SauerKraut537 on June 11, 2011 at 2:56 PM

blink, you’re a [email protected] idiot… I’m done sparring with you because sparring with you is like sparring with religious nutjobs who seriously believe that god had to sacrifice himself, to himself, to appease himself and make “heaven” attainable to all of humanity.

Religions are like farts, YOURS is good, but everyone else’s stinks.

And your religion in this case is anthropogenic climate change denial.

Good luck to you and I hope you wake up someday… Oh, and you didn’t best me at anything no matter how many times you keep telling yourself that. ;-)

SauerKraut537 on June 11, 2011 at 3:02 PM

This is too funny. This isn’t a liberal versus conservative issue at all. This is a science issue. I know plenty of liberals that are skeptics. But all of them have scientific backgrounds.

blink on June 11, 2011 at 3:03 PM

You REALLY are a [email protected] idiot you know that… Because I said in the very next paragraph that this is more of a people issue, NOT a conservative vs liberal issue.

Dense as lead you are…

OK, I’m really done with you now.

buh bye

SauerKraut537 on June 11, 2011 at 3:11 PM

[email protected]

SauerKraut537 on June 11, 2011 at 3:20 PM

I think I will be banned or blocked or what ever.
For the last several months this site has become some tweeter/facebook/myspace site to chat and deride other people/commenters. It seems noone can stay on thread. 90 percent of comments are in response to some jack leg who throws out something not related to the thread. If you want to comment on AGW or Romney do so. Don’t waste my time being cute.

TomLawler on June 11, 2011 at 5:05 PM

I say Mitt should challenge Obama in the Democratic primaries.

jjrakman on June 16, 2011 at 5:59 PM