Monday, April 02, 2007

Supreme Court Slams White House and Michael Crichton on Global Warming

They say it’s an historic decision. The decision is historic. For the longest time we have been subjected to a Bush-Inhofe-dominated scientific analysis of global warming. You know, those two famous climatologists. Inhofe is a world expert on global warming. Did you know why? He read Michael Crichton’s book, State of Fear. I read it, too. I guess that makes me another world expert.

Here’s what Inhofe said of Michael Crichton, and his book on the Senate floor:
“I highly recommend the book to all of my colleagues. Dr. Crichton, a medical doctor and scientist, very cleverly weaves a compelling presentation of the scientific facts of climate change-with ample footnotes and documentation throughout-into a gripping plot. From what I can gather, Dr. Crichton's book is designed to bring some sanity to the global warming debate.”
Did you know that Inhofe actually had Michael Crichton come to DC and share his findings with Inhofe’s committee back when he was its chairman?

Crichton is an MD. He does speak science, but he is neither an oceanographer nor a climatologist. He writes novels. Fiction. A fiction novelist invited to inform the Senate on the fallaciousness of global warming? Only in a Republican-dominated government is this possible.

Do you know what Crichton’s main line of reasoning why concerns of global warming are stuff and nonsense? He says that we need opposition in order for us as a society to function. Our opposition, the Soviet Bloc, went away so we invented global warming as a new crisis to replace it.

And now we have the Supreme Court of the United States weighing in on global warming. In today’s decision in Massachusetts v. EPA, John Paul Stevens, writing for the majority, said essentially this:

Heck yes we need to be concerned about global warming. There’s lots of evidence that it will raise sea level and that coastal areas will be inundated. He didn’t as much agree with the findings of countless scientists worldwide, he mainly just allowed that the effects of global warming are so catastrophic, that to blithely deny or ignore the fact that greenhouse gases are a contributory cause of sea level rise, is insane and irresponsible.

The majority ordered the EPA to issue limits to greenhouse gas emissions, including carbon dioxide. Whether they do or not remains to be seen. I don’t think they have much choice, but I’d also like to see legislation on this.

Now, how high would the ocean levels come up? It depends on what melts. If you count only floating ice as at the arctic polar ice cap, well most of that ice is already under water and only the part above the ice cap’s waterline would contribute to sea level rise. They say that if all of that melts, sea level will rise 20 inches. That doesn’t seem like a lot but remember about waves. Waves erode coastlines. A 20 inch rise in sea level would take out Galveston – in fact all the barrier islands on Texas’s coastline would be wiped out.. Massachusetts would lose Cape Cod and all that expensive real estate.

What if grounded ice in Greenland melted. The oceans would rise 7 feet. And that, fellow Texans, means that the biggest state in the lower 48 would be a little smaller. The new coastline would be 7 miles further north and west.

What if Antarctic ice melted? Well, it really hasn’t gone anywhere in all of the interglacials we have had, so not to worry.

But if it did?

The entire Texas Gulf Coastal Plain would be inundated.

But hey, that would make a trip to the beach from Austin doable all in a day.

By the way, if you missed it, here is the You Tube video of Inhofe being informed by California Senator Barbara Boxer that he doesn't run things on his old committee any more. The look on his face is priceless.

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