Another Investigation Clears Climate Scientists and CBO Finds Climate Bill Will Reduce Deficit

Conservatives who have been duped by the misinformation from the petroleum industry to support denialism of climate change have recently based much of their case upon stolen email from climate scientists. While the hacked email did raise some questions related to the conduct of some scientists, it did not provide anything which altered the scientific consensus on climate change. Therefore, never letting the facts get in their way, the denialists distorted the content of the email. Several investigations have now debunked the claims about the email made by the denialists. The report of a fifth investigation was released today:

All five investigations have come down largely on the side of the climate researchers, rejecting a number of criticisms raised by global-warming skeptics. Still, mainstream climate science has not emerged from the turmoil unscathed.

Some polls suggest that the recent controversy has eroded public support for action on climate change, complicating the politics of that issue in Washington and other world capitals. And leading climate researchers have come in for criticism of their deportment, of their episodic reluctance to share data with climate skeptics, and for not always responding well to critical analysis of their work.

“The e-mails don’t at all change the fundamental tenets of the science,” said Roger Pielke Jr., a professor of environmental studies at the University of Colorado. “But they changed the notion that people could blindly trust one authoritative group, when it turns out they’re just like everybody else.”

Another common claim from denialists is that reducing our reliance on fossil fuels is part of a left-wing plot to destroy our industrialized society. They often claim that climate legislation is economically destructive. A CBO report has found that, “Senator John F. Kerry’s signature energy and climate change legislation would cut the deficit by $19 billion.”

The CBO report estimates that the deficit would be reduced by $19 billion over the first 10 years, and that it would also not increase the deficit over the following 40 years.

The cost of the legislation, which includes various tax credits, would be more than offset by revenues collected through a cap-and-trade system, according to the report. The bill, which was released in May, would put a price on carbon emissions that opponents have attacked as a carbon tax that would hurt businesses.

Will the deficit hawks, who have generally ignored Republican fiscal responsibility and generally deny the more sound fiscal policies of the Democrats now come out and support the plan? Not very likely.

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