‘Nothing for Something’: More on Global Warming Commission

At long last, a culprit was identified as the motive force behind global warming trends.
At long last, a culprit was identified as the motive force behind global warming trends.

Arkansas News Bureau columnist David Sanders follows up with another critical look at the Governor’s Commission on Global Warming, this time pulling in the perspective of one commission member, Kevan Inboden.

Inboden’s a Jonesboro utility guy who, sounding frustrated, indicates that the commission was agenda-driven and that many of the final recommendations will drive up costs for consumers. By a lot:

Despite what he said were commissioners’ good intentions, Inboden said he suspected early on that someone was pushing an agenda. Without naming names, he said it appeared the commission’s more extremist members — those who advocated “extreme (carbon) mitigation measures” —  had been “working behind the scenes” to steer the group’s work. What about CCS? “They were more than just a facilitator,” he said.

“As a commissioner, when I hear that the commission recommended this or that, it doesn’t tell the whole story. There was a lot of dissension and opposition,” he said.

The commission’s reports show several close votes on controversial policy recommendations that, according to Inboden, if enacted into law would drive up the cost of living and the cost of doing business in Arkansas.

The best part about these columns that Sanders keeps writing is watching these global warming fundamentalists and old-timers rise up off their pallets to denounce him for daring to question the commission’s proposals. Quick, someone get to denouncing this Inboden guy, too! I have it on good authority that he’s receiving payments from a utility company….

Like this debate? Then check out the comments section on this earlier Arkansas Project post, where MVP commenter DumbArkie goes all logical on your ass.

More perspectives: The Arkansas Watch blog is on the case with a look at the Czech president and European Union official who questions the global warming consensus. And here’s a global warming skeptic at The Huffington Post who’s been stirring the pot today, and who I include just because I never expected to find a global warming skeptic writing at The Huffington Post.

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16 thoughts on “‘Nothing for Something’: More on Global Warming Commission

  • January 4, 2009 at 5:39 pm
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    The Czech President is not just an EU official, he is the PRESIDENT OF THE EU as well! His term of one year just started. The President of a confederacy of 27 nations with 350 million 1st world citizens. So is that a crack-pot or is their doubt about this man-made global warming business?

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  • January 4, 2009 at 5:53 pm
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    Mark,
    I certainly wasn’t trying to minimize Mr. Klaus’s position as EU president — chalk it up to writing quickly. But, oh, how I appreciate your swiftness in offering correction, as well as the way you take a hectoring and lecturing tone with me even when it comes to issues upon which we are generally in accord. It’s such a winning approach.
    D.

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  • January 4, 2009 at 6:36 pm
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    Mark has a way of winning people over. You can find that winning way on his blog.

    I don’t believe in man made global warming. If man does influence the weather, it negligible.

    That being said, I do not like pollution. There are some very beautiful views that have been spoiled by pollution. Go to the Painted Desert and try to find the Kachina Mtns. with your naked eye. 30 years ago, it was possible. Not today.

    I’m a Teddy Roosevelt conservationist. My concern about the environmet is based on my love for the outdoors and nature. I want to take all the steps possible to protect it.

    By the same token, I don’t want to pay for it with increased taxes and costs. Its a catch 22 and I’m Yossarian. I don’t know the answer. Furthermore, I don’t want to burden free enterprise.

    While I don’t have an answer to pollution, I do know that anytime you put political appointees in position of addressing a scientific question, you are screwed. Politics and science really don’t go hand and hand. Why? Because the scientific method is too slow and logic too cumbersome for a process that is funded by special interest groups. These groups have a financial stake in what happens. Sanders asked if McDaniel had a conflict of interest over the adoption act, well, he should be asking the same of this group that is trying to answer what is fundamentally a scientific question, and I guess he did in a round about way.

    Yeah, there will always be money influencing the findings of commissions. But this is a little different. Basically, it is an area that should be reserved to the learned professionals, not the political establishment. When they have consensus, then we can act. Until then, any action could do more harm than good.

    Would you go to a governor’s commission for treatment of a brain tumor? Then why would we go to a commission for help on something that is just as critical and affects a lot more people? Essentially, I don’t put a lot of stock into any commission studying a scientific question that isn’t comprised of scientist. I don’t want my science from someone that thinks Occam’s razor is made by Remington.

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  • January 4, 2009 at 9:54 pm
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    Hey FRR, I got me one of those Occam’s razors. Naturally, it only has one blade.

    Fancy thing, this ARGOCOGLOWARM. A bunch of really worried folks wanting to have Arkansas lead the way in doing SOMETHING to fix this damnable global warming thing. (By the way, doing SOMETHING is liberal-speak for raising the heck out of taxes and fees and stacking on regulations ad infinitum.)

    First, let’s look to the membership of the ARGOCOGLOWARM. Not that they all are by any means, but just take a gander at the relationship of members of the commission to the members of the Beebe campaign contributor’s list, the handsome contributors (and no Mr. ARPro guy, I don’t mean handsome in the way of you and Mark White and myself and possibly Fourche River Rex). Boy, there are a bunch of big time contributors on this list.

    Now move on down to the Advisory Board for this commission. Why there is none other than old Night-Sky Sam Ledbetter’s own wifey, Miss Nancy. One wonders what contributions of her own this communications/PR type could possibly offer. Especially since her communications/PR position is with the AGFC, an agency tasked on the one hand with protecting for all to enjoy the flora and fauna of this great state, while on the other hand, apparently giving away the keys to the kingdom (for their 30 pieces of silver naturally) to companies accused by anti-global warmers and random do-gooders worldwide as major contributors to the very problems the ARGOCOGLOWARM is tasked with solving. (One wonders the angst which will be felt by the genteel commissioners of the AGFC when we finally get around to tapping into the billions of dollars of lignite under the soil in SW Arkansas, a large amount of that soil owned and managed by the AGFC too. As a side benefit, won’t Rod Bryan crap all over his stretch bicycle seat.) Ah, but I digress.

    I would like to mention that wonderful piece of legislation the former liberal legislator (former legislator, not former liberal), none other than Night Sky Ledbetter passed shortly before his career was thankfully term limited. Remember the night sky pollution bill he passed? The one that the next legislature had to go to the pains of correcting because he managed to pretty much make little league baseball illegal after certain hours in the evening. This is what the liberal do-gooders bring to the table and this ARGOCOGLOWARM is just more of the same liberal crap-ola. Thank GOODNESS we have old Sam’s liberal-communications/PR-at-the-AGFC type of a wife among those advising the ARGOCOGLOWARM.

    I hope David Sanders continues his efforts. And, I offer this one piece of encouragement – Illegitimi non carborundum. Blow off blowhards like Brummett, et al, for that is all they are. By the way, I wonder what the carbon footprint for Blubber Butt Brummett is while out flailing away at the little yellow tennis ball. As much carbon dioxide as Blubber Butt must exhale, I am surprised we don’t have more success at growing tropical rainforest trees up here in central Arkansas. Funny thing that – Brummett is a significant contributor to global warming if you follow his own definition. Should we outlaw tennis. Well, in a word, no. At least not the type of tennis played by the girls in short skirts who look a lot like the girls playing beach volleyball. Let’s just do away with the men’s side of those sports and we can cut the global footprint for them in half in one fell swoop. And who in the world watches men’s beach volleyball anyway?

    Oh, no. I just got a visual of Blubber Butt in his little tennis skirt bent over awaiting the serve.

    Please, oh please Mr. ARPro guy, quickly post up a hot photo of Anna Sharapova or someone similar so I can recover my equilibrium.

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  • January 4, 2009 at 11:32 pm
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    Kathy Webb has gone really far out on a limb with the commission. I really would like to comment with the press about how absurd the global warming commission really is.

    Rep. Bryan King (Minority Leader)
    and Rep. Roy Ragland (3rd Caucus Chair)

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  • January 5, 2009 at 9:28 am
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    And when undertaking decisions that affect mankind, it’s always best to leave them to bloggers with political and financial agendas rather than Nobel Prize-winning physicists.

    When our state’s official view of science begins and ends with Not Republican = Liberal = Bad, it’s no wonder Arkansas is the equivalent of a third-world country. I just thank God I can afford private school for my kid here in the capital city of Banglalittlerock.

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  • January 5, 2009 at 9:41 am
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    Uh, Joe, I don’t know how to break this to you, but you do understand that no one on this blog actually has the power to “undertake decisions that affect mankind,” right? I’m lucky that APG allows me to choose what movies we get off Netflix. And in general, I think we all agree that’s probably for the best, because I have awesome taste in movies.

    And I’ll note that your second graf is thoroughly nonsensical, given that Republicans wield zero levers of power in the state of Arkansas and, with the exception of a few brief interregna in the governor’s office, never have. If you truly are distraught over the state’s “third world” status, and you insist upon rendering it as a partisan matter, I suggest you consider which party has held sway over just about all state decision-making for the last several generations.
    D.

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  • January 5, 2009 at 10:09 am
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    I always find this debate interesting. Do you guys really believe that there is absolutely no chance whatsoever that mankind and our inventions has had a negative effect on Mother Earth?

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  • January 5, 2009 at 10:35 am
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    Br549,
    Welcome back. You’ve been missed these last few days…

    For my part, I wouldn’t go so far as to state it in such categorical terms as “no chance whatsoever,” simply because I would not be so presumptuous. I entertain a certain agnosticism, even humility, on that question, as that seems a rational response to me. Others on this list may disagree and are welcome to present their arguments. But that seems to be a matter quite distinct from “what should be done” (if anything).

    I think it’s interesting that Sanders has come in for so much vociferous criticism simply for asking questions about the commission’s practices and recommendations. What’s up with that? One of the stand-in bloggers at The Arkansas Times a few days ago tried to call Sanders a “global warming denier,” but I’ve never heard him make any statements “denying” global warming. That wasn’t the question he was dealing with — he was exploring matters of governance and policy as they relate to this debate. Why are they so sloppy in their argumentation?

    And the fact that you use the word “debate” in your question suggests that you recognize, or at least entertain the possibility, that there just may be more than one view, so kudos to you. I’m always stricken by how global warming activists are rabid about shutting down any whiff of an alternative viewpoint, which makes me distrustful of their intellectual honesty, their goodwill and their aims.

    Plus, I always get a kick out of being contrarian and stirring up shit. Wheeee!
    D.

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  • January 5, 2009 at 11:21 am
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    I don’t think anyone is trying to say mankind and inventions can’t have a negative effect on Mother Earth, but the impacts are in specificity and relative to location rather than of a global nature.

    Take for instance, the last decade’s global crisis du jour, Freon, or more specifically hydrochlorofluorocarbons. Our scientific cadre of the day found this big old hole in the Ozone layer somewhere down near Tierra del Fuego that was allowing in so much unfiltered sunlight that shorn sheep were being microwaved and you had to go outside wearing SPF 99 or something like that to prevent immediate sunburn immolation. After much study and theorizing, the scientific cadre of the day determined that freon was the culprit and only by changing from freon could mankind be saved from global disaster. So chabge we did. At enormous cost to the industrialized world, primarily the good old USofA, we switched to another product and the world was saved. The hole mysteriously fell out of the news. Not because it really got any smaller, mind you, but it turned out to be not such a huge “man-made” problem after all. Seems that in 91 or so, Mt. Pinatubo down in the Phillippines decided to erupt and pour ash and many other types of devastation across the neighboring areas. What it also threw out was more sulfur dioxide IN NINE HOURS than mankind had managed to generate and throw off in the entire history of man. The problem is, sulfur dioxide mixes with the atmospherics and produced sulfuric acid and this too attacked the ozone layer. This attack was to such an extent that the Ozone hole grew to unprecedented levels. The maximum reduction in global temperature occurred in August 1992 with a reduction of 0.73°C. The eruption is believed to have influenced such events as 1993 floods along the Mississippi river and the drought in the Sahel region of Africa. The United States experienced its third coldest and third wettest summer in 77 years during 1992. Now that my friends is how you impact Mother Earth. Unfortunately, it was Mother Earth impacting herself. Mankind simply doesn’t have the tools unless we decide to launch every nuclear weapon for a immediate quick strike on ourselves and the whole world. Short of that, we don’t have the stuff to make the change. Mother Earth is too capable of correcting what bad is happening. A decade is nothing in time to Mother Earth. She can correct our mistakes and ills.

    Yes, I can have serious impact on Mother Earth if I decide to go out to the old well in my back yard and dispose of several gallons of old pesticide. I will mess up the ground water around here.

    Yes, if I have a gasoline station up in the Karst formation around Fayetteville and one of my leaking tanks allows gasoline vapors to fill Granny James basement and it blows, I will make a larger mess.

    Yes, if we aren’t careful with the extraction of natural gas from the Fayetteville Shale, we will have even larger pollution problems, many undiscovered today, on our hands.

    The thing is, mankind isn’t strong enough or smart enough or capable enough to do the massive climate change that is being bandied about today. Even the scientists themselves don’t agree. I read a report today that the global ice pack for 2008 was the same as it was in 1979. There is also a report out there with today’s dateline discussing the massive loss of the ice pack last year. As a matter of fact, back in the mid-70s, the big scientific debate was over the coming ice age. Funny thing is, the guys leading much of this debate are the same guys who started off discussing the Global Warming Crisis at the end of the last century.

    Simply put, there is a reason when volcanos pop off, the comparison we use is something like “the combined force of 100,000 of the nuclear bombs dropped on Hiroshima,” or talk of possible astroid strikes would generate a force similar.

    Mother Earth has her own cycles. The plates, they are a moving my friend. Someday (and soon hopefully) California will be an island out in the Pacific. They can tax cow farts all they want to at that time.

    We need to protect our Earth and certainly not engage in wanton pollution and litering and wholesale pillaging of our natural resources. However, there are ways to do it safely and at low cost. We have proven this time and again over the period of the Industrial Revolution and onward.

    I will keep my yard clean and recycle a few cans and make sure my car and truck are tuned up and getting the best gas mileage. I can assure you that these acts will do more for the environment than strolling by a kiosk in an airport out in California and stopping to buy carbon credits to offset my upcoming jet aeroplane trip.

    Finally, I would like to throw out one caveat to the Global Warmers. I am establishing the Cameron Bluff Carbon Credit Offset Contribution Fund. Brummett can purchase carbon offsets for his tennis games. Brantley can purchase carbon offsets for his bloviations. Mr. ARPro guy can purchase them for those hot steamy evenings watching NetFlix movies with Miss APG. Fourche River Rex can purchase them to offset the harmful byproducts from that little still he has down in the holler behind his house. The ARGOCOGLOWARM can purchase them to offset all the dang trees they killed meeting and then in publishing their manifesto.

    We can all be happy and I will definitely put the money to some very good use. I wonder what the carbon footprint is for a fifth of Johnnie Walker Blue anyway?

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  • January 5, 2009 at 3:06 pm
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    Sorry for the absence. I’ve been out playing with my “real” friends and sometimes I forget about all my “e-comrades”

    Nevertheless. I think that yes, indeed there is a huge debate to be had here. I also believe 100% that the way that the human race conducts itself has an impact on the planet we love so.

    The good news for me (and hopefully planet earth) is that while the granola eating, wacko, lefty enviros want everyone to drive a 1979 converted Mercedes diesel that (oddly smells of catfish and hush puppies when it fires up) and the paid hacks and instruments of big business are wanting everyone to march our children and their forebears blindly off the cliff into the ravaged ravine of reaped fruit formerly known as Mother Earth, thusly suffering the consequences of the indifferent actions of out generation until……..

    its the end of the world as we know it.

    .. and I feel fine.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGqroT1FZ5Y

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  • January 5, 2009 at 4:32 pm
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    I agree e-comrade-ski, there is much to debate in the global warming issue. Actually, I don’t doubt we have encountered a period of rising temperatures and it may well be greenhouse gases have contributed. I just don’t believe the only reason we have endured a period of rising temperatures rests at the feet of man. In fact, there is much research available today to indicate that global temperatures have leveled out. The thing is, the only constant in life is a lack of constancy. (Or, inconstancy I guess. No Mr. ARPro guy, not incontinence) And yes, I know I stole that last saying from someone else who said it much better. However, it is true that things constantly change and temperature, for us dumb Arkie boys, is a thing.

    We don’t need to litter our streets. We don’t need to build big ash ponds on the side of a slope with elevated levies to collapse and dump acre-feet of contaminated energy production by-products onto and into our landscapes. We don’t need rocket ships blasting off into outer space either I suppose, but then we wouldn’t have Tang or Velcro billfolds, so that one is still up for debate.

    We don’t need goobers out riding around in used-up-vegetable-oil-powered Mercedes cars either. If this is such a good idea, why not just go out to Kroger and buy up a bunch of bottles of un-used-up-vegetable-oil and pour it in the tank? Well, for one thing, it is a lot more expensive, both to the pocketbook and to the environment, to use vegetable oil versus gasoline or diesel. We don’t need to be converting the world’s food supply into fuel products. Food needs to be utilized in the feeding of people and livestock. It is no more “long-term viable” to use by-products of materials produced in limited amounts, such as used vegetable oil, than it is to tell me that dumping my Hummer for a hybrid will have an impact.

    Oh well, debate tires one out after a while. Mr. ARPro guy, I don’t think you are paying close attention, or at least you aren’t good at picking up hints. All this writing would disappear if you would just post a few more bikini-clad reasons why global warming isn’t such a bad idea.

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  • January 5, 2009 at 10:01 pm
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    Joe,

    I’m just a schmuck trying to hold on to few hard-earned dollars. It’s our own politicians who see “climate change” (I prefer to use the nom de jour as it is no longer global warming) as a way to further their financial agendas of reaching into our pockets. It’s also other countries, with heavily socialized corporate investment, who want and need to punish our success to give themselves the upper hand in the global marketplace.

    You mention Nobel Prize-winning physicists as if the Nobel Foundation were as pure as the wind-driven snow and not political in nature. While there is a cadre of politically controversial Nobel Prize winners, let’s focus on just one – Al Gore. He won the 2007 Nobel “Peace” Prize for his work on raising public awareness on global warming (I guess they’ll have to scratch through that and inscribe it “climate change” now). I’m not sure what that has to do with peace, but okay, we’ll let that slide for the moment. No wait, I’m sorry, I can’t let it slide. What on God’s green Earth does that have to do with peace? Nothing at all. Then it’s discovered that that this prince of peace consumes more electricity in his Tennessee home in one month than the average American household does in an entire year. And that doesn’t even include all of the other carbon footprint with which Mr. Gore stains our beloved planet as he flies in private jets, rides in limos, and stays in luxury hotels (while the a/c is still running back home). And he dares to lecture me about not keeping my thermostat above 68º in the winter? It’s indefensible.

    Our host and provider of digital ink, David, suggested that “you consider which party has held sway over just about all state decision-making for the last several generations.” Just so you know, it has been the Democrat Party since the days of Reconstruction. That’s about 130 years straight of “good ol’ boy” politics and dominance by the big D. During that time since 1874 we have had a total of two, count ’em two, Republican governors. So when it comes to third world equivalence, please point your finger at the Democrats of Arkansas, while I point to the Heavens and thank God for Mississippi!

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  • January 6, 2009 at 7:01 am
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    Three Republican Governors, DumbArkie: Don’t forget Frank White.
    D.

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  • January 6, 2009 at 9:03 am
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    I was about to get into the political spectrum and argue that in Arkansas parties dont matter as much as the personalities do….and that we are as a state generally conservative with a populist stripe..

    but then I decided that it doesnt really matter.

    But if Democrats are the “good ol’ boys” what are the Repubs? White wine spritzer sipping ninnies?

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  • January 6, 2009 at 10:21 am
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    My apologies. I stand corrected, but it is easy to forget him. So, consider this an edit to that post “three, count ’em three, Republican governors.”

    It’s still 130 plus years of Democrat rule in the Arkansas legislature. That beats the Partido Revolucionario Institucional of Mexico. They only had 70 years of unbridled rule. And we all know that absolute power corrupts absolutely.

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