Acton Institute Powerblog

Right Online Austin: Global Warming

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While former Vice President Al Gore mesmerized activists at Netroots Nation this morning with a surprise visit to Austin, Texas, a different kind of conversation about global warming was taking place at the Right Online conference in the same city. The intensity and energy during the global warming session was by far the most passionate of any of the sessions I have attended here. It seems some conservative activists may be undecided about all the scientific data concerning global warming, but they understand some in the environmental and big government movements are using the climate change excitement to chip away at personal and economic freedoms.

Iain Murray
of the Competitive Enterprise Institute was present to discuss the topic with all the attendees. Murray cited the Cornwall Alliance as an important evangelical voice on this issue. He also summed up the failure of cap-and-trade measures in Europe and just how ineffective government spending on global warming has been across the pond.

Phil Kerpen of Americans for Prosperity was very straightforward about not understanding all of the scientific data, but still added some very prudent points. Kerpen contrasted the United States with socialist leaning Western European nations by noting an American approach to finding solutions is best, because we need to be on the right side of the economics, while also being on the right side of the environment. Krepen noted that we need to move away from “socialist regulatory schemes,” adding, “we won’t be the innovators [for long term solutions] if we go down that route.” Krepen understood that if we sacrifice prosperity, we actually sacrifice the ability to achieve the greatest energy breakthroughs through entrepreneurial innovation.

At the end, I spoke briefly about the Acton Institute’s research on this issue and directed the attendees to Dr. Jay Richards’ lecture on global warming, as well as his remarks at Acton University.

Earlier in the day the best speeches were delivered by former Maryland Lt. Governor Michael Steele and Michelle Malkin. Steele had some highly impressive comments on tax reform, wealth creation, and entrepreneurship.

Ray Nothstine is opinion editor of the the North State Journal in Raleigh, North Carolina. Previously, he was managing editor of Acton Institute's Religion & Liberty quarterly. In 2005 Ray graduated with a Master of Divinity (M.Div) degree from Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Ky. He also holds a B.A. in Political Science from The University of Mississippi in Oxford.


  • Francis T. Manns

    CO2 is a GHG, plant food and fertilizer. Politicians treat voters like children on the AGW issue by offering the only two options they want us to have: Cap and Trade or Carbon Tax. What about listening to the science? There is no experimental evidence to support CO2 and AGW. Alarmists built the house of cards decades ago. Demand debate and see what the environmental lobby groups say.

    As I understand it, the theory, supported by experiments, of the Danish National Space Center goes as follows: Active sun = enhanced magnetic field = solar wind = geomagnetic shield response = less low-level clouds = less heat reflected = warmer climate.

    Inactive sun = reduced magnetic field = reduced solar wind = geomagnetic shield drops = galactic cosmic ray flux = more low-level clouds and more snow = more heat reflected = colder climate.

    That is how the bulk of climate change might work, modulated by sunspot peak frequency there are cycles of global warming and cooling like waves in the ocean. When the waves are closely spaced, the planets warm; when the waves are spaced farther apart, the planets cool.

    Fris-Christiensen and Lassen (1991) published the solar correlation in Science. They demonstrated a 95% correlation between sunspot peak frequency and warming and cooling. Further correlation failed, likely due to global cooling from Pinatubo eruption in 1991. Global temperatures dropped by about 0.5 °C (0.9 °F), and ozone depletion temporarily increased substantially. Since then Svensmark et al (2006) published experimental support for the cosmic ray (sunspot modulated) hypothesis in the Journal of the Royal Academy. Unfortunately all this was missed out by the UN IPCC. Whether this is a political issue or not, the public and media knowledge of the science is incomplete and unbalanced and needs to be brought out into the daylight.

    The Danish National Space Center will be conducting further experiments in the CERN facility shortly. Politicians should know the lay of the land before they devote more money to warming than might be needed for overcoats for the homeless.

  • Ron

    The reason that so much of this planet has had drought for so many centuries is that we’ve been in an ice age, and the water needed for normal condensation has been frozen into glaciers. Glaciers are frozen water needed as condensation for barren and frozen lands of this planet, causing drought and flooding. When glaciers melt, some water runs into the oceans. Some water thaws the ground below where the glacier was, and soaks into the ground. Some water evaporates into the upper atmosphere where it becomes normal rainfall for the whole world.

    The heat of the sun, clean air, and the absence of cold from glaciers and sea ice will cause more water to be evaporated from the oceans, lakes, and rivers into the upper atmosphere than there presently is; and the winds will blow it evenly around the world, providing normal rainfall world-wide, even where there presently is drought, and barren and frozen land, preventing flooding.

    The worldwide rainfall will cause long-dormant seeds in barren lands to sprout and grow into new plants: The best way to go green. The new plants will inhale carbon dioxide and exhale oxygen, which we breathe. There will be so many new plants, that we might have to increase the amount of carbon dioxide we generate, to provide enough for all of them

    A glacier in Greenland is melting, returning the land to the way it was a millennium ago. Larger crop yields are already the result, and the codfish have returned. Put the UN there.

    Snow fell before leaves, and a month before winter started. Parts of the country and the world have record low temperatures and record amounts of snow and ice. We’re entering another ice age. How soon will Greenland be frozen again and the codfish gone? We need global warming as soon as possible. We do not need Gorebull warring against us.

  • Cargo Cult

    Oh please. You guys sound like Alexander Cockburn of the Nation and Counterpunch – he’s a rabid defender of Stalin, among other things, and he agrees that global warming is a fraud, only he blames the nuclear and biofuel industries for engineering a “giant hoax”. Look it up.

    When the rabid left lines up with the rabid right on any issue, you know the fix is in. The basic fact? The planet is warming, quite slowly, but quite steadily, and yes, it is mostly fossil fuels, the engine of industry, but the supply is a bit tight, isn’t it?

    Ask yourself this: if we had run out of coal and oil and gas in 1950, would we all be living in caves, or would we have a complete sun-and-wind powered economy?

    The only problem is that this transition will flip the global economic order on its head, and then who will fund the rabid left and the rabid right? Scaife and Soros both eat from the same pie, you know…

    Put it this way: now is bad time to invest in that family retirement home on the Florida waterfront, but a good time to invest in solar and wind.