Editor’s note: This letter is referring to John Carlson’s column, “Storm Clouds facing President Obama”, published in the Nov. 13 edition of The Reporter.
While one could argue with many points in this article, the paragraph concerning cap and trade is especially erroneous. Every single sentence is wrong.
1) “The Cap and Trade bill that is designed to reduce global warming is now faltering.” Which bill? The house passed a bill in June and the Senate has a bill under consideration that will pass, if not before Copenhagen (United Nations Climate Change Conference Dec. 7-18) then in the early part of 2010. Mr. Carlson provides no evidence to support his assertion.
2) “The whole concept of the bill is to raise the cost of energy in people’s homes, cars and places of business.” This is a truly ignorant statement and Mr. Carlson should be embarrassed to have included it, since he probably knows better. The purpose of the bill is to move our country towards a clean energy society, reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and spur investments towards renewable energies and jobs.
3) “Opposition stems partly from its price tag – between $1,500 to $2,900 per family….” I’m assuming that Mr. Carlson obtained these numbers from a flawed Heritage Foundation study from several months ago that was roundly panned. The actual cost to most families per year will be between $80-180, and for the lowest income families they will see a net benefit of around $40 (as determined by CBO and EPA economic analysis). In addition, the overall cost to our economy is modest, 1-2 percent of gross domestic product, also determined by numerous economic studies, both governmental and non-partisan.
4) “The warmest year on record was 11 years ago.” This is only true if you use British temperature data sets. NASA accords 2005 as the hottest year. Even if they were both in agreement, you cannot choose a single year and develop a statistically significant trend. Warming is still occurring.
5) “Despite rising carbon output, global temperatures have leveled off and gotten cooler.” No, the warming trend continues. This has been the hottest decade on record. There will still be yearly variations away from the mean, but these should not be confused as trends in-and-of themselves.
Mr. Carlson is simply parroting common global warming denier talking points that have been refuted many times over. The worst part is (other than misleading his readers) that accurate information is easy to find, if you’re willing to look for it.