Sunday, April 15, 2012

Limbaugh’s Climatologist Defends Newt’s Past Position



I admit I took some liberties with the title but hang with me for a sec.  What would you say if I told you Rush Limbaugh’s own science advisor admitted that A) global warming was real, and B) he believes that it is possible that some of it is caused by mankind?

I corresponded with a well intentioned (new) conservative this week who made broad declarations that Newt Gingrich was a world class liberal simply because he once supported an individual mandate.  As did the Heritage Foundation.  And numerous other “right wing” conservatives and think tanks in order to stop HillaryCare.  In a time of balanced budgets and significant economic prosperity, 85% of AMERICANS WANTED A UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE system.  You would have had as much success arguing for “individual responsibility” as convincing a Whitney Houston to not marry Bobby Brown.

PRETENDING you know all the facts and inciting others to condemning action is wrong no matter what your intent is.  It’s like pretending Reagan was a communist when he signed the Simpson-Mazzoli amnesty bill not knowing that the Democrats wouldn’t keep their promises. 

Gingrich gets slammed by conservatives on the Pelosi couch episode more than any single policy topic.  And the attacks are primarily based in ignorance.  I’ve written extensively about here, here, here and here.

Many conservatives have never watched his vigorous and inspiring hour long keynote rebuttal testimony in Congress against Al Gore and Cap and Trade, and yet still somehow don’t “trust” Gingrich’s conservative instincts – or think he is a closet communist.  (The rousing red blood conservatism on display in the full hour video here.)

And even then, they are worried about his two earlier positions. First, Gingrich’s “cap and trade” program on sulfur which he advocated earlier in his congressional career and secondly, his seeming embrace of controlling carbon in 2007. 

It is important to note that his earlier “cap and trade” program was on sulfur, a REAL pollutant, and not related to the global warming issue and actually quite successful.  The second is the appearance of embracing global warming (and by insinuation government regulation) of the left.

I continue to argue that it is ridiculous for the average non-scientist to suddenly be outraged at those who were concerned about global warming when the scientific evidence prior to the IPCC emails being hacked and released in late 2009 was overwhelmingly supportive that global warming was happening.

There was concrete scientific evidence that the ice caps WERE melting.

Of course, many of these people still want to argue that the earth is only 6,000 years old despite core samples from the New Jersey basin (or any place in the world) showing sedimentary layering that directly correlate to the moon’s gravity going back 2 million years or more.  These are the same people who want you have to have “faith” that God created the deception of billion year old earth, but have no faith the only man who has forced a balanced budget 4 times in a row in the modern times can do it again.  Go figure.

Many like Rush Limbaugh acted like anyone who believed ANY scientist suggesting that the data pointed to man made global warming was equivalent to a terrorist. His source?

Dr. Roy Spencer. (bio)

What does Dr. Roy say?

  • Global Warming is (or was) real, and that,
  • it is possible that man made CO2 MAY cause warming.
h/t American Elephants

Notice, this isn’t back then.  This is March, 2012.

The data clearly shows that science was correct about a global warming trend for approximately 30 years and Spencer at least is convinced CO2 COULD cause warming.

The same thing that was being said in various degrees from 1988 until 2010.

I know.  I’m in the “green” and energy business and have scientific advisors at some of the most prestigious universities in the world.  The data CLEARLY suggested that there was warming and NO ONE truly could understand what it meant and how serious it was.

Some, like Rush, raised excellent points in 2007 that warming might not be bad, but with data flowing in showing a rapid thinning of ice in the northern hemisphere and anecdotal rising of water in various coastlines, do YOU want to be the politician that waited until the Statue of Liberty needed dry cleaning?

Aren’t conservatives the ones who “plan” for contingencies and practice forethought instead of hindsight to major problems?

And yet, to hear some of the Newt naysayers, you would think they had run the IPCC data themselves in their home Cray supercomputer and were personally published in the latest issue of SCIENCE.  In reality most didn’t know the difference between carbon MONoxide and DIoxide let alone try to understand if New York could truly go underwater.

It is critical to understand the actual timeline of how global warming took hold, and how traditionally reputable institutions like the National Academy of Sciences had REAL data and REAL theories upon which the “case” was being built.

To recap:


First theory that CO2 caused global warming


US National Academy of Sciences report finds it highly credible that doubling CO2 will bring 1.5-4.5°C global warming


International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) est.


Super “El Nino” causes worldwide warming trend


Multiple serious scientific observations of warming documented.


3rd IPCC report finds global warming “likely”


First major books on global warming published


“Hockey Stick” data seems to validate global warming theory and
“An Inconvenient Truth” is released.

February 2007

Gingrich vocally supports measures to start positioning government community to regulate CO2 “if free markets are involved.”


Both McCain and Obama favor carbon caps.  As does the National Evangelical Association. 


Few serious scientists publish challenges questioning corroborating data against climate change.

April 7, 2009

Gingrich testifies AGAINST Al Gore on implementing Cap and Trade arguing that it would increase taxes and hurt the economy.  He defends earlier statements reminding Congress he ALWAYS advocated a free market approach to it assuming it was a problem.

August 2010

IPCC/East Anglia emails hacked showing broad interference with scientific data.

PLEASE NOTE:  Gingrich testified AGAINST CAP AND TRADE a full year and a half before DEFINITIVE PROOF was available that the data was compromised.

More importantly EVERY STANCE he had – whether it was on sulfur or carbon – involved FREE MARKETS and tax INCENTIVES, not TAXES.  Even left leaning Politifact checked Gingrich’s statement that he never supported “Cap and Trade” and found that indeed, he had caveats on caps that were NOT what Obama and Al Gore proposed.  (Being the lefties they are they still had to rate his claim “false” by not making the clear differentiation Gingrich did.  Whatever.)

I have noted the Gingrich propensity to overly trust science a little to quickly and a little too much.  But like any good academic, he truly does let the data sway him and not blind faith.  (Would that half the pastors I knew used the same approach prior to their Y2K “end of the world” false proclamations.)

But there is NO PLACE anyone can find where Gingrich EVER proposed an onerous government driven model to needlessly penalize industry without free market mechanisms in place.  And whether your guy was Santorum who came around on union, abortion, earmark and other excesses, or Romney who mentored the same people shutting down the coal industry in the Obama administration (see below) – there is some comfort for conservatives that Gingrich NEVER strayed from a conservative viewpoint of the data, even though that data was flawed.

Still better, he quickly admitted his mistake and forcefully stopped the mistake from going any farther. 

Hindsight IS 20/20.  But I can’t hold it against Gingrich wanting to be in front of the possibility that this could be a major issue, especially since he vigorously fought and defeated Al Gore’s approach.

There are videos out there showing the Q&A after his Hill testimony where liberal lawmakers express shock that Gingrich was “for” cap and trade before.  Gingrich explains that THEIR idea of cap and trade versus his had two fundamentally different approaches, and he was never letting government be the mechanism by which to enforce it – but the markets.

Contrast that to Mitt Romney who embraced THE MOST RADICAL solutions as governor.

  • Romney put the most aggressive CO2 caps in the nation and onerous emission standards on Massachusetts coal plants and claimed they “killed people.” (see video below)
  • Only 7 years ago, Romney created the cap and trade system called the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative stealing $860 million for “energy efficiency and renewable energy programs”.
  • Romney didn’t only provide the architects for ObamaCare.  Romney’s chief advisor who has PUBLICLY advocated putting sterilants in public drinking water, forced abortions, population control and confiscation of babies, is now Obama's science czar, John Holdren.
  • He made Gina McCarthy a very powerful person, able to write law, legislating through regulation.  McCarthy was Romney’s top environmental advisor who was tasked by Romney to develop and implement the state's first global warming action plan.  It would be dangerous politically for him to fire her from the EPA, because the Supreme Court says she can do what she is doing, through a landmark case that his own AG brought during his administration in Massachusetts. (h/t RightMichigan)
  • Romney only pulled his state out of a larger multi-state initiative when he began to position himself for a run for the Presidency.  As noted in an earlier PolitiJim article, Romney had been already trying to buy off conservative groups two years prior.

Hate what the Obama administration has done in shutting down the coal industry?  The MAJOR PLAYERS started in the Romney administration.

Again I remind you, don’t let him do to America what he did to Massachusetts during a relatively GOOD economic climate:


thanks Jim for the great information, I contend that the issue w Gingrich isn't really about him sitting on the couch w Pelosi,his brief support of GW or individual mandates. The establishment simply does not want the gravy train to be derailed and that's what would happen with Gingrich as the conductor.

Thanks Politijim. I always knew there was an explanation for every position Newt took, and if it was a mistake, it was corrected immediately.

I appreciate you going above and beyond giving detailed information.

I only hope that Newt can derail the establishments choice for the GOP nominee.

I'm hoping that now, since Newt's campaign is winding down, that he will become an Obama "groupie", showing up wherever Obama speaks to provide "clarification" for the American people, of Obama's "facts".
this would of course be costly, but Rmoney and the RINO's have lots of money. this would also keep Newt in the spotlight, a not to averse condition for him

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