Monday, December 5th, 2016

Hot air in the fall breeze

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Gore visit comes as Dems gear up for greenhouse-gas bill

Hot air in the fall breeze

(James Wigderson is a blogger publishing at http://www.wigderson.com and a Waukesha resident. His column runs Thursdays in The Freeman.)

It was cold and rainy the other day. The forecast called for the upper 30s for the temperature. This is either the time to begin the fall cleanup, or former Vice President Al Gore is coming to town to make a speech about global warming.

Actually, Gore is coming to Madison on Oct. 9 to speak to the “Society of Environmental Journalists.” Apparently the Society of Objective Journalists didn’t have room on the schedule for Gore. The Society of Planet-Destroying Journalists is still working out terms with my agent for my speaking gig.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports Gore will talk about “what’s at stake at a meeting of world leaders and climate scientists in Copenhagen in December.” Radio personality Vicki McKenna and the Collegians for a Constructive Tomorrow are planning on a protest to greet the former vice president.

Gore’s visit is at an interesting time. The debate over man-made climate change is coming home to Wisconsin. Later this legislative session, Democrats are expected to take up proposals to curb supposed “greenhouse” gases. That means even in this economy, Democrats are looking for ways to place additional economic and regulatory burdens on Wisconsin industry.

Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce released the results of a poll conducted by Public Opinion Strategies of Alexandria, Va., that would indicate that the Democrats do not have popular support for their plans. It reported that 62 percent believe global warming is not a problem for Wisconsin to fix. When told of increased costs on their electric bills, 68 percent of voters opposed increased renewable energy mandates.

State Rep. Rich Zipperer, R-City of Pewaukee, told Mike Gousha on “Up Front” this week that the state Jobs and the Economy Committee has not met for months. Wisconsin has an unemployment rate of more than 8 percent.

At a time when Forbes magazine just ranked Wisconsin as the third-worst state in which to do business, it’s hard to imagine Democrats in the Legislature actually considering new measures to raise the costs of energy consumption for businesses and consumers.

But, as I’ve written in this space before, sometimes the Democrats just have to be Democrats.
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Skepticism of the media will continue to be justified in the aftermath of the Gore appearance in Madison. Set aside for the moment the enormous carbon footprint likely to be incurred by conference attendees, including Gore. Will anyone at the conference even discuss the work of Steve McIntyre, a Canadian mathematician?

McIntyre did an analysis of the tree-ring data that led to the infamous “hockey-stick” graph that seemed to indicate man-made global warming. McIntyre’s analysis revealed that the researchers originally “cherry-picked” the tree data that was used. Using the complete set of data, the hockey stick not only disappears but appears to be in reverse.
The hockey-stick graph was sensationalized in Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth.” Looks like we can add the graph to the list of fictions that appeared in Gore’s work.
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Even as liberals express concern about the rhetoric coming out of the tea parties and other conservative rallies, look for more intemperate remarks by local liberals spurred by Gore’s visit to Madison. Global warming skeptics will again be compared to Holocaust deniers and there will be suggestions that some skeptics should go on Nuremburg-style trials for crimes against the earth.

My least favorites will be those that use the war on terror for comparison and talk of “environmental 9/11s.” It’s not the obtuseness but the moral smugness that accompanies such ignorance that is so galling.

Perhaps Wisconsin Democratic Party Chairman Mike Tate can take a break from McCarthyite slanders of his political opponents as “un-American” long enough to criticize some on his own side that will engage in even more over-the-top rhetoric.

Or is it more likely that he will just chime in?

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