by Patrick Appel

A reader points me to wiki profile of Chip Knappenberger. I also see that Real Climate has tackled Knappenberger as has Climate Progress: is just absurd to claim that “the Earth has actually been cooling for the last 7 or 8 years” when the 2010s will easily be the hottest decade on record (see “Very warm 2008 makes this the hottest decade in recorded history by far“).  Also, the warmest year on record was 2005, according to the U.S. temperature dataset that best measures total planetary warming, the one from NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (see here)

Second, the cost to the economy and the taxpayer is very low according to every independent study (see “Intro to climate economics: Why even strong climate action has such a low total cost one tenth of a penny on the dollar” and EPA Analysis of Waxman-Markey: “Returning the revenues in [a lump-sum rebate] could make the median household, and those living at lower ends of the income distribution, better off than they would be without the program”). 

And strong climate action could actually have immediate benefits for our economy according to one of the nation’s top economists (see Nobelist Krugman attacks “junk economics”: Climate action “now might actually help the economy recover from its current slump” by giving “businesses a reason to invest in new equipment and facilities”).  And that is entirely separate from the crucial need for comprehensive energy and climate legislation like Waxman-Markey to restore US leadership in clean energy through , which will be one of the biggest job-creating industries in the world in the coming decades.

Finally, of course, we have the “analysis” that says if the United States acts alone, we can’t solve the global warming problem.  Well, duh.  In fact, all of the other developed countries committed more than a decade ago to restrict their emissions and they have been begging us to take some action for many, many years.  It is, needless to say, inconceivable that other nations are going to take more action until the richest country in the world the one that would be greatest amount of cumulative emissions by far starts to clean up its act.

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