Monday, February 19, 2007

More on Global Warming

A few more random thoughts about the recent global warming Congressional hearings and the attendant media coverage.
  • Firstly, our report was mentioned (albeit briefly and not by name) on the Colbert Report -- video can be found here. Seriously, how cool is that?
  • There's a great interview with Dr. Drew Shindell (the NASA scientist who testified before Waxman) where he talks about political interference with his work, the danger of cutting funding for this type of research and global warming science in general.
  • A lot of people get the sense that there has been a sea change on global warming just in the past few months, culminating with this latest round of media coverage on the hearings and the IPCC 4AR report. Prominent skeptics have recanted (although not Sen. James "Hoax" Inhofe), oil companies are unveiling significant voluntary programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (although not Exxon "$10,000" Mobil), and most significantly, the "center" of the debate has shifted. The media seems less likely to frame the very existence of anthropogenic global warming in terms of a "false balance" or a debate between "scientists" and has instead turned to the equally contentious problem of "what to do now."
  • So: what to do now? The interesting policy questions are: what will the Democrats try to pass in this Congress and will President Bush veto it? There are several (bipartisan) options out there, some of which are authored by various presidential contenders. An excellent discussion of the many schools of thought on this can be found here. A lot of people seem to be saying that a serious national plan to address global warming will realistically have to wait for the next president to take office.
  • On the Scientific Integrity front, we'll be pushing for legislation that addresses the rights of government scientists to do their work and communicate their findings free of fear. Wish us luck.

No comments: