Nebraska attorney Dave Begley is our faithful Omaha correspondent. Dave reports:
Friday night in a crowd of 500 to 700 people at Creighton University it appeared that I was not only the only conservative, I was also the only person who was thinking clearly and critically. One of global warming’s oldest and most revered leaders, Dr. James Hansen, spoke prior to his protest at the Berkshire Hathaway shareholders’ meeting on Saturday. I have never heard such nonsense in my life. He gave a rambling and incoherent presentation for nearly two hours. Three times he forgot the question or lost his train of thought. Since the Jesuits taught me logic, I could easily identity his use of the context, bulls-eye, omission and appeal to authority fallacies.
The really shocking thing for me was how many times he contradicted himself and made admissions against interest. If he was under oath and subject to cross examination at a trial, Power Line’s own John Hinderaker would carve him up. Example: He said that all energy subsidies must stop and be replaced by a $100 per ton carbon fee. He then later admitted that the solar panels on his barn were subsidized by the federal government. So it was simply a bizarre contradiction on his part. He failed to mention that Berkshire Hathaway’s MidAmerican Energy is building a $3.6 billion windmill project in Iowa and it is almost entirely subsidized by the federal government. At one point he admitted that there is “a range of uncertainty” with his predictions of disaster. How big of a range? An important point!
I nearly fell out of my chair when he informed the crowd that “the greatest engineers in the world” in Germany have built a renewable energy system that is eleven times more expensive than France’s. France defeats Germany!
His main assertion was that the ice sheets were melting and it was causing the sea level to rise. He predicted that coastal cities would be under water. No date given. Not even a range of dates. And he never identified man as the cause of this impending disaster and that gradual warming is not just the natural evolution of the Earth over time. One young woman asked him “when Earth will be uninhabitable.” Hansen assured her that would not happen in her lifetime but it was still an emergency. Act now!
The deadline aspect of the CAGW scam is actually quite important. Doomsday is coming but no range of dates is given. If a date is given it is so far off that you will forget that the prediction was made when the date passes or you will be dead due to natural causes. But it is essential for the government to spend other people’s money now to save Mother Earth.
Howler number one: Violence between nations is caused by global warming. Tell that to ISIS. Howler number two: It is too hot to work outside. No lawn mowing this summer by your kids. Howler number three: 10,000 people per day die due to air pollution. I suspect that if that number is accurate, people are not dying from carbon dioxide poisoning. Howler number four: His predictions about future events based upon his models were “as certain as the law of gravity.” Roll over, Newton, tell Einstein the news.
Hansen gave away some of the CAGW game when he mentioned the recent decision in a Oregon lawsuit filed by Our Children’s Trust. Shamefully, one of his minor grandkids is a plaintiff. A federal magistrate judge has ruled that these kids have standing to assert a claim. The remedy must be “to phase out carbon emissions.” I hate to break it to you, Jim, but the laws of the United States do not provide a remedy for speculative damages at some unstated future date that would completely transform the entire American economy. But Hansen betrayed the Left’s strategy to use the courts to accomplish what the other two branches of the federal government won’t do. This method, however, has been successful in the past.
He relied on the magic of undeveloped future technology with new nuke plants and battery storage. He was completely out of his depth when he said that renewable energy would create jobs and make everyone richer. The real cost of “green” energy is never mentioned. His carbon emission fee is “revenue neutral.” As if economists were so smart. Obamacare’s econometric models were horrible failures.
I asked the first question. I reminded the Iowa native that he was in the home city of the Union Pacific Railroad and it has had recent significant layoffs due to a serious decline in coal car loadings. I then asked him, since his models have been mostly wrong for 30 years, why we should believe his models were any more accurate in predicting the disaster that is going to hit when everyone in the room was dead 70 years from now.
He asserted that his predictions were not based upon models but “observable evidence.” False. He dodged, stalled and avoided. He threw out some numbers and put up a slide depicting the Hiroshima bomb explosion. His answer was non-responsive. If I could have cross examined him at length I would have destroyed his answer, but he knew the format.
James Hansen is not impressive at all. If he is the best the Greens have, we conservatives should win this fight. The whole CAGW scam is based upon speculation and the veneer of science. The proposed remedies are costly fantasies. Their only real solution is to tax Americans back into pre-industrial poverty.