I saw this article today about a guy that is proposing to build three gigantic walls across mid-America to block tornadoes. These walls would be 1000 feet tall and 150 feet wide and would cost, he estimates, about $60 billion for every 100 miles of wall. Based on that, I estimate it would cost over a trillion dollars to do what he is proposing. Unfortunately, he is a professor of physics at Temple University, which gives him some credibility in the eyes of some of the public while, at the same time, damages the credibility of other physicists.The list of issues, not including a trillion dollar price tag, is pretty daunting. Let’s just begin with how the walls would cast perpetual shadows on the land to the north of them while the south-facing walls would be continuously heated by the Sun, which would cause all sorts of convective currents in the atmosphere. And, where is the material for these three artificial mountain ranges suppose to come from? Not to mention the land grab involved. There are more, but this is enough to show that the idea is absurd and the fact that the individual selling this idea has credentials doesn’t make it any less absurd.
So, let’s go the the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee which today heard from the co-founder of Greenpeace, Patrick Moore. Moore told the committee:
“There is no scientific proof that human emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) are the dominant cause of the minor warming of the Earth’s atmosphere over the past 100 years.”
Great! Not only did he tell a big whopper of a lie, but he did it in the Senate where it will get lots of press. I, and other scientists, spend too much time debunking people like this already. We should be spending out time on figuring out how to deal with the problem, not trying to convince people there is no grand conspiracy between climate scientists.
People will, and are, pointing at his credentials as a co-founder of Greenpeace to mean that he somehow has some great insight into the issue. At the same time, they need to be pointing at his links to the business community and how he makes his living consulting for businesses that have bad records on environmental issues. Funny how those little details get left out.
After making scathing statements about the nuclear industry in the 1970s, Moore today serves on the Nuclear Energy Institute. After being with Greenpeace, a group dedicated to protecting the environment, he now consults with the logging firm Asia Pulp and Paper that is clear-cutting the Indonesian rain forests and leaving the countryside bare He wrote a book, Pacific Spirit, which the World Wildlife Fund said is a collection of “pseudoscience and dubious assumptions.”
Basically, this guy has sold out the entire environmental movement in exchange for a good living.
Naturally, the climate change deniers are not mentioning anything about his most recent activities. They will only refer to the fact that he was with Greenpeace and this some how makes him more credible. Something like proposing to build a big wall across mid-America. Joe Blow in a bar proposes it after having a beer and everyone knows its crazy. A professor at Temple University says it and it makes the news. Undoubtedly, there are some people that will think its a good idea. The same thing with this statement about humanity’s contribution to climate change. If Joe Blow says it in a bar after having a beer, everyone knows its crazy (Joe Blow is really entertaining that bar). But, when the co-founder of Greenpeace says it, then its news.
Joe Blow can blame is crazy talk on the beer the next day. What will Patrick Moore be blaming it on? And, does he even care as long as he gets his money?