Opposing the ETS is easy for those politicians who remain sceptical of the reality of global warming. Heather Roy, the other ACT MP, showed her true colours in a press release at the end of last week. After the now ritual swipe at Winston Peters (and it is hard to resist, I must confess), she feels the need to explain the “greenhouse effect”:
By day the Earth is warmed by the sun’s rays, with some of that energy radiating back into space as infra-red radiation at night and being captured by ‘ Greenhouse’ gases. Unfortunately, the ‘ Greenhouse’ effect has been given a bad name – without it the Earth would be bitterly cold. The most effective greenhouse gas is water vapour – more commonly known as cloud. As most people know, there is seldom a frost after a cloudy night as the cloud traps the ground’s heat.
Not too bad, except for the fact that she confuses water vapour with cloud, which doesn’t bode well for her understanding of the big picture. But things rapidly get worse:
The second most important greenhouse gas is carbon dioxide. Although naturally-occurring, CO2 concentration in the atmosphere has risen over the past 200 years – which is blamed on human activity, especially burning coal and oil. These rising CO2 levels are blamed for global warming – which, it is widely purported, will cause more storms and a rising sea level. Other scientists argue that the CO2 variation is largely a result of natural factors. Therefore, our very expensive efforts to reduce CO2 emissions are wasted. I do not fully subscribe to the mainstream view, for which the science is inconclusive … but there can be no doubt about its political consequences.
“Other scientists” argue that CO2 rise is due to “natural factors”? That’s utter nonsense. No credible “scientist” argues any such thing. Some of the wilder shores of wingnuttery might – step forward EG Beck – but nobody that any responsible politician should be listening to. I wonder if Heather gets her health policy advice from a crystal healer? ACT is clearly parliament’s right wing sceptic rump. I can only hope they get nowhere near climate policy in any future government, and that their other policies are rather more evidence-based.
[Hat tip for lolcat to Jules’ Klimaatblog]