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Utah Assembly Passes Resolution Denying Climate Change 787

Posted by kdawson
from the still-snowing-here dept.
cowtamer writes "The Utah State Assembly has passed a resolution decrying climate change alarmists and urging '...the United States Environmental Protection Agency to immediately halt its carbon dioxide reduction policies and programs and withdraw its "Endangerment Finding" and related regulations until a full and independent investigation of climate data and global warming science can be substantiated.' Here is the full text of H.J.R 12." The resolution has no force of law. The Guardian article includes juicy tidbits from its original, far more colorful, version.
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Utah Assembly Passes Resolution Denying Climate Change

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  • by dvh.tosomja (1235032) on Wednesday February 17, 2010 @09:30AM (#31168008)

    Here [www.chmi.cz]

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 17, 2010 @09:35AM (#31168048)

    Funny that absent from their "concerns" of foreign citizens is the statement that "increasing temperatures will increase drought and famine in equatorial developing nations resulting in starvation and displacement."

    Funny that you don't know that global warning causes more rain and snow because there's more water vapor from the oceans [slashdot.org], you're usually among the first to comment on everything (and I do mean EVERYTHING) posted on Slashdot.

  • by Gadget_Guy (627405) * on Wednesday February 17, 2010 @09:37AM (#31168058)

    What do you propose to collect independent data from 1950 to 2010? Time travel? Of course you have to rely on global climate researchers.

    It would also have to be a very far sighted researcher to created biased data back in the 50s. There would have to be an incredibly massive conspiracy to skew the data decades before the theories were postulated.

    "Hey, let's make our data look like it is getting warmer and see where that takes us."

  • Re:Priorities (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 17, 2010 @09:38AM (#31168088)

    Have you ever seen a Republican get a boner for war? Unfortunately, I have. And "boner for war" isn't figurative speech, either.

    To keep it short, I was discussing the proposed invasion of Iraq with a fellow student during a college course, in early 2003. Being in Texas, it was hot even during our "winter", and we were wearing shorts. I didn't think it'd be a good idea to invade, while he insisted wholeheartedly that we should.

    Well, all of this war talk got him really excited. He popped a boner, in class. We could all see it, and one of his fellow Republican friends even pointed it out to him. The rest of us couldn't believe it; this fellow got an erection to the thought of killing innocent civilians!

    I've since learned to expect Republicans to act in the most disgusting, stupid and pathetic of ways. This legislation is no different.

  • Re:Uh...what? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by N3tRunner (164483) * on Wednesday February 17, 2010 @09:39AM (#31168098)

    Even if global warming is absolutely false in every way, having more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere does nothing positive for our air quality. Whether we're warm (or underwater) or not doesn't make a difference if we're having trouble breathing. Air quality is already an issue for many asthmatics, and it will be moreso in the future.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 17, 2010 @09:57AM (#31168272)

    Science will never be settled on AGW, as long as we don't have a nice long public pow-wow about the SUN, electro-magnetics, aerial spraying, and classified operations like H.A.A.R.P and other similar stations. As long as they remain classified, no science can claim it's settled. Everything is speculation. As much as I hate Republicans and Democrats the decision is correct, and I hope it gets some teeth to pull the choke chain on the misguided EPA.

  • by Required Snark (1702878) on Wednesday February 17, 2010 @10:02AM (#31168328)
    Utah wants to balance their budget by canceling 12th grade in high school: http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2010/02/16/politics/politicalhotsheet/entry6213596.shtml [cbsnews.com] Religious morons and their Republican allies want stupid citizens because they are easier to control and make a better docile peasant class.

    If they really want a balanced budget they should tax religion. It would serve dual purposes: fix the budget and cut back the parasites sucking on society. The religious have nothing to fear, since god loves them so much he (they know god is a dude with a white beard) will make up any material loss. If they complain they jsut don't have enough faith...

  • by samkass (174571) on Wednesday February 17, 2010 @10:35AM (#31168774) Homepage Journal

    So..... given that any changes in the weather prove global warming, what would disprove global warming?

    It would disprove global warming if the planet were not getting warmer. It may seem obvious, but global warming is proven by the fact that the globe is getting warmer. 2000-2009 was the warmest decade on record. The real question now is the cause of global warming. Despite the fact that carbon dioxide levels are significantly higher than they've ever been since humans first evolved, and most of that CO2 is man-made, there are people who claim that mankind is not having an effect on climate. Still, much of the cause and effect evidence is circumstantial and therefore assailable. And rightly so if you've got alternate hypotheses. But to simply say "nuh-uh!" isn't very scientific.

    As for how a warmer atmosphere affects local weather, it WILL both raise and lower precipitation. In cold months you'll get a lot more precipitation coming out of the atmosphere since there's a lot more moisture up there. It snows more near freezing than it does at -20F, so warming air, pumping it with water, then cooling it to just below freezing is a great recipe for snowstorms. But the cool air has to come from somewhere-- thus Alaska's record high temperatures this year and Canada's difficulty getting enough snow for the Winter Olympics. In the summer, though, the already warm air will now be that much warmer, which means it can hold more moisture without raining, meaning that you'll get droughts in tropical areas where there used to be rain. Add to that the devastation that will occur when the glaciers have melted and all that freshwater stops flowing, and we're in for interesting times.

  • by woodsworth (1674906) on Wednesday February 17, 2010 @10:42AM (#31168884)

    To say that it's our fault (definitively at least) is to ignore the fact that we simply don't know enough to make such a determination... Could it be our fault? Sure. Is there enough evidence to --for all practical purposes-- bankrupt countries trying to "limit the damage"? That question is the hot plate issue. This is why I agree with Utah's policy. Not because it disagrees with AGW, but because its inner meaning can be summarized by "We simply don't know, so before we commit huge amounts of resources, lets try to gain a little more understanding"...

    I hear this "it will bankrupt our country/economy" argument over and over again, and I still don't understand it. It is not like anybody suggests to stop producing goods or to stop generating energy etc. (ok, some more radical people might, but who cares about them?). It's essentially about investing into the future by changing the way we produce and the way we create energy. So, there is need for innovation. We will need to develop new methods and technologies, which may create new jobs and then can again be sold to others, creating new markets, etc. Sounds like a reasonable thing to do to me in light of the economic life-cycle, independent of climate change. Unless you believe that your country is incapable of taking this step. But then there's different problems than only climate change as well...

    And no, I don't believe everyone will win here; and yes, this is the case anyway in today's economic system.

  • by flitty (981864) on Wednesday February 17, 2010 @10:45AM (#31168934)
    It's not just the mining though, it's the Power usage too. From this site [americaspower.org] (which seems to be a pro-coal lobbyists group website, but the numbers are similar to other sites) says that 90% of Utah's power comes from coal.

    Utah's Lawmakers are cheap, corrupt beings. Here [ksl.com] is a story about a legislator pusing for a nuclear power plant that he has a direct stake in. Hell, they even built an Office in the Capitol building for Lobbyists [sltrib.com].
  • by Cryophallion (1129715) on Wednesday February 17, 2010 @10:48AM (#31169002)

    From a German perspective it sounds a bit weird, I mean, can there be any good argument against greater energy efficiency? Even if there was no climate change, why waste energy?

    Several notes, with me agreeing that energy shouldn't be needlessly wasted.

    1. Most people don't want to spend money on any energy they don't need. Companies lose profits, people lose their hard earned paychecks. It is in everyones best interest to use energy wisely.

    2. Future tech being more efficient does not mean we are being intentionally wasteful now.

    3. The real issue here is people having to pay extra for sped up tech research on technologies that may or may not be ready yet (or the infrastructure is not there yet, see what happened to T Boone Pickuns), paying extra for carbon credits which are just profit centers for a few smaller companies (and the consumer ends up paying for), etc.

    4. Seeing as the world is out of control with debt now, people using their pickups for 2 years to save up for a new car is far better than everyone going into debt on buying new cars. That is good fiscal responsibility.

    5. The climate change issue puts everyone in panic mode, so more money is wasted on rushed ideas and research, with no proper testing and oversight. That's fiscal waste, and possibly bad for the environment as well. Stepping back to re-assess is a good thing.

  • Re:Uh...what? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by icebrain (944107) on Wednesday February 17, 2010 @10:50AM (#31169022)

    Thank you!!

    The problem is that the vast majority of the "debate" is political. The ridiculousness is driven by several different factions, most of which cling to one end of the spectrum or another. In no particular order and with poorly-contrived names:

    The left economists. These are the guys who try to use climate change as a front to push their own brand of economic and social idealism, and/or take swipes at the economic and social setups of countries they have distaste for (particularly the US, Canada, Western Europe, and other industrialized "western" countries). They will often favor things like high carbon taxes and social restrictions intended to hit large companies and those they see as "rich" in order to exact "social justice". These groups will often ignore other industrialized polluting countries (coughChinacough) because (at least in theory) they more closely match their desired socioeconomic structure and/or simply tend to oppose said "western" countries.

    The oil barons. Really, this applies to the fossil fuel industry as a whole, and those who manufacture things that use said fossil fuels (like car companies). The mindset appears to be little more than "well, we have it now and it works, so why worry?" They're also the ones who oppose even modest efficiency improvements because they would "cost too much". Has a vested interest in maintaining the status quo because the status quo ensures good quarterly profits.

    The gluttons and the ignorant. These are the ones who completely deny that anything could be wrong simply because they can't process or understand that anything could be so. The glutton subset will even conspicuously waste resources just out of spite (run A/C with the windows open, deliberately buy the car with the lowest fuel efficiency, leave all the lights on, etc). May often be scientifically illiterate. May even claim that "God wouldn't let anything bad happen".

    The simple politicists. These are found on both ends of the spectrum, and can be identified by supporting or opposing climate/energy-related ideas not on anything even remotely related, but rather because those they view as their political opposites support something else. Examples would be Republicans who oppose a given measure simply because Democrats came up with it, or those who reject proposals as "dirty hippie liberal flaming commie" ideas.

    The anti-technologists. These are the super-environmentalists who view pretty much any kind of technology (even "green" tech) as somehow being inherently bad or evil. Alternatively, they may hold that man's ideal state is "living in harmony with nature", essentially equivalent to a pre-industrial agrarian society. The irony is quite amusing given how reliant they tend to be on such technology, and how ingorant they are about the grim realities of living in their ideal society. These groups will typically find a reason to oppose any proposed fix or improvement, usually on some crazy/irrational basis. "Clean" coal? "Still makes CO2". Hydroelectric? "Kills fish". Geothermal? "Causes earthquakes". Wind? "Kills birds". Solar? "Disturbs animal habitats". Nuclear? "ZOMG radiation!!1!" And so on. Their ideal is to force restrictions and sacrifices to make everyone atone for the "sins" of technology.

    Anti-humanists. Similar to the previous, but usually holding that humans themselves are inherently bad and evil. This set may often intersect with the set of PETA. Will usually favor drastic, self-imposed reductions in the human population, if not voluntary extinction. Holds little regard for human life other than their own, and strangely unwilling to lead the way with their own proposals.

    The hipster environmentalist. This type will typically cling to anything purporting to be "green", whether it actually is or not, because it makes them look "environmentally conscious". Politicians in this group will support purportedly "green" projects if they eithe appeal to the voter base or bring in federal funds. Se

  • by digitig (1056110) on Wednesday February 17, 2010 @10:53AM (#31169076)

    It kinda confirms (one of) my worst fears about the human race, namely that it sees the laws of reality as something political, right up into the echelons of power.

    I've mentioned it before on /., but I was once on an international standardisation committee on which somebody questioned the statement that pure Poisson processes were ergodic. Rather than get somebody to check a textbook or do some maths, the (American) chair demanded that it be put to a vote. At least some Americans seem to be so devoted to democracy that it has become a religion, and they can't cope with the idea that reality might not be democratically decided.

  • by bunratty (545641) on Wednesday February 17, 2010 @11:10AM (#31169368)
    You can't confirm or falsify anything with a sample of one observation that lies outside a 95% confidence interval. What we need is repeated predictions and observations. If 19 out of 20 observations are within the 95% confidence interval, that's very good confirmation of the prediction. The fact that such big news is being made from just one observation that lies just outside the 95% confidence interval suggests that previous observations did fall within the confidence interval.
  • by wanerious (712877) on Wednesday February 17, 2010 @11:28AM (#31169690) Homepage
    There are some factors you're apparently unaware of. The long-term trend over many decades is roughly 0.15C or so, but on the scale of a particular decade, roughly 4 main variables influence warming: CO2 excess, El Nino cycles, solar radiance, and aerosol cooling (volcanoes, say). Over the last 12 years we've had, in combination, a decrease in El Nino heating from a record 1998 (which is why many "skeptics" pick this year as a starting point) as well as a cooling cycle in solar radiation. They both operate on roughly the same timescale. Underneath that, the CO2 excess from humans contributes a fairly constant 0.2C per decade of warmth, which is why the last decade and a half have shown roughly flat temperature increases instead of the expected cooling. If you look at the temperature plots, you can see this "wiggle" happening on a regular basis. We'd then expect, over the next decade, to have rapidly increasing temperatures as all the warming factors are positive, then probably a flat profile after that. The long-term trend, as shown in the plots, is still rising.
  • by Bassman59 (519820) <andy@l a t k e . net> on Wednesday February 17, 2010 @01:09PM (#31171586) Homepage
    Wow, between this resolution and one state legislator's proposal to eliminate 12th grade [latimes.com], these idiots make even Arizona look like a bastion of scholarship.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 17, 2010 @01:32PM (#31172076)

    You do realise you made that up, don't you?

    You can work it out yourself (this was done in 1934, by the way):

    Take the climate record.

    Find the RMS error to a line fit.

    This is your annual error. It is about +/- 0.5C.

    Each year you add more data, if there is no trend, you reduce your error of estimation of the mean by a factor of sqrt(N).

    Each year the underlying trend if AGW models are right is about 0.02C increase.

    Each year you gain more of the trend that underlies the climate. It goes up each year by a factor (N).

    Work out where 0.5/sqrt(N) > 25.

    N>> 625 ** 1/3

    N>> 8 years

    16 years leaves you within 2 standard deviations. There's a 90% chance your answer is not real, just happenstance.

    24 years leaves you within 3 standard deviations. There's a 95% chance your answer is not real, just happenstance.

    30 years means your answer is better than 95% chance of being genuine.

    If you want greater certainty, you must use more years.

    PS the last 15 years shows 0.12C per decade warming trend (though not above the significance level: therefore the upper bound is over 0.25C per decade. Hence it's entirely possible [if less than 50-50] that the predicted warming of 0.17C per decade has been seen in 15 years).

  • by Lars T. (470328) <Lars.Traeger@goo ... m ['lem' in gap]> on Wednesday February 17, 2010 @02:11PM (#31172856) Journal
    There hasn't been statistically significant cooling nor staying-the-same either. In other words there was no statistically significant climate at all. Not until you go back to 1994 or so. Guess what...
  • by turkeyfish (950384) on Wednesday February 17, 2010 @03:08PM (#31173878)

    So why are we trying to implement policies to combat that change?

    First let us clear up an inaccuraciy in your post. Not of of N. America was under an ice sheet and such ice sheets were relatively speaking a relatively brief event, when considering the entire span of geologic time.

    The reason that we should be seriously, I would say extremely concerned is the RATE at which the change (GLOBAL MEAN TEMPERATURE RISE) is occurring and its cause.

    First, I find the evidence that CO2 is the driving force for current climate change simply overwhelming, especially when you consider that there is no credible evidence yet presented that could suggest that there is an alternative driving mechanism. It certainly is not changes in solar radiative output, even when taking into account known cyclical aspects of solar radiative output.

    Second, it is clear that anthropomorphic production of CO2 greatly exceeds that produced by geological activity (volcanoes, guysers, fumaroles, etc) and this production has greatly accelerated since the onset of the Industrial Revolution.

    Now, look at the rates. The rapidity at which the change in global mean temperatures that is presently changing at least 20 times faster than seen at ANY time in the past. 20 times is the most conservative possible estimate of rate, it may actually be closer to 2 orders of magnitude.

    If you know anything at all about biology and the concept of physiological tolerances then you should be extremely concerned about the magnitude of the rate change. Most species are likely to be driven to extinction rather than survive such changes once they encompass too much change too quickly. Of most obvious concern are the loss of those species upon which human economies and food sources depend. There is increasing evidence, for example, that in conjunction with overfishing and dam construction, warming sea temperatures have begun to dramatically impact salmon populations on the West coast, which could end this multibillion dollar industry within a few decades.

    In some cases species can migrate to mitigate some of the effects, but this too has significant costly consequences for humanity. The northward migration of pine bark beetles in North America and the poleward spread of otherwise tropical diseases such as malaria and numerous mosquito borne viruses are good examples. Other changes such as increases in ocean acidification may be much more subtle, but likely to produce dramatic irreparable change with profound consequences to oceanic ecosystems.

    In most other cases, the effects will be large but difficult to predict, such as is happening as the interiors of continents dry and glaciers melt and melt water becomes more scarce. If this change happens too quickly, as all indications now suggest that it will, hundreds of millions will die as crops don't get irrigated and species people rely upon for food and shelter disappear.

    Yes, in the distant geological past there have been great changes, but most of these occurred over hundreds of thousands or millions of years. Yes, in the future the earth will be vaporized as the sun expands. However, these changes are in the very distant past and the very distant future, well beyond our influence one way or the other. In contrast, the changes we are witnessing now as a result of CO2 induced global warming will be different because they will occur over a few hundred years and the dislocation will be more than many parts of the ecosystem that support human life on this planet will be able to tolerate. Losses of fishes that we rely on for protein of forests for shelter, or crops for food may prove more than a significant proportion of humans can tolerate. This was the primary factor that lead the Pentagon to conclude that climate change would likely become a serious threat to national security.

    Clearly, it is the rate of the change that we must be concerned about, especially because most ecosystem changes that occur as a result of global warming will be added to, perhaps

  • I don't get this (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 18, 2010 @08:06AM (#31182694)

    1. If there is no man-made global warming because mans actions do not affect the climate, then there would be no adverse effects of cutting down on CO2, or other kinds of emissions. If there is a man made global warming, the result of not cutting down on emissions could be catastrophic.

    2. The amount of oil, gas and coal is finite. As of today we do not have readily available technology to maintain anything resembling the western worlds current standards of comfort when we run out of fossil fuel. We do not know how long it will take to develop this technology, so why not start sooner rather than later?

    3. Even if you do not believe that CO2 emissions cause global warming, I have yet to meet anyone who thinks CO2 is good for you. Anyone who has ever been sitting near a campfire and felt the stinging in their eyes and lungs from the smoke should be able to agree that the smoke from burning carbon-based fuel probably isn't good for you. When faced with confliting theories and adhering to one (beliveing in man-made global warming and trying to cut down on emissions) causes no ill effect, but adhering to the other (denying man-made global warming and doing nothing) could potentially have catastroping consequences, why not err on the side of caution?

    4. OK, so you don't believe in man-made global warming. You feel the evidence does not prove it. How certain do you have to be in order to do something anyways? I know that if I thought a certain event that could end human existence had a 1% chance of happening, I would'nt sit on my ass and accept that we had a 99% chance of survival. Would you fly if 1 out of every 100 planes crashed? Would you drink Coca-Cola if 1 out of every 100 bottles was laced with poison? The risk of anybody trying to hijack a plane is far less than 1%, but we still use billions of dollars to prevent it. So if you are 99% sure that global warming is a hoax, shouldn't you still be doing something about it?

    5. The Utah Assembly is worried that without coal mines people will fall into poverty. It might interest them that most people in the world make a living without digging finite resources out of the ground. The only problem is that these companies don't exist yet, and therefore can not pay money to the politicians.

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