Sunday, January 06, 2008

My 'email interview' with Lorrie Goldstein

As I mentioned in the previous post, with all the Kyoto misinformation being tossed about, it is refreshing to come across a voice of reason and healthy skepticism in MSM. Lorrie Goldstein has done a tremendous amount of reading on all sides of the debate, and provides a balanced, rational approach.

I asked him by email if he would sum up his position as being an "AGW believer; just not a Kyoto advocate in particular?"

His reply was as follows:

...I agree with the IPCC's latest report that AGW is "very likely", although I do not automatically dismiss anyone who disagrees with this theory as a "denier".

I do not agree there is any scientific consensus on how fast it is happening, how dramatic the impact will be or, most important, what we should do about it, the latter of which is a political issue, not a scientific one.

I oppose the Kyoto accord for reasons I have highlighted in today's column and many others.

I believe we should purse a made-in-Canada policy which emphasizes practical energy conservation, not just reducing GHG emissions, but air pollution as well, another byproduct of burning fossil fuels.

I would end public subsidies to the fossil fuel industry (how much subsidy do you need when oil is $100 a barrel and rising?) and earmark those funds for credible public and private sector research in Canada into ways of combatting pollution and global warming, including burning fossil fuels as cleanly as possible.

I would also invest money now going into public subsidization of the fossil fuel industry into credible public and private sector research and development of renewable energy resources, especially solar power, which I consider more potentially promising than wind.

I believe we should offer such technology to the rest of the world on fair and reasonable financial terms.

Finally I believe in the responsible use of nuclear power, the only practical man-made energy source we have right now that does not emit GHG or significant amounts of air pollution, to fill in the energy gap as we start to wean ourselves off fossil fuels.

Makes sense to me. How about you?

* * * *

Monday Update: Lorrie has passed on his research list, which not only establishes his excellent credentials as a columnist on the topic of Global Warming, but also provides a bibliography for others who wish to become better-informed:

(1) The Rough Guide to Climate Change by Robert Henson, the best all-round book on the subject I've seen.
(2) The Heat is On by Ross Gelbspan
(3) The Revenge of Gaia by James Lovelock
(4) Heat by George Monbiot
(5) The Weather Makers by Tim Flannery
(6) Stormy Weather, 101 Solutions to Global Climate Change by Guy Dauncey with Patrick Mazza
(7) The Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming and Envrionmentalism by Christopher C. Horner.

The first six of these books support the theory of AGW although they suggest different solutions. The last is by a skeptic.

I have also seen and researched the following documentaries from beginning to end.

(1) An Inconvenient Truth, by Al Gore
(2) The Great Global Warming Swindle by Channel 4 in Britain
(3) Exposed: Climate of Fear by Glenn Beck on CNN

The first of these is, of course, the most famous individual work promoting the theory of APG. The other two are by skeptics.

I have also read IPCC docuents, hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles, both pro and con, as well as a number of political books and documents that deal with climate change as one of their subject areas.

This includes the 1993 Liberal Red Book of election promises where Jean Chretien and Paul Martin (who co-authored the document) promised to reduce Canada's man-made greenhouse gas emissions by 20% below 1988 levels by 2005. What they "achieved" during their 12 years in power from 1993 to 2005 was, roughly 29% above 1990 levels.


Anonymous said...

How about Lorrie Goldstein as a candidate to lead the provincial conservatives???

I'd vote for him.

Anonymous said...

Makes lots of sense to me too.

I do believe that I too am beginning to suffer from Kyoto Attention Deficit Disorder as well as the occaisional MSMADD same symptoms as KADD but the urge to toss shoes at the tv screen happens when viewing Mansbridge, Taber or Duffy.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Lorrie Goldstein in politics? Nah, he's too honest. It would never work.

KADD - Brilliant!

but the urge to toss shoes at the tv screen happens when viewing Mansbridge, Taber or Duffy.

No, not Duffy!

Lee said...

Joanne , I am interested in the "public subsidies to the fossil fuel industry".
As far as i know, this is the accelerated capital cost allowance which is available to ALL INDUSTRY in Canada. It has been explained that to exclude any industry from these provisions would be discriminatory, and indeed it would be.
I am not aware of anything else that could be considered a subsidy.
Mind you, i am aware that theres a lot i dont know too, lol.
Perhaps you could ask Lorrie to clarify the next time you talk to him.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Perhaps you could ask Lorrie to clarify the next time you talk to him.

Lee, I've asked him to read over the post, to make sure I've quoted him accurately, and have asked him to read your question too.

I'll let you know if there is a response. Cheers.

Anonymous said...

an honest politician Joanne???

You mean when faced with a choice between honesty and lies we'd pick the liar?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

You mean when faced with a choice between honesty and lies we'd pick the liar?

I'm saying that politics can cause even the most principled person to compromise their values somewhat in order to achieve or maintain power. I think it's inherent in the system.

Anonymous said...

Lorie once again demonstrates his quality as a thinking journalist...not one that will promote the Lib machine without doing the research.
Thanks Joanne for this educated discussion.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

My pleasure, Anon.

Lee, I have an answer for you from Lorrie. I hope it helps:

"On the issue, Lee makes an excellent point. Determining the precise level of subsidy to the fossil fuel industry is very difficult, based on how you define subsidy.

The figure I've seen most often for Canada is $1.4 billion a year to the oil and gas industry. The capital gains writedown is certainly a key component of this subisidy, but not the only one, as I understand it.

As for whether the fossil fuel industry benefits disproportionately from tax subsidies compared to other industries and renewable energy sources, environmentalists say yes, the feds say no (Both sides agree subsidies have been reduced in recent years.)

If Lee wants to do some independent reading I'd suggest googling "The Pembina Institute" and "Government Spending on Canada's Oil and Gas Industry" for the environmentalist point of view.

For the government's side, going back to when the Liberals were in power, google "Petition No. 58
Joint Response, Government of Canada, Environment Canada, Finance." Warning - it's full of bureaucratese.

Sorry I can't provide direct links, haven't quite mastered this computer stuff."

That's o.k., Lorrie. Just keep doing what you do best - being an honest, informed voice.

Joe said...

Given a choice between fossil fuels and nuclear I pick fossil fuel every time. AGW at the moment is idle speculation or worse a trumped up scam to liberate people from their money.

Nuclear power has a nasty habit of leaving tons of highly radioactive waste material and no realistic way of disposing of it.

Fossil fuels leave CO2 & water which is plant food, plants are animal and human food.

The only thing radioactive waste feeds is cancers in living beings.

Lee said...

Joanne, I want to thank you and Lorrie for a most excellent forum.
How refreshing to have some answers provided sans B.S.
I will certainly do some homework on this issue. I would have before, but im naturally lazy, even though i have the time to do it.
Once again thanks to Lorrie for participating, and to Joanne for setting it up.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Thanks, Lee.

It was very kind of Lorrie to take time out of his busy schedule to deal with our questions.

I too am grateful to him, and to you for your interest.

JR said...

Joanne, Very good post and discussion. Lorrie Goldstein certainly seems to be a more reasonable guy than the average AGW hysteric. But I seriously doubt a carbon tax would accomplish much beyond emptying our wallets (even assuming his worst AGW fears are true).

Also, his reading list is a bit too heavily tilted to the Gore/IPCC alarmist school of thought. It would be nice if he could add the recent US Senate Report debunking the so-called AGW “consensus” and interviews with credible skeptical scientists like Tim Patterson and/or Roger Pielke.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Thanks, JR. I'll ask him to read your comment. If he replies, I'll let you know.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

JR, Lorrie says to keep an eye on his column in the Sun. ;)