Rhetoric Heats Up
I am accustomed to the oppressive heat of a melt shop in the summer or the floor of a heat-treat facility near the salt baths, but there sure is a lot of hot air out there these days. Clearly this has much to do with the political campaigning in which we are immersed, but there is another political message throwing hot air. This has to do with the whole topic of global warming (GW), or climate change to the politically correct.
This topic has been covered before on this page, but in this month when we focus on heat treating and heat treaters, it seemed appropriate to provide some useful information to those whose businesses might be affected by this political hot air. In the past month or two, the news has been replete with this topic because of the climate conference in France in December.
The key thing to be aware of when you are deciding whether to go along with their scheming is that there is no consensus on the matter of what is causing GW (absent for the past 18 years) and if humans have any impact. You will hear that 97% of scientists agree, but this is both inaccurate and misleading. It’s almost as if the politicians are trying to do the Jedi mind trick on the weak-minded. Do not be fooled. Forbesreported that researchers in the oft-quoted study twisted responses to a meaningless survey question and misrepresented many scientific papers. More reliable (unbiased) research has found no consensus.
In a recently published book titled Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming, the technically qualified authors (scientists all) point to four reasons: a conflict among scientists in different disciplines; fundamental scientific uncertainties concerning how the global climate responds to the human presence; failure of the UN’s IPCC to provide objective guidance to the complex science; and bias among researchers.
My editorial from July 2007 seems remarkably prescient as I look over the current news. It’s worth rereading by using this short URL (www.industrialheating.com/hotair). Without rehashing much of the same logic, the key in combatting this political hot air might be who we elect for our next president.
Regulations on things like CO2 and ozone have increased significantly under the current administration. In fact, the number of pages in the Code of Federal Regulations has grown by 15% under Obama. The federal regulations controlling our lives now fill 200,000 pages. During this presidential campaign, we urge you to look at this issue and decide which candidate(s) stand on the side of reason and science to stem this tide of federal regulatory growth.
Left unchecked, is there any wonder where we will end up? What will happen to energy-intensive industries such as ours if we allow their Jedi mind trick to influence us? A January article responding to Tata Steel’s announcement that it would be cutting 1,000 jobs in the U.K. indicated that high energy costs and cheap steel imports (especially from China) were to blame. Tata Steel’s energy costs are much higher due to a variety of green taxes levied on large energy users. If regulations are allowed to continue in the states, we will suffer the same fate. And companies like U.S. Steel, which lost $1.5 billion last year, would end up in Tata Steel’s situation.
Fortunately, while writing, I heard that the Supreme Court blocked federal regulations to curb CO2 emissions from power plants. A total of 27 states and various companies and business groups (such as NAM) made a request for the court to block Obama’s Clean Power Plan. This means that until legality of the plan is determined, it will not move forward. That’s good news for our industry and bad news for Obama.
As we come in for a landing, we will use the same closing paragraph I wrote in 2007.
“With so little scientific evidence on the side of human-caused GW, political powers and the media have made this a moral issue. By virtue of this new ‘religion,’ my editorial may be dubbed immoral. Nonetheless, it is scientifically accurate. Before we allow legislation/regulation to limit our freedoms to conduct business in a manner to which we have become accustomed, we should be certain the science supports the ‘moral’ positions taken by political entities.”