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Latest Right-Wing Junk Science on Global Warming: "It's the Sun, Stupid"

04/10/2007 10:30 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

I happened upon a rightwing show hosted by a fellow named Larry Kudlow. Wikipedia-ing him, one finds that he was some minor operative in the Reagan administration, is some kind of economist, converted to Catholicism, and provides such scintillating commentary as "I want to win in Iraq" (but, like the others of his ilk, none of the Kudlows apparently wants to win badly enough to volunteer). He unabashedly says his show represents "the investor class" (I give him credit for being open about it). Although he says "free market capitalism" is the best route to prosperity, he defines prosperity by the number of billionaires created, and does not believe the "free market" has the right to charge for use of our clean air and water.

We all know why the radical rightwing has to debunk the human contribution to global warming---recognizing it requires some regulation of their businesses. Of course, if Reagan had not canceled Carter's CAFE standards, we would not be importing ANY oil today, and Detroit would be prosperous making high efficiency engines, probably even leading the world.

The tobacco industry "invented" the strategy behind junk science, hiring some scientists who could never make it on merit, pay them gobs of money, and have them "publish" in journals that do not require scientific review. The industry is, after all, selling death--lung cancer, emphysema, stroke, heart attack, to name just a few, and they had to convince about 5000 children per week to take it up to grow their markets. If you can convince society not to regulate that, as they did for 30+ years AFTER the surgeon general's report linking cigarettes to those diseases was published, it is mere chickenfeed compared to getting people to dismiss global warming or, for that matter, to vote an insecure, incuriousn'er-do-well "son-of"into the White House. According to the tobacco apologists, the link between cigarettes and those diseases was "only" statistical. The Bush administration recently did their bidding by reducing to nearly trivial a multibillion dollar judgment the US government was poised to obtain against the tobacco industry.

If the tobacco industry sells death one person at a time, the hydrocarbon and other dirty industries sell it one planet at a time. George Bush's own Pentagon, (yes, under Rummy), published a report indicating that global warming could result in a greater threat to the United States than terrorism. It was ignored---certainly by Bush, but also, shamefully, by the US press.

Enter, Kudlow. Hereferred to a study that said the "sun was getting warmer,Venus and Mars were also heating up, that's my explanation for global warming". That that made Kudlow happy, however, shows how deeply in denial they are, how uninterested in the truth they are, just to serve their short-term corporate interests, and to hell with the planet (which, ironically, includes themselves).

Here's the obvious point: if the sun is really getting warmer, then that puts an EXTRA burden on all of us to reduce greenhouse gases EVEN more so the extra heat rained down upon us escapes.

Sorry, Kudlow. You have just made the case for regulation to reduce greenhouse gases much, much stronger. It is probably the first public service you have performed.