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Global warming and the Legislature

An interesting fight has popped up between some state lawmakers and 11 BYU professors over a resolution (HJR12) that calls on the EPA to "cease its carbon dioxide reduction policies, programs, and regulations until climate data and global warming science are substantiated."

It then proceeds to attack the need to regulate carbon dioxide based on the recently uncovered e-mails concerning global warming data at the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia.

The professors say this is "a case of a mountain made from a molehill." Then they lay out the logical inconsistencies and errors of fact in the resolution. Among the inconsistencies is the assertion that global temperatures have been declining for the past 12 years. That's based on one estimate that happens to come from the University of East Anglia, they say, which the resolution already has attacked as having no credibility.

Perhaps most interesting was a followup e-mail from Dr. Barry R. Bickmore of the Department of Geological Sciences. He said he happens to agree that the EPA should not regulate carbon dioxide emissions as part of the Clean Air Act. But he quotes Henry B. Eyring as saying, "few things could harm truth more than to defend it with a bad argument."

"What you have effectively done by recommending HJR 12 is to take a serious policy issue that will be difficult to solve, and make a farce out of your (and my) position on the question," he wrote.

As I mentioned before, I have yet to take a firm stand on whether I believe man is causing global warming, although the scientific arguments are making me lean in that direction.

But I'm pretty sure politicians are going to be more concerned about what they think voters want to hear than what is good science. I'm also sure they aren't going to be swayed by a bunch of scientists, even from BYU.