Sleaziest Politician: Global Warming Edition

Glenn Beck recently interviewed Carly Fiorina. Here’s part of their conversation:

Beck: You believe in global warming, that it’s man-made.

Fiorina: No, I didn’t say that. What I said was, scientists tell us that global warming is real and man-made.

My opinion: Carly Fiorina makes Donald Trump look good.


24 responses to “Sleaziest Politician: Global Warming Edition

  1. Maybe more nuanced that it appears. No-one should “believe” in AGW; they should either know from personal scientific expertise, or accept the advice of those who do. You could read Fiorina’s comment as “I rely on scientists to tell us, and they tell us that it’s real and man-made”.

    [Response: Do you actually believe that?]

    • No, I don’t actually believe that, but as an out-of-context statement it is quite reasonable. GOP have to position themselves for the independents in the general election after catering to the tea party base for the primaries. It’s better to leave a paper trail of what they really said, full context.

  2. Not to mertion slippery…

  3. Your quote is too short, and ambiguous for those who aren’t already following Fiorina (or hell, almost any Republican hopeful).

    She continues from there, holding up a finger and smirking: “Scientists also tell us this… the only way with current technology to solve the problem of global warming is a global coordinated effort over 30 years costing trillions of dollars. Now what do we suppose the chances of that are? Zero.”

    She then lays the issue at the feet of “progressives”. And Hewlett-Packard crashed and burned under her watch? I wonder why.

    • HP was crashing and burning before her watch already, to be fair. She just didn’t really change that trajectory as much as might have been hoped.

      • HP was crashing and burning before her watch already, to be fair. She just didn’t really change that trajectory as much as might have been hoped.

        How much money did she make as it happened? I think that’s the issue here, protecting the 1% from free market forces. It’s highly ironic that the people supporting this kind of stuff, are acting against their own interest. But the same goes for Democrats.

        Nothing in a limited system can grow indefinitely. Especially not personal wealth.

      • Jeffrey Davis

        She wasn’t a passive observer to its crash. There was no need to buy Compaq. That idiocy is hers alone.

    • valuethefuture

      “[A] global coordinated effort over 30 years costing trillions of dollars”? Why yes, Carly, it will cost trillions of dollars over the course of decades to transition the world economy to renewable energy and energy efficiency, while we craft civilization that is truly sustainable for centuries to come.

      And can you tell us what that means, Carly? No? It means—wait for it—trillions of dollars in new demand for goods and services supplied by the worlds businesses! With scores of trillions of dollars in benefits beyond the costs.

      No wonder HP had problems. She doesn’t understand how capitalist economies work.

      • I question whether she has a clue as to the scale of the energy industry. From the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook 2014 (emphasis added):

        More than $1.6 trillion was invested in 2013 in energy supply, a figure that has more than doubled in real terms since 2000, and a further $130 billion to improve energy efficiency. Renewables are playing a growing role, with annual investing increasing from $60 billion in 2000 to a high point approaching $300 billion in 2011, before falling back since to $250 billion. The largest share of current investment, more than $1 trillion per year, is related to the extraction and transport of fossil fuels, oil refining and the construction of fossil fuel-fired power plants.

      • Oh, I think she does understand. There is a vast difference between running a mature industry (drill it or dig it up and sell it), and getting a new one going. For the new industry, you are going to have to employ so many people, and have so much expertise, excitement and opportunity.
        And that can’t be good for stuck in the mud conservatives, can it?

  4. Pretty bad–but I’m still awaiting the promised esthetic improvement for Der Donald.

  5. It’s just ghastly listening to them.

    it’s hard to distinguish the cynicism from the stupidity…I mean, these are two genuine idiots embracing on the wretched Fox ‘News’. This is third-rank Machiavellian theatre at best. This GOP dependence on Murdoch’s crank media organs is a sign of how intellectually vapid, cowardly and essentially demoralised the GOP has become. They may well take the presidency with bluster, but I feel it will be for the last time, because they will finally alienate enough voters to drive some change in their world views…at least, so long as the electorate remembers to turn up. Turning off is not an option: look at the UK, the conservatives govern with just 25% of the potential vote.

  6. Well, maybe I am missing who Fiorina is. But basically I’d answer in the same way: I don’t “believe” in AGW, I accept it as a scientific fact.

  7. Gish Gallop without the Gallop. Glacial Gish perhaps. As one fatuous talking point is obviously in trouble, another is slowly switched in – this time apparently it’s going to cost alarming and catastrophic amounts – and all played at a pace measured painfully in years.

    If this were sport, it’d be called time-wasting and they’d be booed of the pitch.

  8. As I see it, she avoids the scientific question which is actually also a social question so she can promote the points that really concern her. She tells Beck point blank:
    1. Soultions to AGW are too expensive
    2. Allow the coal companies (and industry) to continue their operations unfettered by regulation.

    Yes solutions to AGW will have large costs and yes many people in coal states may find themselves unemployed. This is where the government must step in and plan for those eventualities to help those people and to defray costs. Sanders has plans on getting large numbers of people work. West Virigina for one has a load of infrastructure work to do after the havoc wreaked by the coal companies over the many decades. That brings up her third concern: government central planning which she basically rails against in the Beck interview. This to her is intolerable because as with all these types who promote the neo-liberal capitalist agenda that has a stranglehold on this country (basically what she is describing), the only economic central planning that will be tolerated is that done by Wall Street.

    She’s not alone. Just flipping through some of the blogs you see Bush Goes Heavy on Fossil Fuels, Carson thinks AGW is irrelevant, and so forth. They are all so completely out of touch on this issue but they are not held accountable for it by the corporate media. When you see an ad for Conoco-Phillips in between MSNBC segments it’s not hard to figure out why. For example a report published by the George Mason Center on Climate Communications and Yale University in March, found that 63% of Americans believe climate change is happening but only 52% think that if it is happening, it is caused mostly by humans. It found 74% rarely discuss warming . Only 40% hear it discussed in the media. Only 45% believe it should be a high priority for the president.

    Until those numbers start changing significantly they will continue to get a free pass at least among Republicans. Maybe the Pope’s visit and position on the issue will change some of those numbers but they keep talking like it did not effect them.

    Here is a link to the Report:

    Click to access Climate-Change-American-Mind-March-2015%20FINAL.pdf

  9. Philippe Chantreau

    That they have to cater to the buffoon named Beck is itself telling of the state of affairs. It baffles that anyone could take this individual seriously, yet it is a right of passage for any “conservative” politician. Politicians try to scare people away from energy transition by waving crazy numbers around. Nobody attempted to rein in the housing madness in 2008 by waving numbers around, yet these numbers did materialize and did total up in the trillion range. That seems to go unnoticed. The Iraq war total cost is probably also in that range, and has achieve nothing but more military expenses toward a steady state level of conflict like what has existed in the near East for 60 years. Nothing positive or sustainable there but that also is not attracting any scrutiny. Mind manipulation has just become too easy these days. People live in a constant fog of bullshit from too many sources to keep up with, not to mention the innumerable distractions. Facts and thoughtful analysis are a few keystrokes away but people only seek what suits the ideology to which they are emotionally attached. The entire society has a narcissistic variant of ADD. Critical thinking at the level of the population is a distant memory, if it ever existed.

  10. David Roberts laid Fiorina out on a table – heart beating, legs kicking – and harvested her brain:

    [Response: Outstanding article. I highly recommend it.]

  11. I take the exorbitant cost claims with a pinch of salt. Divide it by the population of the planet and its peanuts. Germans pay less than € 60, about $ 65 , per year to finance their energy transition. If you take into account the benefits, it’s a lot less. If you think that they’re not going fast enough and you quadruple the rate, that’s still less than a dollar per day.

  12. Ron Clutz,

    Are you here because of a genuine interest in the issues raised by Tamino? Or did you merely feel that some response was needed because readers of your blog would see a lack of response as cowardly?

    If you have a genuine interest in the truth of the matter, you need to post something more substantive in your defence (I can’t think what that could be, but perhaps your attempt to defend yourself could lead to enlightenment) or you need to admit you were wrong.

    And if you are wrong about this, stop and think how often you have been taken in by similarly flawed reasoning, cherry-picking, and rookie analysis pushed by people with a science-denying agenda.

    I see it all over the net. People who do not understand data analysis are pushing denialism, and people who do understand data analysis support the basic premise of AGW. Why did your side get all the idiots?

    Even more than the good works of people like Tamino, the idiocy of the denilaists and their failure to approach the issues fairly was what convinced me AGW was real. If there were good arguments for denialism, people would not need to stoop to the level your blog exhibits.



  13. Sorry, posted on wrong thread…. Tamino could you please move it?

  14. Carly Fiorina had an interview with Katie Couric (sorry, video posted by a fanboy ignortant in climate matters)

    Amongst others, Fiorina claims that coal provides half the energy for the USA, which is patently false. If you look at primary power consumption, coal supplies about 18% (Natural gas 28%, petroleum 35%). Ouch. Even if you look at electricity production only, here the 50% figure goes back to about 2000. Since then the coal share has dropped to 40%, with a lot of natural gas and a bit of wind power picking up the slack.
    Her numbers about birds killed by wind power are nonsense, too, and allegedly dwarved by the number of birds killed by cats.

    Data to play around with can be found here:

    Oh, and a Fiorina quote to break your irony meters:
    “Somebody once asked me, ‘What’s the difference between business and politics?'” Fiorina said at the event, which was hosted by the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association. “And here’s the difference: Politics is a fact-free zone. People just say things.”

  15. Fiorina said:

    She continues from there, holding up a finger and smirking: “Scientists also tell us this… the only way with current technology to solve the problem of global warming is a global coordinated effort over 30 years costing trillions of dollars.

    This is true, actually.

    But are we supposed to be impressed with the idea of “trillions” dollars spent? Thirty years of U.S. fossil fuel spending, based on 2012 prices, would be, conservatively, $36 trillion. Money that would not have to be spent. The cost of doing nothing, by year 2100 alone, would be between $75 trillion to $400 trillion – for the U.S. alone.

    U.S.A. Tab for doing nothing – ~ $100 – $436 trillion.
    U.S.A. Tab to build enough carbon-free infrastructure to replace all fossil fuels – ~ $6 to $15 trillion (less than half of what we would spend just on fossil fuels in thirty years)

    Solving AGW would be the best ROI the U.S. Treasury ever made.