Thanks to Mick Wright I found the transcript to Glenn Beck’s recent special Exposed: The Climate of Fear. The formatting is somewhat atrocious and the article is long, so I just wanted to excerpt the parts that hit home for me. I’ll admit, I’ve radically edited the quotes so as to reduce the “transcripty” feel, but I’ve kept the meaning intact. I’ve also added links to facts I bothered to source.
BECK: Developing nations, like China and India, aren`t mandated to reduce their emissions under Kyoto. That`s a big problem for the U.S., especially since many developing nations are big polluters. It used to be thought that by 2020 that China was going to pass the United States in carbon dioxide emissions. New data says it`s going to happen in 2009. Even our vice president thought it was ridiculous:
AL GORE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: “We will not submit this for ratification until there`s meaningful participation by key developing nations.”
Interesting, Al. Still hasn’t happened.
BECK: When Al Gore testified before Congress on global warming just a couple of months ago it was a media circus, but also testifying that day without any fanfare or really any coverage was Bjorn Lomborg. He`s the author of the best-selling book “The Skeptical Environmentalist”. He`s an expert on the economic impact [Neil’s emphasis - both typographically and epistemologically] of global warming.
Bjorn, you`re not a scientist, you`re a political scientist, so I`m not going to ask any science questions. I want to ask you, as a guy who believes in manmade global warming, why don`t you think Kyoto is the solution?
BJORN LOMBORG, AUTHOR, “THE SKEPTICAL ENVIRONMENTALIST`S GUIDE”: Kyoto is, at the same time, impossibly ambitious and yet entirely inconsequential when you talk about the environment. It will cost lots of money and end up doing virtually no good. That`s not a good deal. It will basically postpone global warming for about five years at the end of the century. That`s not a very good deal.
BECK: OK. Just a few years ago, we had a massive heat wave in Europe. Thirty- five thousand people in France alone died. Another 2,000 people died from this heat wave in England. If we don`t stop global warming, won`t things just get worse and worse and more people will die just from — from the heat?
LOMBORG: Glenn, that`s exactly true and that`s, of course, what Al Gores tells us. With global warming you`re going to see more heat deaths, but what most people don`t tell us is we`re also going to see much less cold deaths. And actually, many more people die from cold than from heat. For England alone you mentioned the number 2,000 people. Actually that`s what we expect will die from more heat waves in 2080, but what we have to remember is that 20,000 fewer will die from cold each year in 2080.
Now I`m not sitting and saying we should go for global warming, but I`m saying we need to know both.
BECK: OK. You started something called the Copenhagen Consensus, and this was a group of experts from the U.N., economists, et cetera, et cetera, and you prioritized all of the world`s biggest problems and where we would be most effective in spending our money. AIDS was number one, right?
LOMBORG: Yes, and basically the point is again to say we have a tendency to bark up the wrong tree. We worry intensely about climate change, but the point is we can do very little good at very high cost. Let`s focus on where we can actually do a lot of good. If we care about this planet, if we care about its environment, shouldn`t we do where we can do the most good first?
What these Nobel laureates basically told us if we spend our money on HIV/AIDS, we can do $40 worth of good for every dollar. If we spend it on Kyoto, we can only do 30 cents. Let`s do the $40 first.
BECK: The top five quickly, and where does global warming fall in this list?
LOMBORG: Basically what they told us was it was HIV/AIDS, malnutrition, free trade, malaria and agricultural research. (ed - read the 2006 rankings.) Those are things that we can do cheaply and do an immense amount of impact in this world right now and also for future generations. Kyoto came down at the bottom. Not because climate change is not real, but simply because the way we tackled it through Kyoto is very expensive and a very poor way of helping the world.
Ah, economists. Cursed with rationality. But if the world really is warming, what cost-effective means are there to deal?
PATRICK MOORE, PHD, CHIEF SCIENTIST, GREENSPIRIT: There are a number of existing technologies that, if we adopted them aggressively now, we could make a considerable dent in our use of fossil fuels. The most important one, in my estimation, is nuclear energy, because it can immediately replace fossil fuels for electricity production.
BECK: Nuclear power is the second-largest source of energy in the U.S., giving us about 20 percent of our power, and it`s almost emission- free. But despite the fact that countries like France get more than 70 percent of their energy from nuclear power, no new licenses have been granted in the U.S. since the 1970s. Why? Environmental panic.
MOORE: That is what actually drives me nuts, is you`ve got Greenpeace and other major environmental groups saying that the civilization and the environment are going to be destroyed by global warming, catastrophe, chaos, and all of these scary words, and yet they are unwilling to adopt nuclear energy.
BECK: But, really, how risky is it?
MOORE: I don`t think there is much of a risk in nuclear energy myself. There`s 103 plants operating every day in the U.S., and no one has ever been injured by them. (ed - actually, it’s 104)
104? I had no idea. Let see, having more nuclear plants would both lower emissions AND make us more independent of foreign oil? What’s the downside here?
Anyhow, interesting transcript. I’ve left out a bunch of stuff I care less about, such as the squashing of dissent among climatologists. Read the whole thing if you want more.