Paul Pinsky Isn’t as Clever as He Thinks He Is

State Senator Paul Pinksy response to Blair Lee’s Gazzete column on the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act typifies the flawed logic of climate alarmists.

It seems that efforts to address climate change and global warming have befuddled Gazette columnists … Blair Lee (“Session review: Part I,” April 17) apparently chose not to allow facts to interfere with his cynical — and typical — view of Maryland politics.

The just-passed Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Act of 2009 mandates a 25 percent reduction of greenhouse gases by 2020With international efforts stalled because of the unwillingness of the Bush White House to commit to reductions, a select number of states have filled the void. Maryland has now joined this small group.

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Columnist Lee writes off the recently passed bill by saying the bill “exempts manufacturers, which is like exempting liquor stores from underage drinking laws.” A simple phone call to Maryland’s Department of the Environment would have revealed that manufacturers contribute only 4 percent to all greenhouse gas emissions in Maryland.

— State Sen. Paul Pinsky, University Park

Dear Senator Pinsky, Having followed Maryland politics for 50 years, it’s hard to remain un-cynical. For instance, faced with growing evidence that saving the Chesapeake Bay is hopeless, government officials killed the entire study and, instead, issued a “feel good” report.

Last year, your Greenhouse Gas Bill was killed by a coalition of manufacturers and labor unions. So, this year’s “compromise” was to exempt manufacturers, which I equated to exempting liquor stores from underage drinking laws. I was fully aware that manufacturers account for only 4 percent of emissions but liquor stores account for only 1 percent of underage sales (package stores, restaurants and hotels are the big offenders). A simple phone call to Montgomery County’s liquor control authorities would have revealed this to you.

The Baltimore Sun dismissed your bill as “trivial if the rest of the country does not take similar action.” And how about the biggest offenders, China and India, who prefer pollution to poverty? Your bill may help get you re-elected but it does little in the “War Against Carbon.” The real fight is
in Congress where “cap and trade” measures will cost every American household $1,600 a year. Meanwhile, when the Rasmussen poll asked the public to identify “cap and trade,” 29 percent thought it was about regulating Wall Street, 17 percent thought it was about health care and 30 percent had no idea, at all.
— Blair Lee

Blair does an excellent job rebutting Pinsky, especially highlighting the the costs of carbon reduction schemes i.e., cap and trade. However, the clever conceit behind Pinsky’s snarky missive is that he disguises the dearth of benefits of his policy prescription. Pinsky measures the GHG Reduction Act’s success in emissions averted, not in averted temperature increase. He can’t quantify the benefit in temperature because, as he and the global warming alarmists know, their GHG reduction schemes will have absolutely no impact on on the global temperature. Indeed, the cap and trade bill before Congress, Waxman-Markey, will produce a climatically meaningless one nine hundredth of a degree change in temperature.

Of course, Pinsky’s school-yard logic is to be expected when you rely–as he does–on a kangaroo court like the Maryland Commission on Climate Change, and its shoddy, predetermined report paid for and written by alarmist advocacy groups.

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