Monday, October 26, 2009

Global....Warming? Cooling?

Jim Ott is a republican politician who represents an area of suburban Milwaukee in the state legislature. He’s been putting out what he calls “The Hot Air Report” every so often, in the form of an e-newsletter to his constituents. The one that escaped from his office last week is a dandy.

Jim takes the Governor’s Task Force on Global Warming to task for wanting a strict enforcement of the 65 MPH speed limit. State Troopers say the average speed in a 65 zone in Wisconsin is 69.4 MPH, and the guv’s Task Force thinks we should not only have strict enforcement of the 65 MPH law, but that we should study future speed limit reductions.

As a veteran commuter, I know where THAT idea is going to end up. Right smack in the middle of one of Rod Blagojevich’s - wait - Pat Quinn’s open-road-toll booths. As I sail through the open-road toll areas on the Northwest Tollway at 75 miles an hour, the electronic thingy takes half a buck out of my wallet with a barely audible “click” on my I-Pass.

Jim’s Hot Air Report - and the guv’s Task Force - both acknowledge there may be a wee bit of public pushback on lowering speed limits in the Badger state.
But the most curious part of Representative Ott’s Hot Air Report was his discussion of the Task Force’s recommendation that Wisconsin adopt California’s vehicle emission standards. Not just the present California standards, but any future changes that California makes to its emission standards.

The Task Force figures that would add about 800 bucks to the cost of a vehicle by 2016. Ott claims the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers says it will add three thousand bucks to the cost of a car by 2016.

Holy different set of numbers, Batman!

The best sentence of Ott’s entire Hot Air Report is “As you turn up your car heater extra early this fall, ask yourself if you want to pay $3,000 more for your next vehicle, just to try and make Wisconsin even colder.”


Even if you’re skeptical, like me, about Global Warming or Global Cooling or Global whatever, you have to chuckle at Jim’s rhetoric, and complete oversimplification of a very complex issue. The latest “news” is that fewer people now believe in “Global Warming” or “Global Climate Change” - as if whether or not we “believe it” has anything to do with whether it’s real or not! Science has nothing to do with consensus.

I suspect the folks in Mequon, who sent Jim to the legislature, aren’t thinking too deeply about global climate issues when they fire up their Lexus or Benz or BMW and motor to the store for a gallon of milk - heater turned up or not.

Good thing Jim is on this global warming issue for us. He’s got it figured out and under control.


  1. Thanks, Tim, for pointing out that the veracity of the legislative press release stops at the alphabet.

    Just last week in the Guardian ( I read through a fascinating account of the effects of climate change on indigenous folks in the arctic and their ages-old reliance on the migration of the reindeer herds. The photos are remarkable. I recommend that doubters spend a few moments looking it up. Oct. 20, under environment in the Guardian.

  2. Noticing a lack of awareness of our own best interest this weekend.
    My wife Ronnie and I spent the better part of the weekend viewing #350# rallies wondering if so many crises have been voiced that it has shattered our public sense of dread. The United States citizenry doesn't care about the extinction of species even the human species.