With tempers high over the oil spill, discourse on global warming has become increasingly relevant as some are trying to use the spill as a justification for aggressive environmental legislation, including cap and trade policies. Brian Sussman, author of Climategate and former meteorologist, has the opposite point of view, describing the current situation as "the perfect crisis to really sock it the fossil fuel industry at large" for those determined to do so.
During his time in the field of climate sciences, Sussman found that people, including his colleagues, were more than willing to accept the theories of global warming without debate. "You'd be surprised how many in the climate sciences do not believe this," Sussman said, explaining that many would rather remain inconspicuous than challenge what has become a widely accepted school of thought. "Nobody wants to address the science," he said. Sussman, however, is not afraid to tackle the science. "This book is bulletproof," he said. "There are 300 footnotes in this book. I will challenge anyone to go after the science of this book."
As a response to what he sees as growing environmental alarmism and the proposed legislation its producing, Sussman wrote Climategate. "Maybe I can be the guy, I mean a guy born in East Los Angeles, writing a book that can actually stop cap and trade." Sussman believes that the costs of cap and trade far outweigh the promised benefits for Americans. "I'm showing you why they want to pass this bill and what we stand to lose as Americans should this bill actually pass," he said. "That's the goal of Climategate." Listing the things Sussman feels are at risk, he said, "We will lose savings and wealth, we will lose jobs, and we will lose liberty and privacy." Sussman explained that these things will be lost when legislative efforts increase government spending, move "un-green" industries abroad, and encourage government intervention in private energy use.
Sussman expressed his beliefs that, in addition to robbing Americans of the things he described, any legislation along this route will not produce the desired results. "There's no plan in the United States for 'alternative energy,'" he said, "The only plan is for 'efficiency.'" Sussman described this concept with the motto: "the best energy is the energy you never use, thats called 'efficiency.'" While some optimistically look forward to new plans for alternative energy, Sussman argues this is in vain. Specifically discussing solar power, Sussman said, "There's no plan for solar. The federal government has rejected 130 applications for solar on federal land." He similarly addressed wind power, saying, "There's no plan for wind...The largest wind farm in the world is in the Bay Area, and every since it was erected in the 1970s lawsuits have been thrown out to try to shut it down."
Sussman has similar frustrations with the Clean Air Act, something he referred to as "a waste of legislation." "Long before the Clean Air Act was instituted, the various states were doing a whale of a job cleaning up with own skies," he asserted, claiming that the Clean Air Act was an unnecessary act of interference. Addressing the reputation the United States as being one of the world's biggest polluters, Sussman said, "we may emit a lot of pollutants, but we do an excellent job of cleaning up our act."
Between last year's East Anglia scandal and the effects of the ongoing oil spill, questions of environmental conditions and responsibility remain hotly debated.