Bob Carter on the Global Warming Conference

GLENN: Well, we found out last week that there is a major global warming summit that is happening in New York City. You are not going to find this out from the mainstream press because no one is going to cover it. But all of the big experts on the other side are coming to New York to meet. We're having dinner with several of them tonight and talking to them. Bob Carter is one guy. He is from Australia. He's in town. He just finished speaking. He's a paleo climate expert. He's looked at the climate going back not just a couple of hundred years or a thousand years but millions of years. That's the way -- I mean, we keep saying, you know, they keep talking about global climate change. The climate is always changing. I mean, explain the ice age. Explain how we can find things in Antarctica that appear, and he will know the truth on this. I have read that it looks like at one point Antarctica may have been a tropical zone. I don't know if that's true or not but he would. Bob Carter. Hello, Bob, how are you?

CARTER: Oh, hello, Glenn, and thank you for having me on your show again. It's a pleasure to be here as always.

GLENN: Thank you, sir. All right. First of all, can you tell me is that true about Antarctica? Do you know, was that ever a tropical zone?

CARTER: Well, it was certainly not covered by an icecap and a lot warmer than today and it had profuse vegetation. How do we though that? Because if you look at the rock deposits underneath the ice in Antarctica, you find there are coal scenes and, of course, coal scenes means that there was lush vegetation. Now, those coal scenes are several hundred million years old. They are quite old, but nonetheless a long time ago Antarctica was indeed a very different, much warmer continent than it is today.

GLENN: Okay. Now, when you looked at the Earth's samples, they say that what's coming is just horrendous and we're all going to be dying in a fiery flood somehow or another because the Earth is warming up. Has the Earth ever been this warm or where they say it's going to be in 1,000 years at any other time; and did life survive?

CARTER: Well, yes, the answer to that, Glenn, is most definitely. The Earth has many times, many times in the past been as warm as it is today and warmer. For example, if we go back just a few hundred thousand years and we go to Antarctica again which you asked about, then in one of the interglacials not very long ago, the warm period in Antarctica was 5 degrees warmer than today and, you know, the planet went about its business as usual and nothing particularly untoward happened. So it's definitely the case that the climate has often been warmer. But you also referred to the fact that warming is happening today. Now, this is a very widespread misapprehension. The reality is, and no scientist disagrees with this, that in the last few years the warming that was going on in the late 20th century has, in fact, ceased and since 1998 there has been no warming whatsoever and that's now nine full years. And out of those same nine years, carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has increased by 4% and the costly hypothesis that the public is browbeaten with is that extra carbon dioxide causes extra warming. Well, here's the test. It's happened for the last nine years that the carbon dioxide's gone up but the planet has not warmed in response.

GLENN: Okay. When -- because I just read. This last year there's more ice up in Greenland and every place where they said the ice was melting, there's more ice there than there has been in ten years. There's more snow in North America than there has been in ten years. We've had a cold winter. What is their reasoning? Because you can't just take one year. But nine years you can start to begin to call that a trend. What is the --

CARTER: That's very good -- yeah, that's very good --

GLENN: What is the other side?

CARTER: You can begin to start to call a trend. Nine or ten years is about the minimum that you actually need and they comment in the press lately about the particularly cold winter we've had, both in the southern hemisphere and now in the northern hemisphere. All that's true and it's very true. There's a lot of ice, and the sea ice in Antarctica is now at its maximum recorded extent ever since we've had observations.

GLENN: Wait a minute. Say it again. Wait, wait, wait, say it -- wait a minute. Say that again.

CARTER: -- rather than long-term trends.

GLENN: Say that again about the ice? What was that again? Say it again.

CARTER: The ice in Antarctica, this is the sea ice surrounding Antarctica, floating on the sea, is currently at a greater extent, it is the largest area that it has been since observations began about 30 years ago. Now, that's not to say it's the greatest it's ever been in the past. Here in the last it was much greater still but in terms of modern, recent climate history, Antarctica at the moment is cooling and the apron of sea ice around it is wider than it's ever been in the last 30 years or so.

GLENN: Bob, I --

CARTER: That should not be used to necessarily say we're going into an ice age. It may be a short-term, on a scale of a decade or two, cyclic change.

GLENN: But isn't that what the planet always does?

CARTER: Absolutely. And you've got it dead right in your introductory comments when you said climate change always happens. The temperature is always either going up or down. It's actually very unusual for it to do what it's done for the last nine years and that is stay more or less constant. That's very unusual and you can be fairly sure it's about to start going down again or going up again. The point is we cannot predict which, even with our very best computer models.

GLENN: You are sitting there, Bob, at this convention. You're speaking and, you know, you guys are the pariahs of politically correct circles. How frustrating is it to sit there and talk about it and have so much evidence that, for instance, temperature leads CO2, not the other way around, how frustrating is it that you as a scientist will sit there in a room with a bunch of other scientists and you'll say, I thought what we did as scientists was disconnect from politics and religion and everything else and just speak pure science?

CARTER: Well, you are absolutely right but first let me say it's an absolute pleasure to be at this meeting and be sitting with these particular scientists because they don't have an axe to grind. They have a balanced view on this issue. Most of them, although they are skeptics in the sense that they are working scientists, and all working scientists are skeptics. On the particular issue of is humankind causing dangerous global warming, most of the people at this meeting would say, well, on the one hand and then on the other. In other words, they are agnostic rather than skeptical about the question of human influence being dangerous. But that said, it is frustrating that you cannot get that balanced view reported by the press.

GLENN: Oh, you are not going to get any of it. Bob, can you hang on just a second? We have Dr. Bob Carter from Australia. He is part of this global climate conference in New York and if you have a second, I would like to hold you over a break. I've got a network break here I've got to take. Back in just a second. Fascinating guy.

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The themes of healing and redemption appear throughout the Bible.

Our bodies are buried in brokenness, but they will be raised in glory. They are buried in weakness, but they will be raised in strength. — 1 Corinthians 15:43
It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners. — Mark 2:17.

So, for many Christians, it's no surprise to hear that people of faith live longer lives.

Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved, for you are my praise. — Jeremiah 17:14.

But it is certainly lovely to hear, and a recent study by a doctoral student at Ohio State University is just one more example of empirical evidence confirming the healing benefits of faith and religious belief.

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Moreover, the study finds that religious belief can lengthen a person's life.

A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. — Proverbs 17:22
Lord, your discipline is good, for it leads to life and health. You restore my health and allow me to live! — Isaiah 38:16

The study analyzed over 1,000 obituaries nationwide and found that people of faith lived longer than people who were not religious. Laura Wallace, lead author of the study, noted that "religious affiliation had nearly as strong an effect on longevity as gender does, which is a matter of years of life."

The study notes that, "people whose obits mentioned a religious affiliation lived an average of 5.64 years longer than those whose obits did not, which shrunk to 3.82 years after gender and marital status were considered."

And He called to Him His twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every affliction. — Matthew 10:1

"The researchers found that part of the reason for the boost in longevity came from the fact that many religiously affiliated people also volunteered and belonged to social organizations, which previous research has linked to living longer. The study provides persuasive evidence that there is a relationship between religious participation and how long a person lives," said Baldwin Way, co-author of the study and associate professor of psychology at Ohio State.

Prayer is good medicine, and faith is a good protector.

In addition, the study showed how the effects of religion on longevity might depend in part on the personality and average religiosity of the cities where people live, Way said.

Prayer is good medicine, and faith is a good protector.

And the power of the Lord was with him to heal. — Luke 5:17
Heal the sick in it and say to them, The kingdom of God has come near to you. — Luke 10:9

In early June, the Social Security and Medicare trustees released their annual report on the fiscal health of these programs, and the situation looks dire. Medicare is scheduled to run out of money in 2026 (three years sooner than anticipated), while Social Security is expected to run out in 2034. The rising national debt is only one of the well-known financial struggles the millennial generation faces. The burdens of student loan debt, high housing prices (thanks to zoning restrictions), stagnant wage growth, the rising cost of healthcare and lingering aftershocks of the Great Recession are among the biggest sources of economic anxiety millennials feel.

Progressive politicians have been very successful at courting the youth vote, partly because they actually promote policy ideas that address many of these concerns. As unrealistic or counterproductive as Senator Bernie Sanders' proposals for single-payer health care or a $15 an hour minimum wage might be, they feel in theory like they would provide the economic stability and prosperity millennials want.

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Republicans, on the other hand, have struggled to craft a message to address these concerns. Fiscal conservatives recognize, correctly, that the burden of the $20 trillion national debt and over $200 trillion in unfunded liabilities will fall on millennials. Some conservatives have even written books about that fact. But the need to reform entitlements hasn't exactly caught millennials' attention. Pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson, in her book The Selfie Vote, notes that millennials generally view protecting the safety net as more important than reducing the deficit.

Clearly, Republicans have a problem. They need to craft solutions that address the millennial generation's struggles, but they can't seem to sell entitlement reform, their biggest policy preference that addresses those problems. The Republican approach to wooing millennials on policy is failing because talking about stopping the debt from reaching an unsustainable level is long-term and abstract, and offers few immediate tangible benefits. A new approach to both pave the way for entitlement reform and give millennials an immediate financial boost is to first reform not entitlement spending, but the payroll tax: specifically, by partially (or wholly) replacing it with a value-added tax.

Under the current Social Security model, workers pay for the benefits of current retirees through the payroll tax. This system creates the illusion of a pension program, in which what you put in is what you get out, but in reality Social Security is a universal safety net program for the elderly paid for by taxes. The payroll tax falls on workers and is a tax on labor, while the value-added tax (VAT) is a tax on consumption imposed at every part of the production process. Assuming that this policy change is revenue-neutral, switching to a VAT will shift the responsibility for funding Social Security and Medicare away from workers, disproportionately poorer and younger, and onto everyone participating in the economy as a whole. Furthermore, uncoupling Social Security funding from payroll taxes would pave the way for fiscal reforms to transform the program from a universal benefit program to one geared specifically to eliminating old-age poverty, such as means-testing benefits for high-income beneficiaries, indexing benefits to prices rather than wages or changing the retirement age.

Switching from the payroll tax to the VAT would address both conservative and liberal tax policy preferences.

Switching from the payroll tax to the VAT would address both conservative and liberal tax policy preferences. As the Tax Policy Center notes, the change would actually make the tax system more progressive. The current payroll tax is regressive, meaning that people with lower incomes tend to pay a higher effective tax rate than people with higher incomes. On the other hand, the value-added tax is much closer to proportional than the payroll tax, meaning that each income group pays closer to the same effective tax rate.

For Republicans, such a change would fit conservative economic ideas about the long-run causes of economic growth. A value-added tax has a much broader base than the payroll tax, and therefore would allow for much lower marginal tax rates, and lower marginal tax rates mean smaller disincentives to economic activity. According to the Tax Foundation's analysis of a value-added tax, the VAT would be a more economically efficient revenue source than most other taxes currently in the tax code.

Not only would replacing part or all of the payroll tax provide an immediate benefit to millennial taxpayers, it would also open the door for the much-needed entitlement reforms that have been so politically elusive. Furthermore, it would make the tax code both more pro-growth and less regressive. In order to even begin to address the entitlement crisis, win millennial support and stimulate the economy in a fiscally responsible manner, Republicans must propose moving from the payroll tax to the VAT.

Alex Muresianu is a Young Voices Advocate. His writing has appeared in Townhall and The Federalist. He is a federal policy intern at the Tax Foundation. Opinions expressed here are his only and not the views of the Tax Foundation. He can be found on Twitter @ahardtospell.

Glenn was joined by Alanna Sarabia from "Good Morning Texas" at Mercury Studios on Thursday for an exclusive look at Mercury Museum's new "Rights & Responsibilities" exhibit. Open through Father's Day, the temporary museum features artifacts from pop culture, America's founding, World Ward II and more, focusing on the rights and responsibilities America's citizens.

Get tickets and more information here.

Watch as Glenn gives a sneak peek at some of the unique artifacts on display below.

History at the Mercury Museum

Alanna Sarabia interviews Glenn Beck for "Good Morning Texas" at Mercury Studios.

Several months ago, at the Miss Universe competition, two women took a selfie, then posted it on Instagram. The caption read, "Peace and love." As a result of that selfie, both women faced death threats, and one of the women, along with her entire family, had to flee her home country. The occasion was the 2017 Miss Universe competition, and the women were Miss Iraq and Miss Israel. Miss Iraq is no longer welcome in her own country. The government threatened to strip her of her crown. Of course, she was also badgered for wearing a bikini during the competition.

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In an interview, Miss Iraq, Sarah Idan, said:

When I posted the picture I didn't think for a second there would be blowback. I woke up to calls from my family and the Miss Iraq Organization going insane. The death threats I got online were so scary. The director of the Miss Iraq Organization called me and said they're getting heat from the ministry. He said I have to take the picture down or they will strip me of my title.

Yesterday, Miss Iraq, Sarah Idan, posted another selfie with Miss Israel, during a visit to Jerusalem.

In an interview, she said that:

I don't think Iraq and Israel are enemies; I think maybe the governments are enemies with each other. There's a lot of Iraqi people that don't have a problem with Israelis.

This is, of course, quite an understatement: Iraq, home to roughly 15,000 Palestinians, refuses to acknowledge Israel as a legitimate country, as it is technically at war with Israel. The adages says that a picture is worth a thousand words. What are we to do when many of those words are hateful or deadly? And how can we find the goodness in such bad situations?