The uber liberal environmentalists are cranking up the publicity and regulatory machines to further their efforts to solve the “Climate Crisis.” Al Gore’s first start in this campaign was to call it “Global Warming.” Unfortunately, the facts have not borne this out totally, so now it’s called “Climate Change.”
It probably doesn’t matter much what it’s called, the science and proof is suspect and the logic of the solutions are faulty at best.
Quite frankly, all this hoot and holler appears to be a transparent dodge to distract us from the most immediate problems this administration hasn’t solved; the economy, jobs and the scandalous lack of administrative competence and accountability on Benghazi, the IRS, Fast and Furious, the VA and Obamacare, as well as a real crisis on our southern border.
Let’s look at history of environmental concerns and crises.
Early on, there was the ice age and no one was burning fossil fuel then. The dire prognostications of those events as well as those which followed had very disappointing results.
We were told that the world’s population explosion would make everyone hungry and millions would die (The Population Bomb, Paul Ehrlich circa 1970), but that didn’t come true. Another example was that banning DDT was necessary to save the world’s population from extinction (Silent Spring, Rachel Carson 1962), but she was wrong and her impact was most devastating for the millions of folks in the tropics who died of malaria. Another example is the suggestion in the 70s that the world was getting colder and humanity would freeze to death. Once again, it didn’t happen.
Let us be clear, we do have climate change and we have always had climate change. To address this phenomenon, we must consider two absolute facts:
Fact No. 1: No one knows exactly to what extent man and fossil fuels contribute to this change.
Fact No. 2: It is not a U.S. problem, it is a world-wide problem that the U.S. cannot solve alone. We’re 300 plus million people—the world population is about 8 billion. China and India alone will continue to build hundreds of coal-fueled electric generating plants each year rather than sacrifice their economy.
Let’s not be taken in by the doom and gloom of “we must act now” or else catastrophe awaits. They’ve been wrong before, as well as their euphoric hopes that we can give up fossil fuels within the next 35 years or so and rely on solar, wind and?
When that happens, do we shut down all the high rise buildings and put all the airplanes and trains in mothballs?
President Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) suggest a “revenue-neutral carbon incentive that will put market pressure on fossil fuels to create the economically viable pathways to green energy.” Let me translate: Increase taxes on gasoline and all energy from coal, oil and natural gas until such time as green energy becomes less expensive. The fact that gasoline will cost more, perhaps lots more, and all things transported, like food, will cost lots more doesn’t seem to concern these do-gooders. Who gets hurt the most when food and gasoline prices go up significantly? You can figure that one out.
We like green energy and believe efforts in that direction are worthwhile. Like every American, we want clean air and reliable water. But at the same time, we need to be interested in policies that help the middle class and those less fortunate to climb into the middle class.
Once again, Obama is trying to bypass Congress who wouldn’t give him the time of day on his Cap-N-Trade proposal in 2010 by having the EPA pass regulations that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fueled power plants by 30% by 2030 over 2005 levels.
Since the natural gas supplies have increased through hydraulic fracking, emissions have fallen by 10% since 2005 without any new rules. According to the Center for Atmospheric Research, used by the EPA, the new rules would, if implemented, immediately (unlikely) reduce global temperatures in 2050 by less than a hundredth of a degree.
In two decisions last week, the Supreme Court sent a somewhat mixed message on the EPA’s ability to create regulations to limit greenhouse gases. On the one hand, the court said the EPA has every right under the Clean Air Act to establish standards for big stationery polluters like coal-fired power plants.
On the other hand, in a separate ruling, the court took the EPA to task for over-reaching its authority to attempt to require small businesses to conform to similar standards.
Seems like this is more like the politics of distraction and trying to look good rather than accomplishing meaningful results.
Critics say all this do-good effort to address climate change will increase the cost of energy as well as all consumer products, kill more jobs and weaken an already fragile economy.
All told, this appears to be far more about politics than science or compassion for the world.
(My thanks to ongoing consultant Gary Wechter for his input on this blog.)