The political landscape may be permanently altered in response to the climate change challenge
By Larry Bell ~
Don’t expect the public opinion media war between “authorities” who argue whether your SUV is causing glaciers to melt, oceans to rise, and polar bears to hyperventilate will finally be settled any time soon.
At least not so long as government political agendas drive climate research funding to produce alarmist news headlines, until costly household budget realities replace green energy fantasies, and finally, unless temperature trends continue to contradict feverish theoretical model predictions.
The first two of these “public reality adjustment influences” will pivotally hinge upon 2016 president and congressional election outcomes. Global warming worriers and warriors strongly dominate among Democrat-leaning voters, while cooler heads prevail in about an equal Republican-leaning percentage.
Ultimate winners will either extend or end the current White House resident’s regulatory rampage. Yet despite the Obama administration’s top priority focus on global warming rather than terrorist perils, a recent Gallup Poll indicates that this issue ranks dead last of 13 concerns registered voters care most about. Only 40% identified climate change as either “very important” or “extremely important.”
This yawning public response doesn’t quite rise to the level of alarm expressed by President Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry, and other major administration players who have declared climate change the “greatest global threat.”
Tweeting from the White House website, Obama wrote, “It’s never been more important for us to address this challenge.”
Never mind that Antarctica is actually gaining ice, not losing it, and that the North Pole has never been ice-free in summer as Al Gore claimed it would be by now.
Also forget that despite “record high” atmospheric CO2 concentrations, satellite records show no statistical warming over 19 years and counting.
None of these inconvenient truths cooled the sweaty composure of an estimated 40,000 attendees from 190 nations at last month’s UN conference in Paris.
Their delusional goal is to halt billions of years of climate change through wealth redistribution penalties imposed upon countries guilty of fossil-fueled prosperity.
Accordingly, President Obama has promised to cut U.S. greenhouse emissions between 26% to 28% below 2005 levels. Based upon provably failed models, compliance by all nations would reduce global temperatures by a hypothetical total of less than one-third of a degree by 2100.
This pseudoscientific charade won’t play out painlessly or cheaply. The Obama EPA’s war on coal (aka, “Clean Power Plan”) will effectively nationalize control over energy production and consumption, thereby usurping authority previously exercised by individual states.
Compliance will require state legislatures to pass new laws or regulations to shift mixes from fossil fuels to heavily subsidized wind and solar, impose costly and useless carbon cap-and-trade programs — or both.
EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy has estimated that the rules will cost $8.4 billion annually by 2030, with total benefits, including public health, between $34 billion and $54 billion.
The Heritage Foundation estimates that the new rule will cost about 500,000 lost jobs, close to $100 billion annually in lost GDP output, and more than $1,000 per year in higher household energy expenditures.
We can take an instructive lesson on this from U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron, who reportedly ordered aides to “get rid of all the green crap” from energy bills.
But then again, we may not need to wait long at all for a big freeze to rescue us all from the global warming doom that anti-fossil energy policies are supposed to prevent.
Many reputable studies linking shifts in sunspot frequency and climate changes over thousands of years suggest that currently flat global temperatures may be a prelude to a much longer cooling cycle lasting several years, decades, or even centuries.
While solar output typically goes through 11-year cycles with high numbers of sunspots seen at their peak, we are currently approaching the peak of “cycle 24” with numbers running at a 100-year low . . . less than half of those observed during other 20th Century peaks.
Average European temperatures fell dramatically during a weak sunspot cycle between 1790 and 1830.
Rather than obsess about global warming, let’s remember that harsh winter temperatures and shorter growing seasons are nothing to wish for. History instructs that cold causes far more deaths and disruptions than heat, and humanity has always prospered most during warmer periods.
Also consider that the CO2 we constantly hear demonized as “pollution” is plant food which supports photosynthesis-dependent agriculture essential to feed the world.
Nevertheless, don’t expect to hear of any UN or the U.S. crony capitalist climate industry rent-seekers to express gratitude. When climate fear goes away, green money charity will follow that exit.
Larry Bell contributes posts The political landscape may be permanently altered in response to the climate change challengeat the CFACT site. He heads the graduate program in space architecture at the University of Houston. He founded and directs the Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture. He is also the author of “Climate of Corruption: Politics and Power Behind the Global Warming Hoax.”