Climate Change

Should Taxpayers Be Forced to Fund a Climate Change Advocacy Group?

 

While is clear that both scientists and the public continue to debate whether there is any significant amount of global warming occurring, or the separate question of whether human activity on the Earth is causing it, it is clear to many that the advocacy of public policy supposedly remedying “climate change” is a separate issue. While leaders of many nations convened in Paris to work out another global warming accord, the United Nations, with the support of several partnering groups, organized a campaign to convince the world to support the global warming agenda.

The agenda becomes very clear when it’s revealed what the goal of the campaign really is to gain support for a massive international re-distribution of wealth from the wealthiest nations to the less economically successful nations of the world. There is no doubt that much of the costs of this will be paid by U.S. taxpayers.

“Whether anything substantive happen[ed] at all in Paris is still up in the air, as developed and developing nations squabbl[ed], among other things, over whether and how to provide a $100 billion annual transfer from rich to poor nations as part of the agreement, and over how the greenhouse gas promises might actually be measured,” Fox News reported.

The campaign, designed to create a “bandwagon effect” of mindless support for the extreme global warming agenda of wealth redistribution, carbon taxes, etc. was organized by the UN and is supported by the United Nations Foundation and the Energy Future Coalition.

Climate Change Guilt Distraction

http://www.soulbuilders.net/soulblog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/Earth_from_Space400.jpg

“There is such a thing as being too late when it comes to climate change.” — Obama

And so, because we may be too late to save the Earth or humanity (let that sink in for a minute), President Obama has unleashed what the New York Times has called “the strongest action ever taken in the United States to combat climate change.”

Well thank God we have a plan. Because time is running short and we all may be dead soon. Right? Yeah, right. From NRO:

The president will instruct U.S. power plants to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions by just under one-third (32 percent). How that is to be achieved and at what cost is … not Barack Obama’s problem. States will have until 2018 — comfortably remote from any presidential election — to submit their plans, and until 2030 to implement them.

The thing that frustrates so completely about the climate change debate is that, like so many of the high and mighty pronouncements from the left side of the political divide, if you point out that the science is almost always contentious and subject to shift radically from year to year, and even from scientist to scientist, those who have eaten the holy wafer of the body and blood of The Sacred Cult of Enviromentalism will declare you a DENIER (read: hater of the Earth and all good things) and VERY, VERY STUPID.

If You Don’t Believe the Constantly Changing Climate Change Truths, You are One Evil Hater. Apparently.

Polar Bear on Ice

Leaving off foreign policy for a moment — and there is a lot going on with that right now — let’s keep Friday light by visiting our favorite propaganda machine, the Fox-news hatin’, lefty marchin’ order spewing, modern political broadsheet known as Media Matters.

Disclosure: I love Media Matters. It’s a fascinating look at how the accidentally transparent swim in their own lack of self-awareness. (Hey guys — we’re on to you…)

Anyway, one of their favorite topics is, of course, climate change. Or, more to the point, the insanity of the climate change denier who, bless his/her heart, actually wants their data to match their hysteria. Anyway, Media Matters felt the need to clean up after all the hand-wringing over (with love and thanks to The Daily Show) The Storm of the Century of the Week that didn’t actually happen. Of course, for MM, the conservatives — sigh — just don’t get that just because the storm didn’t happen, it doesn’t mean climate change isn’t a real thing. Jerks.

Blizzard Forecasts For New York City Proved Inaccurate; But That Doesn’t Affect Climate Science. New York City experienced less snowfall than weather forecasters predicted, but this does not affect the legitimacy of climate models or the scientific consensus on global warming. The New Republic’s Rebecca Leber explained how despite conservatives’ “jump[ing] at the opportunity to compare weather forecasts to climate change models,” climate science and weather forecasting are different because they use different models, examine different data, and operate on different time scales:

Obama is trying get around the Senate to enact a U.N. climate deal

There’s no ambiguity about the process by which the United States can enter into a treaty. The Constitution, in Article II, Section 2, states that a president “shall have power, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to make treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur.”

The ratification process is a very specific limitation on presidential power, one that provides a legislative check on the executive branch. But President Barack Obama can’t be bothered by the constitutional process. The New York Times reports that, in his latest move to get around Congress, President Obama’s State Department is negotiating a climate deal at the United Nations to update a 1992 treaty with new emission reduction targets (emphasis added):

Lawmakers in both parties on Capitol Hill say there is no chance that the currently gridlocked Senate will ratify a climate change treaty in the near future, especially in a political environment where many Republican lawmakers remain skeptical of the established science of human-caused global warming.
[…]
American negotiators are instead homing in on a hybrid agreement — a proposal to blend legally binding conditions from an existing 1992 treaty with new voluntary pledges. The mix would create a deal that would update the treaty, and thus, negotiators say, not require a new vote of ratification.

Obama’s ludicrous, anti-consumer cap and trade regulations aren’t actually about the environment

It’s been overshadowed by the continuing coverage of the Bergdahl-Taliban five swap, but reports began to surface this week that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), at the direction of the White House, has begun pushing new carbon rules on existing coal plants that aim to reduce their emissions by 30% from 2005 levels.

Call it cap and trade by regulatory fiat:

Analysts widely expect the final rule to give states the option of joining or creating cap-and-trade programs, which allow companies to trade credits for emissions. The draft released on Monday does not discuss that possibility.

“There are no commercially viable [carbon capture and storage methods]. That’s why we expect cap-and-trade,” said Michael Ferguson, an associate director at S&P who covers merchant energy producers.

At risk of drawing the ire of the climate change true believers, there was a reason the climate change cap and trade legislation failed a few years back, and it wasn’t because evil, bible-thumping conservatives are convinced mankind has no effect on the environment (for the record, we do. But our carbon emissions, for example, are pretty negligible compared to things like decaying organic matter and volcanoes).

No, it was defeated in the Senate because many Democrats that voted against hailed from states that relied on jobs related to the coal industry. And if there’s one thing that moves a politician, it’s the voice of a united constituency.

But not to be deterred, the Obama administration used the EPA and the Clean Air Act to declare carbon emissions a health hazard that must be regulated:

MSNBC’s Chris Hayes Will Make Us Moral Again — By Killing Us

Chris Hayes

Everyone’s favorite MSNBC host Chris Hayes, he of the soft hands and purported bleeding heart, with his snazzy glasses that let you know just how smart he thinks he is, has apparently figured out how to make humanity moral again: by killing roughly 5.7 billion people.

Hayes has figured out — it’s all so simple by the way. Why did it take us this long to put two and two together?! (read: because it’s ridiculous) — that the use of fossil fuels is roughly equatable to human slavery and if we abolish the use of those fuels we have done the world and future generations a great moral service. I’m not making this up. But here, Hayes can tell you himself how he reached his hypothesis:

It is almost always foolish to compare a modern political issue to slavery, because there’s nothing in American history that is slavery’s proper analogue. So before anyone misunderstands my point, let me be clear and state the obvious: there is absolutely no conceivable moral comparison between the enslavement of Africans and African-Americans and the burning of carbon to power our devices. Humans are humans; molecules are molecules. The comparison I’m making is a comparison between the political economy of slavery and the political economy of fossil fuel.

While it’s tempting to just crack up and walk away at the use of the word “almost” there in that first sentence, the clever Tim Cavanaugh at National Review explains why you’d be justified in doing that:

McConnell slams Obama’s war on coal

The coal industry is a pretty big deal in several states that could serve as electoral battlefields next year. Kentucky is among them.

Even though Democrats believe that have a chance to pickoff Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell next year, President Barack Obama handed him a huge gift last week when he rolled out his anti-consumer energy plan, which is being labeled by opponents as a “war on coal.” Sen. Joe Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia, another coal producing state, took it even further, calling President Obama’s a plan a “war on America.”

McConnell is seizing on President Obama’s energy plan, which completely bypasses Congress. In an op-ed to the Hazard Herald, a Kentucky-based newspaper, the Senate Minority Leader slammed the “barrage of job-killing regulations” pushed by the Obama Administration and warned Democrats of alienating “entire regions of the country” with the new environmental regulations.

Victims or Visionaries?: Right Needs to Seize Upon Big Issues

Over at R Street, Andrew Moylan makes a fascinating comment regarding President Obama’s recent speech on climate change and his plan to reduce carbon emissions. To wit: doesn’t matter much what your personal opinion is on carbon emissions and their relationship (or lack of relationship) to the already-defined-as-fact (accurately or not) science of climate change, the issue will be addressed by the federal government:

Moylan concluded by saying, “Regardless of one’s views on climate change, the simple reality is that federal policy is going to address the matter. That can happen through ill-advised regulations, like those proposed by the President today, or it can happen through a vibrant market with clear price signals attached to all fuels. Conservatives should seize the opportunity to once again emphasize the superiority of free markets over central planning.”

On climate change and the President’s plan specifically, it’s hard to accept something that will cost the country hundreds of thousands of lost jobs and $1.47 trillion of lost national income by 2030, according to a report by the Heritage Foundation. And, to Moylan’s point, it’s a situation conservatives, libertarians, and those who lean center-right on economic issues should begin to get in front of by doing the work of presenting their own plans to address something people are convinced needs addressing.

The Fallacy of Defining Climate Change

In response to a tweet for a wider base of contributors, I offered my services as a libertarian and Environmental Scientist to provide a monthly science based column for United Liberty. I hope to examine scientific themed issues, the societal response to these issues, and policy (legislation, regulatory mandates and rules, and judicial rulings) surrounding these issues. I think that it is appropriate to start with the issue of our time.

An Inconvenient Beginning

We saw the graph in An Inconvenient Truth. It was aimed to scare us into action. What action? For starters, we could start to curb our carbon footprint by buying offsetting credits, a mitigation scheme that was proposed by a man who would actually profit from it.

The division on climate change (formerly “global warming,” formerly “global cooling”) started with the imperfect messenger. Mr. Gore’s message was an attempt to simplify the current status of the climate of the Earth. While most critics of global warming focused on the presenter making the point that anthropogenic forces were the cause of a warming trend, I was struck that the larger and more important variables in the climate equilibrium were not mentioned and remain largely uncovered.

David Attenborough: Soylent Green is made out of people

Written by Marian Tupy, a policy analyst, Center for the Global Liberty and Prosperity at the Cato Institute. Posted with permission from Cato @ Liberty.

According to Sir David Attenborough, the famous British broadcaster and naturalist, “humans are threatening their own existence and that of other species by using up the world’s resources.” In a recent interview, Attenborough said that “the only way to save the planet from famine and species extinction is to limit human population growth.”

We are a plague on the Earth,” he continued. “It’s coming home to roost over the next 50 years or so. It’s not just climate change; it’s sheer space, places to grow food for this enormous horde. Either we limit our population growth or the natural world will do it for us, and the natural world is doing it for us right now… We keep putting on programmes about famine in Ethiopia; that’s what’s happening. Too many people there.

In 2006, Sir David Attenborough was voted Britain’s greatest living icon. Popularity, however, is no substitute for wisdom. As I have explained in a previous blog post, “[The] rate of global population growth has slowed. And it’s expected to keep slowing. Indeed, according to experts’ best estimates, the total population of Earth will stop growing within the lifespan of people alive today. And then it will fall… the long-dreaded resource shortage may turn out not to be a problem at all.”


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