Evidenced by public cooling towards global warming peril as a hot campaign issue, it is apparent that the Democrat party has been encountering a political climate change. The subject obviously hasn’t been viewed as a winning issue, nor has the anti-carbon “alternative energy” rationale supported by that contrived hysteria.
Nope, you’d hardly know from the presidential and V.P. debates that, as the 2012 Democrat party platform warns: “We know that climate change is one of the biggest threats of this generation…an economic, environmental, and national security catastrophe in the making.” In fact, it mentions global warming 18 times, stating that: “We affirm the science of climate change, commit to significantly reducing the pollution [carbon dioxide plant food] that causes climate change, and know we have to meet this challenge by driving smart policies [i.e., plug-in cars] that lead to greater growth in clean energy generation and result in a range of economic and social benefits [to favored fund-raisers and companies]. President Obama has been a leader on this issue.”
Could it be that the Democrats believe that, like defeating terrorism, their climate battle has already been won? After all, remember Barack Obama’s victory speech on the night he won the 2008 Democrat presidential primary when he said “[T]his was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow, and our planet began to heal”? Well he does deserve some credit on quelling the ocean terror. Under his watch, they apparently haven’t risen at all. However, the rising debt does have the economy under water.
And just like the oceans, the climate and greenhouse pollution concerns that Dems emphasized in their platform never rose to gain much attention on their 2012 DNC podium in Charlotte either. Unlike 2008, when Al Gore blew onto the stage like a man-caused hurricane, he was nowhere in sight. Nor were the authors of their failed cap-and-trade bill, Henry Waxman or Ed Markey. The only mentions of these “threats” were voiced in a reference to “increasing climate volatility” in an obscure speech by Advanced Energy Economy co-founder Tom Steyer, a passing comment about “reducing greenhouse gases” in Bill Clinton’s address , and John Kerry’s statement that “an exceptional country does care about the rise of the oceans and the future of the country.”
Even Senator Kerry seems finally to have gotten the message that that “less is more” now applies to this tiresome topic. Frustrated over what he called “the flat-Earth caucus” of global warming skeptics, he recently said: “Even amid the ‘Tuesday Group’…a bi-partisan block of lawmakers, mostly Democrats, who are interested in energy issues… you can’t talk about climate now. People just turn off. It’s extraordinary. Only for national security and jobs will they open their minds.”
You gotta feel his pain. He and Independent Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman had worked hard to push a global climate crisis-premised 2010 carbon cap-and-trade bill, only to see its prospects for passage swept away in a Republican House cleaning. Kerry then charged that opponents to the legislation “made up their own science. They made up their own arguments. The Republicans created this idea of [carbon credit] trading because it avoided command and control by the Federal Government. Then they just decided to pick up and brand this a negative.”
He might very well be right about that negative branding, and not just only by Republicans. Egregious ClimateGate and related U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) scandals have prompted many to rethink which side of the climate/energy issue “has made up their own science and arguments”.
An August 2011 Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of American adults showed that 69% said it is at least “somewhat likely” that some scientists have falsified research data in order to support their own theories and beliefs, including 40% who said this is “very likely”. (The number who said it’s likely is up 10 points since December 2009.) And while Republicans and adults not affiliated with either major political party felt stronger than Democrats that some scientists have falsified data to support their global warming theories, 51% of the Democrats also agreed.
This skeptical trend is likely to continue. While no sane scientists doubt that climate changes, or that our planet has been warming, at least from the time the last Ice Age and much more recent “Little Ice Age” ended, there’s no evidence that alarm-premised economy-ravaging carbon regulation schemes are warranted. Despite elevated atmospheric CO2 levels, there actually hasn’t been any significant warming over more than one and one-half decades. Records show that global temperatures have been up and down since 1997, but are now at the same place they were at the beginning of that year.
So does this mean that they won’t rise again? No, as generally recognized, climate changes are measured in multi-decadal timescales. Yet this routine standard didn’t inhibit Al Gore his acolytes from declaring that a previous warm period following 40 years of flat temperatures that lasted from 1980 to 1996 signaled a man-made disaster.
Perhaps there is actually little mystery as to why climate concern hasn’t been featured by Dems as a debating point. It might just be because they recognize that lots of voters are weary of witnessing many billions of tax dollars squandered on phony climate alarm-premised green subsidy fiascoes and empty promises of energy security and employment benefits.
In January 2009, President Obama pledged: “We will put Americans to work in new jobs that pay well and can’t be outsourced—jobs building solar panels and wind turbines.” Then, undeterred by dismal experiences here and abroad, he renewed a commitment to “double down” on this agenda in his 2012 State of the Union speech. So just how well is that approach working so far?
Well, about 20 of those government-backed energy companies have run into financial trouble, ranging from layoffs to bankruptcies. Seventy-one percent of those Energy Department green energy grants and loans have gone to projects involving major presidential campaign money bundlers including members of his National Finance Committee, or those who contributed to the Democratic Party… donors who raised $457,000, then received taxpayer-supplied project grants or loans totaling nearly $11.35 billion.
In fact, a report issued by the Government Accountability Office, the investigatory arm of Congress, raised concerns last year about favoritism in awarding some stimulus loan guarantees. The Energy Department’s own inspector general admitted to Congress that there might be reasons for such suspicion— that some contracts may have been steered to “friends and family.” Accordingly, the Energy Department’s inspector general is launching more than 100 criminal investigations into its own green energy program awards.
Maybe it has been a smart idea for the Democrats to go a bit light on the president’s record on climate and energy achievements after all, and concentrate their message on really critical matters…like switching from subsidies for green energy to subsidies for Sesame Street and contraceptives for female law students. And hey, why not let the planet heal itself just as it always has, even before Obama took charge?
In any case, one thing appears very clear. According to the presidential campaign priorities they emphasized, Democrats no longer seem to believe that global warming is an urgent subject warranting debate.
This article originally appeared in Forbes.