Smelling blood in the political water

Having destroyed US coal industry, Democrats and eco allies are now attacking all fossil fuels

bloodywaterThe great white environmentalist sharks smell blood in the water. It’s gushing from mortally wounded U.S. coal companies that the Obama EPA has gutted as sacrifices on the altar of “dangerous manmade climate change” prevention and other spurious health, ecological, and planetary scares.

Peabody Energy, Arch Coal, and other once vibrant coal producers have filed for Chapter 11 protection, shedding some $30 billion in shareholder value and tens of thousands of jobs in their companies and dependent industries. The bloodletting has left communities and states reeling, union pension funds and 401-k plans empty, and the health, welfare, hopes, and dreams of countless families dashed on the rocks.

President Obama promised to bankrupt coal companies with punitive regulations, and he kept his word.

Hydraulic fracturing did play a role. It made natural gas abundant and inexpensive, and gas-fueled power plants increasingly attractive minersfor utilities that were forced to shutter modern coal-fired units that provided reliable, affordable power, emitted little harmful pollution, and had years of useful life remaining.

However, as economist Stephen Moore noted, coal’s demise wasn’t “a result of free market creative destruction. This was a policy strategy by the White House and Green groups. They wanted this to happen.”

“This was what the EPA’s Clean Power Plan rules were all about,” Moore adds. “The EPA set standards that by design were impossible to meet, and even flouted the law that says the regs should be ‘commercially achievable.’ This was a key component of the climate change fanaticism that pervades this White House.”

To this president, the EPA, and the Left in general, he concludes, “The families whose lives are ruined are collateral damage to achieve their utopian dream of saving the planet.” It’s a Climate Hustle.

It is today’s equivalent of New York Times Moscow Bureau Chief and Stalin apologist Walter Duranty’s favorite line: “You can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs.” But after tens of millions of broken human “eggs,” where are the communist and Green utopia omelets?

hypotSome 40,000 elderly Europeans died this past winter, because they could no longer afford adequate wintertime heat, after EU climate policies sent electricity rates “necessarily skyrocketing” more than 40% since 1997. Millions die every year in Africa from lung, intestinal, and other readily preventable diseases, while President Obama tells Africans they should forego fossil fuels and rely on wind, solar, and biofuel power, because “If every one of you has got a car and … a big house, well, the planet will boil over.”

Meanwhile, Mr. Obama joined Chinese, Indian, and other world leaders in signing the Paris climate treaty on Earth Day, ignoring the requirement for Senate ratification. The hypocrisy and insanity are boundless.

The treaty will obligate the United States and other developed nations to slash their fossil fuel use, carbon dioxide emissions, and economic growth. China, India, and other developing economies are under no such requirement, unless and until it is in their interest to do so. For them, compliance is voluntary – and it should be. They simply cannot afford to eliminate fuels that supply 85% of all global energy and are their ticket out of poverty and into the world of modern health and prosperity that we enjoy, thus far.

In fact, while unaccountable EPA bureaucrats are shutting down U.S. coal-fired generators, these countries have built over 1,000 coal-Indiacoalfired power plants and plan to build 2,300 more – 1,400 gigawatts of new electricity. China and India account for 1,077 GW of this total. They are also lining up for free energy technology and billions of dollars a year from developed nations for climate change “reparations.”

That is why poor countries signed the Paris treaty. It has nothing to do with preventing climate change.

But none of this has stopped the environmentalist sharks from starting a fossil fuels feeding frenzy. The bloodied American coal companies have them churning the water, chomping for more. They’ve launched a “keep it in the ground” movement, to make hydrocarbons off limits forever.

In fact, environmentalism is morphing into an anti-hydrocarbons climate movement that claims every weather event and climate blip is unprecedented, a harbinger of Armageddon – and caused by our using oil, gas, and coal to power modern civilization and improve human health and living standards.

Drexel University sociologist Robert Brulle tallies 350.org and 20 other climate coalitions, comprised of 467 separate organizations, just in the U.S. Funded and directed by Rockefeller and other wealthy liberal foundations, they increasingly rail against “dangerous manmade climate change” as an “existential threat” to humanity and planet.

President Obama is totally on board. His policy and regulatory agenda confirms that. So are Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and most of an increasingly far-Left Democrat Party.

frackbernSanders flatly opposes all “fracking” and has introduced legislation to keep America’s abundant fossil fuels locked up in perpetuity. Clinton opposes all fossil fuel energy extraction from federal lands, wants to block fracking by imposing countless regulatory obstacles, and intends to make the United States 50% dependent on renewable energy by 2030. As President, either would achieve this by executive decree.

The consequences would be disastrous: enormous acreage, water, fertilizer, pesticides, and fuel devoted to producing biofuel, millions of birds and bats butchered by wind turbines to generate electricity, millions of jobs lost, millions of families sent into fuel poverty as energy costs rocket upward. For what benefits?

The rest of the world will continue using hydrocarbons. That means, even assuming CO2 now drives Earth’s climate, implementing the EPA’s draconian Clean Power Plan would keep average planetary temperatures from rising an undetectable 0.03º F, and seas from rising an imperceptible 0.01 inch, by the end of the century. (Oceans have already risen 400 feet since the last nature-driven ice age ended and all those mile-high glaciers melted.)  See CFACT’s Climate Hustle movie on Monday!

The “keep it in the ground” crowd doesn’t care about this or the mounting death tolls resulting from their anti-fossil fuel policies. The typical voter or street protester probably hasn’t thought it through. But the leaders have. They’re just callously indifferent. It’s one more depressing example of “the well-intentioned but ill-informed being led around by the ill-intentioned but well-informed.”

Politicians, environmentalists, alarmist scientists, and renewable energy industrialists have built a $1.5-trillion-per-year Climate Crisis industry that gives them research grants, campaign cash, mandates, huge subsidies – and vast regulatory power to eliminate conventional energy; make electricity rates skyrocket; fundamentally transform economic systems; control lives, livelihoods, living standards, and liberties; and redistribute the world’s wealth. Poor, minority, and working class families will suffer most.

The ruling elites don’t care. They will do well, travel often, keep their pensions, and get still wealthier. Climate rules, deprivation, and greenparty“sustainability” are for the Little People.

This entire system is based on the unproven bald assertion that fossil fuels are causing dangerous and unprecedented weather and climate disruption … carbon dioxide has replaced the complex natural forces that drove drive climate change in previous centuries … there is no longer any room for debate over these “facts” … and the only issue still open to discussion is what to do to avert “imminent catastrophe.”

We “skeptics” challenge these claims. We point out that Earth’s temperature, climate, and weather have always changed in response to powerful natural forces, and differ little today from what they have been for the past 50-150 years. We say the problem is not climate change, but policies imposed in the name of preventing climate change. We threaten the Climate Crisis Establishment, and its money and power.

That’s why they want to shut us up and shut us down – by prosecuting us for “racketeering,” and denying us our constitutional rights to speak out about policies that affect our lives. It is a disgraceful, un-American return to Inquisition tactics and fascist book burnings.

We must all take a stand, fight back and assert our rights. Otherwise, our children face a grim future.

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About the Author: Paul Driessen

Paul Driessen

Paul Driessen is senior policy advisor for CFACT and author of Cracking Big Green and Eco-Imperialism: Green Power - Black Death.

  • Li D

    What powerful natural forces are currently
    responsible for the warming that is happening?
    Its no good saying ” powerful natural forces” if you dont know what they are.
    But you a smart fella in a suit and tie.
    So tell us what ones?
    Should take ya about a minute to reply
    cuz you sure sound certain you know about em. Go on mate. Articulate the mechanism briefly for them dumb arse leftie hippie mob. Shame em bad. You can do it with
    one hand tied behind your back.
    Easy peasy.

    Li D Australia.

    • Frederick Colbourne

      The null hypothesis is that the tiny amount of global warming that has occurred since 1950 is a natural fluctuation, similar to natural fluctuations that have occurred in the past.

      The scientific test is not to prove that the null hypothesis is correct, as you suggest, but to reject the null hypothesis.

      I assume that you would reject the null hypothesis and replace it by the theory of anthropogenic global warming (AGW). However, if you argue that the natural drivers are not known and therefore AGW must be true, that would be to argue from ignorance, the well-know logical fallacy, “argumentum ad ignorantiam”.

      I offer this paper by James Hansen, formerly of NASA, and others,

      Hansen, James, et al. “Earth’s energy imbalance and implications.” Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 11.24 (2011): 13421-13449.
      URL: http://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/11/13421/2011/acp-11-13421-2011.pdf

      As you can see, the authors devote a substantial part of the paper to the cooling effect of aerosols, but if you read carefully you will find that the effect of clouds upon the Earth’s albedo is hardly mentioned, though clouds are largely aerosols.

      Loeb et al and Stephens et al. accepted Hansen’s estimates but for more recent years they revised his figure to 0.5 Wm-2.

      Looking more closely at Stephens et al (2012), what do we find?

      “The net energy balance is the sum of individual fluxes [at the top of the atmosphere]. The current uncertainty in this net surface energy balance is large, and amounts to approximately 17 Wm–2. This uncertainty is an order of magnitude larger than the changes to the net surface fluxes associated with increasing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere (Fig. 2b). The uncertainty is also approximately an order of magnitude larger than the current estimates of the net surface energy imbalance of 0.6 ±0.4 Wm–2 inferred from the rise in OHC.” [Words in square brackets added.]

      In any other branch of any other science, uncertainty ten times greater than the signal would lead to the conclusion that the signal cannot be observed.

      Stephens, Graeme L., et al. “An update on Earth’s energy balance in light of the latest global observations.” Nature Geoscience 5.10 (2012): 691-696.
      URL: http://users.clas.ufl.edu/prwaylen/GEO2200%20Readings/Readings/Radiation%20balance/An%20update%20on%20Earth's%20energy%20balance%20in%20light%20of%20latest%20global%20observations.pdf

      Loeb, Norman G., et al. “Observed changes in top-of-the-atmosphere radiation and upper-ocean heating consistent within uncertainty.” Nature Geoscience 5.2 (2012): 110-113.
      http://users.clas.ufl.edu/prwaylen/GEO2200%20Readings/Readings/Radiation%20balance/An%20update%20on%20Earth's%20energy%20balance%20in%20light%20of%20latest%20global%20observations.pdf

      • Li D

        Ya got that wrong.
        The H0 is AGW.

        • Frederick Colbourne

          Not worth a reply.

  • Li D

    Jeez. Instead of sayin ” oh thanks for
    the correction, i got it arse about” ya just
    rude.
    Not an american by any chance?
    They got such a reputation for rudeness its
    an odds on bet i reckon.

  • J T

    “We’ll see”. It’s all about the economy, stupids.