It’s been a rough few weeks for the “eco-progressive” fringe.
Static jet streams induced near-record high temperatures in parts of the United States and Russia, but extreme cold pummeled Seattle, England and much of the Southern Hemisphere. Perhaps Al Gore, Michael Mann and Rajendra Pachauri can turn this hodgepodge into “catastrophic climate change,” but most folks understand it as Mother Nature and weather.
Polls and news accounts find more Americans, Europeans and other people becoming weary and skeptical of “manmade global warming disaster” claims, convinced that natural forces are the primary cause of recurrent climate change, and unwilling to accept soaring energy prices and reduced living standards in the name of stabilizing Earth’s unpredictable climate.
Few Americans place any value on EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson’s meaningless statement – that “climate change is happening and humans are contributing to it” – to justify the draconian regimes the agency is trying to impose. The issue is whether our emissions of plant-fertilizing carbon dioxide are causing catastrophic climate change, and there is no credible evidence of that.
The House-passed energy and climate bill remains moribund in the Senate. EPA is trying to regulate carbon dioxide in the absence of congressional action – based on its assertion that automotive, power plant and factory CO2 emissions “endanger human health and welfare.” However, Texas refuses to knuckle under, other states may likewise balk, and the next Congress could overturn the “endangerment” finding and bar EPA from rewriting the Clean Air Act and implementing its job-killing rules.
“Avatar” director James Cameron double-dared global warming disaster skeptics to debate him – then morphed into a chicken and cackled off when they accepted his increasingly ludicrous debate terms, calling his critics “swine” as he headed for the hills.
Having read too many Gore, Pachauri, Quinn and other Deep Ecology treatises, LunaBomber James Lee held Discovery Channel employees hostage and denounced the TV station for its support of “parasitic human infants,” before being shot by police. His website and actions underscore how demented some Earth Liberation and global warming fanatics have become.
As their economies have deteriorated, Germany, Italy, Spain and other countries have pulled the plug on unsustainable wind and solar subsidies, eliminating thousands of “green” jobs and putting hundreds of “clean energy” companies on the verge of bankruptcy.
Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor” rally on the National Mall drew 300,000 people. Meanwhile, “CarnivOil” events in Wisconsin drew more yawns than people, as desperate Big Environment groups struggled to regain their momentum, by ranting about global warming, the Gulf oil spill, and “evil” oil companies.
Americans increasingly understand that even sending US carbon dioxide emissions back to 1870 levels, as congressional climate bills would do, will not reduce global atmospheric CO2 levels, because emissions from China, India and other nations will rapidly offset our painful reductions. Those countries have made it clear that they will not sacrifice improved living standards for assertions that we can stabilize global temperatures by keeping atmospheric CO2 levels below 0.035-0.045% (350-450 ppm).
As China’s former representative for climate negotiations recently said: “Developing nations … are not willing to combat climate change if the price is continued poverty.” The Chinese government has made “no concessions on the country’s right to develop.” Many problems can be solved only through development. “There are 600 million people in India without electricity. The country has to develop and meet that need. And if that increases emissions, I say, So what? The people have a right to a better life.”
Harvard University investigated and sanctioned Professor Marc Hauser for grossly exaggerating his primate research results. Yet, his actions pale by comparison to what Phil Jones, Michael Mann and other Climategate researchers engaged in. Hauser’s grants were a drop in the bucket compared to the climate cabal’s. And he was not advocating massive, expensive, punitive changes in our lives, liberties, and energy and economic systems. Will other institutions match Harvard’s demand for integrity?
The independent InterAcademy Council investigated the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and issued a tough report that may help bring some integrity, transparency, accountability and sanity to what thus far has been mostly politics and activism masquerading as science. The IPCC, says the IAC, needs to replace data manipulation, suppression and bias with honest science; end conflicts of interest; incorporate contrary data and opinions; and back up headline-grabbing disaster claims with actual evidence (not just computer modesls or World Wildlife Fund press releases).
In other words, it must stop trying to prove manmade carbon dioxide is the sole or primary factor in climate change – and seek evidence-based answers to what drives climate change, what we might expect in the future, and how humans can better adapt to warmer, colder, wetter or drier futures.
The IAC and Hauser precedents should serve as a warning to climate colluders and manipulators. They are also increasing pressure on IPCC Chairman Pachauri to abdicate his throne, and be replaced by a respected climate expert who can bring a degree of integrity to this politicized organization.
However, a belligerent Pachauri has told the Times of India he has “shed any inhibitions or feelings of cowardice. I believe this is now my opportunity to go out and do what I think is right. In the second term I may be a little more uncomfortable for people than I was in the first.”
Senator Harry Reid says he may still try to pass even a minimalist renewable energy bill in the Senate, and then use it to ram through an economy-disrupting climate bill during a lame duck session, if even by a single vote. That would make the United States the only country to enact draconian climate and energy rules in the midst of a recession – sending millions of jobs overseas, where energy prices and regulatory regimes are more hospitable and governments believe people have a right to better lives.
Aided by George Soros, leftist foundations and our own tax dollars (via EPA and other government agencies), radical greens are spending millions to lobby Congress. The Washington Post is giving free media to what it calls “some of the country’s most respected environmental groups” – helping them spin absurd street theater like CarnivOil into “educational” programs about saving Planet Earth (with vile oil executives bribing boxing referees and knocking out crab-costumed activists).
Teamster, teacher, auto and service employee unions are paying their own employees minimal wages and benefits, and sacking them for trying to unionize, columnist Deroy Murdock chronicles – while preparing to pump $50 million and legions of campaigners into ruling class Democrat reelection campaigns.
Meanwhile, Congress and EPA are pouring tens of millions of taxpayer dollars into Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiatives, to help RGGI director Jonathan Schrag persuade states to implement increasingly restrictive fossil fuel, emission and renewable energy mandates, regardless of what Congress does – and pay for his new $2.2-million loft in Manhattan.
The price of liberty is eternal vigilance. Today, on energy security issues, we unfortunately have less to worry about from external enemies, than from our own elitist politicians, bureaucrats and pressure groups.
In this critical election season, let us hope enough voters step up to defend our liberties, jobs, civil rights and children’s future.