Not Yet Time to Declare Victory over Climate Anti-Capitalists
Some climate change skeptics have begun to express optimism recently, based in part on a mildly skeptical article in the normally true-believer Economist magazine. On AT, for example, Jonathon Moseley argued in "The Coming Global Warming Voter Backlash" that the planet hasn't been warming since 1998, and global warming zealots can prevaricate for only so long before voters rise up and throw the bums out.
Mr. Moseley's article was well-written, but it has one fatal flaw: it appeals to rational argument and scientific facts. Global warming activists, for all their appeals to "Science," have a religious conviction that won't be swayed by such arguments.
Consider the following:
1. That Economist article, the so-called final nail in the coffin -- ends with several paragraphs warning about how "the world has pumped out half a trillion tonnes of carbon since 1750," concluding: "Despite all the work on sensitivity, no one really knows how the climate would react if temperatures rose by as much as 4°C. Hardly reassuring."
2. Gallup released its annual poll of attitudes toward global warming this week. Americans who "personally worry about global warming" rose from 55% in 2012 to 58% in 2013. Furthermore, "[c]urrently, 57% of Americans say global warming is caused by human activities, up from 50% in 2010." It's tough to get a meaningful voter backlash from the remaining 42-43%.
3. Media: The promotion of warmism in the mainstream media continues unabated. Never mind the Huffington Post; on Monday, the conservative Wall Street Journal published an op-ed by two Fellows at the conservative Hoover Institution, former Reagan cabinet member George Schultz and 1992 Nobel laureate in economics Gary S. Becker. The authors call (once again) for "a revenue-neutral tax on carbon," which they call "a major pollutant." Unless they're referring to bits of carbon in fly ash, I assume that they mean carbon dioxide -- which is a non-toxic gas essential for plant life. Calling CO2 a pollutant is idiotic and destructive in that it distracts from efforts to control real pollutants.
Schultz and Becker naively believe that the federal government will keep its hands out of the carbon tax cookie jar, just like it did with Social Security lockbox. They further note that "[t]he tax should also further increase over time if the apparent severity of the climate effects is growing." And who would make this determination? Every "superstorm" like Hurricane Sandy will henceforth justify tax hikes.
4. Courts: As I mentioned, only the uninformed believe that CO2 is a pollutant. Except, oh yeah, in 2007, the Supreme Court found in Massachusetts v. EPA that carbon dioxide qualifies as a pollutant and is subject to regulation under the Clean Air Act. In June 2012, the New York Times reported:
A federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld a finding by the Environmental Protection Agency that heat-trapping gases from industry and vehicles endanger public health, dealing a decisive blow to companies and states that had sued to block agency rules... The judges unanimously dismissed arguments from industry that the science of global warming was not well supported and that the agency had based its judgment on unreliable studies. "This is how science works," they wrote. "The E.P.A. is not required to reprove the existence of the atom every time it approaches a scientific question."
5. Then there's the United Nations, where work at the IPCC goes merrily along. We read on their home page that "[p]reparations for Assessment Report 5 enter final stage."
Over at the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change webpage, we learn that Bonn, Germany is preparing for the "second session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP 2)" later this month. The Framework Convention announces that another country "deposited its instrument of accession to the Kyoto Protocol" -- namely, that massive carbon-based economy of..Afghanistan:
The Kyoto Protocol will enter into force for Afghanistan on 23 June 2013. This brings the total number of States and regional economic integration organizations that have deposited instruments of ratifications/accessions/approvals/acceptances to 192.
Almost all of the 193 members of the United Nations, including North Korea and Somalia, have signed on -- with the notable exception of Canada (Go Canada!), which renounced the treaty in 2005. One state has signed but does not intend to ratify: the United States.
6. In the federal government, we have Barack Obama community-organizing an army of unelected bureaucrats in the EPA and various agencies, encouraging extra-legislative rulemaking.
An article in Forbes in 2011 reports: "According to the GAO, annual federal climate spending has increased from $4.6 billion in 2003 to $8.8 billion in 2010, amounting to $106.7 billion over that period."
7. State and local government: Two years ago, I posted an article on AT on "Global Warming Alarmism's Long March through State and Local Institutions":
State climate legislation is not limited to the bluest states. A 2009 report from the [Pew Center for Climate and Energy Solutions] lists 36 states with State Climate Action Plans [in 2013, two more states have climate plans "in progress."] Thirty states have mandatory Renewable Portfolio Standards requiring a percentage (on average 20%) of electricity to be supplied by renewable sources. Five more states have RPS "goals." States without an official Climate Plan are sure to have numerous climate programs. Alaska has a Climate Change Sub-Cabinet position in former Governor Palin's office. Red state, oil-rich Texas is home to the Texas Climate Initiative, the Texas Emissions Reduction Plan, and the Texas State Energy Conservation Office. The Mayor of San Antonio is pushing a green jobs initiative. Dallas, Fort Worth, and Houston are all members of Clean Cities Coalitions, and not surprisingly, Austin has its own Climate Protection Program, whose goal is "to make Austin the leading city in the nation in the fight against climate change."
Rather than backing off, states are upping the ante. California recently pushed ahead suicidal mandates that require 33% of electricity to be renewable, three-quarters of which must be generated in the state.
International organizations like ICLEI -- Local Governments for Sustainability -- continue to do their work year after year.
8. The foundation world, including the Pew Charitable Trusts, overwhelmingly supports the warmist cause, with huge sums in funding for lobbying and research (that starts with AGW as an assumption rather than a hypothesis).
In sum, aside from the media, the U.N., federal, state and local governments, the U.S. population, charitable foundations, the Supreme Court, and federal courts, we're winning the battle. And I never got around to universities and schools, popular culture...
At least the House of Representatives doesn't appear to be going wobbly.
Activists have wormed their way into positions of authority fighting for carbon taxes, renewable energy mandates, subsidies, and meatless Mondays. Those of us opposed to this anti-capitalist revolution are for the most part strictly amateurs.
Global warming has always been a pretext for grasping political control. Just because global warmists are wrong about climate doesn't mean they're about to fold up their tents, resign their lucrative or prestigious positions, say they're sorry, and trade in their Priuses for Escalades.