Freezing weather and the left's charlatans
As I started writing this on the balmy, if increasingly socialist, left coast on Jan. 27, the U.S. media were full of dire predictions of a catastrophic cold snap in the Midwest and New England. That same day, in Brussels, 70,000 people (35,000 of them clueless schoolchildren) demonstrated with slogans such as "Winter is not coming anymore"; "Nature grows, capitalism blows"; and "Stop denying the earth is dying."
Alas, winter did come to both the Midwest and Europe, and with a vengeance. Twenty-one people have died of hypothermia in the U.S. so far, and at least ten in Poland. Temperatures dipped to a hellish minus 23 degrees Fahrenheit (-30.5° Celsius) in Chicago, and minus 14 degrees Celsius (7° F) in Poland. Eleven U.S. states recorded temperatures lower than -14° F, or below those measured north of the Arctic Circle in Barrow, Alaska.
More to the point, as Power Line's John Hinderaker tells us in a perceptive piece, the deep freeze affecting his home state of Minnesota has much to tell us about the futility of green energy as the putative panacea of global warming doom. It turns out that as Minnesotans were freezing, renewable energy was nowhere to be found. The wind wasn't blowing, and in the entire MISO area (15 states in the Midwest and the South), it generated a measly 4% of the energy, operating at a miserable 24% of installed capacity. That prompted Hinderaker to ask pointedly: "Why do we need wind farms?" Why, indeed? To answer this question, it is worth delving into some of the other figures, which Hinderaker provides.
The MISO area energy is supplied by coal (45%), natural gas (26%), nuclear power (13%), and energy imports from Canada. Imagine for a minute how many would have died if coal were no longer there, as the left wants, and people had to rely on renewable energy for 50% of their energy as the state authorities are planning by 2030? As it was, 66% of the homes in Minnesota were heated by natural gas, which suffered brown-outs, forcing the Xcel Energy utility to advise customers to set their thermostats at 60 degrees and not to use hot water. And last I looked, Minnesota was not in some godforsaken corner of Siberia, but in the United States of America.
While all of this was going on, global warming zealots, petrified that people may start doubting their propaganda, immediately jumped in to assure us that extreme cold is a natural part of global warming. There is no way to disprove something that has never been proven to begin with, but there are nonetheless some valuable lessons to draw from the cold snap. There is, for starters, the ever more persuasive evidence that global warming and the various insinuations of the IPCC are little more than a deliberate, orchestrated deception.
A recent research paper provides detailed evidence of the ridiculous efforts by "scientists" to decide something as simple as whether a new ice age is coming or if we are all going to die because of global warming over the past century. Nor are the American people told of the potential cost of the proposed solutions. Signing the Kyoto treaty alone would have cost the American taxpayer several hundred billion dollars per annum.
This paper does not even include the absurd claims of the environmental stars, such as Paul Ehrlich, Obama's science adviser John Holdren, or the Club of Rome, all of whom and which have been completely wrong about everything they have ever predicted. There is a good English word for people like that: charlatans.
Alex Alexiev is chairman of the Center for Balkan and Black Sea Studies (cbbss.org). He can be reached at email@example.com.