Below I post an essay on the present state of affairs written by Joe Bast, president of the Heartland Institute of Chicago, one of the leading organizations dedicated to opposing warmer/climate change/environmentalism nonsense science and policy making. We are all committed to protecting the environment but opposed to socialist, leftist, statist hijacking the cause for their malignant political purposes.
I have been working with Joe Bast now for more than 10 years and find him to be a good editor and writer, excellent organizer and political strategist. I have benefited from my association with Heartland Institute and the many people associated with Heartland.
Today Joe sent me an essay (pasted below) that states his assessment of the current political state of affairs related to the climate change/warming crusade and environmental policy battles.
I have never had a paid position with Heartland and usually I sent my honoraria back for times when I was invited to speak. Sometimes I even paid my own travel expenses. I was and am a volunteer in the army that was gathered by Heartland and others to challenge junk science and bad policy making promoted by socialist, fanatic and misanthropic environmentalists. I had a day job so I could be a part of the effort.
I sent this last night to Heartland’s extended global warming team, and figured this morning it’s good enough to share more widely. I hope I’m not being overly optimistic… real-world data will reveal that soon enough.
Earlier this evening I had a long conversation with a donor. As he often does, he asked where the global warming debate stands: Are we winning? While it’s fresh on mind, I want to share some of things we talked about. We all have our own views and insights into the global warming debate, here are mine.
My usual answer to the donor is “the battle field is large, we’re winning some battles and losing others, we’re no longer retreating, but the war is too close to call.” But today, after more than 20 years in the global warming debate (I first wrote about it in 1993), and surrounded by books and reports on climate change as I work on Climate Change II: Benefits and Costs of Fossil Fuels, I think I’m seeing light at the end of the tunnel. Or maybe I’m just really tired.
In the early years, we debunked AGW myths the same way we would debunk myths about recycling, dioxin, acid rain, and the rest of the memes tossed out by left environmentalists to justify their anti-humanism. As AGW gained momentum, we struggled to keep from being swept aside as a popular delusion gripped the nation and the world. We tried economics – the high cost of reducing emissions, the small and improbable benefits – and got no traction. Who cares what the fire extinguisher costs if the building is on fire? So we resurrected the science debate, and in 2008, thanks to Climate Change Reconsidered, played a major role in the rejection of Lieberman-Warner by the Senate. (We put copies of that tome on the desk of every member of the U.S. Senate and met with most their senior staff.)
Opinion polls can be misleading, but we’ve convinced around 70% of the American people that global warming is mostly man-made, that it’s unlikely to be a problem in our lifetimes, and that it isn’t worth more than about $25 to stop. We convinced Republicans to make the issue a litmus test, at least for primary elections at the national level. We got Tea Party leaders to agree to put it in their top five issues where compromise isn’t accepted. We’ve educated thousands of state legislators and members of congress, sending every one of them a publication on the issue (Environment & Climate News) every four weeks for eighteen consecutive years.
In the coming two years, the three legs of the global warming scam’s stool will be kicked out. The other side’s most powerful player, the United Nations, will be kneecapped in Paris in December. EPA will be gutted and hung out to dry by the next Republican President of the USA. And temperatures will start to noticeably cool in 2017, exposing NOAA’s, EPA’s, UCS’s, and EDF’s deceptions and forever discrediting the global warming movement. None of these events are inevitable, of course. We need to make sure Congress demands a vote on any commitments made by the Obama delegation to Paris and then votes to kill them. We need to nominate and vet candidates to populate the next cabinet. And we need to be in a position to say “we told you so and here’s what it means” when temperatures dip.
The failure in Paris is explained beautifully in this essay by a senior fellow for the Council on Foreign Relations:
Note the source and check out his bio… he’s one of those whiz-kid Ruling Class types that Codevilla talked about:
His points in brief: (1) The developed countries are no longer pushing for binding emissions reduction commitments; (2) the emphasis has shifted from mitigation to adaptation; (3) the goals declared in Paris will be too far in the future to matter to anyone; and (4) the widely discussed pledge of giving developing countries $100 billion a year is going to consist largely of relabeling foreign aid and private funding already going to those countries.
It’s hard to emphasize too strongly how major all four of these victories for “our side” are. There will be no treaty because every world leader knows the U.S. Senate will kill it. The “work around” that allows Obama to act without Congressional approval will be closed by Congress. The shift from mitigation to adaptation (as Bob Carter will tell us) reduces the cost of “taking action against global warming” by an ORDER OF MAGNITUDE (that’s by a “factor of ten” to those of you of a certain age, and “90%” for those of another certain age). Politicians have never and will never give up tax dollars and power today to do something that doesn’t produce benefits for decades or longer. Any goal more than four years out is meaningless, empty rhetoric. Redefining the $100 billion pledge to include current and planned aid and private funds cuts that number in half. Giving the money to private entities (businesses and NGOs) for adaptation projects instead of “reparations” to corrupt third world governments cuts the amount that would be wasted (or diverted to arms) by another order of magnitude. We’re getting close to that $25 that the average taxpayer is willing to spend. The wisdom of crowds…
If a Republican – any Republican (well, maybe not Jeb Bush) – gets elected president in 2016, EPA takes a major hit. Gone will be billions of dollars a year funneled to environmental advocacy groups and the renewable energy industry. The beast will starve. Unlike activists on our side, the other side is mostly in it for careers and power. Take away the trough and they get real jobs (or find some other fake crisis to hype). The environmental movement is like the Soviet Union in 1991: it looked big and powerful on the outside, but it’s rotten inside and about to collapse.
And then there’s the climate itself. September was the hottest month on record, in case you didn’t hear. Utter B.S. This winter is going to long and bitterly cold, again. NOAA, EPA, and the MSM will claim it’s a mild winter while people curse their televisions, cancel their newspaper subscriptions, and shovel the driveway again. Each year it gets worse, and the lies become more obvious. More and more scientists agree: we’re entering a cooling period. Only question is how soon and how deep.
Victory is not inevitable. We might still screw it up. Lots of mischief can be done while a movement collapses and retreats. The MSM and environmentalists will never admit they were wrong. Prophets (and victims) are often not recognized or respected after a popular delusion dissipates, so we may not benefit directly from victory. But it will be a victory for consumers, producers, and taxpayers nonetheless.
And for that, we will pop open a bottle of champagne and celebrate. And then go to work on the very real entitlement crisis.
President, Heartland Institute of Chicago