When President Obama unveiled his far-reaching unilateral Clean Power Plan earlier this week, some climate scientists were puzzled, and others shocked, by the lack of supporting evidence. The new regulations are designed to limit carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions* on a state-by-state basis, and like most of his well-honed speeches, rhetoric trumped reality. With the Iranian nuclear deal looming, homegrown terrorists sprouting up like dandelions, and ISIS fomenting terrorism across the globe, Obama says climate change is the greatest threat we face.
He also said global warming is the one issue he can’t fix through executive fiat. So using executive fiat, his EPA footmen launched the Clean Power Plan upon America. A plan that calls for a 32 percent reduction in CO2 emissions below 2005 levels by the year 2030. A plan that precedes the upcoming Paris Climate Talks in December. A plan that declares war on an odorless, colorless, invisible trace gas (.04%), erroneously referred to as a potent greenhouse gas (water vapor is actually what keeps our sun’s heat from escaping back into space, but that’s a whole other article).
In his speech, Obama said, “In the past three decades, the percentage of Americans with asthma has more than doubled, and climate change is putting those Americans at greater risk of landing in the hospital.” But like with most absolutes, this was probably his largest misstatement, but not his last. At least according to some climate experts.
Judith Curry, a former IPCC author and climate scientist, writes on her personal blog that “CO2 has absolutely nothing to do with asthma.” Another climate scientist at the libertarian Cato institute, Paul C. Knappenberger, tweeted that “Reducing CO2 emissions from US power plants will have ZERO impact on asthma. Suggesting otherwise is terribly misleading.”
This comes on the heels of a new report by the government watchdog group Environment & Energy Legal Institute, which showed how the EPA secretly colluded with environmental activists to push Obama’s green agenda and climate legacy. The report showed how the agency worked with “environmental groups, effectively shutting out the public from the process and violating federal law.”
Another study, published in the journal Environmental Communication, encouraged activists and the media to frame global warming as a public health issue, as people generally favor regulations that they believe will make them more healthy. As originally reported by The Daily Caller last month, the “study urges activists to use the legitimacy of the media to barrage the public with coverage on how global warming could make public health problems worse, like asthma and mosquito-born illnesses.” Actual scientific studies show no linkage between global warming and asthma or mosquito-born illnesses.
Obama also made the economic argument for his Clean Power Plan, saying it would save the “average American family nearly $85 on their annual energy bill in 2030, reducing enough energy to power 30 million homes, and save consumers a total of $155 billion from 2020-2030.”
As Curry notes, “economic impact models are far more uncertain even than climate models. The social cost of carbon estimates made by the White House require assumptions out to the year 2300 for drastic CO2 reductions to be cost effective.”
The National Mining Association writes that the “EPA’s final Clean Power Plan reflects political expediency, not reality for supplying the nation with low cost reliable power. Left in place are targets for replacing affordable energy with costly energy.” That costly energy would be renewable energy, such as wind, solar, and geothermal. It is so inefficient and unreliable that it has all but been abandoned by the European Union.
And while your power consumption costs will increase, temperatures won’t. When Curry testified before Congress, she said that a “28% emissions reduction by 2025 will prevent 0.03 degrees Celsius in warming” by the end of the century. And that an “80% emissions reduction by 2025 will prevent .11 degrees Celsius warming by 2100.”
That’s assuming the computer models, which failed to predict the 18-year-and-counting warming pause, are even correct. Patrick J. Michaels, another scientist at Cato, also said that “using the EPA’s own policy analysis model, Obama’s Clean Power Plant proposal will prevent a grand total of 0.03C warming by the year 2100.” Other studies show these cuts will avert warming by even less: .01 and and .001 degrees Celsius, respectively.
“It doesn’t matter whether the EPA proposes regulations to reduce power plant emissions by 30 percent by 2030, or by 50 percent, or even 100 percent by tomorrow,” writes Knappenberger. That’s because “the level of natural noise in the climate system is high” and the United States’ “contribution to the global carbon dioxide emissions total is meager and in rapid decline.” What he does guarantee will happen is that Americans will see higher energy prices as developing nations like China and India ramp up efforts to bring affordable energy to their populace.
The other item that Obama hyped was that increased carbon dioxide levels would increase extreme weather. Knappenberger says that “carbon dioxide emissions from the U.S. will have no scientifically detectable impact of the future course of the weather and climate at any scale, global, regional or local.”
Curry concurs, writing that “extreme weather events are not increasing with increased CO2; extreme weather events are dominated by natural climate variability.” Curry says that for the United States, “extreme weather was substantially worse in the 1930s and 1950s.”
* Carbon emissions and carbon pollution are intentionally used to replace the term carbon dioxide emissions. Carbon is associated with a black, sooty element while carbon dioxide (CO2) is an odorless, invisible gas. Most reporters in the mainstream media knowingly use the former, while more respected news’ outlets use the correct term: carbon dioxide emissions.