“Doomsayer” is probably not on Al Gore’s resume but it’s as descriptive as “almost president.” It perfectly describes the attention he has attracted in the decade since he took to the stage at the Sundance Film Festival and set off global warming fears with his agitprop film, “An Inconvenient Truth.”
“Humans may have only 10 years left to save the planet from turning into a total frying pan,” one terrified reviewer, who is presumably still unfried, put it. Humankind has blown past the point of no return that he said would render the damage from man-made greenhouse gases irreversible. Yet the world continues to turn, not burn. Atmospheric anxiety has subsided, despite all that Hillary and Bernie can do to keep it alive, and Americans have moved on to more immediate issues, such as who’s likely to win the Super Bowl on Sunday.
The people just aren’t that into Al and his scam. A YouGov poll of 18,000 men and women finds that only 9.2 percent of Americans rate climate change, the latest euphemism for global warming, as the most serious issue facing the world. Instead, 28 percent of Americans rank radical Islamic terrorism as the greatest worldwide concern. The only country with a wider yawn of skepticism is Saudi Arabia, where the oil economy produces jobs and wealth.
The poll confirms that Americans are of like mind with the rest of the world, 25 percent of whom put terrorism at the top of their list of worries. Climate change comes in third at nearly 13 percent, behind poverty, hunger and thirst at 15 percent. If there’s a lesson here, it’s that a doomsayer’s work is never done.
There is a truth that many Americans, including Mr. Gore, may find more inconvenient than global warming: Implementation of the Paris United Nations climate change agreement that President Obama endorsed in December which likely will cost a lot more than the expected $12.1 trillion over the next 25 years. That’s a finding by Bloomberg New Energy Finance and Ceres, a coalition of investors and environmentalists. Beyond the $100 billion that wealthy nations are expected to chip in annually to pay for clean energy projects in developing countries, annual investments of $484 billion are needed to build the solar, wind and green fuel infrastructure that the global-warming lobby says is necessary to limit the rise of the Earth’s temperature to 2 degrees Celsius by 2100. That’s 75 percent more than current annual global expenditure of $276 billion.
Since global warming is not a hot-button issue on Main Street, private investment money won’t go to renewable energy projects unless governments guarantee profitability of otherwise unprofitable ventures. With congressional collaboration, President Obama engineered tax credit extensions for wind and solar industries with the passage of the Omnibus spending bill in December. “Why would we want to pass up the chance for American businesses to produce and sell the energy of the future?” he asked.
Subsidizing “the energy of the future” means that it can’t compete with the energy of now. Since everything the government spends comes from the pockets of taxpayers, the president wants to pay for global-warming initiatives with money collected from Americans who don’t share his obsession with the profits of doom.