It was always going to be an uphill fight for the Left to achieve a consensus for not just the acceptance of their theory of global warming but their prescriptions to fight it, and Monday’s announcement of draconian EPA rules assaulting the electric power industry is proof that they realize the battle for public opinion is lost.
To have won on global warming, which obviously would have entailed our discussing the theory by its former name rather than its current formulation as “climate change” (does that not happen four times a year?), Barack Obama and his predecessors atop the effort to convince us to give up our modern consumerist lifestyle would have had to secure agreement on four bases crucial to the theory.
On none of the four have they managed to succeed.
First, proving that the planet is actually in the process of warming would seem to be crucial toward winning the argument, and this the warm-mongers have not done. In fact, while there are places around the globe in which high temperatures have been lately recorded the single most definitive record of global temperature comes from satellite readings — and those readings indicate Earth is no warmer now than it was 15 years ago. If global warming on a scale significant enough for consideration of changes in policy was actually happening, the warmists would be touting satellite data rather than ignoring it.
Over the weekend, Sen. Ted Cruz had the temerity to point this inconvenient truth out to the media, and the result was a cacophony of panicked hissing. Cruz’s statement will be proven a political highlight in the face of the EPA rule and the public reaction as its effects are better understood.
Second, having proved the planet was actually warming they would need to show the phenomenon was man-made. This is hard to do when it’s the production of carbon dioxide that is supposed to drive the warming of the planet, and at a time when China and India are driving a sizable growth of CO2 in the atmosphere (sizable being a relative characterization, that is; CO2 is a mere trace gas in the atmosphere) there is no warming to show. Further, we know that the planet has been considerably warmer than it is now at various periods of recorded human history despite the lack of industrialized economies and widespread use of fossil fuels — and so until the warmists can explain why Greenland is no longer green or why the winemaking industry in England isn’t what it was several centuries ago, they will fail to achieve consensus on the anthropogenic nature of the global warming which they cannot prove is occurring.
Third, the warm-mongers would do well to prove global warming is a bad thing, something they also cannot do. The places where “sea level rise” seems to be a problem are places where the land is either sinking or eroding due to basic geology, and from space the planet appears greener than ever in modern times. In fact, the presence of increased CO2 — known as plant food by another name — has been shown as a sizable benefit both to agriculture and forestry — and humans have always faced a greater danger of dying from exposure to cold than heat, so a warmer planet would necessarily have a net positive effect on human life.
And finally, even if the Left had not failed to prove the three points above, there is zero reason to believe that adopting a program of punitive socialism — interesting how that program is the prescribed course to save the world regardless of the threat to it, no? — in the United States and elsewhere in the West would have any real effect on CO2 emissions worldwide given the inevitability of economic development in China, India, and the rest of the Third World.
They have lost all four arguments. That is clear. Were it not, there would have been strong public and legislative majorities for saving the world.
Instead, there is only an undemocratic EPA rule being proffered by Obama this week, complete with the most laughable harangues reminiscent of the proverbial psychotic soon-to-be-ex-girlfriend attempting to head off the impending breakup with shameless plays for sympathy.
“We’re the first generation to feel the impact of climate change, we’re the last generation that can do something about it,” he said. “We only get one home, we only get one planet, there’s no plan B.”
And a bit more: “I don’t want my grandkids not being able to swim in Hawaii or not to be able to climb a mountain and see a glacier because we didn’t do something about it. I don’t want millions of people’s lives disrupted and this world more dangerous because we didn’t do something about it.”
This, in service of a draconian plan designed both to avoid Congressional oversight and a court challenge, the major elements being:
• Forcing power plants, on average, to cut carbon dioxide emissions 32 percent below 2005 levels by 2030, with interim targets starting in 2022.
• Forcing all coal-fired power plants to install carbon capture and sequestration technology, which has not even been demonstrated to incur environmental benefits to offset the punitive cost associated with it.
• Forcing higher electric bills on consumers to such an extent as to incur a cumulative cost of some $2.5 trillion in lost economic growth.
This to avert what global warming “scientists” say is less than one-tenth of a degree of warming over the next 100 years.
And Obama’s global warming push is more than a shove. The EPA will demand immediate compliance by the power industry, setting deadlines for compliance and penalties so draconian as to impose unacceptably high stakes on utilities otherwise sure to reject the rule and take it to court. To do so and lose this time is a highway to receivership or bankruptcy, and that’s the way the administration wants it.
Not to mention that the administration has dispatched Americans United for Change, a MoveOn.org-funded Democratic Party shill organization, to launch attack ads against several state attorneys general who have vowed to fight the EPA rule on behalf of the state utility regulators who will become little more than lawn ornaments after it completes its task of usurping their power for Washington.
It’s tyranny, plain and simple. It must be stopped, or at least reversed by a Republican president taking office in January 2017.
But because this is what Obama and his people have had to resort to in order to aggrandize the EPA at the expense of federalism and the private sector under the rubric of what the president’s media flack Josh Earnest calling “striking a blow for climate change,” it’s also a sizable concession.
They have lost the battle of ideas. All that is left is to let slip the velvet glove and show the iron fist.
The “climate change” debate in America is over. Obama ended it this week. For that, and perhaps only for that, we should thank him as we commit to doing everything under the heavens to ruin his plans.