In blue states and red, green politics is electoral gold. Researchers at Stanford University report that “candidates running for office can gain votes by taking green positions and might lose votes by expressing skepticism about climate change.” A study entitled “The Impact of Candidates’ Statements about Climate Change on Electoral Success in 2010: Experimental Evidences,” reveals that taking a “green” position on global warming attracts votes from Democrats and Independents, while expressing skepticism about the warmist theory alienates those same voters. On the Republican side there was no significant impact either way, so the logical conclusion for vote-hungry pols is to pander to the greens.
But it is getting harder to stay on that bandwagon with a straight face. The inconvenient truth is that the world stopped warming in 1998, but that fact has only intensified green alarmism. Warmists shamelessly exploited the tragedy when a tornado devastated Joplin, Missouri last May, even though there is no scientific evidence that global warming is making weather more violent. Warmists made the same opportunistic claim after Hurricane Katrina slammed into New Orleans in 2005, darkly warning of worse to come. But Katrina was followed by some of the mildest hurricane seasons on record. A recent study of fossil records from North Carolina’s coast reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences yielded scary headlines that global ocean levels are rising at their fastest rate in 2000 years. But in practical terms, despite repeated predictions of coastal inundations and sinking islands, sea levels have not even posed a nuisance let alone a threat.
The most interesting new theory pits man-made pollution against man-made pollution. A Boston University study blames the lack of expected global warming on coal-burning electrical plants in China. Pollution from these plants is allegedly reflecting enough sunlight back into space to mitigate the “greenhouse effect” from carbon emissions. However the effects could be reversed with a vengeance if China switches to cleaner energy sources. So politicians who want to get the green vote should come out in favor of burning more dirty coal and adopting Chinese-style emissions standards. The polar bears will thank you.