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ROTHBARD: Pressing ahead on climate salvation
Question of the Day
The U.N. is determined to control liberties, livelihoods and living standards
Climate alarmists have gathered in Warsaw for the Monday start of the United Nations‘ annual climate change conference, to lay the foundation for a binding global agreement to replace the now-defunct Kyoto Protocol and “save the planet” from “dangerous global warming.”
However, a new Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change report documents that average global temperatures have not risen in 16 years, even as carbon-dioxide levels have increased steadily, helping plants grow faster and better. Antarctic ice is at a record high, Arctic sea ice is back to normal and, at current rates, Greenland’s glaciers would not melt for 13,000 years.
It has been eight years since a major hurricane struck the United States — the longest such period since 1865. Tornado frequency is the lowest in decades. Sea levels are rising at barely six inches per century. Droughts are shorter and less extreme than during the Dust Bowl era and the 1950s.
Moreover, says the nongovernmental panel, it is simply impossible to separate human influences from the frequent, cyclical, natural temperature, climate and weather variability our planet has always experienced.
Even the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has muted previous claims. It now says there has been no warming since 1998, and finally acknowledges that much of the world was as warm during Medieval times as during the late 20th century.
The U.N. panel’s 2013 report finally recognizes the role that solar variability plays in climate change, and acknowledges that its computer models inadequately represent cloud cover, precipitation and “climate sensitivity” to carbon dioxide. The report admits the models failed to predict the temperature standstill and were wrong about polar ice caps, droughts, hurricanes and tornadoes.
In reality, the climate and weather events, trends and cycles of recent years are essentially the same as humans have been dealing with for centuries. There is no evidence that we face imminent catastrophic man-made climate change.
Unless we shackle the energy and economic systems that enhance and safeguard our lives, modern technologically advanced societies will be able to respond and adapt to any weather events or climate changes that we are likely to encounter in the coming decades.
Then what is really going on in Warsaw?
Climate campaigners are using claims of “dangerous man-made climate change” to justify global government, treaties in lieu of legislation, anti-hydrocarbon policies, renewable energy schemes, wealth redistribution, and more taxpayer money for perpetual U.N. studies and programs.
In 2000, then-French President Jacques Chirac called the Kyoto treaty “the first component of authentic global governance.” Just months ago, President Obama said, if Congress fails to act, he will “redouble” efforts to “reach a new global agreement to reduce carbon pollution” — and continue using the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to close coal mines, eliminate coal-fired power plants and regulate U.S. energy use.
Despite actual weather and climate observations, as documented by both the nongovernmental panel and the U.N. panel, alarmists insist that we face imminent cataclysm. Some echo former U.S. Sen. Tim Wirth, Colorado Democrat, and European Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard, who contend that even if we are “wrong on global warming,” opposing fossil fuels and promoting renewables are “the correct policies, even if they lead to higher prices.”
The U.N. panel’s Working Group III co-chairman Ottmar Edenhofer has been just as blunt. “One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy,” he said. It is about “how we redistribute the world’s wealth.”
Island nations and poor countries support climate agreements, because they expect “compensation,” “adaptation” and “mitigation” money to pay for “damages” from rising seas and more frequent, more intense storms and droughts, which they blame on industrialized nations.
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