- - Tuesday, January 20, 2015

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

After hearing Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy speak at this month’s annual meeting of the American Meteorological Society in Phoenix, Arizona, I realized that the United States is truly in a world of trouble from too much pollution — not the “carbon” kind, but the ideological kind.

Ms. McCarthy’s presentation consisted of not only the typical derision of skeptics of man-made climate change and the distortion of climate reality, but included a rather delusional self-assessment.

Early in her talk, as usual, Ms. McCarthy denigrated any challengers to the so-called settled science of anthropogenic global warming as akin to “flat earth” believers. She went on to claim that our biggest danger is in not taking action to stop an evident climate catastrophe.

Ms. McCarthy declared that “science is under attack as it has never been before” and elaborated that there is an “all-out attack on science in D.C. right now.” Part of her solution is for scientists to be “more vocal,” supposedly to help her in the fight to save the planet.

For her part, Ms. McCarthy claimed that politics has “nothing zero” to do with her assessment of the science behind climate change. However, by all appearances, politics has everything to do with the issue. Much of her career has been closely tied to politics — apparently the kind aligned with statism — especially as an active state and federal bureaucrat.

Ms. McCarthy’s position of authority and her enthusiastic personal commitment and demeanor demands our attention, or perhaps, even our subservience. Make no mistake, the Obama administration is practically a driving force in climate science at the present time. The feds set the tone and those who are still honestly unconvinced of a looming disaster (aka “deniers”) will not be tolerated. On the other hand, a fountain of federal funding is flowing for projects to evaluate weather and climate data with respect to how it proves that humans are altering the atmosphere. The compliant expectation of continued global warming is still the modus operandi in the atmospheric science field, even though, in spite of confident climate outlooks and a slight increase of global average temperature in 2014, readings have essentially leveled off for more than a decade and a half.

Studies in heat-related stress are in, studies in cold-related stress are out, regardless of the fact that fatalities from cold snaps can beat fatalities from hot spells by a wide margin.

There are many experienced atmospheric science practitioners like myself who have a different perspective, represent no corporate interests and are not connected with fossil fuel industries (except to enjoy the comfortable benefits afforded by modern energy sources). In my deliberations with numerous environmental professionals, so many have expressed some doubt (most much doubt) that humans are largely responsible for long-term global climate change.

Yet, the marching orders from the president with his administration’s rhetoric and the new Climate Action Plan are to promote and finance dubious renewable energy and carbon sequestration projects while warring against purportedly evil, but reliable, abundant, cheap, poverty-alleviating, job-creating and job-sustaining fossil fuels. Mother Earth must be defended at all costs — her children, not so much.

Forget the ethereal nature of long-range global climate predictions. The administration seems to have found a solid, scary problem to hype, “solve,” and leave as a legacy. Besides, Ms. McCarthy reminded the meteorological society audience that President Obama has claimed “climate change is a moral issue.” Moral for sure, because unfortunately, if the administration’s command and control of climate science persists, in years to come we’ll discover too late that the legacy was one of expanding poverty, contracting liberty and misdirecting science.

Anthony J. Sadar, a Certified Consulting Meteorologist, is author of “In Global Warming We Trust: A Heretic’s Guide to Climate Science” (Telescope Books, 2012).

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