- - Tuesday, April 21, 2015

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The Obama administration is using climate change to “fundamentally transform” America. It plans to make the climate crisis industry so enormous that no one will be able to dismantle it, even as computer models and disaster claims totally lose credibility — and even if Republicans control Congress and the White House after 2016.

Numerous regulators, researchers, universities, businesses, manufacturers, pressure groups, journalists and politicians now have such strong monetary, reputational and authority interests in climate alarmism that they will defend its tenets and largesse tooth and nail.

They are pursuing this agenda even though global warming is dead-last in the latest Gallup poll of 15 issues: Only 25 percent of Americans worry about it “a great deal,” while 24 percent are “not at all” worried. By comparison, 46 percent are deeply concerned about the size and power of the federal government.

As with its Arctic and Antarctic counterparts, 90 percent of the titanic climate funding iceberg is invisible. But Climate Crisis, Inc. is using our tax and consumer dollars to advance six simultaneous strategies.

First, the U.S. government spends $2.5 billion per year on climate research that focuses on carbon dioxide, ignores powerful natural forces that have always driven climate change, and generates numerous reports warning of record-high temperatures, melting icecaps, rising seas, stronger storms and other “crises” that are not happening but are supposedly caused by fossil fuel use.

The deceitful claims are consistently contradicted by real-world data. So alarmists increasingly emphasize computer models that reinvent and substitute for reality. Modelers collect millions for headline-grabbing “projections,” and charlatans such as Al Gore get rich gaming the system. Meanwhile, virtually no government money supports research into natural forces.

Second, renewable energy research and implementation grants, loans, subsidies and mandates seek to replace still-abundant hydrocarbons that still provide 82 percent of all U.S. energy consumed. Many recipients go bankrupt despite huge taxpayer payouts, and wind turbines butcher millions of birds and bats annually but are exempt from Endangered Species Act penalties.

Corn ethanol interests spent $158 million from 2007 to 2013 lobbying for more “green” mandates and subsidies — and $6 million in campaign contributions. General Electric spends tens of millions annually lobbying for more taxpayer renewable energy dollars, as do many other companies. The payoffs add up to tens of billions of dollars a year, from taxpayers and consumers.

Third, regulatory fiats increasingly substitute for laws and carbon taxes that Congress refuses to enact, due to concerns about economic and employment impacts, and because China, India and other countries’ carbon dioxide emissions now dwarf America’s.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s war on coal has already raised electricity costs for millions of businesses and families, claimed thousands of jobs and adversely affected living standards, health and welfare for millions of families. Now the Obama administration is unleashing new standards, based on arbitrary “social cost of carbon” calculations.

Onerous new energy efficiency and emission standards will send consumer costs skyrocketing, and channel billions to retailers, installers, banks and mostly overseas manufacturers. Water heaters, pickup trucks, microwaves, cellphones, vacuum cleaners, hair dryers, toasters, coffee pots, lawn mowers, photocopiers, televisions and almost everything else will cost far more — to prevent perhaps 0.0001 degrees of warming, assuming CO2 really drives climate change.

Fourth, a new United Nations climate treaty would limit fossil fuel use by developed countries, place no binding limits or timetables on developing nations, intentionally transform the global economy, and redistribute hundreds of billions of our dollars to poor countries that claim they have been harmed by emissions and warming due to rich country hydrocarbon use.

Fifth, vicious personal attacks continue on scientists, businessmen, politicians and others who disagree publicly with the catechism of climate cataclysm. Environmentalist pressure groups, congressional Democrats and their media allies are trying to destroy the studies, funding, reputations and careers of anyone who challenges climate disaster tautologies.

Even the Obama Federal Emergency Management Agency has become a climate propaganda shop. New FEMA rules require that states seeking disaster preparedness funds must assess how climate change threatens their communities — based on worthless computer models whose predictions bear no resemblance to reality.

Sixth, climate alarmists want to control all thinking on the subject. They refuse to debate skeptics, ignore the benefits of carbon dioxide to wildlife and agriculture, reject studies that examine the role of natural forces in climate change, dismiss the horrendous track record of garbage-in, garbage-out computer models that assume greenhouse gases now control Earth’s climate, and insist that 97 percent of scientists believe in man-made climate chaos.

States must refuse to play the climate crisis game. Through lawsuits, hearings, investigations and other actions, governors, legislators, attorneys general and other officials should delay executive branch diktats, educate citizens about solar and other natural forces, and explain the huge costs and trifling benefits of President Obama’s draconian regulations.

Congress should hold hearings, demand an accounting of agency expenditures, require solid evidence for every climate claim and regulation, and cross-examine administration officials on details. It should also slash EPA and other agency budgets so they cannot keep giving billions to pressure groups, alarmist scientists, propagandists and attack dogs.

Honesty, transparency, accountability and a much shorter leash are long overdue.

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT.org), and co-author of “Cracking Big Green: Saving the World from the Save-the-Earth Money Machine” (CFACT, 2014).

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