The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Climate Justice

Those in favor of "climate justice" marched in New York City this past weekend. It was an almost comical attempt at battle space prep in the run-up to the United Nations Climate Summit that begins on Tuesday. That would be the same summit that is being boycotted by China, Russia, and India, all significant emitters of CO2. The marchers were joined by Al Gore, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Leonardo DeCaprio and other glitterati who worked hard to keep the hysterical narrative of global destruction due to climate change alive.

John Fund explains why the marchers tried hard to ramp up the the rhetoric:
One reason the rhetoric has become so overheated is that the climate-change activists increasingly lack a scientific basis for their most exaggerated claims. As physicist Gordon Fulks of the Cascade Policy Institute puts it: “CO2 is said to be responsible for global warming that is not occurring, for accelerated sea-level rise that is not occurring, for net glacial and sea-ice melt that is not occurring . . . and for increasing extreme weather that is not occurring.” [emphasis mine] He points out that there has been no net new global-warming increase since 1997 even though the human contribution to carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has risen by 25 percent since then. This throws into doubt all the climate models that have been predicting massive climate dislocation.

Other scientists caution that climate models must be regarded with great care and skepticism. Steven Koonin, the undersecretary for science in the Energy Department during President Obama’s first term, wrote a pathbreaking piece in Saturday’s Wall Street Journal in which he concluded:
We often hear that there is a “scientific consensus” about climate change. But as far as the computer models go, there isn’t a useful consensus at the level of detail relevant to assessing human influence. . . . The models roughly describe the shrinking extent of Arctic sea ice observed over the past two decades, but they fail to describe the comparable growth of Antarctic sea ice, which is now at a record high. . . . Any serious discussion of the changing climate must begin by acknowledging not only the scientific certainties, but also the uncertainties, especially in projecting the future. Recognizing those limits, rather than ignoring them, will lead to a more sober and ultimately more productive discussion of climate change and climate policies. To do otherwise is a great disservice to climate science itself.
Even scientists who accept the conventional scientific treatment of the subject by the U.N. International Panel on Climate Change increasingly question just how much it would help to curb emissions or to radically redistribute wealth, as activists like Klein urge us to do. Bjørn Lomborg, director of the Copenhagen Consensus Center, told me that all of the carbon-reduction targets advocated by the U.N. or the European Union would result in imperceptible differences in temperature, at enormous cost. “We would be far better off and richer if we did simple things like painting roofs in hot climates white and investing in new technologies that could help us adapt to any change that is coming,” he says. Even the U.N.’s own climate panel admits that so far, climate change hasn’t included any increase in the frequency or intensity of so-called extreme weather.
Hmmm. But no matter. When you're caught in in a religious experience (and make no mistake—for the Left, climate change hysteria is a religious experience), inconvenient facts, weak models, and skepticism by serious climatologists aren't worthy of consideration. After all, the Left and only the Left care about the planet.

When Al Gore or Leonardo DeCaprio jet into NYC on a personal aircraft, tell us all that we have to make sacrifices, and then jet back to a 20,000 square foot mansion, we have to listen. Don't we?


In an editorial in The Wall Street Journal, its editors note:
... China at 358 million metric tons [of CO2] jumped by more than the rest of the world combined and is responsible for 24.8% of emissions over the last five years. Over the same period, developing nations accounted for 57.5%.

What this means is that regardless of what the West does, poorer countries that are reluctant to sign agreements that impede economic progress hold the dominant carbon hand. No matter U.S. exertions to save the planet from atmospheric carbon that may or may not have consequences that may or may not be costly in a century or more, the international result will be more or less the same, though U.S. economic growth will be slower.

Mr. Modi is unlikely to indulge the rich world's anticarbon politics when a quarter of the Indian population still lacks electricity. Mr. Obama might also pause to reflect that 30.6% of the 114.8 million American households qualify for low-income energy subsidies. Thus by the Administration's own reckoning they can't afford current energy costs, much less the higher costs of a zero-carbon future.

In his first speech as White House budget director, Shaun Donovan nonetheless told the Center for American Progress on Friday that "the scale of our ambition at home is going to be the single most important driver" for climate action by China and other nations. In fact, the costly anticarbon regulations that the Environmental Protection Agency is developing will by the EPA's estimate address a mere 0.18% of world-wide carbon emissions. Some effort in persuasion.
But no persuasion is necessary for true believers. The rest of us heretics just have to follow the party line—no justice, no peace ... or something like that.