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

Friday, November 07, 2014


Over the years that this blog has been in existence, I have commented many times on the climate change debate—when this blog started "climate change" was called "global warming" until scientific data indicated that there was little if any global warming in recent decades. Like most Americans, I am in favor of laws and regulations that keep our environment clean, that reduce pollution from truly dangerous airborne substances (C02 is not a dangerous airborne substance), and that move us gradually toward energy independence and alternative energy sources. Unlike most Americans, I drive an all-electric car (zero emissions) and have a PV (solar) array on my home that produces about 40 kilowatt-hours of energy each week, reducing my energy bill substantially and providing excess clean energy back to the grid.

At the same time, I have major problems with climate change alarmists—from the current president of the United States (who has access to data that allow him to know better) to the average progressive who has adopted climate change as a belief system that in many cases morphs into a religion.

In this past election, tens of millions of dollars were spent trying to use "climate change" as a wedge issue. The Wall Street Journal comments:
Tom Steyer became a billionaire by investing in fossil fuels, among other things, and maybe he should return to his roots. He may need the money after blowing at least $74 million trying to persuade voters to oppose Republicans who disagree with him on climate change.

If you want proof that money doesn’t buy elections, Mr. Steyer and his fellow green comrades are it. The San Francisco investor gave most of his money to his NextGen Climate Action Super Pac, which spent almost exclusively for Democrats. Environmental groups including NextGen spent $85 million to support President Obama ’s green agenda, especially his regulations targeting coal for extinction.

They didn’t even get a lousy T-shirt, and they aren’t taking it well. “Despite the climate movement’s significant investments and an unprecedented get out the vote program, strong voices for climate action were defeated and candidates paid for by corporate interests and bolstered by sinister voter suppression tactics won the day,” declared Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune.

Venting can be healthy, but self-deception isn’t. Mr. Brune should really blame the economic reality that the U.S. boom in fossil-fuel production is creating high-paying jobs and reducing energy costs across the economy. By contrast, Mr. Obama’s green agenda has created few jobs and raised costs for millions of Americans.

Voters in Pacific Heights or Manhattan may not mind paying more for their self-styled political virtue, but the average Debbie in Dubuque would rather not. The mistake too many Democrats made was listening to Mr. Steyer instead of Debbie.
This year’s environmental debate boiled down to Democratic support for Mr. Obama’s climate rules and green subsidies against full-throated Republican support for energy production of all sorts, including coal, oil and natural-gas fracking, more pipelines and greater fossil-fuel exports. These GOP candidates won nearly everywhere.

The issue here is priorities and it appears that the current administration is not very good at them. Using tenuous science couple with a scare campaign about what might happen 100 years from now (as if no technology will intercede in the interim), the administration has declared a "war on coal" and has been passive aggressive (to say the least) in providing any governmental support for the proeuction of natural gas (a clean and abundant fossil fuel.
Negative "economic change" is far more dangerous to our country and culture than tenuous predictions of "climate change." If the current economic malaise continues, if the middle class continues to shrink, if big government mandates encourage business to transition from full-time to part-time employment, if government mandated entry-level pay rates hasten the move toward even greater automation, if high personal and corporate taxes dampen innovation or cause businesses to go off-shore, the entire economy will suffer and a downward spiral will begin. By the way, if this should happen, tax revenues will dry up, and help for the least fortunate in our society will come under stress.

If this president set his priorities correctly, he would encourage those forms of energy production that provide hundreds of thousands of middle class jobs. Simple things, like the Keystone pipeline, would have been approved years ago with the resultant benefits in energy and jobs.

But Barack Obama is an ideologue. The climate change religion is part of his belief system, and as a consequence he'd rather champion draconian EPA regulations targeting CO2 than consider the economic implications of those regulations. Progressives like Obama consider themselves to be forward-looking, protecting the masses from what progressives consider to be bad decisions and corporate propaganda. In reality, progressives look at the future with tunnel vision, selecting one issue (in this case climate change) and championing it to the exclusion of many other more important issues. Their priorities are often skewed.

Interestingly, even if the fantasy projections of climate change alarmists are correct (they are not!), even if no new technologies (e.g., low cost nuclear fusion) do not intercede in the interim (they will!), even the most dire predictions of climate change impact of climate change remain many, many decades away. The need for good, high paying jobs is now!