Special Report

The 12 C’s of Climate Alarmism

Copenhagen won't make the passing grade.

By 11.23.09

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Today's report about political developments surrounding the global warming issue is brought to you by the letter "C."

1. C is for "carbon dioxide." Environmental extremists and major news journalists call this gas that is exhaled by all animals, and that is food for plants, a dangerous pollutant. Yet we would all die without it. That makes me sad.

2. C is for "climate change." It used to be called global warming, which many activists with a socialist bent warned would bring more catastrophic weather events, elevating seas, and economic ruin. They said because humans continue to produce greater amounts of carbon dioxide -- a "greenhouse gas" -- that they are causing global temperatures to rise. They mostly blame the humans' burning of fossil fuels like coal and oil for increasing this dangerous CO2.

But now because the planet isn't warming in conjunction with these CO2 increases, the activists call it "climate change" instead. That way they can still justify trying to make us stop using fossil fuels, without regard for what the weather does.

3. C is for "cool." That's how it feels outside lately. For all the histrionics of recent years over the coming warming, this summer saw extremely cool temperatures and now the media is rife with stories of early snowfall. But this still fits with the new all-encompassing terminology, even though scientists say they don't get it.

4. C is for "cattle." The wiggly warming advocates say we're supposed to stop eating beef because they produce so much methane, which is an even stronger greenhouse gas than CO2.

5. C is for "condoms." Besides going vegetarian, alarmists ultimately point to the climate change problem as one of overpopulation. They say the only way we can accomplish their goal is to limit, and even reduce, the number of people on the planet. Yet when you suggest that they be the first ones to go in support of their own cause, they get mad!

6. C is for "consensus." A lot of concerned scientists say they all agree that global warming is happening, that it will lead to disaster, and that it is mostly humans' fault for causing it. Except not all the scientists say they all agree -- just some of them say they all agree.

Instead there's conflict between the concerned scientists and, I guess, the "unconcerned" scientists. But the concerned scientists don't even acknowledge there's a debate because then that would undermine their "consensus" claim. They are pretending there's no opposition, which has proven difficult, especially considering that public opinion polls show there are more people who believe global warming is not a problem than there are those who do believe it's a problem.

7. C is for "cash." The concerned scientists get lots of this, as do investors in "green" technology. The unconcerned scientists? Not so much -- at least not for climate studies.

8. C is for "cap-and-trade." That's the preferred plan of politicians, bureaucrats, most environmentalists, and rent-seekers. They say by limiting ("capping") industries' ability to release CO2, and then selling (or giving away) permission slips to emit the gases, that it will create a "market" for this regulatory innovation. Imagine that: stifling a real market for an extremely valuable product (energy) by replacing it with a phony market that trades nothing of real worth.

9. C is for "corruption." Some environmentalists who favor strict cutbacks for all emitting industries say cap-and-trade will lead to "another 'sub-prime' style financial crisis" and "that to date 'cap-and-trade' carbon markets have done almost nothing to reduce emissions but have been plagued by inefficiency and corruption that render them unfit for purpose." This is how Enron liked to do business. And now we've had another discovery: One of the world's top promoters of global warming alarmism, the University of East Anglia Climate Research Unit, has had documents and emails revealed (hacked?) that show they manipulated data and excluded scientists who opposed their cause. Much of the CRU's work informed the UN IPCC reports, which is considered the measuring stick of proof that demands action to reduce greenhouse gases.

10. C is for "Copenhagen." Next month there was supposed to be a big party where all the nations of the world were going to agree on a treaty that would bind each of them to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. Each would cede their sovereignty to an international body for the common good of preventing global warming (even though it would never accomplish that). It was supposed to be the sequel to the Kyoto Protocol, only this time the wealthy, developed countries like the United States were also supposed to also sign on. Except…

11. …C is for "collapse." All the momentum driving towards a Copenhagen accord has stalled. The U.S. Congress announced last week that it would not have a cap-and-trade law passed this year. It's hard to imagine it happening next year either, considering 2010 is a crucial election year in which several vulnerable Senators and House members are up for re-election -- including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada. Hope and change on the issue are dwindling, because everyone who wants a deal say it's meaningless without America on board.

12. C is for "criminal." Whereas once the environmentally conscious international community hailed President Obama as its climate hero, it now calls him a failure. Some even consider him a guilty of a felony for "stonewalling" an agreement at Copenhagen.

As for me and my fellow climate realists, all this presidential delay and half-heartedness is a treat that's good enough for me. Sing along!

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About the Author

Paul Chesser publishes CarolinaPlottHound.com, a news aggregator for North Carolina, and is a contributor of articles, research and investigative reports for both national and state-level free-market think tanks.