Special Report

Our Political Climate

Global warmism heats up our icy winter.

By 1.7.14

UPI
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Rob Lyons put it best: In claiming that climate change is “the greatest challenge of our time,” global warming alarmists and the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have “delivered, it seems, with brass balls, (a message) that the science is settled, the debate is over, and everything must come second to tackling global warming.”

On a global scale, one would think that alleviating poverty, a lack of fresh drinking water, and the continued existence of terrible diseases (such as polio, malaria, and radical Islam) in many parts of the world would be more important than climate worries. After all, the fact that "climate changes" is an unsurprising truism, and a fact humans have adapted to throughout our existence.

On a domestic scale, one would think that slow economic growth, persistently high unemployment and historic low levels of labor participation, the failure of our public school systems (outside of the richest suburbs), and the imminent implosion of our health insurance and health care systems would be higher policy priorities than the Quixotic and fundamentally egomaniacal quest for humans to change (or stop changing) the climate of our planet. After all, there are no demonstrable negative effects of moderate temperature increases so far — increases for which science still does not have a good, coherent explanation and which likely have little human causation. (No alarmist model can explain the last 15 years of non-warming in the presence of increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide levels.)

Still, Secretary of State John Kerry is, like his predecessor in failing to defeat George Bush, obsessed with the non-threat of mostly-non-human-caused climate change. As the New York Times noted, “Shortly after Mr. Kerry was sworn in last February, he issued a directive that all meetings between senior American diplomats and top foreign officials include a discussion of climate change.”

So it was no surprise when last week the Times reported that Kerry is going to make climate change a top priority for the next two years: “His goal is to become the lead broker of a global climate treaty in 2015 that will commit the United States and other nations to historic reductions in fossil fuel pollution.”

And the Washington Times tells us that President Obama will use executive branch agencies and executive orders to “combat climate change,” since he knows his destructive agenda could not pass the Democrat-controlled Senate, much less the House of Representatives. This will show up in large measure in the administration’s continued “war on coal,” which imperils Democratic electoral hopes across Appalachia.

Yet nature seems to have a particular sense of humor, constantly and publicly tweaking the anti-rationality anti-capitalist global warming loons with what has come to be known as the Gore Effect.

A recent example was the recent rescue of 52 passengers (the crew stayed on board) of a research vessel trapped in Antarctic ice. The purpose of the trip was — wait for it — to prove that climate change is causing sea ice to disappear.

And so, right on cue, as John Kerry is going to push the State Department to waste millions or billions of taxpayer dollars and Barack Obama will follow through on his plan to cause electricity prices to “necessarily skyrocket,” much of the eastern half of the United States is currently blanketed by the coldest temperatures in at least two decades. On Monday, most of Illinois and Indiana, for example, had high temperatures of around -5℉, a balmy respite for anyone visiting from Duluth.

They’re calling the effect a “polar vortex,” sucking brutal cold into the U.S. and bring near-zero temperatures as far south as Alabama. According to an early CNN forecast, “nearly half the nation — 140 million people — will shiver in temperatures of zero or lower.”

You know it’s cold when the governor of Minnesota cancels school for the whole state due to the temperature.

Sunday’s 49ers-Packers game in Green Bay saw temperatures near zero (with a wind chill of -14℉), somewhere around the fifth coldest game in NFL history.

It’s true: weather is not climate. But at some point, the collective data start to point out just how ludicrous is the faux hysteria over deaths from heat, disease, or rapidly rising oceans — none of which is happening and all of which assumes that humans will just sit around and die rather than adapting. Perhaps this assumption is not surprising since the entirety of Progressivism rests on the premise that almost everybody other than the technocrats is too stupid to simultaneously ambulate and masticate.

Yet the liberals’ obsessive focus on climate is a measure of two things: First, domestic politics — how out of touch they are with ordinary Americans and how much they believe the Democrats’ radical, ignorant base can carry them to victory in the 2014 and 2016 elections. And second (though perhaps first in their minds), ideology — how desperately focused they are on kneecapping the American economy and distributing taxpayer dollars to third-world countries in the interest of “climate justice” while saving the world from a mythical threat.

The left is not just dangerous on the economics and misguided on the politics (so I hope they continue on their snipe hunt); they are also wrong on the science. It is often hard to tell whether their pronouncements of so many things which are either objectively wrong or wildly misleading are due to true belief or a Machiavellian utilitarianism.

Are their goals of achieving the political dominance necessary to throttle our economy (the only way to substantially reduce carbon emissions — which rational people think of primarily as plant food) and redistributing billions of dollars to undeveloped countries (whose corrupt leaders are already scheming how to line their offshore bank accounts with money pilfered from American taxpayers) strong enough that they would not just suffer confirmation bias but actually, intentionally lie to get their way?

The answer is “Of course they would.” After all, President Obama, the prototypical Progressive, is accurately described, at least on issues of public policy, thusly: If his lips are moving, he’s lying.

The same goes for the global warmists, absolute masters of the Big Lie approach to discussion of climate. And who can blame them? It’s at least partly working. While the public cares less about climate change than any other issue mentioned in a recent Pew survey, many Americans — particularly Democrats — believe that global warming is happening and is caused primarily by humans.

As with any other cult, the beauty of being a warmist is never having to admit you're wrong. So it isn't surprising to see liberal media outlets blame today's brutal cold on, yes, global warming. Apparently global warming causes...well, everything. The non-falsifiable nature of the climate alarmists' theories are the very definition of non-science.

So when debating a climate alarmist reliably spouting clever but wrong talking points, one needs to be armed with the intellectual ammunition needed to shoot him down.

We saw an example of an unfortunately missed opportunity — a conservative unarmed — on Friday night when Dan Weiss from the leftist Center for American Progress was a guest on Sean Hannity’s TV show, guest-hosted that evening by Eric Bolling.

Bolling’s instincts were right, calling out “global warming alarmists still trying to push their radical position.” But he wasn’t well enough prepared for Weiss’s talking points, which included one of the left’s most persistent lies. So here for Eric Bolling’s future reference (and perhaps yours) is what he should have said to Dan Weiss’ lies and misdirection:

Weiss: “NASA reports that 97% of climate scientists believe that the earth is warming and that humans are primarily responsible.” (This is at the heart of the alarmists’ Big Lie.)

Correct answer: The papers which that 97 percent figure comes from — which NASA references but are not the product of NASA research — have been repeatedly debunked as junk, begun with misleading or meaningless questions and completed by mischaracterizing the answers. (See here and here.) Scientists who had their positions misstated have taken exception with these studies. And Roger Pielke, Jr., a prominent climate scientist who believes in man-made global warming has called one of these studies a “black list” written by a “frustrated climate blogger” which “may very well mark a new low point in the pathological politicization of climate science.” NASA should be ashamed for even mentioning such thinly disguised propaganda.

Weiss: Global warming is causing “a lot of extreme weather, like we’re seeing with Hurricane Sandy.”

Correct answer: There is no demonstrated correlation between “global warming” and extreme weather such as hurricanes. In fact, 2013 brought us the least severe weather year in quite a long time, with only 891 tornadoes and 54 tornado deaths (according to NOAA), well below the three-year and 10-year averages. 2013 also gave us fewer 100-degree days, far fewer wildfires, and fewer hurricanes than any recent year or modern average. According to The SI Weather, during the most recent hurricane season “there has been no major hurricane in either the Atlantic or eastern Pacific which only occurred one other year in recorded history — 1968.”

Weiss: November 2013 was the warmest November on record, and 2013 will go down as the fourth-warmest year on record.

Correct answer: Satellite data show that last November was either the ninth warmest or the 16th warmest of the past 35 years, not the warmest, with one scientist calling NOAA’s claims “full fraud.” Another prominent meteorologist says that the November claim is a "fraudulent report" created by "tampering with data" because the government agencies "have an agenda." Similarly, the assertion for 2013 overall is not supported by satellite data, and is based on an implausible massive heating of Russia while central Asia and most of North America had colder-than-average years. It’s a sad situation when federal government scientific agencies seem to be manipulating data for political purposes.

Weiss: “Not addressing climate change is costing Americans lots of money.”

Correct answer: Start with the response to the “extreme weather” claim above. Then add this: The left never talks about the cost of any so-called “solution.” The 2009 Waxman-Markey climate bill would, at best, have lowered global temperatures by less than one tenth of one degree by 2050. But the National Association of Manufacturers estimated that by 2030 the bill would cost 2 million U.S. jobs, reduce disposable income by $1,250 per household, and increase electricity prices by 50 percent. The Heritage Foundation reaches even more dramatic conclusions, adding that “single-year GDP losses reach $400 billion by 2025 and will ultimately exceed $700 billion.”

Whether it’s politics, jobs, or cold hard cash, the real climate-related costs Americans face are due entirely to the alarmists’ pathological desire to “fix” a non-problem by attacking the American economy and supporting “huge financial transfers from north to south, based on the repayment of climate debts.”

At least we have the Gore Effect to remind us with irony how terribly wrong Barack Obama and John Kerry are. It’s just too bad that this week’s brutal cold won’t freeze in place the gears of this administration’s misguided, non-scientific, anti-American bureaucratic machine.

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About the Author
Ross Kaminsky is a self-employed trader and investor and is a senior fellow of the Heartland Institute. He is the host of The Ross Kaminsky Show on Denver's NewsRadio 850 KOA on Saturday mornings from 6 AM to 9 AM. You can reach Ross by e-mail at rossputin(at)rossputin(dot)com.