With much media fanfare, Silicon Valley billionaire Tom Steyer set out earlier this year to put an end to global warming skepticism through campaign contributions to favored candidates. Estimates of what he and his PAC spent range from $57 million to $74 million. What did he get for the money? Zip. A Republican majority in the Senate, an enlarged one in the House, and more Republican governors and state legislatures than before. There will be quite a few global warming skeptics among them.
He must have been paying too much attention to some pre-election academic polls and little to what voters were saying about 2014 priorities. He and fellow Democrats were cheered by two polls that measured perceptions. One, by Stanford University last year, had 73 percent of respondents saying they believed that global warming had been taking place over the last 100 years. And, 81 percent said they think it poses a serious problem for the U.S.
A Yale Project on Climate Change Communications survey taken early this year showed that majorities of women, minorities, and young people would support candidates who strongly endorsed “climate change” action. No wonder Mr. Steyer and friends were salivating.
When the campaign season opened, major professional polling organizations regularly asked those they polled what issues were most important. The economy, jobs, income, and related matters were always in the top tier. “The environment” issues never made it to the top 10.
While he’s been silent since the election, Mr. Steyer can take consolation in knowing that his torrent of dollars gave increased job security to the employees of all those television stations on which he ran his ads.
Although Mr. Steyer is silent, the tribunes of global warming are anything but. President Obama returned from Asia crowing about the agreement he reached with China’s leaders to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. As with most of his deals, there is less here than meets the eye. He promised to reduce U.S. emissions (already down to 2005 levels) by another 26-28 percent by 2030. Although this is only a presidential promise, he hopes future presidents will be pressured into maintaining it.
What did he get in exchange? Like Mr. Steyer, he got Zip. That is, unless one considers China’s promise to “consider” reducing emissions after 2030 an accomplishment. By the way, the Chinese are opening a new coal plant every 10 days.
Meanwhile, the high priests of the global warming movement at the United Nations are busily preparing for a “climate change” conference in Lima, Peru, next month. Recently, they released a new “study” that reaffirmed that the sky is falling and that doom is right around the corner unless we came up with a binding global treaty to stop it.
The dire warning came at a time when Antarctic ice is at record levels, the Arctic polar bear population is growing, and there have been fewer hurricanes and tornadoes, not more (despite Al Gore’s predictions). Average global temperatures haven’t risen in 18 years.
The big meeting amounts to a paid vacation for most of the delegates. Nothing will be accomplished, but the event will have the trappings of a pep rally and, like the rally before the big game, will be intended to create a sense of inevitability that the team will win.
All this is part of the buildup for next year’s U.N. summit meeting in Paris, in which the global warming priests will attempt to sell a comprehensive climate agreement to replace the Kyoto Protocol that was adopted in 1997 and went into effect in 2005. Currently, 192 countries have signed it. The U.S., China, and India are not among them. The Protocol rests on the twin assumptions that global warming exists and that human-made carbon dioxide emissions have caused is. Some scientists believe that; some do not. It is not, despite the propaganda, “settled science.”