27 Mar 2017

On Climate: Deniers, Taxes and a World View


This is part one of a three-part series regarding climate change. Part I will be published on Monday, March 27; Part II on Wednesday, March 29, and Part III on Friday, March 31. To view all three installments, please click here.


It is today an absolute pejorative employed by the global environmental theocrats against those who dare question the role of man in climate variation. A brief overview here of industrialization is helpful. In the 1800s increased use of coal degraded air quality. Migration to the other hydrocarbon fuels for power generation and transport grew economies and raised living standards worldwide. Technology lessened the impacts on air quality and the environment in general through the mid-1900s. The global cooling/imminent Ice Age panic was an element of the environmental hysteria of the 1970s and 1980s that included acid rain, the alar scare and holes in the ozone.

Enter global warming, another failed campaign which morphed into climate change over the past decade. One may look long and hard for a true denier, climate is perpetually changing as the Earth wobbles on its axis, sunspots come and go, volcanoes erupt spewing noxious gases and carbon into the atmosphere. A period of global warming roughly 1000 years ago energized Vikings to populate Greenland, Labrador and other North American lands.  They ventured as far as the Middle East as well. The Little Ice Age of the early and mid-1900s was one of the coldest periods on record…and at a time when coal consumption was at its most intense.  Undeniably, climate changes, and the causes are myriad and complex.

For climate zealots and their acolytes there is scientific consensus, case closed.  There were Kyoto protocols, later Paris accords and the previous administration signed on.  From Al “lockbox” Gore, to Tom Steyer to John Podesta and George Soros, the panic mongers have been convinced something must be done – the Paris accords were something, so clearly they must be done.  The costs of trillions of dollars in service of reducing global temperatures by approximately one degree Celsius by 2100 is patently absurd.  When rational arguments are raised in objection, they are shouted down as deniers, purveyors of deception, greedy, immoral and worse.

Man as destroyer of spaceship Earth is the mantra – ice caps melting, polar bears endangered, oceans rising, loss of species and their habitats decried by the opportunists who envision assumption of command in the guise of saving the Earth.  They alone have the answers, their pathway forward alone avoids a looming disaster – much like Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, Eric Brower and Paul Ehrlich’s The Population Bomb and mass starvation widely predicted by many for the 1990s.  One by one these fell by the wayside, were debunked and discarded.

But could the Earth actually be warming, and could man be a significant contributor?  It’s possible. We do know climate continues to change and it appears not to be moving into a period of meaningful cooling.  Barring a major breakthrough – a fracking-scale breakthrough– in storage of wind or solar, U.S. energy supplies are secure with conventional fuels. This also, “unfortunately” for the theocrats, has the benefit of combating climate change in the near-term.  Increasing our use of natural gas for power generation lowers carbon output by the U.S. and places us well ahead of progress achieved by the draconian and ineffective policies enacted by Europe.  Exporting the product leads to remarkable economic and security opportunities as well.  Allies in Europe and on the Pacific Rim thirst for U.S. supplies of crude and LNG that could come from the North Slope of Alaska, from the Bakken, the Permian and even the Marcellus if ports and storage facilities are built.

The new Administration has a singular opportunity to encourage further development of our domestic resources, increase exports to our allies, take a bite out of Russia’s markets and invigorate the U.S. economy, and in the bargain actually combat climate change.  Initial actions are promising with DAPL and Keystone pipelines approved, meaning less crude by rail and truck.  The so-called “deniers” oppose misguided solutions which result only in economic ruin and achieve next to nothing in global temperature moderation.  The moral path beckons – reducing and eliminating subsidies for alluring but non-performing energy schemes, exporting clean natural gas to our allies, invigorating the domestic economy to enable assistance to the needy foreign and domestic.  We’re hopeful this Administration is resolved to continue down this path.

2 Responses to On Climate: Deniers, Taxes and a World View
  1. As you know Jack, oil and gas saved the whales! Good to see you aren’t letting any grass grow under your feet.

    Jim Felton

    Excellent and exhaustive fact based work. In the era of feelings and relativism, facts are more important than ever.


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