A few questions for climate alarmists
By Paul Driessen
The new Kerry-Lieberman climate bill mandates a 17% reduction in US carbon dioxide emissions by 2020. It first targets power plants that provide reliable, affordable electricity for American homes, schools, hospitals, offices and factories. Six years later, it further hobbles the manufacturing sector itself.
Like the House-passed climate bill, Kerry-Lieberman also requires an 80% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050. Once population growth and transportation, communication and electrification technologies are taken into account, this translates into requiring US emission levels last seen around 1870!
House Speaker Pelosi says "every aspect of our lives must be subjected to an inventory," to ensure that America achieves these emission mandates. This means replacing what is left of our free-market economy with an intrusive Green Nanny State, compelling us to switch to unreliable wind and solar power, and imposing skyrocketing energy costs on every company and citizen.
Meanwhile, the Environmental Protection Agency is implementing its own draconian energy restrictions, in case Congress does not enact punitive legislation.
It's time to ask these politicians some fundamental questions.
1) Even slashing carbon dioxide emissions to 80% below 2005 levels would reduce projected global average temperatures in 2050 by barely 0.2 degrees F, according to a study that used the UN's own climate models. That's because China, India and other developing countries are building new coal-fired power plants every week, even as the United States and Europe shackle their economies and send more jobs overseas. How do you justify such destructive, punitive, meaningless legislation?
2) Reflecting agreement with thousands of scientists, most Americans now say climate change is natural, not manmade. Fully 75% are unwilling to spend more than $100 per year in higher energy bills to "stabilize" Earth's unpredictable climate. What provision of the Constitution, your oath of office or your duty to the overall health and welfare of this nation permits you to ignore the will of the people, the mounting evidence that "climate disasters" are the product of computer models, manipulated data and falsified UN reports, and the job-killing impacts of the laws and regulations you seek to impose?
3) If carbon dioxide is causing "runaway global warming," why have average global temperatures not risen since 1995, and why have they been cooling for the past five years – even as atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have continued to rise to levels unprecedented in the modern era?
4) What properties does manmade carbon dioxide have that enable it to replace the complex natural forces that clearly caused the Ice Ages, Medieval Warm Period, Little Ice Age, Dust Bowl, ice-free Arctic seas in 1822 and 1922, Alaska's 100 degree F temperature record in 1915, and all the other climate and weather changes and anomalies, blessings and disasters that our planet has experienced during its long geologic and recorded history?
5) What physical or chemical properties does manmade carbon dioxide have that would enable it to overturn the laws of thermodynamics – and cause temperatures in Antarctica to rise 85 degrees F, from an average of minus 50 F to plus 35 F year-round (or 48 degrees C, from -46 C to +2 C), to melt that continent's vast ice masses, raise sea levels 20 feet or more, and flood coastal cities?
6) Precisely what chemical, physical and thermodynamic processes would drastic carbon dioxide reductions alter, and how? Precisely what weather and climate improvements would those reductions achieve? Precisely how will CO2 reductions stabilize planetary temperature, climate and weather systems that have been turbulent, unpredictable and anything but stable throughout Earth's history?
7) Is there any direct physical observation or evidence that would falsify your climate crisis thesis, and cause you to admit human greenhouse gas emissions are not causing a planetary climate disaster? Or do you think everything that happens confirms your climate disaster hypothesis: warmer or colder, wetter or drier, more snow and ice or less, more hurricanes and tornadoes or cyclical periods with few such storms?
8) Replacing hydrocarbons with unreliable, subsidized "green" energy will require millions of acres of land for wind turbines, solar panels and transmission lines – plus hundreds of millions of tons of steel, copper, concrete, fiberglass and rare earth minerals for all those facilities.
Do you support delaying wind, solar and transmission projects for years, to protect the rights and property of local communities and private landowners? Or do you favor regulatory edicts and eminent domain actions, so that government can seize people's property and expedite construction of these projects?
Do you support opening US public lands for renewed exploration and development, so that we can produce these raw materials and create American jobs? Or do you intend to keep US lands off limits, and force us to depend on imports for renewable energy, too?
Do you support relaxing environmental study, endangered species and other laws, to fast-track approval of these projects, despite their obvious impacts on wildlife and habitats? Or do you want them subjected to the same rules that have stymied thousands of other energy projects, so that renewable energy projects cannot be built, either – and we have massive blackouts?
9) Over 1.5 billion people in Africa, Asia and Latin America still do not have electricity, for even a light bulb or tiny refrigerator. Millions die every year from diseases that would be largely eradicated with electricity for refrigeration, sanitation, modern hospitals, and industries that generate greater health and prosperity. How can you justify using taxpayer money to finance UN and environmental activist programs that claim global warming is the biggest threat they face, and they need to get by on wind and solar power, and give up their dreams of better lives, because you are worried about global warming? Doesn't that violate their most basic human rights to improved living standards, and even life itself?
10) If you're so sure about your data and conclusions – and intend to use climate disaster claims to justify sending our energy costs skyrocketing, killing millions of factory jobs, controlling our lives, and totally overhauling our energy, economic and social structure – why do you refuse to allow fair, open and balanced congressional hearings and debates on climate science and economics? Why do you refuse to debate skeptical experts in a public forum, or even answer questions that challenge your alarmist thinking? Why do you refuse to require that scientists who get taxpayer money for their research must share and discuss climate data, computer codes, methodologies and analyses?
11) How much money and campaign help have you gotten from companies and activist groups that benefit from renewable energy mandates and subsidies, carbon offset and trading schemes, coal mining and oil leasing bans, and other provisions of climate and energy legislation?
12) What if you vote for these job-killing, anti-growth, anti-poor, anti-human-rights "climate disaster prevention" laws – and it turns our you are wrong on the science or economics? What will you do? Give up your congressional seat, home, pension and worldly wealth – and pledge yourself and your children to an austere life of service to the people you have harmed? Or just say, "Oh I'm so sorry," and then pass more intrusive, oppressive laws, before retiring to collect a nice government pension – while millions freeze jobless in the dark?
13) If you can't or won't answer these questions, then why do you think you have a right to tell anyone on this planet that we have a "climate crisis," and dictate how they must live their lives – especially when you've done so little to slash your own taxpayer-funded air travel, staff, and home and office energy use?
Paul Driessen is senior policy advisor for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green Power - Black Death. He has studied climate change for over 15 years.