The Democrats’ Green New Deal legislation was hailed as a smart, forward-looking effort to rid the world of this meddlesome carbon dioxide that is overheating the planet. But it is simply a costly and overburdening fantasy, as Sweden is learning with its own attempt to “curb global warming.”
The Sierra Club called Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s GND “a big, bold transformation of the economy to tackle the twin crises of inequality and climate change.” (Give the gang credit for obliquely admitting the “fight” against global warming is driven by a desire to take over the economy.)
Sen. Cory Booker, a New Jersey Democrat and ancient gladiator, has compared the GND to defeating the Nazis and putting men on the moon.
Both Democratic Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand and Amy Klobuchar found it to be “aspirational.”
Al Gore, famous for being a vice president and climate Paul Revere, who should be infamous for lying about global warming, has said he is “strongly in favor of” the GND.
More reasonable thinkers less concerned about appearing hip than getting to the truth have determined the GND would cost up to $93 trillion over its first decade. That’s quite a bit of money for a problem that might not exist.
And, as Sweden is learning, there are not only excessive costs incurred by “going green,” there are practical problems, as well, in particular energy shortages.
Sweden’s introduction of “a tax aimed at phasing out the nation’s last remaining coal and gas plants to curb global warming comes with an unintended consequence for some of its biggest cities,” Bloomberg reported last week.
“Hiking threefold a levy on fossil fuels used at local power plants will make such facilities unprofitable,” forcing utilities to announce “they will halt or cut power production.”
It might be a colder (and darker) winter than usual in Sweden this year, and not due to lower temperatures but because power output, according to two Stockholm utilities, “will stop or be heavily cut.”
Or as one commentator on oilprice.com said, “enjoy your rolling power blackouts.”
And for what? The possibility that human activity is overheating the planet? The alarmists insist there are no other explanations. They cite United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports as if they were brought down from Mount Sinai by Moses.
But are those reports infallible? Of course not. Are they completely divorced from politics? No honest person would try to make such a claim.
Yet the alarmists bitterly cling to those reports and the mythical scientific consensus, and treat those who aren’t in agreement with them with an irksome smugness.
They also offer the temperature record as indisputable evidence of the narrative, even though, as University of Alabama-Huntsville climate scientist Roy Spencer recently pointed out, the “records come from a fairly limited and error-prone array of thermometers which were never intended to measure global temperature trends.” (Spencer also notes that “July 2019 was not the warmest on record” despite reports claiming it to be “hottest month on record for global average surface air temperatures.”)
Academic and Capitol Hill policy staffer Caleb Rossiter has also dared to challenge the record. Curious after grading a student’s paper that uncritically accepted the U.N.’s global warming claims — for which the student received an “F” — Rossiter, a Democrat, checked the U.N.’s temperature chart from 1860 to 2000 and noticed it was “based on thermometer readings, mostly from developed countries.” This meant much of the global surface and nearly all the oceans were not measured, rendering the data “woefully incomplete,” and “making it difficult to draw large-scale conclusions.”
Writing recently in the Washington Examiner, Rossiter:
- Said the researchers who run the computer models that forecast climate doom “control the final answer from the start.”
- Characterized the “hockey stick” chart that supposedly shows beyond any doubt a recent “thousand-year high” in temperatures as “pretty much all art and no science.”
- And compellingly argued that “even if true, the chart was irrelevant to whether our recent warming is mostly human or natural,” because “every 100,000 years, oscillations in the earth’s orbit drive temperatures up and then down far more than the recent fluctuation. The processes and feedback are poorly understood.”
There are far too many examples of reasons to distrust the alarmist narrative to fit into an editorial or op-ed, or even a lengthy essay. But it’s important to add this to today’s discussion: The climate scare to many is less about harnessing the global temperature than it is a convenient “backdoor way to implement socialist policies in the Western democracies,” as environmental policy scholar H. Sterling Burnett has said. It is a dishonest scheme to “replace private property and free exchange in the market with state control of the economy.”
Finally, the fearmongering also provides an unparalleled opportunity for attention seekers to engage in blue-ribbon virtue signaling. They freely brag about their electric vehicles, residential solar panels, and dedication to compact fluorescent light bulbs. Some even resort to strutting their “advanced degrees” in science in an effort to intimidate and shut down discussion while at the same time showing how educated and intelligent they are.
Unfortunately, they will be saying the same things in 10 years, long after so many deadlines to “save the planet” have gone by without our existence being threatened.
— Written by J. Frank Bullitt
Issues & Insights is a new site formed by the seasoned journalists behind the legendary IBD Editorials page. We’re just getting started, and we’ll be adding new features as time permits. We’re doing this on a voluntary basis because we believe the nation needs the kind of cogent, rational, data-driven, fact-based commentary that we can provide.
Be sure to tell all your friends! And if you’d like to make a contribution to support our effort, feel free to click the Tip Jar over on the right sidebar.