by Erika Johnsen
The Obama administration was more vocal about the supposedly dire need to combat climate change toward the beginning of their oh-so-eminent reign, with President Obama out championing the cause at such august events as the U.N. climate conference in 2009. There’s been a bit of a lull in their alarmist-enthusiasm rhetoric in the past year or so (maybe they’ve figured out that concern for climate change is a luxury good during times of economic recession), but it looks like they may be thinking about bringing back the meme to help sell their horrendous energy polices in the run-up to November.
Energy Secretary Steven Chu said Wednesday that scientific evidence of climate change is getting more and more powerful, comments that come as global warming legislation remains moribund in Congress and Environmental Protection regulations are facing ongoing GOP assaults.
“Over the last couple of years, the dispassionate, hard science evidence has been mounting, increasing,” said Chu, speaking at an energy forum hosted by The New York Times.
Chu noted that “we don’t understand everything” and that in past years scientists have actually underestimated the pace of some changes, including sea level rise.
“It is rising even faster than we thought. The number of violent rainstorms have increased faster than we thought,” he said at the event in New York, adding that though there are “bumps and wiggles” that are not understood, trends are clear in the long term.
Funny — I thought the rising sea levels were supposed to have wiped out polar bears by now, or something?
For what feels like the umpteenth time: nobody is denying that climate change exists. Planet earth is not and never has been a static place. But is human activity contributing to climate change at an exponentially unsustainable rate, hurtling the world toward unprecedented large-scale catastrophe? Hmm…
During a speech at Tufts’ law school last month, Sen. John Kerry voiced his consternation with what he called the “flat-earth caucus” of the U.S. Congress constantly standing in the way of President Obama’s environmentalist ambitions. “You can’t talk about climate now,” Kerry lamented. “People just turn off. It’s extraordinary. Only for national security and jobs will they open their minds. …The irony is that we used to be a nation that valued science. We have become a nation that is now discarding science.”
Well, guilty as charged! Yes, conservatives are finally vocalizing the idea that ‘science’ is not a sacred cow immune from politics, but rather that science is perfectly capable of being corrupted and is governed by a set of incentives. Incentives such as – oh, I don’t know – chasing government grants and lobbyist money, perhaps? And boring, non-catastrophic science doesn’t rank highly on the government-handout to-do list, as it doesn’t whip the public into the suitable frenzy. Contrary to the doomsayers’ claims, more and more “heretics” are emerging from the scientific community to point out how politicized the issue of climate change has become, and a growing faction agrees that the 21st century hasn’t actually produced any measurable warming.
The prospect of battling with those darn obstructionist Republicans didn’t deter President Obama fromrequesting a nice $770 million chunk in foreign aid to combat climate change in developing countries (but then, his entire 2013 budget was a flippant political stunt that won approximately zero votes, so, wash). Despite the fact that we cannot afford even these tidy little earmarks, this appeal to the environmentalist lobby’s bid to shape and control how other countries develop is selfish, elitist, and ignorant. Wealthier societies are healthier societies, and discouraging the proven routes to prosperity in weaker nations in order to furnish laboratories for environmentalist pipe dreams is a waste of money that does nothing to contribute to global economic growth and accomplishes little to help lift people out of poverty and misery.