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IN FOCUS – Climate Change

Climate Change

One of the most perplexing and dangerous public policy issues of the day is what is now called “Climate Change.”  Leftists in academia, politics, business, and the media have financially profited while pushing versions of this narrative.  But for most, the impact of this hysteria on our families, economy, education, mental health, and even military preparedness has been increasingly destructive.

This fear of Climate Change has been drilled into the minds of young people to the point that they are despairing of life — fearing the thought of dying before they can even grow up.  Who can forget when world leaders were snarled at in September 2019, by the teenage Swedish self-proclaimed climate advocate Greta Thunberg hurling her trademarked slogan at the audience — “How Dare You.”

Global Warming & Global Cooling

For those who can remember the past half century, it is easier to spot the sales pitch.  At the mid-1970’s, we were told that the world was threatened by “global cooling” — the beginning of a new ice age.  But that threat was hard to sell when we had hot spells.  Then we were told that there would be another ice age — which would be caused by, of all things, global warming.  Eventually the modern voices of doom finally developed the perfect threat scenario — one which could be used no matter what direction the temperature was heading — “Climate Change.”  Skeptics say that there is an even better term for the phenomenon — “Weather.”

Movements like climate change do not occur on their own.  There are wealthy and powerful global forces pushing and benefitting from this deception, and it is important to track how we got to the place we are today where the very act of questioning either global warming or the Climate Change narrative makes one a pariah in establishment circles.   A new book by a British academic, Climate Change Isn’t Everything (Polity Press: 2023), discusses the danger of Global Change being “a totalizing ideology [which] brooks no public dissent [leading to] perverse outcomes.”

The term “global warming” first appeared in print in an August 1975 paper in the journal of Science entitled Climatic Change: Are We on the Brink of a Pronounced Global Warming?  The cause was embraced rapidly around the world.  Not surprisingly, it was the United Nations which took the lead to develop international environmental treaties — beginning with the 1987 Montreal Protocol.  The 1997 Kyoto Protocol required industrialized nations to cut greenhouse gas to 5 percent below 1990 levels, and more recently, the 2015 Paris Agreement is demanding  even more stringent policies.

Climate Change Profiteers

In 1992, Senator Al Gore’s book Earth in the Balance, proposed a “Global Marshall Plan,” which pushed a host of Leftist initiatives:  population control, environmental regulation, and global economic coordination.  Following his Vice Presidency, Gore’s sequel An Inconvenient Truth, was published in 2006, along with the companion movie Gore narrated.  Gore continues to push for globalist climate policies, while investing in environmental venture capital firms that profit from an environmental agenda.

Leftist schemes include carbon taxes, electric vehicle mandates, and “Green Energy” quotas enacted by governments.  “Green energy” companies receive many billions of dollars per year in subsidies, and further their interests with campaign contributions; in 2020, 70% went to Democrats.  Environmental group giving is even more heavily partisan, as in 2020, 97% went to Democrats.   A website Climate Realism explains:  “Wind and solar power receive substantially more subsidies than conventional energy sources.  Wind power by itself receives more source-specific government subsidies than all conventional energy sources combined.  Solar power by itself also receives more source-specific government subsidies than all conventional energy sources combined.”

Academia is also on the gravy train. Government spending for “climate research” keeps science departments busy and dependent on taxpayer funds: from 1995 to 2018 the EPA alone distributed over $175,000,000 in research grants. Since universities are heavily funded by the federal government, it is not difficult to find “scientists” who will take whatever cause the government is funding.

Although the uniparty in Congress often joins forces to spend billions of our dollars, ostensibly to stop climate change, there are still some voices of resistance.  President Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Paris Agreement, but Biden re-entered it on his first day as President.

Impending Doom, Again

Using the excuse of saving the Earth from “climate change,” Mr. Gore, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Greta Thunberg and other radical activists have prophesied impending doom that never seems to actually happen.  Even some climate-change acolytes can see the harm in this:  “The irresponsibility of ‘two years to save the planet’” by Ross Clark describes the hyperbolic language used by climate alarmists, such as the concept of a climate crisis or giving humanity a countdown to disaster, and how it is counterproductive or even harmful.”

Such apocryphal prognostication brings significant harms: “…one troubling result of catastrophizing, and that is the state of mental health among younger people.  Clark talks about a 2021 study which asked students at the University of Bath between the ages of 16 and 25 questions about climate change, which found ‘45 per cent of people in this age group were so worried about climate change that it was affecting their day-to-day life, while 56 per cent said that they thought humanity was doomed and 40 per cent said they were hesitant to have children because they would be bringing them up in an uninhabitable world.’

Diverting Military Funds

“Climate change” also is playing an outsized and “distracting” role in U.S. military preparedness: while some blame the armed forces for their contribution to the problem through pollution, the narrative that changing climate brings increasing humanitarian and military crises would seem to indicate a need to increase military capability.

Policies of the Obama and Biden administrations (and even during the Trump administration) pressure the military to view defense planning through the “climate” lens and transition to more expensive and unreliable “green” equipment.  The U.S. Navy in 2009 initiated the “Great Green Fleet” plan for a fleet powered by “alternative energy” — some experienced officers and elected officials have responded with concern that the policies “lack a sound foundation, putting warfighting capability at risk” and calls to “Sink the Great Green Fleet.”

Carbon Dioxide – Essential for life

Much of the focus of Climate Change is on Carbon Dioxide.  While CO2 is demonized by the climate change zealots, it is vital for life.  One article explains that higher carbon levels benefit health in many ways,”  as “more CO2 means more oxygen is delivered to our cells, improving our energy production…. The higher the concentration of CO2, the more effectively oxygen can be utilized and the better we will make energy.”  One of the reasons that the population control advocates may not like CO2 is that it improves longevity.  At higher altitudes, there are higher CO2 levels, and lower rates of cancer and heart disease.  If you want to search for the benefits of CO2, expect that you will not find them in the first pages of your average Google search.

Al Gore and others predict devastation by rising sea levels from melting polar ice, but the Arctic and Antarctic icehave actually been steady or growing.  Other “scientific evidence shows current temperatures are unusually cool, not hot.”  But facts have no bearing when Congress wants to pay off its friends, and our media watchdogs are incentivized not to report how Congress is wasting our money.  If Global Warming is nothing more than a huge hoax, just think of all the incorrect spending and investment decisions that have been based on it.  It will be a miracle if the waste and corruption it has spawned does not bring down the nation.  Thus, the true threat today is not Climate Change, but rather our mindless fear and willingness to fund those stirring up the fear from which they profit.

Editor’s Note: To read the articles in this series, please click here.

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