Failure is Preordained

The climate establishment continues to push for deep emission reductions even though they are impractical and would certainly do more harm than good. Meetings like the one that will be held in Paris are detached from reality and simply provide the attendees with a taste of the good life.

The emerging economies want to achieve improving standards of living so they can enjoy the benefits that we take for granted. To do that, they need access to abundant and affordable energy. For decades to come, according to EIA and IEA, that energy will come from coal and natural gas. Only the foolish and ideologically driven would turn away from the energy sources that have given developed nations high standards of living, improved health, and advances in technology.

Contrast those conditions with the 1.3 billion people who do not have access to commercial energy. They subsist, have limited access to potable water, lack refrigeration for medicines and food storage and suffer high disease and mortality rates. Those who push for ever deeper emissions cuts are telling them that they will not enjoy a lifestyle like those of us in the developed world. They are expendable and are being condemned to early and painful deaths. That is callous and shows a reckless disregard for the dignity of human life.

According to the climate establishment, which includes the negotiators who will enjoy their time in Paris, deep cuts are needed to avert a climate catastrophe. They know this because their models, not science or facts, tell them so. For 50 years, environmental zealots have been preaching doom but like the horizon, it recedes as we approach it. Their record of prediction is so poor that it is mind boggling that anyone listens anymore. Does anyone remember “Limits to Growth” and its failed certitude? The proponents of that failed prophecy are at the core of the climate establishment.

According to the forecasts that started to be made at the time of the first IPCC meeting, global temperatures should at least 1 degree C higher than they are, hurricanes, tornadoes, and other extreme weather events should be increasing, which they aren’t. And, the warming pause that has occurred since 1998 shouldn’t exist.

The climate establishment has made CO2 environmental enemy number 1 even though it is a nutrient and not a pollutant and even though satellite photos show a greening of the planet and more efficient plant growth as a result of higher levels of CO2.

It is instructive that the economic record of those nations in the EU that are pushing the hardest for CO2 emission cuts is pathetic. Ours, which isn’t great, looks awesome by comparison. Part of the EU problem is its blind adherence to the green blue print developed by Germany. It brought Spain and Italy to their knees and has resulted in unnecessarily high unemployment, high electricity rates, and a flight of capital.

The pursuit of deep emissions cuts without either the technology or the substitute energy forms to replace fossil fuels qualities reveals how zealotry can overwhelm science, economics, and an understanding of why abundant and affordable energy is essential for modern society. In 2000, French President Chirac called for a global government to address the climate threat. It is clear that many of the negotiators who will be in Paris see that as their ultimate objective.

This article appeared on the National Journal’s Energy Insiders weblog at

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