President Obama, consult Groucho Marx

President Obama recently stated that climate change was personal to him because it caused his daughter’s asthma. He has also made a number of other claims to justify his crusade to reduce CO2 emissions and suppress fossil fuel use. If he only made one factual error it would be easy to dismiss because no one is perfect and even Presidential staffs err. But in his case, most of what he says about climate change is flat out wrong. The only conclusion you can draw is that he will say anything true or false that advances his anti-fossil fuel agenda. The end clearly justifies the means.

The late comedian Groucho Marx once made an insightful observation that the President should reflect on. He said, “politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.” That wisdom applies without exception to the President’s views and statements about climate change.

The Environmental Almanac published by the Pacific Research Institute states, “The improvement in air quality is the greatest public policy success story of the last generation.” Ozone and particulates show the greatest improvement. Air quality is getting better, not worse and CDC data show steady improvement in health quality measures. Asthma is a very complex disease and no one really knows what triggers attacks, although there are a range of theories. The President’s statement about his daughter leads to a very bizarre inference. Although ozone levels have been going down and are 25% lower than in 1980, the incidence of asthma attacks has been increasing. Hence, according to the President’s cause and effect calculus, increasing ozone levels should lead to a lower incidence.

The President also would have us believe that the California drought, tornadoes and hurricanes are evidence of a worsening climate problem. Unfortunately, the facts do not support him. A 2004 article in Science stated, “The western United States is experiencing a severe multiyear drought that is unprecedented in some hydroclimatic records. Using gridded drought reconstructions that cover most of the western United States over the past  1200 years, we show that this drought pales in comparison to an earlier  period of elevated aridity and epic drought in AD 900 to 1300, an interval broadly consistent with the Medieval Warm Period.” Droughts in the 1800s lasted decades. The most IPCC assessment report said that “there is not enough evidence at present to suggest more than low confidence in a global scale…trend in drought.” It even went so far to admit that the prior assessment report overstated drought trends. The IPCC also admitted that that there are “no robust trends in …hurricanes and major hurricanes…over the past 100 years in the North Atlantic basin. Analyses of tornadoes have generally concluded that the reported increases are probably due to cell phones, camcorders, spotters and chasers rather than actual increases.

The anti-fossil fuel agenda masks environmental zealotry that will cause serious damage if it succeeds. Abundant and relatively low priced energy has contributed to economic growth and a standard of living that is a source of energy. If mandated scarcity takes place, our life style and ability to support a growing population with an improving standard of living will suffer. The German economy ,which has been pursuing an aggressive green agenda, is an example of what happens when ideology replaces economic realism.

The campaign to force CO2 levels much lower will fail because other nations are not going to abandon coal, oil, and gas in the pursuit of their economic aspirations, rhetoric to the contrary. That is a good thing because CO2 is a nutrient that is essential for plants, forests, and agricultural crops to thrive and survive. We now have over 18 years with no real increase in temperatures. In a few more years it will be more apparent that CO2 is not a culprit and its increases are leading to a greening of the planet.

 

This article appeared on the FuelFix website at http://fuelfix.com/blog/2015/04/19/president-obama-consult-groucho-marx/

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