In the short space of less than two weeks, there have been several climate change actions that might be signs bordering on desperation. First, Secretary of State John Kerry stated that climate change was like a weapon of mass destruction. And then, President Obama announced plans for additional heavy-duty vehicle fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas standards to further reduce carbon emissions that he claimed are having a severe impact on our weather. On top of these Administration announcements, a hedge fund billionaire announced a commitment of $100 million in climate advocacy.
Climate change advocates have been on defense since last fall’s report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the continued failure of the climate system to conform to model predictions. The shrillness of the apocalyptics just gets louder and more extreme. Their rhetoric proves the Ron Bailey’s truism that freeze or fry, wet or dry, the problem is always the same, man’s use of fossil energy.
Since Al Gore left Washington to rake in millions by selling climate solutions, Secretary Kerry seems to have more or less taken his place. And, now he is using his cabinet platform to continue deep forebodings about our future. While political rhetoric on climate change is to be expected from environmental extremists, comparing it to thermonuclear, chemical, and biological weapons is, as Newt Gingrich said, delusional. His attack on scientists on who do not embrace climate orthodoxy is not only insulting but also dangerous to the scientific establishment. Those who reject the climate orthodoxy provide science based reasons for their positions. People like Secretary Kerry insult and make indictments.
Shrillness is usually a sign of being on the losing side of an issue and his comments certainly qualify as being shrill.
To claim, as President Obama did, that his Administration is breaking our dependence on foreign oil and checking carbon pollution that is having severe impacts on our weather, as he not only did in announcing the fuel efficiency standards but in comments on the California draft takes hyperbole to a new level of excess. The evidence to support his climate change views keeps shrinking by the day. As it does, it appears that the President doubles down.
Professor John Christy, for example, has more than once pointed out that the models that the climate change community rely on have consistently been wrong. In addition, he has documented that warming in the deep atmosphere, which should be the driver for the weather phenomena that are used to bolster apocalyptic claims, is not warming at an alarming rate. Professor Judith Curry in recent Senate testimony detailed in depth the scientific flaws in these claims as well.
The collapsing scientific foundation for the President’s legislative and regulatory climate agenda in matched by public apathy about climate. Public opinion polls have never shown climate change to be high on the public’s agenda even among environmental issues.
Time is running out for the president and that might explain why a liberal billionaire is planning to spend $100 million to influence this year’s elections. If he is successful, we will have three more years of economy damaging regulations that will do nothing to influence the climate system.