Tag Archives: Global warming

Should the U.S. Adhere to the Paris Climate Accord, Part 2

The New York Analysis of Policy and Government concludes its examination of the merits of the Paris Climate Accord. 

An Energy and Environment (E&E) news report places a rough estimate for the cost of hitting the Paris goal in a range from $42 billion to $176 billion every year until 2050, citing Columbia University’s Geoffrey Heal. “Getting there will require massive investments, between $3.3 trillion and $7.3 trillion, in new energy generating capacity, energy storage and energy transmission, plus a faster transition to battery electric vehicles and ‘extensive progress’ in replacing the residential and commercial uses of fossil fuels.”

Bjorn Lomborg, writing for PragerU  notes:

“…the agreement will cost a fortune, but do little to reduce global warming. Consider the Obama administration’s signature climate policy, the Clean Power Plan. Using the same climate prediction model that the UN uses, I found that the power plan will accomplish almost nothing. Even if its cuts to carbon dioxide emissions are fully implemented – not just for the 14 years that the Paris Agreement lasts, but for the rest of the century – the Clean Power Plan would reduce the temperature increase in 2100 by just 0.023 degrees Fahrenheit… if the U.S. delivers for the whole century on [President Obama’s] very ambitious rhetoric, it would postpone global warming by about eight months at the end of the century. Now let’s add in the rest of the world’s Paris promises. If we generously assume that the promised carbon cuts for 2030 are not only met (which itself would be a U.N. first), but sustained, throughout the rest of the century, temperatures in 2100 would drop by 0.3 degrees – the equivalent of postponing warming by less than four years. Again, that’s using the UN’s own climate prediction model.”

A summary of the financial impact of the Paris accords was provided by the Heritage Foundation:

“Policies adapted from domestic regulations emphasized in the Paris agreement will affect a variety of aspects of the American economy. As a result of the plan, one can expect that by 2035, there will be:

  • An overall average shortfall of nearly 400,000 jobs;
  • An average manufacturing shortfall of over 200,000 jobs;
  • A total income loss of more than $20,000 for a family of four;
  • An aggregate gross domestic product (GDP) loss of over $2.5 trillion; and
  • Increases in household electricity expenditures between 13 percent and 20 percent.”

A continuation of American adherence to the Paris climate accord has also raised constitutional issues. The Competitive Enterprise Institute notes that “President Trump should keep his two-part campaign promise to cancel U.S. participation in the Paris Climate Agreement and stop all payments to United Nations global warming programs. The Paris Agreement is a costly and ineffectual solution to the alleged climate crisis. It is also plainly a treaty, despite President Obama’s attempt to implement it without the Senate’s advice and consent. Failure to withdraw from the agreement would entrench a constitutionally damaging precedent, set President Trump’s domestic and foreign policies in conflict, and ensure decades of diplomatic blowback. For those and other reasons, the Paris Agreement imperils both America’s economic future and capacity for self-government… The Agreement endangers America’s capacity for self-government. It empowers one administration to make legislative commitments for decades to come, without congressional authorization, and regardless of the outcome of future elections. It would also make U.S. energy policies increasingly unaccountable to voters, and increasingly beholden to the demands of foreign leaders, U.N. bureaucrats, and international pressure groups.

Political observers believe the Trump Administration’s decision on the Paris accords will provide a clue on how it will move on other issues as well, and whether the White House will stick to the more conservative course it promised during the campaign or switch to a more left-wing mode. A Reason analysis notes that “A big fight has apparently broken out among Trump administration denizens over the question of leaving or staying in the accord. The Clexiters include strategic nationalist Steve Bannon and EPA administrator Scott Pruitt and the stayers are First Daughter Ivanka Trump and Secretary of State of Rex Tillerson.”

 

Should the U.S. Adhere to the Paris Climate Deal?

The New York Analysis of Policy and Government examines, in two parts,  whether the U.S. should adhere to the Paris Climate accords 

The Trump Administration will soon decide on whether to adhere to the Paris Climate Agreement.  Since the accord was never formally adopted as a treaty by the United State, the White House can act with relative ease to alter America’s involvement.

President Obama pledged (without the consent of Congress) $3 billion as just a start to fund the $100 billion goals of the Paris agreement. Transferring wealth to developing countries appears to be the primary but unspoken goal of the Paris deal. The agreement’s Article 9, as reported by CNS,  notes: “Developed country Parties shall provide financial resources to assist developing country Parties with respect to both mitigation and adaptation in continuation of their existing obligations under the Convention.”

Opponents of the measure raise a number of criticisms, chief among them doubts about the scientific accuracy of the basic concepts underlying it, and the damage that would be done to the American economy.

Among the scientific questions scrupulously avoided in Paris:

  • Earth was warmer both in the 10th century A.D. and during part of the Roman Empire period. How does this compare with the concept of man-made global warming?
  • During the period when Earth was warming during the Twentieth Century, other planets in the solar system were also warming. Doesn’t this indicate that it is solar activity, not human activity, that is the major factor? (Live Science  noted in 2007: “Earth is heating up lately, but so are MarsPluto and other worlds in our solar system, leading some scientists to speculate that a change in the sun’s activity is the common thread linking all these baking events.”
  • Antarctic ice cover reached its greatest level ever in 2014. Forbes reports: “Updated data from NASA satellite instruments reveal the Earth’s polar ice caps have not receded at all since the satellite instruments began measuring the ice caps in 1979. Since the end of 2012, moreover, total polar ice extent has largely remained above the post-1979 average. The updated data contradict one of the most frequently asserted global warming claims – that global warming is causing the polar ice caps to recede.
  • There has been virtually no global warming for close to two decades. This should be reviewed more carefully before making drastic plans.

Dr. Steve Koonin, who served as undersecretary for science in the Energy Department during President Barack Obama’s first term, noted the lack of scientific agreement in a Wall Street Journal article:

“The idea that ‘Climate science is settled’ runs through today’s popular and policy discussions. Unfortunately, that claim is misguided. It has not only distorted our public and policy debates on issues related to energy, greenhouse-gas emissions and the environment. But it also has inhibited the scientific and policy discussions that we need to have about our climate future…The crucial scientific question for policy isn’t whether the climate is changing. That is a settled matter: The climate has always changed and always will. Geological and historical records show the occurrence of major climate shifts, sometimes over only a few decades…Even though human influences could have serious consequences for the climate, they are physically small in relation to the climate system as a whole. For example, human additions to carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by the middle of the 21st century are expected to directly shift the atmosphere’s natural greenhouse effect by only 1% to 2%. Since the climate system is highly variable on its own, that smallness sets a very high bar for confidently projecting the consequences of human influences.”

A purely scientific debate would have featured significantly different facts. Astronomy Now discusses the potential of exactly the reverse of global warming:

“The arrival of intense cold similar to the one that raged during the “Little Ice Age”, which froze the world during the 17th century and in the beginning of the 18th century, is expected in the years 2030—2040. These conclusions were presented by Professor V. Zharkova (Northumbria University) during the National Astronomy Meeting in Llandudno in Wales by the international group of scientists, which also includes Dr Helen Popova of the Skobeltsyn Institute of Nuclear Physics and of the Faculty of Physics of the Lomonosov Moscow State University, Professor Simon Shepherd of Bradford University and Dr Sergei Zharkov of Hull University”.

In a survey  of 1800 scientists, only 43% agreed with the United Nation’s claim of ‘95%’ certainty’ about global warming.

The Report concludes tomorrow

Climate Change Extremists Ignore Contrary Facts

For a number of years, the public has been told that man-made climate change had placed California in a long-range drought. However, as reported by the Mercury News it’s flooding that is now the problem facing residents of the Golden State.

The most important indicator of California’s water availability is the snowpack reading in the Sierra Nevada, which now stands at “164 percent of its historic average, a massive accumulation of new water… There is so much snow that the Squaw Valley ski resort, which has received 54 feet of snow so far this year, plans to stay open until July 4…So when is Gov. Jerry Brown going to rescind or amend the drought emergency order he signed in January 2014? He hasn’t said.”

In January comments reported by the Washington Post Brown stated  ‘We can’t fall back and give in to the climate deniers,’ In a December speech to the American Geophysical Union, he reiterated the state’s resistance to any efforts to roll back national climate policies, stating, ‘We’ve got the scientists, we’ve got the lawyers and we’re ready to fight.’”

Climate change extremists haven’t issued a retraction of their miscalculation, just as they have failed to apologize for inaccurate science or intentionally warping data.

A 2015 U.S. News & World Report article stated that  “Climate change is linked to California’s drought…”

That same year, Newsweek wrote:  “With each passing year, human-caused global warming bullies California for more water. Each year, the heat squeezes more moisture from soils and ecosystems.”

A Stanford analysis penned “The atmospheric conditions associated with the unprecedented drought currently afflicting California are ‘very likely’ linked to human-caused climate change, Stanford scientists write in a new research paper.”

The current excess of water in California is, to paraphrase Al Gore, “an inconvenient fact” for climate change extremists.

A 2016 Hoover Institution study by David Henderson and Charles Hooper provides this analysis:

“President Obama and California’s Governor Jerry Brown…have concluded that climate change caused California’s 2011-2015 drought…Brown said in 2015, ‘I can tell you, from California, climate change is not a hoax. We’re dealing with it, and it’s damn serious.’ In a February 14, 2014 press release, Obama said, ‘Droughts have obviously been a part of life out here in the West … scientific evidence shows that a changing climate is going to make them more intense.’

Henderson and Hooper explain that “Not only have the climate models been wrong about California’s precipitation—at least recently—but also they have a history of being wrong about overall warming…the climate models behind the dire predictions and Obama’s and Brown’s forceful actions—have been ‘running hot,’ sounding a false alarm, and predicting about 2.2 times as much warming as actually occurred from 1998 to 2014.”

Originally, advocates of human-caused climate change suggested that the planet was cooling.  That concept didn’t work out, and the same advocates proposed that the population, particularly in industrialized nations, was causing global warming.  That, too, hasn’t withstood the rigors of scientific analysis, particularly since the alleged warming trend appears to have halted for decades, if indeed it ever existed, and so the rather nebulous concept of “climate change” was proposed, and is now widely taught in schools, accepted by most of the media, and used as a factor in fostering large-scale government intervention in the private sector.

A number of explicit facts have challenged the notion that manmade activities are having a significant impact on the Earth’s temperature, starting with the fact that the Earth has continuously experienced climate change, even before humans made their relatively recent appearance.

The data employed to foster the manmade change theory has been shown to be seriously flawed. When “change” advocates generally cite records only a few hundred years old, they ignore extremely relevant information. From the 10th to the 14th centuries, the planet’s temperature was warmer  than that of our time. This period was followed by an era now known as “the Little Ice Age.”  Changes continued, not tied to human activity, and continue still.

As serious as the ignored data has been the intentional falsifying of key science studies. The most well-known case, popularly known as “Climategate,” came to the public’s attention when leaked emails from the University of East Anglia revealed that results of studies were tailored to ignore actual results in favor of propping up the beliefs of global warming theory advocates. It has now been revealed that the U.S. National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA have fabricated computer modeling of the atmosphere, perhaps in response to political pressure, also to better serve the wishes of climate change advocates.

The Earth’s environment does require attention, and actual harmful activities should be addressed. But the use of ignored facts and falsified data to support incorrect theories can only cause harm. The cynical employment of counterfeit science to pursue political ends–much of the climate change agenda is actually an excuse to implement socialist political goals– is unacceptable.

Environmental Debate Will Be More Science-based, Part 2

Conclusion of the New York Analysis of Policy and Government’s review of environmental debates

The inappropriate actions of environmental extremists was best represented by the “Climategate” scandal of 2009, in which emails, data files and data processing programs were leaked from the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit, revealing scientific fraud and data manipulation by scientists concerning the Global Warming Theory.

It was followed two years later by “Climategate 2.” As noted by Forbes : “Three themes are emerging from the newly released emails: (1) prominent scientists central to the global warming debate are taking measures to conceal rather than disseminate underlying data and discussions; (2) these scientists view global warming as a political “cause” rather than a balanced scientific inquiry and (3) many of these scientists frankly admit to each other that much of the science is weak and dependent on deliberate manipulation of facts and data. Regarding scientific transparency, a defining characteristic of science is the open sharing of scientific data, theories and procedures so that independent parties, and especially skeptics of a particular theory or hypothesis, can replicate and validate asserted experiments or observations. Emails between Climategate scientists, however, show a concerted effort to hide rather than disseminate underlying evidence and procedures.”

The Heartland organization reports that “The most important fact about climate science, often overlooked, is that scientists disagree about the environmental impacts of the combustion of fossil fuels on the global climate. There is no survey or study showing “consensus” on the most important scientific issues, despite frequent claims by advocates to the contrary. Scientists disagree about the causes and consequences of climate for several reasons. Climate is an interdisciplinary subject requiring insights from many fields. Very few scholars have mastery of more than one or two of these disciplines. Fundamental uncertainties arise from insufficient observational evidence, disagreements over how to interpret data, and how to set the parameters of models. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), created to find and disseminate research finding a human impact on global climate, is not a credible source. It is agenda-driven, a political rather than scientific body, and some allege it is corrupt. Finally, climate scientists, like all humans, can be biased. Origins of bias include careerism, grant-seeking, political views, and confirmation bias.Probably the only “consensus” among climate scientists is that human activities can have an effect on local climate and that the sum of such local effects could hypothetically rise to the level of an observable global signal. The key questions to be answered, however, are whether the human global signal is large enough to be measured and if it is, does it represent, or is it likely to become, a dangerous change outside the range of natural variability? On these questions, an energetic scientific debate is taking place on the pages of peer-reviewed science journals.”

An example of how NASA manipulated data is described by the Daily Wire:  “The Washington Times reported  in 2009: “Under pressure in 2007, NASA recalculated its data and found that 1934, not 1998, was the hottest year in its records for the contiguous 48 states. NASA later changed that data again, and now 1998 and 2006 are tied for first, with 1934 slightly cooler.”Since this occurred at around the same time as the Climategate scandal, Chris Horner of the Competitive Enterprise Institute filed a lawsuit to get NASA to release their relevant data sets on this issue and was able to expose emails from NASA that revealed a disturbing fact: the agency admitted “that its own climate findings were inferior to those maintained by both the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit,” reported Fox News in 2010 – meaning NASA climate change data sets were less accurate than the organization embattled with manipulating data sets.” The Washington Times  further reported in 2015 that “Paul Homewood, a skeptical researcher, found that in Paraguay, temperature readings for the 20th century at all nine weather stations supervised by NASA had been “adjusted” to transform a cooling trend into a warming trend. His analysis of readings in the Arctic found that rapid warming between 1920 and 1950 — before human activity could have increased the production of greenhouse gases — were adjusted downward so that the 1980s and ‘90s temperatures would stand out as warmer.”

The Trump Administration has signaled a course reversal. The selection of Robert Walker to lead the NASA transition team is an example. He  has previously complained of data manipulation by the space agency.

It is, however, the nomination of Scott Pruitt to run the EPA that will bring the greatest resistance. Business Insider  reports that “Pruitt joined several other state attorneys general in suing the agency over the Clean Power Plan, a policy drafted under the Obama administration…[he is] A self-described ‘leading advocate against the EPA’s activist agenda,’ Pruitt has brought lawsuits against the Obama-led EPA several times.”

Obama Uses Environmental Concerns to Wrest Control of U.S. Economy

One of the most sweeping changes to the American economy is occurring without any input by Congress, the states, or the voters. President Obama’s “Clean Power Plan,” which seeks to slash the use of coal by 32% under 2005 levels (without providing a proven, viable means to replace the loss power) was emplaced by executive action. Even when Congress was ruled by a Democrat majority, the legislative branch did not vote on the radical measure.

In response, many states have filed a lawsuit, and constitutional scholars are watching carefully to see whether the United States abandons its Constitutionally-mandated “separation of powers” in favor of a system in which the President has virtually unchecked power through the use of executive orders. On February 9, those opposing this White House’s extraordinary overreach won a stay on the move. The case will be argued on June 2 before the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C.

The Capital Research Center (CRC)  reports that “It is no surprise that 27 states and over  120 other business organizations, electric utilities and coops, and even labor unions sued EPA to stop the rule…”

The stakes are remarkable high, not just in terms of the balance of power in the U.S. government, but in the budget of every American household. The President’s plan would cause the price of energy to skyrocket, a fact that he himself admitted  in 2008 when he stated that “Under my plan of a cap-and-trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket. Even regardless of what I say about whether coal is good or bad…Because I’m capping greenhouse gases, coal power plants, you know, natural gas, you name it — whatever the plants were, whatever the industry was, they would have to, uh, retrofit their operations. That will cost money. They will pass that money on to consumers.”

If coal is taken out of the equation, it could not be replaced—if, indeed, it could be replaced– by anything other than options which environmental extremists also find unpalatable, such as nuclear energy, more use of oil, and greatly expanded hydrofracking

The one “green” option most frequently cited, solar energy, is a non-starter. Writing in Forbes, Christopher Helman explains: “…solar energy still barely moves the needle in the U.S. energy mix. … solar power amounts to well less than 1 quadrillion Btu out of an annual total of 96.5 quadrillion…coal is 19 quads. That’s nearly 8 times all the nation’s wind and solar generation combined.”  Greatly expanded use of solar, which is not feasible, would require vast portions of terrain to be covered by solar panels, causing its own brand of environmental damage, and would not be viable in vast portions of the nation not endowed with the right weather conditions.

How would the President’s plan, which would dramatically escalate costs, impact American family budgets? CRC notes that “A 2011 survey of low-income households for the National Energy Assistance Di­rectors Association reveals some of the adverse health and welfare impacts of high energy costs. Low-income households re­ported these responses to high energy bills: 24 percent went without food for at least one day; 37 percent went without medical or dental care; 34 percent did not fill a prescription or took less than the full dose; 19 percent had someone become sick because their home was too cold…Nothing worsens poverty more than the destruction of jobs. For the electric power production, coal mining, and natural gas production sectors, the EPA itself acknowledges an average loss of 47,000-49,000 jobs nationally per year from 2017 to 2030.”

Despite the enormous cost, very little would be accomplished. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) found that even if the President’s plan were fully implemented, and if all the White House’s scientific theories were correct, the impact on global temperatures would be, at most, 0.03 degrees.  Thus, the plan is more of a political statement than a practical one.

Why would an astute politician like the President commence a program that would have a severe detrimental impact on his constituents? Is there an environmental crisis that warrants the move?

The reality is, many scientists question the existence of manmade global warming (over 31,000 have written the White House to disagree with his statement that the “the question of climate change is settled.”) The environmental movement has been essentially hijacked by those who seek to use exaggerated claims as excuse to impose long-standing goals of centralizing the U.S. economy and reducing the role of the free market.

As an example, points out the Wall Street Journal’s Holman Jenkins,  advocates closely tie partisan support for left-wing politics with environmental extremism. He notes that Paul Krugman, writing in the New York Times, has essentially stated that a failure to vote Democrat will doom the planet.

Of course, for something allegedly so important, the Obama Administration, despite its extremist prose, has dragged its feet.  The President failed to push his radical climate agenda during his first administration, particularly when he had a solid majority in both houses of Congress. Indeed, he could have imposed his plan legally at that time through legislation, without violating Constitutional mandates regarding the separation of powers.

But an attempt then would have opened up the topic for debate in his re-election bid, where it would not have withstood public scrutiny.

The President and his supporters are vigorously pursuing their plan not because it is practical, because clearly it is not, and not because it can have a substantial positive impact on the environment, which it cannot. Rather, they are using unproven climate theories and ignoring the potential hardships as an excuse to impose a goal which has been pursued by hard-left politicians for close to a century: forcing centralized control over the American economy.  Allowing Washington to establish the rules for energy production, the very life-blood of the economy, means the federal government controls just about the entire economy itself.

Climate Change Advocates Ignore Contrary Evidence

Advocates of the theory that human activities have caused dangerous global warming are becoming desperate—and litigious.

With the startling revelation the Justice Department actually discussed taking legal action against the fossil fuel industry for “denying” climate change, it is now clear that the long history of fraud, misconstrued data, and junk science is beginning to take its toll on those who seek to impose drastic and questionable measures against a threat that may not bear any resemblance to their claims.  It is also becoming increasingly obvious, considering the lack of clear evidence for unusual global warming, that the motivation for the intensity of their efforts may have less to do with concern for the environment and more to do with an unrelated political agenda.

There have been attempts to prevent—even criminalize– discussion on the controversial issue of manmade global warming by its advocates, who base their position on suspect data.

A Competitive Enterprise Institute report  notes: “What boggles the mind is not that … climate scientists would attempt to stifle debate, drive the market out of the marketplace of ideas, and punish those who do not worship at the altar of ‘consensus.’ There’s no shortage of ‘progressive’ intolerance in these times. Using RICO [a legal tool designed to fight organized crime] to silence opponents is fairly tame compared to environmental activist Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.’s demand that fossil-fuel executives be tried for treason (the usual punishment for which is death). What’s noteworthy …is the scientists’ lack of self-awareness—their inability to judge themselves by criteria they invoke to condemn others. They have no clue how easily they can be hoist on their own petard.”

While pressure from the Obama Administration has chilled dissent from those currently working for government agencies, retired scientists have made no secret of their views that contradict the prevailing global warming orthodoxy. In 2012, Business Insider reproduced a letter penned by 49 retired NASA scientists and astronauts:

March 28, 2012

The Honorable Charles Bolden, Jr.
NASA Administrator
NASA Headquarters
Washington, D.C. 20546-0001

Dear Charlie,

We, the undersigned, respectfully request that NASA and the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) refrain from including unproven remarks in public releases and websites. We believe the claims by NASA and GISS, that man-made carbon dioxide is having a catastrophic impact on global climate change are not substantiated, especially when considering thousands of years of empirical data. With hundreds of well-known climate scientists and tens of thousands of other scientists publicly declaring their disbelief in the catastrophic forecasts, coming particularly from the GISS leadership, it is clear that the science is NOT settled.

The unbridled advocacy of CO2 being the major cause of climate change is unbecoming of NASA’s history of making an objective assessment of all available scientific data prior to making decisions or public statements.

As former NASA employees, we feel that NASA’s advocacy of an extreme position, prior to a thorough study of the possible overwhelming impact of natural climate drivers is inappropriate. We request that NASA refrain from including unproven and unsupported remarks in its future releases and websites on this subject. At risk is damage to the exemplary reputation of NASA, NASA’s current or former scientists and employees, and even the reputation of science itself.

For additional information regarding the science behind our concern, we recommend that you contact Harrison Schmitt or Walter Cunningham, or others they can recommend to you.

Thank you for considering this request.

The letter is not unique. 31,072 scientists, including 9,029 with PH.D’s, have signed a petition which states:

“There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate.  Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environment of the Earth.”

RealClimateScience analyzed an NOAA briefing citing statistics indicating a warming trend over the past 37 years. The data presented was selective, omitting a portion of the research which indicated that, in the approximately two decades before the recent 37 years, there had been a cooling trend.  The end result is that there has been, using NOAA’s own research, no evidence of global warming over the past 58 years. Data from other sources indicates that there has been no evidence of global warming since 1997.

The inappropriate tilting of government agencies towards the unproven theory of manmade climate change has been exposed by several sources. The Freebeacon has reported that “The business arm of billionaire Democrat Tom Steyer’s political advocacy network worked behind the scenes with senior administration officials to undermine a study by a federally commissioned group that criticized environmental regulations, internal emails show.”

Earlier this year, the United States Supreme Court placed a stay on President Obama’s “Clean Power Plan” regulations.  It was the first time that the highest court overruled a lower court to stay a regulation. The stay had been requested by 27 states.

Obama’s Unlawful Climate Change Moves

The availability of energy is the key ingredient in the world’s economy.  Control it, and everything else falls into place.

This reality has been the essence of why there has such been such an intense drive on the part of those who have sought to push for more centralized control of the economy using the excuse of climate change as a rationale.

The obstacle in the path of the White House, which has ardently sought to “fundamentally change” America’s economy in part using global warming as an excuse (from essentially capitalist to something more akin to the democratic socialism of Europe) has been the lack of support by the public or the Congress.  A yougov poll found only 9.2% consider global warming as their biggest concern, and, notes the Daily Caller, a Fox News poll found only 3% of U.S. residents cite that issue as a top concern.

Pursuing a radical change in energy production is a tough sell, since it lacks public or Congressional support.  Even the courts have stepped in, blocking Mr. Obama’s unlawful attempt to impose power plant regulations.

Despite the Constitutional and legal obstacles, the Environmental Protection Agency, under the direction of the Obama White House, has engaged in numerous maneuvers to evade appropriate and mandatory procedures.  A December 2015 Government Accountability Office Report found, for example, that:

“The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) violated publicity or propaganda and anti-lobbying provisions contained in appropriations acts with its use of certain social media platforms in association with its “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rulemaking in fiscal years 2014 and 2015. Specifically, EPA violated the publicity or propaganda prohibition though its use of a platform known as Thunderclap that allows a single message to be shared across multiple Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr accounts at the same time. EPA engaged in covert propaganda when the agency did not identify EPA’s role as the creator of the Thunderclap message to the target audience…EPA also violated anti-lobbying provisions though its hyperlinks to certain external Web pages in an EPA blog post. Both of the external Web pages led to appeals to the public to contact Congress in support of the WOTUS rule, which taken in context, constituted appeals to contact Congress in opposition to pending legislation. EPA associated itself with these messages through its decision to include the hyperlinks in its blog post.”

The White House presses on, using every lever at its disposal.  The Department of Interior’s imposition of a “pause” on new coal leases is a part of that strategy. “the Interior Department will also institute a pause on issuing new coal leases…Given serious concerns raised about the federal coal program, ‘we’re taking the prudent step to hit pause on approving significant new leases so that decisions about those leases can benefit from the recommendations that come out of the review,’ said Secretary Jewell.”

The most significant attempt to impose alterations on the national economy based on climate change concerns has been the Paris Agreement. (For a review of the Paris accords, see the New York Analysis of Policy & Government article here) The far-reaching impact and enormous cost of its provisions clearly rise to the level of a major international treaty.  However, since treaties must be approved by the Senate, the White House has attempted to label the treaty as an “Agreement.”

Mr. Obama can choose to call the treaty any number of terms, but it does not exempt him from compliance with Article II, Section 2, Clause 2 of the Constitution. In accordance with the Constitution, the Senate has responsibility for advice and consent to ratification of treaties with other nations that have been negotiated and agreed to by the Executive Branch.

The President… shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur….”

The Competitive Enterprise Institute  notes:

“President Obama claims the recently adopted Paris Agreement on climate change is not a treaty but rather an executive agreement…Why is he doing this? Because if he were to follow the constitutional treaty-making process, and submit the agreement to the Senate for its advice and consent, the treaty would be dead on arrival.In fact, the Paris Agreement is a treaty. That is the only reasonable conclusion based on U.S. historic practice, the Agreement’s potential costs and risks, its prescriptiveness and ‘ambition’ compared to predecessor climate treaties, and international protocol, including recent instructions from the United Nations Climate Change Secretariat to the Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Obama claims the Paris Agreement is not a treaty because America’s emission-reduction commitments under it are ‘non-binding.’ That is a non sequitur. Our emission-reduction commitments under the Senate-ratified UNFCCC are also non-binding, yet no one disputes that the UNFCCC is a treaty.”

Climate Change vs. Key Environmental Concerns

The extraordinary emphasis on the theory of man-made climate change by politicians, pundits, academia, and Hollywood has eclipsed other vitally important environmental concerns.

The general fixation on global warming, which rejects any contrary scientific fact or opinion, takes attention and funding away from more proven and immediate conservation and planetary health matters.

To a significant extent, that is because the actual motivation behind much of the climate change movement has more to do with politics than science.

Chris Baskind, writing for the Mother Nature Network, outlined several more immediate environmental issues. He noted that within a 24 hour period, 214,000 acres of tropical forest disappear. Two billion gallons of sewerage will be dumped into the world’s oceans. 10,800 children will die from drought or the lack of clean drinking water.

Baskind reported that “…beyond the unblinking stare of MTV — far from the well-heeled audiences of London, Hamburg and Giants Stadium — away from the celebrity and speechmaking, humanity’s collective lack of environmental wisdom is already grinding nature underfoot. While some propose spending billions of dollars to combat the uncertain foe of climate change, more pressing matters already threaten to upend our everyday lives.”

In the drive to counter perceived threats from climate change, poor, occasionally irrational, decisions are made. Promises, such as those made by at least one presidential candidate to completely replace all fossil fuels within the next 50 years have little chance to succeed.

Wind and solar present significant and profound problems of affordability, reliability, wildlife destruction and habitat loss that will not be resolved in a fifty year time table.

The concept of building, according to one proposal, tens of thousands of wind turbines ignores the massive resulting kill rates of birds and bats, and that’s just one part of the problem. Wind power problems.org describes key issues:

“Wind plant infrastructure creates an industrial nightmare in wild and natural settings:

  • Construction of 70ft wide access roads
  • Installation of new transmission lines
  • Construction of power substations
  • Excavations and concrete for turbine foundations
  • 4-6 acres of forest is clearcut for each turbine.
    • Construction of a 25-turbine wind facility clears enough trees to fill 100 football fields.”

Solar panels are another oft-cited panacea.  But they provide substantial environmental damage, as well. A National Geographic  study noted:

“Fabricating the panels requires caustic chemicals such as sodium hydroxide and hydrofluoric acid, and the process uses water as well as electricity, the production of which emits greenhouse gases. It also creates waste. These problems could undercut solar’s ability to fight climate change and reduce environmental toxics.”

American Thinker outlines multiple environmental problems:

“large-scale solar power will create environmental damage over large areas of land.  Solar collectors may manage to convert only about 10% of the sun’s energy into electricity, the rest being reflected or turned into heat.  But the whole solar spectrum is blocked, thus robbing 100% of the life-giving sunshine from the ground underneath, creating a man-made solar desert.  For solar thermal, where mirrors focus intense solar heat to generate steam, birds that fly through the heat beams get fried.  Why would true environmentalists support industrial-scale solar energy collection?… Desertec, the utopian U.S. $560-billion project designed to cover 16,800 square kilometers of the Sahara Desert with solar panels, and then export electricity 1,600 km to Europe, has collapsed.”

There is a clear and important place for wind and solar energy, but the wholesale replacement of existing energy facilities simply replaces one set of problems with another. The use of rooftop solar panels for use in individual buildings is a far different issue than utility-scale solar energy production, for example.

The extraordinary concentration on global warming produces rather odd mandates. The Washington Times recently reported that the Pentagon has “ordered commanders to prioritize climate change in all military actions.”

The directive includes combat commands.  It is difficult to envision leaders of soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines “prioritizing” global warming as they seek to avoid immediate death and destruction from enemy action. “Dakota Wood, a retired Marine Corps officer and U.S. Central Command planner, said the Pentagon is introducing climate change, right down to military tactics level.”

A bullet strike or a nuclear attack can cause a lot more immediate and drastic problems than theories about climate change.

Climate may be Cooling, not Warming

Scientific studies reported as recently as January are throwing the climate change debate into turmoil.

A number of scientists, examining the most recent solar studies, believe that the Sun is entering a quiet phase, and it may cause the Earth to cool, not warm.  It could change the political calculus behind the entire drive to engage in measures meant to address the theory of man-made global warming.

According to scientific sources reported in Space Today, the sun is  registering its quietest activity since records were first kept around 1750.

In December, as reported in the British newspaper Sunday Express  “A team of European researchers have unveiled a scientific model showing that the Earth is likely to experience a “mini ice age” from 2030 to 2040 as a result of decreased solar activity… at the National Astronomy Meeting in Wales, Northumbria University professor Valentina Zharkova said fluctuations an 11-year cycle of solar activity the sun goes through would be responsible for a freeze, the like of which has not been experienced since the 1600s.

A Principia Scientific  report disclosed:  A “New study by respected German scientists discredits alarmist global warming claims….climate cooling, not warming [is] more likely for the rest of this century. [According to] The Die kalte Sonne… Dr. Alexander Hempelmann and Carl Otto Weiss carefully examined climate changes of the past and have found that the recent [warming] changes (of the last 40 years) are nothing out of the ordinary and that we need to worry about a global cooling that will persist until 2080.

Space .com  notes: “Scientists have also often speculated whether the Maunder Minimum, a 70-year dearth of sunspots in the late 17th to early 18th century, was linked with the coldest part of the Little Ice Age, during which Europe and North America experienced bitterly cold winters. This regional cooling might be linked with a drop in the sun’s extreme ultraviolet radiation. In fact, the sun could currently be on the cusp of a miniature version of the Maunder Minimum, since the current solar cycle is the weakest in more than 50 years.”

Nature World News notes that: “It is known that the Sun plays an important part in controlling the Earth’s climate, but now researchers show that solar activity affects climate change more than previously thought, according to recent research. That is, especially during the Earth’s “cooler periods.

“Scientists have long debated how the activity of the Sun might influence climate, and new findings indicate that its impact is not constant. For the last 12,000 years, since the last Ice Age ended, the Earth has generally experienced a warm climate. However, during this period the climate has not been stable and temperatures have varied. So we have had a slightly cooler climate during the last 4,000 years, and ocean currents in the North Atlantic have been weaker.”

Science Times  describes the impact reduced solar activity may have:

“While solar activity is declining, our Earth may be slowly heading for a new ice age, according to scientists. Studying the decreasing number of sunspots, researchers found that we are possibly entering a nearly spotless solar cycle. This could result in lower temperatures for decades…In the 1645 it started a similar era with almost no spots, the so-called Maunder Minimum period. This coincided with the ‘Little Ice Age’ and it lasted for around 70 years. At that time North America and Europe experienced lower than average temperatures. However, up to date the theory that lower solar activity can cause climate change is still controversial since scientists do not have enough convincing evident to prove this correlation. A Lomonosov Moscow State University researcher, Helen Popovapredicts that this minimum will lead to a significant cooling similar to what was experienced during the Maunder Minimum Period if the existing theories about the impact of solar activity on the climate are true.

ClimateDepot reported in 2013 “Scientists at Russia’s famous Pulkovo Observatory are convinced that the world is in for a period of global cooling.  Global warming which has been the subject of so many discussions in recent years, may give way to global cooling. According to scientists from the Pulkovo Observatory in St.Petersburg, solar activity is waning, so the average yearly temperature will begin to decline as well. Scientists from Britain and the US chime in saying that forecasts for global cooling are far from groundless.”

Paris Climate Accord: Politics, Not Science

 The recently adopted Paris climate agreement is based on political considerations, not science.  Indeed, an objective view of scientific data concerning alterations in the global climate would indicate that concerns over man-made planetary warming don’t have a solid foundation in objective facts.

In a survey  of 1800 scientists, only 43% agreed with the UN’s ‘95%’ certainty’ about global warming.

Dr. Steve Koonin, who served as undersecretary for science in the Energy Department during President Barack Obama’s first term, noted the lack of scientific agreement in a Wall Street Journal article:

“The idea that ‘Climate science is settled’ runs through today’s popular and policy discussions. Unfortunately, that claim is misguided. It has not only distorted our public and policy debates on issues related to energy, greenhouse-gas emissions and the environment. But it also has inhibited the scientific and policy discussions that we need to have about our climate future…The crucial scientific question for policy isn’t whether the climate is changing. That is a settled matter: The climate has always changed and always will. Geological and historical records show the occurrence of major climate shifts, sometimes over only a few decades…Even though human influences could have serious consequences for the climate, they are physically small in relation to the climate system as a whole. For example, human additions to carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by the middle of the 21st century are expected to directly shift the atmosphere’s natural greenhouse effect by only 1% to 2%. Since the climate system is highly variable on its own, that smallness sets a very high bar for confidently projecting the consequences of human influences.”

A purely scientific debate would have featured significantly different facts. Astronomy Now discusses the potential of exactly the reverse of global warming:

“The arrival of intense cold similar to the one that raged during the “Little Ice Age”, which froze the world during the 17th century and in the beginning of the 18th century, is expected in the years 2030—2040. These conclusions were presented by Professor V. Zharkova (Northumbria University) during the National Astronomy Meeting in Llandudno in Wales by the international group of scientists, which also includes Dr Helen Popova of the Skobeltsyn Institute of Nuclear Physics and of the Faculty of Physics of the Lomonosov Moscow State University, Professor Simon Shepherd of Bradford University and Dr Sergei Zharkov of Hull University”.

The goals appear to be more in line with a traditional leftist objective of transferring wealth from developed, capitalist nations to other countries.

Among the scientific questions scrupulously avoided in Paris:

  • Earth was warmer both in the 10th century A.D. and during part of the Roman Empire period. How does this compare with the concept of man-made global warming?
  • During the period when Earth was warming during the past decades, other planets in the solar system were also warming. Doesn’t this indicate that it is solar activity, not human activity, that is the major factor? (Live Science  noted in 2007: “Earth is heating up lately, but so are MarsPlutoand other worlds in oursolar system, leading some scientists to speculate that a change in thesun’s activity is the common thread linking all these baking events.”
  • Antarctic ice cover reached its greatest level ever in 2014. Forbes reports: “Updated data fromNASA satellite instruments reveal the Earth’s polar ice caps have not receded at all since the satellite instruments began measuring the ice caps in 1979. Since the end of 2012, moreover, total polar ice extent has largely remained above the post-1979 average. The updated data contradict one of the most frequently asserted global warming claims – that global warming is causing the polar ice caps to recede.
  • There has been virtually no global warming for close to two decades. This should be reviewed more carefully before making drastic plans.

There appears to be considerable attempts to prevent a truly scientific discussion of global climate matters. William O’Keefe, writing at Marshall.org, reports that “In recent months, climate advocates have stepped up efforts to silence and intimidate organizations that question the climate orthodoxy that human activities involving the use of fossil fuels are leading to a climate catastrophe.  Their tactic is to urge that organizations expressing any skepticism be investigated under RICO—Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. They have been championed by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse who claims that “fossil fuel companies and their allies are funding a massive and sophisticated campaign to mislead the American people about the environmental harm caused by carbon pollution.”

President Obama’s enthusiasm for the 31-page agreement follows a pattern set in other matters.  He has employed international accords (carefully crafted not to be treaties which require Senate approval) to get around a Congress reluctant to agree with his domestic agenda.  As noted in The Hill  “Obama has also used the climate deal to bolster major controversial climate regulations. He’s argued that rules like the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) carbon dioxide limits for power plants and its methane emissions rules for the oil and natural gas sectors are necessary to obtain the 26 to 28 percent greenhouse gas reduction he pledged to the UN…Since the accord does not commit the United States to anything with legal force that it has not already agreed to in previous treaties, the Obama administration will argue that it does not require Senate ratification as a treaty.”

President Obama has pledged (without the consent of Congress) $3 billion as just a start to fund the $100 billion goals of the Paris agreement. Transferring wealth to developing countries appears to be the primary but unspoken  goal of the Paris deal. The agreement’s Article 9, as reported by CNS,  notes: “Developed country Parties shall provide financial resources to assist developing country Parties with respect to both mitigation and adaptation in continuation of their existing obligations under the Convention.”

Bloomberg  reports that Mr. Obama’s $3 billion pledge “would make the U.S. the largest donor to the newly established fund.”