Obama's Last Shot - Climate Change - And Why It's Doomed To Fail
Today the Obama administration publishes its latest National Climate Assessment on the state of global warming. The bad news - inevitably - is that the news is very bad: more heat, more extreme weather, more drought, everything worse than ever before.
Fortunately, there's some good news too: you don't need to believe a word because, just like the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's reports, this document is much more a political one than a scientific one.
Its purpose is described well in the headline of this Rolling Stone article: Obama's Last Shot.
"Taking action on climate is one of the most important goals in the president's second term," John Podesta, counselor to the president and his point man on climate policy, told me a few weeks ago. "He feels a profound and urgent obligation to get as much done as he can before he leaves office."
Of course he does but in order to achieve these intrusive, radical, economically-damaging changes - America still being, more or less, a democracy - Obama first needs to make a persuasive case that they are actually necessary. Otherwise, there might be quite a lot of resistance, say, from the coal-producing states (over his ongoing war on fossil fuels); from taxpayers (over all the money being diverted into renewable energy scams like Solyndra); from country dwellers (sick of having their views ruined, their sleep disturbed and their avian wildlife sliced and diced by wind turbines); from the unions (concerned at all the US jobs will be lost if and when the Keystone XL pipeline is nixed); from energy users (over prices raised artificially high by the drive for heavily subsidised renewables); from farmers (subject to increasingly intrusive environmental regulations on how they may and may not use their land); and so on.
This is where the Chicago tactics of Obama's chief climate bundler John Podesta come in. For the full grisly details I'd recommend this superb analysis by Christine Lakatos. Suffice to say that the Obama administration is up to the neck in the green energy scam, with at least $150 billion of taxpayers' money having been diverted by the government into various, invariably worthless environmental schemes, many of them involving Obama campaign donors. Podesta's job is to keep ramping up the climate hysteria in order to give the Obama administration's increasingly oppressive and counterproductive environmental spending and regulation a fig-leaf of scientific credibility.
Hence this National Climate Assessment which comes full of sound and fury but actually signifies nothing, as Pat Michaels and Chip Knappenberger explain over at Watts Up With That?
Michaels and Knappenberger demolished the draft of the National Climate Assessment when it was published a year ago:
This National Assessment
is much closer to pseudoscience than it is to science. It is as
explanatory as Sigmund Freud. It clearly believes that virtually
everything in our society is tremendously dependent the surface
temperature, and, because of that, we are headed towards certain and
inescapable destruction, unless we take its advice and decarbonize our
economy, pronto. Unfortunately, the Assessment can’t quite tell us how to accomplish that, because no one knows how.
In the Assessment’s
1200 horror-studded pages, almost everything that happens in our
complex world — sex, birth, disease, death, hunger, and wars, to name a
few — is somehow made worse by pernicious emissions of carbon dioxide
and the joggling of surface average temperature by a mere two degrees.
As an example of just how dishonest the report is, they focus this time on its prediction of more, devastating heatwaves which are going to result in increased loss of life, especially among the elderly. This claim has, of course, also been made by its friends at the Environmental Protection Agency.
But the scientific and statistical evidence just doesn't support this claim. Quoting the most authoritative recent report on heat deaths among the elderly, they say:
This study provides strong evidence that acute (e.g., same-day)
heat-related mortality risk has declined over time in the US, even in
more recent years. This evidence complements findings from US studies
using earlier data from the 1960s through mid-1990s on
community-specific mortality rates (Davis et al. 2003a; Davis et al.
2003b), as well as European studies that found temporal declines in
heat-related mortality risk (Carson et al. 2006; Donaldson et al. 2003;
Kysely and Plavcova 2011; Schifano et al. 2012), and supports the
hypothesis that the population is continually adapting to heat.
Note that vital word "adapting". It's what - contra the scaremongerers in the environmental movement and the Obama administration - we humans do so well. And it's certainly going to be a lot more effective at dealing with any problems arising from climate change than, say, building more windfarms or pouring more taxpayers' money down sink holes like Solyndra.
Rolling Stone reports:
In the next few months, [Obama] will take one of the biggest gambles of his presidency by testing the radical proposition that even SUV-loving Americans believe that global warming is real and are ready to do something about it. It's a gamble that could have a profound impact on energy politics, our economy and our ability to stabilize the climate. But if the president is wrong, it could not only cost his party control of the Senate this fall but also blow the last opportunity we have to save ourselves from life on a superheated planet.
Nope, Rolling Stone, the gamble has nothing to do with the future of the planet and everything to do with the Obama administration's credibility. It's a question of how much longer - using all its muscle and money and MSM alliances - the Obama administration can carry on persuading an increasingly sceptical public to go on believing in something that their eyes tell them isn't happening, that their wallets tell them is economically damaging, and that a growing body of hard science tell them is non-existent.