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Left's Turn on Global Warming: Now That You've Won, Time to Surrender


As some may recall, the filibuster-proof Senate did not move on cap-and-trade. In the past four years of Senate control, they did not try to ratify the US-signed, never unsigned Kyoto Protocol. Even after the filibuster-proof majority was lost by just a vote, the Senate failed to lift a finger to consider cap-n-trade. There just weren’t enough Democrats willing to buy in, or risk their jobs on this folly.


As my colleague Myron Ebell put it in Politico:

“The American people figured out that cap-and-trade was code for higher energy prices and reacted with righteous fury when House Members [passed the bill before going] home after the vote for the Fourth of July recess. After hearing the outcry, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid decided to postpone Senate debate on cap-and-trade and instead take up health care reform, which enjoyed much more public support.”

Funny ’cause it’s true.

So, naturally, over the weekend the Washington Post op-ed pages spilled forth the ritual line: It’s those mean Republicans wot done it. And boy are they blowing it.

So goes today’s argle bargle from Team Soros, acting out in response to the election and seeing their incremental progress toward energy rationing about to be swept aside. Now, after failing in a Left-wing cram-down, they wag their fingers and lecture us that the global warming agenda really should be a conservative priority but, hey, if we’re willing to cede the ground to them they’re more than happy to take credit! Don’t know what you’re missing! Although this will continue for two years, it is already tiresome.

The argument is that, accepting the premise of catastrophic man-made global warming, you either accept the agenda or you’ll get much, much more government in the future when the seas boil, the skies turn blood red and dogs and cats cohabitate!

There are only two problems with that.

First, why blithely accept the premise? Just because for two decades people shrieked “the debate is over!” so as to avoid ever having one? That no longer flies (read both to find the admissions that the “settled!” stunt was a crock; thanks, ClimateGate).

Not often discussed, but undeniable, is that the premise is grounded not in observations, but computer model projections. Having not fallen this time for the must act now, no time to talk…whew, it didn’t happen but you listened to me so you see I saved you routine, time has allowed us the luxury of witnessing how observations, reality, turned out to be inconsistent with the theory. And the computer models are not only admitted to assume (really) that the earth is flat, and the sun shines everywhere 24/7, among other simplifications required to digitally pretend they are simulating the climate. But the modelers acknowledge they don’t understand the role of …the clouds, oceans or sun.

But, hey, other than that…

Second, ok, let’s play make-believe. Your PlayStation it…frightens me. So I’ll bite. What is your ‘do “something”‘?

Here’s where things really fall apart.

It’s real! It’s your fault! It’s here now! It’s urgent! We can ‘do “something”‘! We must. Act. Now. (!!!) Oh. And it’s a moral issue. All of which makes the political/alarmist class’s response one of highly dubious morality, as you shall see.

Such are the perils of hysteric, always doubling-down overreach on something that — having become (as this related story affirms) a political issue — cannot tolerate uncertainty (especially with its price tag and intrusive power grabs), which in turn prompted exaggerated threats and claims of certainty which themselves do not withstand a moment’s scrutiny.

You see, nothing ever proposed would detectably impact climate. According to the very same car alarms shrieking their demands for those same panaceas. Even accepting all of the models and all of their assumptions. And all other assumptions, like that Kyoto really would work, and cap-and-trade really would, now, for the first time, result not in “offset” schemes but actual emission reductions. Even buying all of that fairy tale, nothing ever proposed would detectably impact the climate. It is unreasonable therefore to assume the issue is the issue, that this is about ‘climate’.

At very best, assuming it isn’t about what it would do, that this isn’t “the issue isn’t the issue” Alinkyism in practice, this agenda and all of its constituent parts amount to a gesture. The world’s most expensive, heartless, gesture and a disastrous power grab. But a gesture, nonetheless.

Such gestures are not conservative. And if there ever were a time for such gestures, now is not it.

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