Chicken Little’s sky never descended, and the big bad climate wolf has never responded to the boy’s repeatedly overheated warning calls.
But you aren’t likely to have gotten this impression from last year’s much-ballyhooed news coverage of the National Climate Assessment report produced by Obama administration hold-overs based upon hysterically extreme worst-case modeling predictions of a 10 to 15 degree Fahrenheit temperature rise by the year 2100.
No mainstream network has bothered to mentioned that only one out of more than two dozen climate models that the report relied on was even able to accurately simulate ("hindcast") past climate changes.
That uniquely successful model developed by the Institute of Numerical Mathematics in Moscow also forecast the least warming — about 3.4 degrees Fahrenheit — under realistic CO2 emission assumptions.
Radically irrational Democrat/Socialist energy proposals based upon unfounded climate alarm ignore fundamental realities.
First, let’s understand that replacing any significant share of total current U.S. fossil-fueled energy (80 percent) with intermittent and unreliable wind and solar (slightly more than 2% combined) is disastrously implausible.
Second, given that the U.S. accounts for less than 15 percent of all global CO2 emissions, our control over the planet’s thermostat would be extremely limited at any cost.
Nevertheless, putting all scientific, economic and broader common sense logic aside, is there sufficient climate guilt and fear virtue-signaling value in anti-fossil variations of the "Green New Deal" to advance a 2020 presidential victory as all leading liberal candidates obviously believe?
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., promises on her first day in office to impose a moratorium on all new offshore drilling leases, take a significant percentage of oil and gas production offline, eliminate tens of thousands of jobs, and forego many billions in federal, state and local tax and business revenues.
Other candidates have joined with Warren in calls for "net zero" emissions with the same social and economic impacts. Consequences would dramatically reverse recent progress in drilling, refining, liquid-natural gas terminals, pipeline installation, and manufacturing —along with myriad service industries and businesses that support these areas.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., would not only ban all offshore drilling, but nuclear energy (8.6% of U.S. energy) as well. And whereas Joe Biden has vowed to push for a "full electric vehicle future" by 2030, he at least cracks the door open for adding nuclear to help power his proposed half-million new charging stations.
Since 2013, a green "shut-them-down" nuclear movement has helped to force plants in Wisconsin, Vermont, Florida, Nebraska, and California into retirement, with Three Mile Island scheduled to close by September 30 of this year.
Very belatedly, pro-nuclear green advocacy appears likely to be emerging from a realization that anemic wind and solar installations won’t be nearly adequate. In addition, their intermittency demands an immediately available backup amount of fossil-fueled natural gas turbine capacity to keep power grids constantly balanced.
Stupefyingly late, even the long-time militantly anti-nuclear Union of Concerned Scientists now advocates reversing planned shutdowns of embattled plants in Illinois, Connecticut, New Jersey, and upstate New York, where three plants along the shores of Lake Ontario had been under threat of closure.
Meanwhile, as the U.S. presently has only one new nuclear plant under construction, and just a handful in planning stages, other countries — including India, Russia, and China - are moving rapidly forward to expand and upgrade this non-fossil energy source.
The same naïve mantra that has precluded green activist acceptance of hydropower (which provides more U.S. energy than wind) as a "renewable" energy classification, also famously weaponized the Obama administration’s all-out, take-no-prisoner assaults on coal.
"Progressive" 2020 campaigners might be reminded to take a lesson from Hillary’s book which devotes an entire chapter about her regret about bragging at a March 2016 Ohio town hall event that her administration was "going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business."
A former candidate, Barack Obama, made the same pledge in 2008, when he vowed to "bankrupt" the coal industry. By the time Mrs. Clinton came along, those industry workers who had suffered years of crushing climate regulations certainly weren’t favorably impressed.
Encouragingly, voters in states which include Hawaii, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington, continue wisely to reject ballot initiatives for carbon taxes.
Meanwhile, there is also no reason to believe that other countries will wean themselves off of fossil fuels at great expense to their economic and social survival.
"Quiet Australians" have recently rebuked climate alarmists by reelecting conservative Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Even France, home of the Paris Climate Agreement, continues to wrestle with "yellow vests" who are protesting rising fuel costs and taxes.
Climate alarm-premised assaults upon fossil energy constitute direct attacks upon the roaring American business economy: our businesses, prosperity, and social stability for all.
We’re a lot smarter than that.
Larry Bell is an endowed professor of space architecture at the University of Houston where he founded the Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture (SICSA) and the graduate program in space architecture. He is the author of several books, including "Reinventing Ourselves: How Technology is Rapidly and Radically Transforming Humanity" (2019), "Thinking Whole: Rejecting Half-Witted Left & Right Brain Limitations" (2018), "Reflections on Oceans and Puddles: One Hundred Reasons to be Enthusiastic, Grateful and Hopeful” (2017), "Cosmic Musings: Contemplating Life Beyond Self" (2016), and "Scared Witless: Prophets and Profits of Climate Doom" (2015). He is currently working on a new book with Buzz Aldrin, "Beyond Footprints and Flagpoles." To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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