As a federal study announced its conclusions last week that unchecked rising global temperatures could lead to a 10 percent hit to the U.S. economy and increasing weather calamities, it is clear that both parties have us pointed in the wrong direction.
Republicans continue to deny the reality of climate change or that human activity is contributing to it, while Democrats insist that the remedy is to cripple the American economy, while giving our rivals a free pass.
First, the climate deniers. It’s almost as though there is a knee jerk reaction by conservatives to the hated tree huggers who bloviate over their doom-and-gloom scenarios. The right detests the tunnel vision espoused by the granola-eating crowd, especially the hypocrisy of the limousine liberals who shame everyone else to shed their fossil fuel ways, while they themselves travel in their SUVs, recreate in their heated pools, and fly on their chartered jets.
Hollywood stars will still pocket $20 million for their next films, even after their feel good protests lead to thousands of job losses from the closing of manufacturing plants deemed not quite environmentally pure enough.
But this disdain for the naive left should not cloud the objectivity of the right to the point where common sense is ignored.
It doesn’t seem illogical to me that when we burn stuff, particulates will accumulate in the atmosphere which could either block sun rays or create a greenhouse effect by not allowing rays bouncing off the earth from leaving our atmosphere. As industrialization has grown exponentially over the past three decades, it makes sense that the warming trend would thereby correspond to it.
We ignore this at our own peril. But, the left’s over the top response has been counterproductive.
Al Gore's 2006 "Inconvenient Truth" documentary could have been a motivating wake up call, had it not turned off potential followers with its egregious exaggerations. Using Gore’s apocalyptic predictions, by now the whitecaps of Kilimanjaro were to have disappeared, along with the polar bears. Neither came to pass. There’s a reason his follow up film on the same subject flopped. The boy cried wolf one too many times.
Nevertheless, sea levels are rising, and problems are evident. Air is so thick in China, children never see a blue sky, while Berkeley Earth estimates 1.6 million Chinese are dying annually due to pollution.
Even more off target is the dangerously nonsensical so-called solution to the problem — the much heralded Paris Climate Accord. This awful deal calls for a 25 percent reduction in U.S. generated fossil fuels from a 2005 base year, while allowing China and India to continue to pollute unfettered. This, despite the fact that the U.S. has already been a model in reducing its carbon footprint, while China has become the world's leading polluter.
The restraints on the U.S. economy will put us at an extremely competitive disadvantage, while accomplishing practically nothing to reduce carbon emissions worldwide. In fact, according to the Manhattan Institute’s Robert Bryce, it is predicted that Asia will require an increased energy output equivalent to all of Brazil’s consumption, each and every year in the future, just to keep pace with their projected economic growth.
Progressives should be careful what they wish for. The same liberal ideology that has replaced the worship of God with the worship of Mother Earth, has decried the egregious disparity in wealth throughout the globe. Here, they have a dilemma. You see, it’s been the explosion of capitalism in Asia over the past three decades that has ushered in the greatest elimination of poverty in the history of mankind. Literally, hundreds of millions of our fellow humans have been lifted out squalor and starvation into decent living conditions with clean, running water, adequate housing, and a sustainable diet for the first time in their lives due to the rise of capitalistic manufacturing in these countries and the insatiable consumption of energy that accompanies it.
So, if this horribly unfair and ineffective Paris agreement isn’t the answer, what is?
It’s likely to be good old-fashioned American technology. Comedian Jay Leno’s reaction to climate change surprised many, given he’s a product of our near monolithically liberal entertainment industry. Being a car aficionado, he cites the optimistic possibilities related to hydrogen fuel and notes how the technological advances in fuel tanks had dramatically lessened emissions.
Presently, wind and solar account for only one percent of the world's energy needs.
Rather than blindly subsidizing the use of these products, our leaders should be maximizing the incentivization of research for making all forms of energy cleaner and more efficient.
We endeavored into a Manhattan Project to unleash energy into a weapon of mass destruction. We can do the same to unleash energy as a means of cleaner mass production.
Steve Levy, former New York state assemblyman, Suffolk County executive, and candidate for governor, is now a distinguished political pundit. Levy's commentary has been published in such media outlets as Washington Times, Washington Examiner, New York Post, Albany Times, Long Island Business News, and City & State Magazine. He hosted “The Steve Levy Radio Show" on Long Island News Radio, and is a frequent guest on high profile television and radio outlets. Few on the political scene possess Levy’s diverse background. He’s been both a legislator and executive, and served on both the state and local levels — as both a Democrat and Republican. Levy published Bias in the Media, an analysis of his own experience, after switching parties, with the media's leftward slant. Levy is currently Executive Director of the Center for Cost Effective Government, a fiscally conservative think tank. He is also President of Common Sense Strategies, a political consulting firm. To learn more about his past work and upcoming appearances, visit www.stevelevy.info. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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