American Elephants


Nevermind the Economy, Obama Wants to Do Climate Change. by The Elephant's Child

According to Ryan Lizza in the New Yorker,” Obama has an ambitious second-term agenda. The President has said that the most important policy he could address in his second term is climate change” supposedly to “improve the world.” Huh?

I spoke about “tipping points” yesterday. I think we have had one in the great bubble called “climate change,” previously known as “global warming., now morphing into “sustainable development.” What has happened, of course, is the economic crisis. When governments are talking austerity and cutting back, wind and solar energy don’t meet any kind of cost-benefit analysis. They are costly, have never produced the energy promised, require constant backup from conventional power plants, and if government subsidies are withdrawn, they go out of business. Nobody can really afford subsidies now. Obama has not noticed.

China is still making solar panels for sale to the United States, but they have rejected wind and solar for their own use, and are instead planning more nuclear power plants, and  buying crude oil like crazy. We, on the other hand,  are dumping plans for the Keystone XL pipeline and its 20,000 jobs and shutting power plants.

Oh we still have plenty of warmists who believe firmly in anthropogenic global warming, and are sure that disaster waits just around the corner, but science is leaving them behind. The IPCC has lost credibility, and ‘green energy’ has been left behind in a swamp of scandals, with a world newly awash in plentiful oil and natural gas. IPCC Lead Author Ottmar Edenhofer admitted over a year ago that global warming was about redistributing the world’s wealth.

First of all, developed countries have basically expropriated the atmosphere of the world community. But one must say clearly that we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy. Obviously, the owners of coal and oil will not be enthusiastic about this. One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore, with problems such as deforestation or the ozone hole.

Rio+20 Earth Summit on Sustainable Development start in another week or so, and seems to have dissolved into a dysfunctional mess that generates nothing but endless meetings and reports. One of the key objectives of “sustainable development” was to kill off the fossil fuel industry.  Both Canada and the United States have become fossil fuel powerhouses. The world has changed, and the plaintive claims of “Peak Oil” which sustained the sustainable development movement have faded into history.  Peter Foster describes te beginnings in the Financial Post:

The phrase “sustainable development” first achieved wide currency as the result of the 1987 report of the United Nations’ Brundtland commission, a body of self-styled “eminent persons” who appointed themselves to prepare “a global agenda for change” in the face of the alleged “interlocking crises” of failing economic development and deteriorating environment.

Behind Brundtland’s seemingly reasonable definition of sustainable development as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” lay the implication that free markets were unsustainable.

It has never been about the climate. Obama’s second term promise of improving the world by addressing climate change provides an excellent reason for denying him another term. Wind is too intermittent to be a successful source of energy, and the sun is too diffuse, problems that cannot be overcome by a new kind of rare earth or a new twist in windmills. Hydraulic fracturing has made shale deposits all over the world a plentiful source of energy. If we run out of that in a hundred years or so, we can start with  methane hydrates.

No president has ever spent money on climate change as Obama has. The CBO estimates that since 1998 $99 billion has been spent by 14 agencies on “climate change.”In poll after poll, since 2009 — climate change ranks deal last in public concerns, and the issue even failed among environmentalists.  Glaciers aren’t melting, the arctic isn’t melting, data has been fudged and climate change is rapidly being exposed as junk science. Obama hasn’t noticed.

The top concern for the public is the economy. Obama’s answer is to do more of the same. And he has apparently been so busy campaigning that he hasn’t noticed that climate change is not of interest to much of anyone. “Climate change” is no longer “sustainable.”




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