Climate alarmism's 10,000 commandments
By Paul Driessen
The United States will "do more," before it's "too late" to prevent "dangerous" global warming, President Obama told Berliners last month. If Congress won't act, he will, by regulating carbon dioxide emissions from power plants, increasing subsidies and reduce environmental overview for wind and solar projects on federal lands, and issuing other rules that will adversely affect economic growth and job creation.
Indeed, his Environmental Protection Agency is already devising new rules that will sharply curtail carbon dioxide emissions, by regulating thousands of facilities that use hydrocarbon energy – and thus ultimately almost everything Americans make, grow, ship, eat and do.
However, the manmade global warming "disasters" exist only in computer models and assertions by scientists who are addicted to billions in government Climate Armageddon grants. Moreover, the "preventative measures" are far worse than the disasters EPA claims to be preventing.
Even the most diehard alarmists have finally recognized that average global temperatures have hardly budged since 1997, even as atmospheric levels of plant-fertilizing CO2 climbed steadily. For many areas, the past winter was among the coldest in decades; the USA and Britain just recorded one their coldest springs on record; and satellite data show that Earth has actually cooled slightly since 2002.
The frequency and severity of hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and droughts are no different from observed trends and cycles over the last century. 2012 set records for the fewest strong tornadoes since 1954 and the number of years with no category 3 or higher hurricane making US landfall. (The vicious tornadoes of recent weeks underscore how quickly the weather can swing back to normal patterns.) Arctic sea ice is within a few percentage points of "normal" levels for the past fifty years, and the rate of sea level rise is not accelerating.
These facts completely contradict computer model predictions and alarmist claims. Moreover, as Climategate and numerous studies have shown, the "science" behind EPA's ruling that carbon dioxide "endangers" human health and welfare is conjectural, manufactured, manipulated and even fraudulent.
EPA is supposed to protect our environment, health and welfare. Instead, it "safeguards" us from exaggerated or illusory risks – by issuing mountains of costly, intrusive regulations that endanger our health, wellbeing and wildlife far more than any reasonably foreseeable effects from climate change.
This accumulation of anti-hydrocarbon restrictions and penalties is putting EPA in control of nearly every aspect of our lives. Fuel, compliance and business costs will soar. Companies will be forced to outsource work to other countries, reduce work forces, shift people to part-time status, or close their doors.
Poor and minority families will be unable to heat and cool their homes properly, pay their rent or mortgage, buy clothing and medicine, take vacations, pay their bills, give to charity, and save for college and retirement.
With twelve million Americans already out of work, and another eight million working multiple lower-paying, part-time jobs, EPA's global warming and 1,920 other rules over the past four years translate into unprecedented sleep deprivation, lower economic and educational status, and soaring anxiety and stress. That will mean greater risk of strokes and heart attacks; higher incidences of depression, alcohol, drug, spousal and child abuse; more suicides; and declining overall life expectancy.
EPA's new 54.5 mpg fuel efficiency standards will force more people into smaller, lighter, less safe cars – causing thousands of needless additional serious injuries and deaths every year – in the name of preventing illusory climate and oil and gas depletion crises.
Federal regulators use the same phony climate change and energy depletion arguments to justify letting wind turbine operators slaughter millions of birds and bats every year – including bald and golden eagles, hawks, condors and whooping cranes. They continue to promote and subsidize $50-per-gallon biofuels, to replace oil and natural gas that the world still has in abundance – thanks to new exploration, drilling and production technologies. This focus on biofuels also means more rainforests and other wildlife habitats are being cut down in the name of "renewable" energy.
EPA and President Obama never consider any of this, in calculating the supposed "benefits" of their onerous regulations. They refuse to recognize that their hysterical claims of climate cataclysms are increasingly indefensible. They ignore the damage that their heavy-handed rules impose on our health, welfare and environmental quality.
EPA finds, punishes and even targets anyone who violates any of its ten thousand commandments, even inadvertently. The agency's climate change actions, however, are not inadvertent. They are deliberate, and their effects are harmful and far reaching. They will affect every American and 100% of our economy.
And yet, these increasingly powerful bureaucrats – who seek and acquire ever more control over our lives – remain faceless, nameless, unelected and unaccountable. They operate largely behind closed doors, issuing regulations and arranging sweetheart "sue and settle" legal actions with radical environmentalist groups, to advance ideological agendas, without regard for their impacts on our lives, livelihoods, living standards, health, welfare and environment.
They know that, for them, there is rarely any real transparency, accountability or consequences – even for gross stupidity, major screw-ups, flagrant abuses or deliberate harm.
We need to save our environment from environmentalists and EPA – and safeguard our liberties, living standards and lives against the arrogance of too-powerful politicians and bureaucrats. How we achieve this, while protecting our lives and environment from real risks, is one of the greatest challenges we face.
Paul Driessen is senior policy advisor for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power - Black death.