Dan Holler

Ironically, this is a mirror image of the 1970s when scientists proposed “spectacular solutions” to global cooling “such as melting the Arctic ice cap by covering it with black soot or diverting arctic rivers.”

But as the infamous Newsweek article goes on to note, geoengineering solutions “might create problems far greater than those they solve.”

For those that accept the premise that we must act to prevent the climate from changing, they should apply that same caution to policy proposals. Whether they seek to limit carbon emissions through EPA regulations, cap-and-trade or carbon tax, they must ask whether they are creating problems far greater than they hope - emphasis on hope - to solve.

Even that question is premature, though.

First, they should tell us what they consider to be an appropriate global average temperature. I suppose a compelling case could be made for a similar temperature to the earlier 1940s, which was before the “grim reality” of global cooling. Or perhaps temperatures in the 1850s, before the Pennsylvania “oil rush,” are preferable.

Regardless of what the experts decide, they then have to tell us what atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide (co2) is necessary to achieve their temperature goal. The disgraced Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) wants to keep the atmospheric concentration of co2 under 550 parts per million (ppm), and various literature cites 450 ppm as necessary to “stabilize” the climate.

Yet, neither number directly addresses the temperature question - and for good reason.

A 2009 analysis found even aggressive action by the United States - an 83% reduction in co2 emissions by 2050 - would result in a “temperature reduction” of 0.09 degrees Fahrenheit. That is a far cry from Stewart’s vision of Al Gore’s America. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson confirmation that “U.S. action alone will not impact world CO2 levels” essentially renders the next question - how do you achieve the goal - meaningless.

So, when it comes to global temperatures, any U.S. plan to reduce carbon emissions is meaningless; and therefore there must be an ulterior motive. Remember that the next time you hear someone talking about a carbon tax.

Dan Holler

Dan Holler is the Communications Director for Heritage Action for America. Previously, he held numerous positions at The Heritage Foundation, most recently he was the Senate Relations Deputy. A Maryland native, he is a graduate of Washington College.