John Stossel
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The Hill, the newspaper that covers Congress, says this year, there will be a major policy battle over "climate change." Why?

We already waste billions on pointless gestures that make people think we're addressing global warming, but the earth doesn't notice or care.

What exactly is "global warming" anyway? That's really four questions:

1. Is the globe warming? Probably. Global temperatures have risen. Climate changes. Always has. Always will.

2. Is the warming caused by man? Maybe. There's decent evidence that at least some of it is.

3. But is global warming a crisis? Far from it. It's possible that it will become a crisis. Some computer models suggest big problems, but the models aren't very accurate. Some turned out to be utterly wrong. Clueless scaremongers like Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Cal., seize on weather disasters to blame man's carbon output. After Oklahoma's tragic tornadoes last year, Boxer stood on the floor of the Senate and shrieked, "Carbon could cost us the planet!" But there were actually fewer tornadoes last summer.

4. If the globe is warming, can America do anything about it? No. What we do now is pointless. I feel righteous riding my bike to work. That's just shallow. Even if all Americans replaced cars with bicycles, switched to fluorescent light bulbs, got solar water heaters, etc., it would have no discernible effect on the climate. China builds a new coal-fueled power plant almost every week; each one obliterates any carbon reduction from all our windmills and solar panels.

Weirdly, the only thing that's reduced America's carbon output has been our increased use of natural gas (it releases less greenhouse gas than oil and coal). But many environmentalists fight the fracking that produces it.

Someday, we'll probably invent technology that could reduce man's greenhouse gas creation, but we're nowhere close to it now. Rather than punish poor people with higher taxes on carbon and award ludicrous subsidies to Al Gore's "green" investments, we should wait for the science to advance.

If serious warming happens, we can adjust, as we've adjusted to big changes throughout history. It will be easier to adjust if America is not broke after wasting our resources on trendy gimmicks like windmills.

Environmental activists say that if we don't love their regulations, we "don't care about the earth." Bunk. We can love nature and still hate the tyranny of bureaucrats' rules.

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John Stossel

John Stossel is host of "Stossel" on the Fox Business Network. He's the author of "No They Can't: Why Government Fails, but Individuals Succeed." To find out more about John Stossel, visit his site at >johnstossel.com. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com. ©Creators Syndicate