Paul Driessen

Models reflect the assumptions and hypotheses that go into them – and our still limited understanding of complex, turbulent climate processes that involve the sun, oceans, land masses and atmosphere. They do a poor job of dealing with the effects of water vapor, precipitation and high cirrus clouds on temperatures and climate, because the underlying physics aren’t well understood, notes MIT meteorology professor Richard Lindzen.

Like the UN’s politicized climate control panel, the IPCC, models also place too much emphasis on carbon dioxide. They pay insufficient attention to extraterrestrial factors like changes in the Earth’s irregular orbit around the sun, solar energy levels, and solar winds that appear to influence the level of cosmic rays reaching Earth, and thus the formation of cloud cover and penetration of infrared radiation from the sun. They likewise fail to incorporate the profound effects that periodic shifts in Pacific Ocean currents have on temperatures and sea ice in the Arctic.

When the US National Assessment compared the results of two top-tier computer models for various regions of the United States, the models frequently generated precisely opposite rainfall scenarios, University of Alabama at Huntsville climatologist John Christy points out. Depending on which model was used, the Dakotas and Rio Grande valley would supposedly become complete deserts or huge swamps; the Southeastern US would become a jungle or semi-arid grassland.

Activists, journalists, politicians, AlGoreans, and even scientists and corporate executives then select the scariest scenarios, call them evidence, trumpet them with hysterical headlines – and insist on drastic cutbacks in CO2 emissions and energy use. They’ll likely make millions, while other families and businesses suffer. Many are big on wind and ethanol, but not thrilled about nuclear power.

Fully 85 percent of all the energy Americans use comes from fossil fuels. Less than 0.5% is wind power, which generates electricity only eight hours a day, on average. Over half of our electricity is produced by coal, because it is plentiful and affordable, and modern power plants emit few pollutants, but do generate abundant plant food (the same carbon dioxide we exhale every time we breathe).

Any climate change regime would impose new restrictions on coal-fired power plants, oil and gas drilling, air and ground transportation, and heating, air conditioning and manufacturing. In fact, any facility or activity that generates more than 250 tons of carbon dioxide per year could be heavily regulated: bakeries, breweries, soft drink makers, factories, apartment and office buildings, dairy farms and countless others. Permit, regulatory, oversight, anti-fraud monitoring and polar bear endangerment rules would cost billions in still more highly regressive, hidden taxes.

The ultimate goal of energy-killer activists is to slash US carbon dioxide emissions some 80% below 1990 levels by 2050, to stabilize global CO2 levels, even as China, India and other developing countries continue their economic and emissions boom. The last time the United States emitted such low amounts of CO2 was 1905! Where and how will your family and business achieve 80% emission reductions?

Welcome to the good old days – to Eco-Camelot, where “the climate must be perfect all year.” Poor minority and blue-collar families will be in for some serious belt-tightening, millions of jobs will head overseas, and demand for unemployment benefits, mortgage bailouts and energy welfare will soar, as state and federal coffers run dry.

Worst, in the end, all the cutbacks and sacrifices won’t make any difference, because our climate is not driven by carbon dioxide – but by the same natural forces that have caused major and minor climate changes since the dawn of time, say scientists like Roy Spencer, Robert Balling and Fred Singer.

Climate change is no longer science. It’s politics – and Democrats would be thrilled if a Republican president took the lead – and Republicans take the blame when the bills start rolling in.

Climate change is also about power. Power to control – and curtail – the power we rely on: to build, heat and cool our homes … produce raw materials, food and consumer products … transport people and products … and support modern living standards.

It’s about the selection, production, conservation, taxation – and prevention – of energy. It’s about access to real energy, versus mandates to use futuristic, mostly illusory, and certainly insufficient alternative energy. It’s about who gets to decide: how much energy we will have … where that energy will come from … what it will cost … and whether there will be enough energy to lift more families out of poverty.

It’s about simulations, scenarios and monsters conjured up by computer models that should never be used to chart government policy – especially on matters that will profoundly affect our livelihoods, living standards, life spans and dreams of a better future.

So hold onto your wallets, and hope you can hold onto your homes, cars and jobs. You’re about to be put on a wild political roller coaster. And don’t expect much honesty, transparency or accountability from climate Armageddonites.


Paul Driessen

Paul Driessen is senior policy adviser for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT), which is sponsoring the All Pain No Gain petition against global-warming hype. He also is a senior policy adviser to the Congress of Racial Equality and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green Power - Black Death.

Be the first to read Paul Driessen's column. Sign up today and receive Townhall.com delivered each morning to your inbox.