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Sippin' on Coal and Rum

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

Me: “I'll take a ‘Coal and Rum.’”

Bartender: “What's that?”

Me: “I'm protesting the EPA.”

Bartender: “Got it. Awesome. Your drink is on the house.”

Coal is my lifestyle. Coal allows me to turn darkness into light at the flip of a switch. Coal allows me to brew a cup of coffee, toast a bagel and pour a class of refrigerated orange juice in minutes. Coal lets me text friends and find directions from my fully-charged iPhone. Coal grants me the ability to use machines to wash and dry my week’s laundry pile while I run on my treadmill. Coal allows me to heat my Minneapolis bedroom to a balmy 72 degrees while snow and freezing winds pelt the roof. Basically, coal means that Americans like you and me can live like kings and queens on a pauper’s budget.

I think every American—progressive, moderate or conservative—should be concerned that the President of the United States is putting coal out of business and raising the cost of ordinary living. His EPA just released new carbon dioxide emission limits that will effectively put new coal-fired electric plants out of business, thereby raising the cost of energy at a time when record numbers of Americans are jobless and homeless.

To ice the cake, President Obama is acting unconstitutionally and ignoring science. The Constitution does not allow the President to create laws via Cabinet-level agencies like the EPA. And, there is no conclusive scientific evidence proving that producing clean coal radically endangers humans or the earth.

A new study shows that young people could care less about going “green.” Sure, we care about the earth and we dislike pollution; no one wants to live in smog. But don’t ask us to pay to combat climate change while we struggle to pay our bills and compete with hundreds of our qualified peers for the same paltry job openings.

This month, the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology published a 40-year study that observed the generational shifts in American attitudes toward environmentalism from baby boomers to Gen Xers to Millenials. Researchers found that the “Steepest [trend] of all was a steady decline in concern about the environment, and taking personal action to save it,” reports The Associated Press.

Key findings from the study:

• Millenials dislike the label “environmentalist.”

• The majority (85-90 percent) of young people are "…not interested in being seriously inconvenienced or paying a cost to…" protect the environment.

• Only 21 percent of Millenials consider it their responsibility to “clean” the earth.

Even though young people like myself have been nagged to “go green” by commercials, celebrities, college professors and employers, we are smart enough to prioritize and read through the conspiracy theories. We are tech-savvy individuals. We want to plug in our iPads and send emails off, not write snail mail letters by candlelight. We want to advance, not regress. Is this so much to ask?

If President Obama thinks he can fool young people to vote for him by putting coal out of business, he should think again. We know that the dangers of human-induced climate change are still controversial theories. Sure, the earth is warming and cooling but many scientists say this is natural and will happen whether or not humans use coal-powered lights, TVs, smartphones and washing machines. Americans in general, but particularly young professionals, are worried about their own premature extinction—not climate change.

Good science does not emerge from “group-think” exercises. The Heartland Institute points out that it would not matter if 99 percent of scientists confidently held the theory that humans significantly contribute to climate change—one scientist, doing a single experiment, could disprove this theory. And as Rush Limbaugh has said: “There’s nothing democratic about science. The earth does not revolve around the sun because a consensus of human beings says so.”

When Benjamin Franklin performed experiments to verify lighting’s electricity by flying a kite, he was outside interacting with nature—not huddled in a group pushing for political consensus. Franklin invented the lightning rod whereas climate scientists are inventing science to support socialist public policies like the EPA’s coal regulations.

There have been so many scandals surrounding climate change “scientists” that it is difficult to take their research seriously. Today’s climate scientists seem to care less about conducting Franklinesque nature experiments and more about manipulating spreadsheet data to help politicians scare voters into letting the government control energy production. For example:

• Climategate: On November 19, 2009, a whistleblower releases thousands of documents and emails on the server for the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom. The leaked materials reveal that the same “scientists” aggressively pushing the man-made climate change scare were cutting back-door deals to protect their funding from the global community, exaggerating the number of scientists with PhDs who signed off on their data, hiding data and trying to blackmail scientists who wouldn’t go along.

• Polarbeargate: On July 18, 2009, the biologist who succeeded in getting Polar Bears on the endangered species list and a forefather of the global warming movement, Charles Monnett, is investigated by the Department of the Interior’s Office of Inspector General for scientific misconduct related to both his report connecting polar bear deaths to climate change and his awarding of federal contracts for polar bear research.

Although Monnett was allowed to return to work, he was placed in a different department where he no longer oversees $50-million of federal research grants—and the probe over Monnett’s past work was last reported by NPR-online to be ongoing.

• EPA-gate: On September 28, 2011, an internal government watchdog reveals that: “The Obama administration cut corners…” because the EPA issued “controversial and expensive regulations to control greenhouse gases for the first time” despite the fact that the EPA did not conduct sufficient scientific studies to determine whether greenhouse gas emissions “pose dangers to human health and welfare,” reported the Associated Press.

• Climategate 2.0: On November 22, 2011, an anonymous whistleblower discloses 5,000 fresh emails revealing the scientific community’s plot to sell man-made global warming fears to the public.

“Several of the new e-mails show that the scientists involved in doctoring the IPCC [UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] reports are very aware that the energy-rationing policies that their junk science is meant to support would cost trillions of dollars,” Competitive Enterprise Institute director Myron Bell told Forbes.

• Fakegate: On February 20, 2012, activist-scientist Peter Gleick, President of the Pacific Institute, admits that he lied to Chicago think tank, Heartland Institute. He posed as one of Heartland’s board members via email in order to access confidential documents. Then, he tampered with the documents and released doctored versions to the public in an attempt to cast doubt on Heartland’s position that the dangers of man-made global warming are overblown and theoretical.

I’m will not give up my high-tech lifestyle so that synthetic climate scientists can keep their global funding. And, I’m unwilling to live through blackouts and pay three times as much to toast my morning bagel so that an unconstitutional agency like the EPA can kill new, coal-fired electric plants.

Heya, bartender! Thanks for that Coal and Rum! I’ll have another.

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