The Climate Change Debate Is Over, And Environmentalists Lost

obama-keystone

For The Federalist writes: The bloodcurdling National Climate Assessment is here and it portends catastrophe; floods, clouds and other assorted weather events are imminent! … but , says the report, “there is still time to act to limit the amount of climate change and the extent of damaging impacts.”

Have you noticed that we’re always at the cusp of a cataclysm, yet the deadline to act always moves to a politically convenient not-too-distant future? I guess when the time to act runs out – it will at some point, right? — we can begin thinking about defunding all these panels and reinvesting in something more productive: like figuring out how we can adapt to the future.

For now, though, the congressionally mandated report claims we’re no longer merely dealing with impending disaster. The United States, it asserts, has already incurred billions of dollars in damages from severe weather-related disruptions due to climate change. The political hope is that some of this ugly weather will generate more urgency to do something. President Obama will use the report to bolster his case for unilaterally enacting carbon dioxide regulations, neglecting, one imagines, to mention that while there is consensus regarding anthropogenic climate change, there isn’t much agreement on whether severe weather has actually gotten worse over the past years, or, if it has, that climate change is the cause.

“We’re committed to moving forward with those rules,” John Podesta said in a bit of an anti-democratic rant the other day. “We’re committed to maintaining the authority and the president’s authority to ensure that the Clean Air Act is fully implemented.” Don’t worry, though. Podesta says this is “actionable science” so separation of powers and consent of the governed and other trifling concerns are no longer applicable.

ecoscienceBut really, after all these years, admitting that executive power is the only way to move (tepidly) forward on environmentalist policy is basically admitting defeat. Has there ever been a movement that’s spent as much time, energy and treasure and gotten so little in return? I suspect there are three reasons for this failure: 1. It’s difficult to fight basic economics. 2. On energy, Americans, despite what they say, have no desire to try (nor should they.) 3. It’s getting more difficult, not less, to believe environmental doom and gloom.

“There will always be people in this country who say that we’ve got to choose between clean air, clean water and growing the economy, between doing right by the environment and putting people back to work,” President Obama said a couple of years ago. “I’m here to tell you that is a false choice.” Well, actually, we already have cleaner air and water and we (typically) have a growing economy.  The thing is there is consensus among economists that regulations do have a cost. Sometimes the price tag is worth it. Oftentimes it’s not….(read more)

The Federalist

 


2 Comments on “The Climate Change Debate Is Over, And Environmentalists Lost”

  1. […] Pundit from another Planet For The Federalist, David Harsanyi writes: The bloodcurdling National Climate Assessment is here […]


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