Politics & Policy

Baby, Baby It’s a Cold World

Explaining global warming to Congress.

Lord Christopher Monckton, a policy adviser to former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, was recently referenced by senior climate-science authority Fred Singer as saying: “Global warming stopped ten years ago; it hasn’t gotten warmer since 1998. . . . . And in fact in the last seven years, there has been a downturn in global temperatures equivalent on average to about [or] very close to one degree Fahrenheit per decade. We’re actually in a period . . . of global cooling.”

This is what the temperature data shows. Indeed, even global-warming advocates are now saying there won’t be any actual global warming for the next ten years or so. You can interpret that to mean the budding cooling trend will continue.

So what is all the hysteria about? The answer is very simple, and very obvious once pointed out.

Global warming has nothing to do with climate or science. What it is all about is the great, historic class struggle between working people and the ruling classes.

Global warming is a great excuse for a massive expansion of government power. That, not science, is why the overlords, from the New York Times to the United Nations to Al Gore, so heartily embrace it.

The U.N. thinks global warming is a perfect reason for the U.N. to be transformed into a world government. So how long do you think it took for the world-class bureaucrats at Turtle Bay to conclude that global warming was real and caused by humans?

Which is why it was always so foolish to leave study of the problem to the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The scientists on the panel actually keep writing reports that say maybe yes and maybe no. But the U.N. press office keeps issuing summaries of the reports that say “submit or die.”

Which is why a real American leader would act to save American sovereignty, prosperity, and freedom by calling for an American government project to distill the real science out of all the Soviet-style agitprop, and, to the extent there is any real problem, propose a crash program sufficient to save us all from frying. Believe it or not, there is no constituency, even among Republicans, for snuffing out all life on the planet.

Such a project, run by real scientists rather than by politician-bureaucrats, would find the following. Carbon dioxide is not “pollution.” (Bill O’Reilly, call your office.) It is a natural substance that is actually essential to continued life on earth. Humans and all other animal life breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide.

Plant life takes in carbon dioxide, and emits oxygen. No carbon dioxide would mean no plants, which would mean no oxygen, which would mean no humans, or any other animals.

The first-order effect of increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere would be a flowering of plant life. Agricultural output would soar, food prices would decline.

Despite the theory, moreover, increased atmospheric carbon dioxide does not seem to increase global temperatures. The record actually shows no significant warming to date. There were a couple of ten-to-20-year periods of slight warming in the 20th century. If the budding cooling trend does become well-established, it won’t take long for all of this warming to be offset.

Here is another little secret your big-government enthusiasts don’t want you to know. A slight warming trend would have enormously beneficial effects for humans and the planet. Agriculture would flourish even more. Disease would decline. (Disease among humans spreads more in cold.) Vast stretches of land in northern Asia, North America, and Europe would become much more inhabitable. The tropics, including the rain forest, would boom.

But none of this is an excuse for expanding the power of government. So don’t expect to hear about it from our mainstream media, which slavishly supports whatever is in the government’s institutional interest.

Moreover, none of this real science justifies the nervous breakdown going on this week in the U.S. Senate. The Senate is presently considering a global-warming bill that would establish a “cap and trade” system for the U.S. economy. The bill would require drastic reductions in projected carbon emissions, with American businesses required to get a license for all such emissions.

What this translates into is a dramatic assault on the standard of living in America, particularly for the middle class, working people, and the poor. Businesses would ultimately have to pay huge sums to get licenses to emit carbon while producing essential products and services for the American people.

This means, for example, that the price of gas is not going to come down. Rather, it will rise farther as a sharp new cost is added to the production of gasoline. Senators who vote for this bill are voting for still higher gas prices in the future.

Moreover, under the bill, consumers will see their utility bills soar. Utilities ultimately will have to pay huge new costs to produce electricity, which will be passed on to consumers.

The price of food will continue to increase as well, as farmers will have to pay higher costs for fertilizer, and for fuel for their tractors and trucks.

The bill will also effectively shut down heavy manufacturing in America. Manufacturing companies cannot compete while laboring under high energy costs. So good bye to all those well paying blue collar jobs, again slamming the middle class and working people.

This is the class struggle. The American standard of living will decline so that government power can prosper. The Senate cap-and-trade bill will raise government revenues by a trillion dollars over the next decade, supporting a massive increase in new spending.

The attitude is reflected in something Barack Obama recently said:

We can’t just keep eating whatever we want, driving our SUVs wherever we want, keeping our homes at 72 degrees at all times regardless of whether we live in the desert or the tundra, and keep consuming 25 percent of the world’s resources with just 3 percent of the world’s population, and expect the rest of the world to say you just go ahead. We’ll be fine. That’s not leadership. That’s not going to happen.

In other words, fairness and equality require the American middle class and working people to fall down to a third-world standard of living. The Senate’s bill is just the first slip down this slide. If that is what you support for America, you just keep voting for the liberal extremists.

Meanwhile, after all this pain and suffering for the American people, the cap and trade bill would not solve the problem of global warming even if there was a problem. It would have only a tiny negligible effect on temperatures. Even the global warming advocates will admit that. This is because all humans on the planet, let alone just Americans, only produce four percent of worldwide global-warming gases.

So, you see, the global warming issue really is not about climate or science. It is about government power, and the struggle for freedom and prosperity.

– Peter Ferrara is director of entitlement and budget policy at the Institute for Policy Innovation, and general counsel of the American Civil Rights Union.


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