Politics & Policy

The Corner

Time for a Palate Cleanser

If any of you have gotten exhausted trying to counter left’s continual lying about President Trump’s immigration policy, perhaps we need a change of subject. So let’s talk about the left’s continual lying about The Trump administration’s views on climate policy.

This is particularly relevant now that a former advisor considered close to the President’s team– The Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Myron Ebell, suggested today that the President will “definitely” pull out of the UN’s Paris Climate Accord.

Again and again we’ve heard hysterical commentary from the left and the media (but I repeat myself) about Trump’s supposed team of “Climate deniers”.  Let’s set aside that the word “denier” is religious language that should have no room in a debate about facts and policies.  Let’s just examine this claim on its own terms.  

My friend Sarah Hunt over at the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC ) has put together a dossier of what Trump’s cabinet appointees actually said about climate change during their confirmation  hearings.

She’s got quotes from Scott Pruitt (EPA), Ryan Zinke (Interior), Rick Perry (Energy), Rex Tillerson (State) and even Jeff Sessions (Attorney General). And it turns out, that, if the phrase has any meaning at all, none could be cast as “climate deniers”.  In their testimony, all acknowledged the existence of anthropogenic climate change and all acknowledged that humans have a role in causing it.

Some, most famously oilman Rex Tillerson, have actually advocated for a revenue-neutral carbon tax. (rebated by reducing other taxes) to replace what Tillerson has called “hodge podge of current, largely ineffective regulations.” This “radical” position is probably one endorsed by many environmental economists on both the left and right.

Hunt’s first sentence nails the problem exactly:

To the environmental Left, “climate denial” is not about whether or not one thinks anthropogenic climate change is occurring. Rather, it is about whether or not one agrees with their proposed government-expanding policy “solutions” 

That’s exactly correct—and that has always been the problem.   It’s not at all inconsistent to believe that climate change is an issue worth addressing but to think that the UN process is hopelessly corrupted, brings the wrong players into the room, and, through its elevation of moral preening and grandstanding in attacks on countries such as the U.S., does more to exacerbate the political problems on climate change than it does to solve them.

It’s not at all inconsistent to think climate change is an issue worth addressing and yet to want the government to avoid Solyndra-style taxpayer boondoggles.

It’s not inconsistent to think climate change is an issue worth addressing and yet wonder whether the almost $1 Trillion spent  globally on clean energy investment globally over the last three years is being spent wisely.  

It is not at all inconsistent to think that climate change is worth addressing and yet to think that most of the way the left deals with climate change has far more to do with virtue-signaling, Republican-bashing. and rank hypocrisy than it does with actually addressing the climate issue in a meaningful way.

While I’m sure that President Trump’s appointees have a variety of different views about how to best address climate change, and while there are no doubt climate skeptics in the GOP, that doesn’t accurately describe any of the key personnel Trump has charged with dealing with the climate issue.  Maybe Big Green should stop lying about Trump’s cabinet nominees.  If they did, they might find this administration would be more receptive to their concerns.

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