Planet Gore

Doha Doublespeak

When the Kyoto Protocol was enacted in 1997 scientists knew it would have no discernible effect on temperatures. In 2009 Climategate exposed the fraudulent claims of leading climate scientists. And in 2012, satellite measurements indicate there has been no rise in global temperatures since 1998. Yet this week, government representatives are gathering in Doha, Qatar, to forge a new agreement to fight global warming.

Determined to divert attention to China as the devil in Doha, the Obama administration is parading its moral commitment to the Green Church. “Those who don’t know what the U.S. is doing may not be informed of the scale and extent of the effort, but it’s enormous,” boasts Jonathan Pershing, a U.S. climate negotiator.

But Pershing’s defense of his government was curious indeed. He cited the fracking-driven boom in natural gas production — a development that the administration has frowned upon and is eager to regulate — and ignored the administration’s War on Coal which has had devastating effects on coal employment in the Appalachian region.

The administration’s — and its in the-tank media’s — shyness to trumpet the EPA’s strangling of coal power is consistent with their silence during the campaign, when boasting of CO2 emissions cuts might draw attention to its economic costs in key states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.

But the effort to demonize China has this further irony: The U.S. coal employment picture would be even worse were it not for coal exports to China.

Obamedia has vigorously defended the administration’s war on coal, citing recent increases in U.S. coal employment. But that increase is entirely due to China’s carbon-burning economy. Appalachia has some of the world’s richest deposits of high-grade coal used to make steel — and with China’s insatiable hunger for steel in recent years, American coal companies were able to counter the domestic decline in coal demand with an increase in so-called metallurgical coal.

But now China’s economy is slowing — and so is its demand for U.S. coal, exacerbating blue-collar unemployment in Appalachia. Fewer jobs means fewer CO2 emissions. But don’t expect the U.S. to crow about that in Doha.

Henry Payne — Henry Payne is the auto critic for the Detroit News.

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