Planet Gore

Warming’s Not the Problem, Mr. President

Detroit – At Monday’s inaugural, President Obama declared global-warming mitigation a second-term priority. On Tuesday, a deadly arctic blast here in the Midwest was a reminder of how frivolous that pursuit is.

Saving polar bears may be fashionable among rich elites, but Detroit’s jammed shelters this week are evidence that cold weather threatens the poor among us. City shelters reported they were at capacity as the frostbitten homeless took refuge from the bitter cold. Exposure to sub-zero temperatures were blamed for four deaths in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. Government’s primary role is to provide public safety, reliable infrastructure, and a safety net for the poor. Yet, the Obama administration’s global warming obsession shows how far Washington has strayed from core services.

While Detroit’s needy freeze, millions of federal dollars are going to the politically connected well-to-do. Inside the Detroit Auto Show this week, billionaire Elon Musk — one of America’s richest men — is displaying his latest Tesla electric SUV for the well-to-do, financed by a half-billion dollars in federal loans.

A Michigan State professor has received a $5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to study the impact of global warming on the state’s farming industry. And in Metro Detroit, hundreds of DTE Energy utility workers labored around the clock to restore power to freezing customers — even as Michigan renewable power mandates force utilities to divert monies to inefficient wind farm projects in the name of fighting warming.

Adding insult to frostbite, scientific studies show that, even if Obama and other world leaders managed to cut greenhouse gases by 80 percent by 2050 (a reduction that would devastate the American economy), it would only cut expected warming by a measly 7 percent. Washington pols may get good press for protecting polar bears — but the real climate victims are freezing in city shelters.

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

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