In President Obama’s June 25 speech on climate change at Georgetown University, he said, “I’m directing the Environmental Protection Agency to put an end to the limitless dumping of carbon pollution from our power plants and complete new pollution standards for both new and existing power plants.” Ignoring key facts regarding climate change (such as that carbon dioxide is not pollution but is in fact essential to life on the planet), Obama also called for expanded efforts to use “clean energy” and for the U.S. to lead the world in bold actions to “combat climate change.”
For the last decade, an obsession with global warming has dominated a wide array of U.S. government policies. Climatism, the belief that manmade greenhouse gases are destroying Earth’s climate, skews federal automobile, transportation, energy, and infrastructure policies. Billions are spent in the ongoing effort to fight climate change.
‘Climatism’ Dominates Policy
U.S. policies toward the automobile industry are “driven” by climatism. In his speech, the president praised new Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards that rise to 54.5 miles per gallon by year 2025 to force reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Plug-in electric vehicles are promoted and subsidized as a solution to global warming.
Transportation is likewise shaped by climate policy. Ethanol mandates now cause the consumption of 40 percent of the U.S. corn crop in vehicle fuel. Biodiesel and high-speed rail are promoted as ways to reduce emissions.
Climatism also dominates U.S. energy policy. During the same week as Obama’s Georgetown speech, Dr. Daniel Schrag, an advisor to the president on climate, stated, “a war on coal is exactly what’s needed.” Even though more than 30 percent of U.S. electricity is produced from coal today, Environmental Protection Agency regulations will make it impossible to build new coal-fired plants. Meanwhile, the Obama administration provides loans and subsidies promoting wind, solar, and other forms of unreliable renewable energy.
At Georgetown, the president addressed the proposed Keystone Pipeline, which has been delayed for almost five years, stating, “the pipeline’s impact on our climate will be absolutely critical to determine whether this project will be allowed to go forward.” The pipeline could allow us to replace 45 percent of Persian Gulf oil imports with oil from Canada and the northern United States, but the president considers reducing emissions more important than that.
U.S. infrastructure policies are heavily affected by global warming fears. Greenhouse gas emissions reductions are behind the LEED building standards. Urban planning aims to reduce emissions by replacing automobiles with public transit. The Obama administration proposes spending tens of billions on a “smart electrical grid” to promote renewable energy and residential “smart meters” to promote energy efficiency, both based on the ideology of climatism.
U.S. citizens pay twice for the president’s war on climate. First, taxpayers subsidize green energy. The Production Tax Credit for wind energy will cost more than $12 billion this year alone. Department of Energy loan guarantees to more than 20 bankrupt renewable energy companies, including Abound Solar, Beacon Power, Evergreen Solar, Solar Trust, and Solyndra, have cost taxpayers billions. Taxpayers also pay for U.S. military efforts to make biofuel out of algae at exorbitant cost.
Second, citizens pay higher costs for electricity, automobiles, and housing because of green policies. The Department of Interior’s offshore wind program will deliver electricity to homeowners at three times the price of conventional power. Fuel economy mandates will raise the price of automobiles. Consumers must pay for smart meters that can curtail their electricity usage.
The good news is that manmade emissions have very little effect on Earth’s climate. Water vapor, not carbon dioxide, is Earth’s dominant greenhouse gas. Emissions from human industry cause only about 1 percent of Earth’s greenhouse effect. And contrary to predictions by all 73 of the world’s top climate models, global temperatures have failed to rise over the last 15 years.
Someone needs to inform the president.
Steve Goreham ([email protected]) is executive director of the Climate Science Coalition of America and author of the new book The Mad, Mad, Mad World of Climatism: Mankind and Climate Change Mania. This article first appeared in the Washington Times and is reprinted with permission.