The politics of global warming and climate change has heated up. The president, fulfilling his campaign promise to address this issue, announced regulations expected to have a dramatic impact on the U.S. economy. President Obama mandated a 30 percent cut in carbon emissions by the year 2030 from 2005 levels, and this will likely force the coal industry to close plants all around the country, and that’s why some have been calling this a war on coal. But I think it’s much more than that. It’s also a war on science, education, and the economy, among other things.
When Obama was preparing to announce his plans for new rules he did it under the backdrop of the Children’s National Medical Center, declaring that it must be done to protect our children: “In America, we don’t have to choose between the health of our economy and the health of our children,” he said. By invoking the health of our children as a reason to impose these mandates, it becomes a political plea not to debate or discuss the issue, but to ignore the substance of the issue- namely whether or not there’s even a problem at all.
The 645-page plan is highly controversial, to say the least. States like Pennsylvania, Kentucky and West Virginia, where coal is a major industry, would suffer under the new rules, which will bypass congress. These rules would mandate that we produce no more than 1,000 pounds of CO2 per megawatt-hr of electricity. The problem is that even the newest coal plants can’t meet that standard. Therefore it’s expected that we’re going to lose jobs in an economy not doing well to begin with. President Obama has even promised to bankrupt anyone who chooses to build a coal-powered plant because he’ll make sure they’re charged a huge sum for any greenhouse gas that is emitted. Therefore we can expect energy costs to rise and be less reliable. And although each state will be able to customize the targets set by the EPA, the process will be complicated, with some states being allowed to emit different levels of carbon dioxide than another.
Did I mention jobs? It’s expected that we’ll lose jobs as a result of these new regulations… lots of jobs. In fact the Chamber of Commerce predicts we’ll lose about 224,000 every year, and we can expect a lower standard of living. American households will lose about 586 billion dollars of disposable income; that’s income that could have been spent elsewhere at our own choosing.
Thankfully some lawmakers are attempting to block it. Upcoming elections will have an effect on what direction some politicians will take, and their decisions will be made on what’s good for their economy. Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, is “aiming to dismantle global moves to introduce carbon pricing,” and he’s being joined by Canada, Britain, India and New Zealand.
I understand that many people have bought into the global warming hype, but the problem is that there is no real evidence that it’s happening. There is counterevidence, however, such as the fact that there’s been no global warming for nearly 18 years, despite predictions to the contrary. But why should we be bothered by facts? You see, those who believe in global warming and climate change rely on computer models that have been consistently wrong. Nobody can predict the future, not even a computer. So why should we live in fear of the alarmists who stand to benefit politically and financially from these maneuvers when it will damage our economy? Surely this administration believes the alarmist hype, yet you wouldn’t know that from the size of their carbon footprint.
Another thing to keep in mind is that carbon isn’t a pollutant. It’s a natural part of our bodies and the environment; plants, shrubs and trees utilize CO2 for growth. But even if we choose to believe that the planet is warming, there are positive benefits that will result, such as more land to produce crops, and fewer deaths from the cold.
I think this is an important discussion to have, and I hope we can convince our lawmakers to value our economy over the alarmist hype.