The 2016 presidential campaign has devolved into a crude slugfest between two fundamentally dishonest and irrevocably flawed candidates. Both are congenital liars; both arguably should be fitted for an orange jumpsuit. Neither is deserving to lead the greatest nation in the history of mankind. Yet one of them will be elected as President of the United States in a few weeks.
These are frightening times.
Along the campaign trail, issues have been discarded wholesale in favor of cheap-shot personality battles and ad hominem attacks. But one issue stands out among the rest of the discards, because one side of the debate on the issue claims it is truly existential in nature – anthropogenic global warming (AGW), or in the parlance the left currently favors, man-made climate change (MMCC). Even though the left insists it is a life-and-death matter deserving of immediate, radical, and costly action, the issue has largely fallen off the radar of late. Media coverage has dwindled almost to nothing, and poll after poll finds that the general public ranks MMCC dead last on its list of priorities.
In 2008, Barack Obama stumped heavily on the issue (then called AGW), claiming the singular ability to control the Earth's climate.
“....generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal...”
His emphasis on climate continued during his 2012 re-election campaign, and his entire administration has been largely devoted to fighting the MMCC bugaboo. His EPA has tried to dismantle the coal industry, especially in the Appalachian states where the coal is “dirtier” than the stuff from out west. Dozens of coal-fired power plants have been shuttered in favor of “clean” (but unreliable and hideously expensive) technologies like solar and wind power. His administration has supported the Renewable Fuel Standard, forcing taxpayers to burn inefficient and costly ethanol in their vehicles and forcing taxpayers to subsidize the companies that make the stuff. His administration has aggressively and consistently fought big oil and the production of all fossil fuels; the veto of the Keystone Pipeline is hardly of note because it is utterly typical of Obama's stance, and that of the left in general
But other than Clinton claiming to support current policies and Trump claiming he'll “t'row da bums out,” little debate has taken place on MMCC, either in the official debates or in the public forum. I think there are several reasons, and I'll try to explain them here.
- The “Science” Ain't “Science” Any More.
MMCC theory has never been based on pure science because pure science has never been applied to the subject. Initially it was tainted by the pseudo-religion of Earth-worship, in the vein of Rachel Carson's “Silent Spring.” Since then, it's been irretrievably polluted by politics.
A mental experiment will illustrate what I'm saying. Let's call a five-gallon bucket of pure, distilled water “science.” Let's add to that bucket of water a single drop of blue dye called “politics.” Suddenly the entire bucket of water is blue. None of the water is pure. That's how it works, and people have caught on – it ain't science any more. It's politics, and voters are simply sick to death of politics. Thus it's a taboo issue this time around.
- “Global Warming” Didn't Happen
During the 1970s and early 1980s, climate alarmists were claiming that the planet was cooling, that we were on the verge of the next Ice Age. At the time, they claimed that man's activities were causing the cooling. The specific culprits then were carbon dioxide and water vapor emissions. Starting in the mid-1980s and continuing until just a few years ago, the same alarmists were bleating about AGW, man-made global warming. Again, they claimed that human activity was causing the problem and the specific culprits were again carbon dioxide and water vapor emissions. In recent years, the narrative has been shifted to MMCC – man-made climate change. The gist seems to be that man's activities are forcing the climate to change, and that the ultimate culprits are carbon dioxide and water vapor emissions.
(The underlying principle seems to be that the climate should never change, even though it's been changing constantly for billions of years, and any change that does take place should be laid at the feet of man's activities. In addition, it strikes this author as odd that the culprits, in the left's view, are the same no matter what happens, and that the solutions the left proposes are also the same no matter what happens.)
The unchangeable fact is that the warming predicted by more than 20 computer-modeling studies didn't happen. For the past 20 years or so the temperature of the planet has remained stable, not warming and not cooling. Every single modeling study predicted a temperature increase that could be represented graphically in the shape of a hockey stick. Every single study was wrong, and current actual temperatures are outside the margins of error of all of them.
Unfortunately for the I-love-Gaia crowd, none of the “scientific” predictions came true. At various times, the Earth-first crowd has predicted – based on “science,” mind you – all of the following...
- A new Ice Age
- Glaciers in the US
- Glaciers melting
- Glaciers disappearing
- A significant fall in sea levels
- A significant rise in sea levels
- Human migration toward the poles
- Human migration away from the poles
- Extinction of hundreds of species of animals
- Destruction of farms
- Loss of oceanfront real estate
- Widespread famine
- World war
This is admittedly a short list of the predictions made by the left, based on “science.” But, like all the other predictions you may find, not one has come true, or even come close. MMCC isn't an issue this election because voters don't believe the “science.”
- The “Science” is Rigged
Noted climate “scientists” like Michael Mann and many others have been caught repeatedly in leaked emails describing ways to “hide” data that would contradict their preferred conclusions. The University of East Anglia in England -- long touted as the foremost academic institution in the field of climate science -- has proved to be a corrupt institution. NASA's recent attempt to "adjust" temperature data from the past two decades has fallen flat, mainly because of the agency's refusal to release its methodologies or describe its data set. (One might wonder how and why the National Aeronautics and Space Administration ever got into the climate game in the first place.) Almost every current “climatologist” is directly supported by one or more governments, meaning that they owe their livelihoods to toeing the government line where it comes to climate “science.” It would be difficult to imagine a more polluted cesspool than the current enviro-science swamp.
Gradually the truth about this self-feeding climate beast is becoming known, and voters are becoming disenchanted with the climate “scientists” who continually cry “WOLF!” This issue is receiving scant coverage because it is so tainted by fraud, and the fraud is all on the left's side.
As time passes, the left's favorite hobby horses go lame one by one. The climate debate is a perfect example. First it was global cooling and a new Ice Age. Then it was global warming and a planet sweating to death. Now we're supposed to buy into man-made climate change, as if any change whatsoever is automatically bad and automatically our fault. Unfortunately for those on the left, this particular horse already has three broken legs and is struggling to drag itself along with the fourth. The claims of the alarmists simply can't survive scrutiny, and their proposed "cures" are merely naked power grabs, not rational solutions. The issue is a loser for the left, and they know it.