It all started years ago, with genuine concerns about the environment and the way industry was abusing it. The movement became more focused on the warming of the planet, and some began suggesting that industry, man, was causing that warming. Al Gore saw an opportunity to cash in on this supposition, and used his political prominence to escalate the favorable arguments while suppressing the unfavorable ones.
The movement grew, and Mr. Gore and others began encouraging the growth of “green industries” and reductions in the exploration, production, refining and use of fossil fuels, and associated these fuels with their global warming scenario.
The country elected a liberal Congress, comprised primarily of attorneys with little technical training. The few with medical training proved an invaluable asset in the recent healthcare debate, but no such analogues exist in that body with regard to the debate over climate change.
We elected a liberal president with undergraduate training in political science and international relations, a graduate degree in law, and work experience in academia, community organizing, and politics.
Now we have a crisis in the Gulf in the form of a leaking oil well. Oil has been spilled before, and it will be spilled again, but no spill has ever been so timely, if managed advantageously, so as to provide support for climate change activists.
And suddenly, climate change correcting, green jobs creating Cap and Trade legislation is back on the table.
Energy policy and climate are two highly technical, somewhat related topics that neither our present body politic nor the majority of Americans are academically prepared to understand. They tend to believe what they’re told, and allow emotion or the desire for personal gain to outweigh factual information.
While this writer is severely limited in his depth of technical knowledge on the subjects, it is hoped that we can assess and weave together contributions from the dissertations of others who are truly qualified.
Remember “the scientific method” from middle school? Science follows a methodology; pose a question, research the topic, form a hypothesis, test the hypothesis through experimentation, and publish the results. Perhaps the most important step in the process is the final one, for in publishing, the scientist is inviting others to challenge the results.
Climate change advocates, best personified by Al Gore, are not scientists, and they don’t have the knowledge or desire to participate in open debate. The “science” on which their argument was based has been discredited, but their audience has conveniently not been informed. Advocates such as Mr. Gore preach ideology, not science. As a geophysicist at the University of Oklahoma, David Deming, recently noted,
There are two problems with Al Gore. First, he’s a demagogue who lacks an appreciation for the ethics and methods of science. Second, he’s a not a scientist, but a celebrity and politician who does not understand the technical aspects of science. Put succinctly, the man simply doesn’t know what he’s talking about. But Gore is now advising the world on complex technical issues related to energy and climate.
Al Gore refuses to debate his critics. He has repeatedly dodged a debate with Christopher Monckton. Instead of engaging skeptics in reasoned discussions, Gore has relentlessly demonized those who disagree with him. In a series of infamous character assassinations, he has stated that people who are skeptical of the hysterical global warming scenario he has been promoting (and profiting from) are comparable to the lunatic fringe who believe that the Apollo Moon landings were filmed on a movie stage. He has also compared global warming skeptics to people who believe that the Earth is flat.
Al Gore is not a scientist. He will not subject his suppositions to debate, for he carefully assembles those suppositions in such a manner as to misinform, and he knows they won’t stand up to scrutiny.
For example, Mr. Gore and his ilk have produced graphs and charts correlating increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere with increasing global temperature, and have craftily shaped the dialogue to suggest that rising carbon dioxide levels are the cause, and global warming is the effect. In fact, the opposite is true.
Much of the earth’s carbon dioxide is dissolved in our oceans, and it is more soluble in colder water. Rising temperatures release it to the atmosphere.
There’s An Inconvenient Truth that climate change alarmists would rather you not know.
Al Gore and his followers have an agenda, and it has little or nothing to do with saving the planet. It has much more to do with paying for his new California mansion and his lavish lifestyle.
Political ideologues such as our Congress and President have an agenda, too. About-to-be proposed (again) climate change legislation, about which more below, will divert much of the remaining American manufacturing base to more environmentally tolerant venues overseas, and in fact contains provisions to address the creation of massive unemployment. The House version of that legislation, already passed, provides that if jobs are moved overseas, displaced workers will receive unemployment compensation equal to 70% of lost wages for three years, along with training expenses associated with starting a new career, and relocation costs!
The legislation is designed to transfer high paying domestic jobs to underdeveloped nations so those workers can enjoy a higher standard of living.
“Spread the wealth around,” remember?
Now we have an oil well leaking in the Gulf of Mexico. Environmentalists are up in arms, declaring that the US must cease and desist in exploration and production of offshore energy resources. Those activities, too, will simply shift to other, less environmentally concerned nations from whom we’ll buy it and have it shipped in tankers.
Recall that the spill produced by the grounding of the tanker Valdez remains the worst such spill in history. Know that at current rates of discharge, the Gulf spill will not reach the magnitude of the Valdez spill for about another month and a half.
Know as well that while America remains preoccupied with BP and their crisis in the Gulf, Nigeria calmly announced that they lost 14,000 tons of oil last year due to accident and sabotage, a number that has increased from previous years. Where is the outcry to regulate or modify Nigerian production? Rather, no, we should stop exploring so nations such as Nigeria can provide us with energy.
Proponents of reduced domestic exploration like to point out that the majority of our imported oil comes from Canada and Mexico, which brings up two points for consideration. First, as we reported here last week, by far the worst offshore spill in history was at the hands of Mexico’s PEMEX. Secondly, if Mexico and Canada have such a wealth of oil, how much more must lie in between? Does it make sense to add to their wealth rather than our own?
But the ongoing spill in the Gulf plays right into the hands of environmental legislation proponents, and it would be foolish not to recognize how they are using it. Did the administration move as quickly as they could have to address the crisis, or did they allow it to escalate to their own ideological advantage? Consider the following timeline from Brian Sussman at “American Thinker,’ who in turn credits deepseanews.com:
- Tuesday, April 20. While finishing a well project for British Petroleum (BP), a Transocean rig called the Deepwater Horizon explodes and catches fire approximately 42 miles Southeast of Venice, Louisiana. U.S. Coast Guard District Eight command center receives report at approximately 10 p.m. Of the 126 people on board at the time of the explosion, 115 crewmembers were accounted for. Search begins for missing 11.
- Thursday, April 22. The fire rages. A second explosion occurs, causing the rig to sink.
- Friday, April 23. Search for missing crew members is suspended. The oil slick grows.
- Saturday, April 24. Remotely operated vehicles discover that oil is escaping from two leaks in a drilling pipe about 5,000 feet below the surface. The leaks appear to be releasing 1,000 barrels a day.
- Sunday, April 25. The oil slick now covers 600 square miles and is about 70 miles south of the Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana coastlines.
- Tuesday, April 27. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal takes action and requests Coast Guard set up protected booms near several wildlife refuges. Meantime, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar say they are expanding the government’s investigation of the explosion that caused the disaster.
- Wednesday, April 28. The slick nears to 20 miles east of the mouth of the Mississippi River. BP states a controlled test to burn the leaking oil was successful late Wednesday afternoon.
- Thursday, April 29. Governor Jindal declares a state of emergency, and the federal government sends in skimmers and booms to prevent environmental damage.
President Obama says that BP is “ultimately responsible for funding … cleanup operations.” Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) immediately drafts legislation to suspend any plan for further offshore exploration and drilling until a full investigation of the disaster and the development of new protocols are developed.
- Friday, April 30. Congressman Henry Waxman (D-CA) follows Senator Nelson’s lead and calls for immediate hearings with BP executives.
- Sunday, May 2. Twelve days after the initial disaster began, President Obama flies to the Gulf coast and delivers a speech. Janet Napolitano blames delays on government response on fairy-tales: “Mother Nature has not exactly been friendly,” she told ABC News.
We have also recently learned that the federal government had prepared a plan to react to a major Gulf spill in 1994, and had it been implemented, the spill might very well have been contained by cleanup booms and burned off. Yet not a single such boom was on hand, and one was not acquired until eight days after the spill began.
Did the administration intentionally allow the crisis to grow in order to promote its agenda of reduced production of fossil fuels and expansion of green industry? We’re just asking.
And while we’re asking, we repeat the fundamental question already raised at The Hayride; the spill was burning when the rig went down. Who gave the order to put the fire out?
“Never let a good crisis go to waste.”
John Kerry (D-MA) and Joe Liebermann (I-CT) plan to introduce climate change legislation this week. Lindsay Graham (r-SC) has withdrawn his co-authorship because the legislation contains paltry incentives to promote offshore exploration (while more than offsetting that expansion with reductions elsewhere). This legislation will promote a 17% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 2005 levels by 2020, despite projections of US population growth of 30million energy hungry consumers by that same year. It will target power producers first, killing the coal industry, followed in six years by the manufacturing sector. Energy prices will dramatically increase as generating capacity is reduced, for that capacity will not be replaced by nuclear power (the Obama administration is cutting the funding of the US nuclear disposal facility so there would be nowhere to put the waste from new facilities). And (sorry, Al) solar panels and windmills will not make up the difference.
This legislation will further damage the economy and will lower our standard of living. It will transfer a portion of America’s wealth to less regulated nations, and will create a more entitlement dependent society in this country.
It has no foundation in science.
It has a solid foundation in ideology.
The author gratefully acknowledges numerous articles at American Thinker for facts and inspiration contributing to this post.