How We Should Address Climate Change


Here’s another narrative-disrupting bit of information, this one from Michael Bastasch on The Daily Caller:

Greenhouse gas emissions continued to plummet during President Donald Trump’s first year in office, according to new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) data.

Based on data from more than 8,000 large facilities, EPA found greenhouse gas emissions, mostly carbon dioxide, fell 2.7 percent from 2016 to 2017. Emissions from large power plants fell 4.5 percent from 2016 levels, according to EPA. …

Earlier this year, the Energy Information Administration reported that per-capita greenhouse gas emissions hit a 67-year low during Trump’s first year in office. …

[Meanwhile,] EPA’s new data follows news that, globally, greenhouse gas emissions are set to rise to historic highs by the end of the year, despite nearly 200 countries signing the Paris climate accord. Global greenhouse gas emissions also rose in 2017.

On the other side of all those questions about how much warming we should expect and who or what is causing it lies a whole ‘nother series of questions about how best to address it.  I’ve long been of the opinion that economic and technological progress is the only way forward.

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If we’re really only 12 years from a point of no return that could only be averted by the impossible decision of the people of the planet to hand over their freedom to a group of unaccountable global elites, then the only way out really is through.  Set a reduction in fossil fuels as a goal — a good thing — and then step back.  Bureaucrats are neither well positioned nor vested with the ideal incentives to understand what will achieve the end and what won’t.

This is another area in which, it seems to me, the constant need of progressives to filter everything through government is harmful even to their own ends (to the extent that they have ends other than the accumulation of power).

  • BasicCaruso

    Nobel laureate William Nordhaus provided tools to fight global warming. It’s tragic conservatives ignored him.

    That Nordhaus published this model 26 years ago underscores just how long global warming has been staring us in the face. 1992 was also the year that President George H.W. Bush signed the convention that created the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which recognized “that States should enact effective environmental legislation,” and that developed countries should “take immediate action . . . as a first step towards comprehensive response strategies at the global, national and, where agreed, regional levels”.

    A Republican administration had recognized the problem, and an economist with impeccable credentials had provided a solution that respected, and used, markets. Nor did the idea of taxing pollution to account for the damages it caused originate with Nordhaus. Leading conservative thinkers like Milton Friedman championed the concept as a superior alternative to regulations. Given this pedigree, it wouldn’t have been outside the realm of possibility for conservatives to have embraced such a tax as a viable approach to climate change.

    • Rhett Hardwick

      Bang the drum slowly,
      Play the fifes lowly,
      Play me the Dead March as they carry me on

  • Christopher C. Reed

    The real question is why Global Warmism™ has to be surrounded by a phalanx of fake data?

    • Mike678

      The best lies contain some truth. The current climate cycle is a warming trend…truth. The greedy and power hungry use that truth to convince the gullible that 1) it is our fault and 2) the US can do something about it.

      • Christopher C. Reed

        Well, while I’d like to believe we’re in a long-term warming trend, as I detest the cold and we are, after all, in an ‘interglacial’, the untampered-with data demonstrate a continuation of the long-term cooling trend. Are we already in another ‘Little Ice Age” circa 1400-1800?

        Unfortunately, atmospheric CO2 has little to do with atmospheric temperature. We can’t pump it out fast enough to modulate global temperature, though the Chinese are doing their damnedest to burn as much coal as they can. Maybe we can spread soot on the Arctic to absorb more solar radiation, as was proposed to combat global cooling back in the ’70’s? (Memory hole? Check)

        But we can look on the bright side. The anthropogenic increase in atmospheric CO2 has resulted in a ‘greening’ of the planet as plant growth responds to it worldwide. More food for people, that can’t be bad, right?

        Next up: The Oceans Are Rising –NOT!

      • ChopNoamsky

        The greedy in this instance being climate scientists vs the $10 Billion a day fossil fuel industry. Good call.

    • BasicCaruso

      Truly remarkable to hold such beliefs at this point… willful ignorance.

      “The science linking human activities to climate change is analogous to the science linking smoking to lung and cardiovascular diseases. Physicians, cardiovascular scientists, public health experts and others all agree smoking causes cancer,” the AAAS wrote in its report, “What We Know.”

      “And this consensus among the health community has convinced most Americans that the health risks from smoking are real. A similar consensus now exists among climate scientists, a consensus that maintains climate change is happening, and human activity is the cause.”

      • Mike678

        Yes, you are willfully ignorant. Admitting it is the first step to enlightenment.

    • BasicCaruso

      Bloomberg Business – What’s Really Warming the World?

    • Christopher C. Reed

      What’s remarkable is how big a business warmism has become. Funny how many ‘deniers’ are scientists who are retired and no longer dependent on scrounging for grant money. As the New York Times put it:

      But I am willing to support compromise — we should do exactly as China and India are willing to do…

      • BasicCaruso

        Um, OK… no wonder you didn’t actually link to the article.
        Dr. Kirby Hanson, the meteorologist who led the study, said in a telephone interview that the findings concerning the United States do not necessarily ‘cast doubt” on previous findings of a worldwide trend toward warmer temperatures, nor do they have a bearing one way or another on the theory that a buildup of pollutants is acting like a greenhouse and causing global warming. He said that the United States occupies only a small percentage of Earth’s surface and that the new findings may be the result of regional variations.

        Readings taken by other scientists have suggested a significant warming worldwide over the last 100 years. Dr. James E. Hansen, director of National Aeronautic and Space Administration’s Institute for Space Studies in Manhattan, has reported that average global temperatures have risen by nearly 1 degree Fahrenheit in this century and that the average temperatures in the 1980’s are the highest on record.

        Dr. Hansen and other scientists have said that that there is a high degree of probability that this warming trend is associated with the atmospheric buildup of carbon dioxide and other industrial gases that absorb and retain radiation…

        Dr. Hansen of NASA said today that he had ”no quarrel” with the findings in the new study. He noted that the United States covered only 1.5 percent of Earth. ”If you have only one degree warming on a global average, how much do you get at random” when taking measurements in such a relatively small area, he asked rhetorically.

        • Rhett Hardwick

          “Dr. Kirby Hanson, the meteorologist”
          Dr. Kirby Hanson, generally referred to as the “NASA Scientist” is the same guy who tried to create a stir over the “coming ice age” (see Newsweek archives) in the 70’s. If he was wrong then, why is he right now?

  • BasicCaruso

    On the other hand…

    Climate change ‘already affecting food supply’ – UN

    The scientists said there was enough evidence to say for certain that climate change is affecting food production on land and sea.

    The rate of increase in crop yields is slowing – especially in wheat – raising doubts as to whether food production will keep up with the demand of a growing population. Changes in temperature and rainfall patterns could lead to food price rises of between 3% and 84% by 2050.

    “Climate change is acting as a brake. We need yields to grow to meet growing demand, but already climate change is slowing those yields,” said Michael Oppenheimer, a Princeton professor and an author of the report.

    Other food sources are also under threat. Fish catches in some areas of the tropics are projected to fall by between 40% and 60%, according to the report.

    The report also connected climate change to rising food prices and political instability, for instance the riots in Asia and Africa after food price shocks in 2008.

    “The impacts are already evident in many places in the world. It is not something that is [only] going to happen in the future,” said David Lobell, a professor at Stanford University’s centre for food security, who devised the models.