Climate Change??? YES! … Oh, Wait, Wrong Climate, Gov

Yesterday, Governor Chafee signed an Executive Order creating a state Climate Change Council.

Some of us concerned about the state’s business climate – and its attendant bad economy, high unemployment and suppressed tax base – can be forgiven, hearing this announcement during the hectic press of a work day, for getting revved up. As we caught up on the details, however, it turned out that he was talking about quite a different climate than we were hoping: his council will address the global weather trend, not the local business environment.

In explaining the need for such a council, the Governor cites an increase in frequency of extreme weather events, such as the 2010 flooding of the Pawtuxet River. The problem is that – oopsie – such events have, in fact, become less frequent globally, a state of affairs acknowledged by the IPCC itself. If we are to “Think Globally, Act Locally” on extreme weather, accordingly, no action is actually required because … well, there is no trend towards extreme weather.

Additionally, there is the Governor’s erroneous use of the term “climate change”. The correct term is “global warming”; more specifically, “anthropogenic global warming”. All computer models and scientific “proof” have been geared towards the premise that the greenhouse gases that man generates would WARM the Earth’s climate, not just change it. The problem, of course, has been that the evidence for AGW has gotten dicey and elusive, especially with the 15 – 17 year pause in warming – a development NOT predicted by the much-revered computer models. Hence, the shift to the all-encompassing and absurdly redundant term “climate change”.

By contrast, with regard to a local climate, there is no lack of evidence for the need to change Rhode Island’s business climate, nor is the evidence disputed.

As recently as July, Governor Chafee, you stated that your “number one priority” was “to build an economy in our state where good companies can succeed, grow and thrive”. Can we ask you to please return to the applause-worthy goal of improving Rhode Island’s steadily (as Tom phrased it via e-mail) cooling business climate?

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