(Many current Virginia state government officials are skeptical of the climate change crisis rhetoric. Many local governments have bought into the climate change crisis. This article by a Virginian brings some important issues to the forefront of this discussion.)
In a repeat of Copenhagen, on the eve of the Durban climate change gabfest, someone released another horde of emails from alarmist climate researchers, including Dr. Michael Mann, whose infamous “hockey stick” was headlined in the 2001 IPCC report to justify the Kyoto agreement and demands that nations slash fossil fuel use and economic growth.
In the wake of Climategate 2009, Penn State hurriedly exonerated Mann and his department of any wrongdoing, as did National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Science Foundation. The blatant whitewashes reflect the desperation of organizations intent on preserving their money train and perpetuating the Hollywood façade of manmade catastrophic climate change.
All three organizations are at the forefront of fraudulent climate alarmism and its agenda of “radically transforming” the energy and economic foundations of modern nations. As the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Chairman Rajendra Pachauri has said, climate change is “just a part of” the effort “to bring about major structural changes” in “unsustainable” economic growth, development and lifestyles.
The agenda involves slashing carbon dioxide levels to 80% below 1990 levels. That would carry the United States back to emission levels last seen during the American Civil War – devastating the economy.
Together these institutions receive billions of dollars in annual government grants that foster one line of thinking on “global climate disruption” – another term concocted to spin weather and climate events as unprecedented disasters resulting from hydrocarbon energy use. Delegates from all three institutions get to attend annual climate confabs at exotic 5-star resorts, to promote “the cause” of ending mankind’s “addiction” to fossil fuels and establishing “global governance” under UN auspices.
For all these institutions, full-blown independent investigations – with adverse witnesses, cross-examination, and access to data and records denied to previous investigators – could result in lost income, prestige, and power over public policy decisions. Honest, replicable, truly peer-reviewed, robustly debated science into the causes, effects and extent of climate change would do likewise.
For Penn State, global warming represents a significant cash cow. As meteorologist Art Horn has noted, the university received a whopping $470,000,000 in federal grants and contracts between 2010 and 2011. Neither Mann nor Penn State is saying how much went to climate research. But since the US government spent over $106 billion on climate research money between 2003 and 2010, PSU undoubtedly received a hefty portion for promoting the official alarmist viewpoint.
No wonder they refused to turn over raw data and computer codes to other scientists, IPCC reviewers and even investigators – claiming these were private property, even though taxpayers paid for them and the results generated are being used to justify endless energy, job and economy-killing public policies.
At the tip of the policy iceberg are EPA’s (postponed) CO2 “endangerment” regulations, its boiler and refinery rules, its reams of restrictions on coal-fired power plants, the agency’s opposition to hydraulic shale fracturing and the Keystone XL pipeline, and its new automobile mileage rules, which will raise the cost of cars, reduce crash-worthiness and result in thousands of additional deaths in accidents. Mann’s deceptive models and hockey sticks are also being used to justify a $100-billion-a-year “climate change reparation and mitigation” fund for poor nations, to be financed directly by FRCs (formerly rich countries) or via “climate taxes” imposed on international air travel and imported and exported products.
Add in billions for wind turbines and solar panels … billions to persuade the poorest nations on Planet Earth to endure “sustainable” lifestyles, rather than modernize through reliable, affordable and, yes, hydrocarbon energy … and billions for IPCC and other UN bureaucrats, who insist that drought and flood, cold and heat, storm and sea level events are no longer due to natural forces, but to mankind’s use of fossil fuels – and we’re talking serious money.
Global warming alarmism could ultimately cause the global economy trillions of dollars.
Meanwhile, what about average workers and families? They get none of these perks, sinecures, subsidies and handouts. Instead, they get to pay taxes to support the bureaucrats, pseudo scientists and activists. They get to pay soaring energy bills that subsidize wind, solar and climate schemes, while driving families into fuel poverty. They get to lose their jobs, as companies faced with skyrocketing energy bills lay people off, close their doors or ship jobs off to overseas factories that have cheap energy and cheap labor, because China, India, et cetera do not and will not operate under Kyoto-style restrictions.
What about families in destitute African countries, where 90% of the people still don’t have electricity – because radical environmentalists, IPCC and World Bank operatives, and Obama Administration bureaucrats collude to delay or prevent the construction of coal and even gas-fired power plants?
If we face a genuine manmade climate crisis, it’s highly likely that mankind will adapt through ingenuity and technology.
Penn State needs to conduct a real investigation, by honest independent analysts who have no ties to the university or the climate crisis consortium.
Far too much is at stake – for the university, United States and world at large – to permit Penn State (or the IPCC and White House) to merely rearrange the furniture.
(Paul Driessen is senior policy advisor for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power – Black death.)