Will the GOP Snatch Climate Defeat From the Jaws of Victory?

In Climate Change, Development, Economics, Election 2016, Environment, People, Politics by E. Calvin Beisner0 Comments

Just got word through the grapevine that Republican Party leadership is talking of adding to the Party platform the affirmation that “climate change” is real.

There are two ways in which that could be taken, each with serious risks.

On the one hand, it could simply be stating the obvious. Yup, you betcha, climate changes! Any idiot knows that. Does that mean the Party platform needs to say it? Well, then, that platform’s going to expand exponentially until it includes every obvious fact in the world. Google, watch out, there’s a new information giant on the block!

On the other hand, it could be giving in to the Obama administration’s hysterical pressure for everybody to affirm not just “climate change” but “man-made climate change is so dangerous the world — or at least the gullible United States — is morally obligated to spend $trillions trying to shave it down by less than a tenth of a Celsius degree.”

Why in the world would the GOP want to do that when growing numbers of climate scientists are reducing their estimates of the warming effect of added atmospheric CO2? (Maybe it’s terrified that it’ll become a target of “AGs United for Clean Power,” whose very name bespeaks its political rather than legal or scientific focus. That would be a classic case of the elephant afraid of the mouse.)

Now, there is another way the GOP could address this, a wiser way. It’s the way hundreds of scholars did in An Open Letter on Climate Change to the People, their Local Representatives, the State Legislatures and Governors, the Congress, and the President of the United States of America:

Human-induced climate change, also known as anthropogenic global warming (AGW), is real. Crucial questions facing the public and policymakers are its magnitude, its benefits and harms relative to the benefits and harms of the activities that drive it, and the benefits and harms of proposed responses to it.

They went on to say:

Empirical Evidence Suggests that Fossil Fuel Use Will Not Cause Catastrophic Warming

“Many fear that carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel use endanger humanity and the environment because they lead to historically unprecedented, dangerous global warming. This has led many well-meaning people to call for reduced carbon dioxide emissions and hence reduced use of fossil fuels.

“Computer climate models of the warming effect of enhanced atmospheric carbon dioxide are the basis for that fear. However, to validly inform policymaking, computer climate models must be validated by real-world observation, and they have not been. Over time, observed global average temperature (GAT) diverges increasingly from modeled GAT.

“On average, models simulate more than twice the warming observed over the period during which anthropogenic warming is supposed to have been the greatest (about the last 35 years). None simulate the complete absence of observed warming over approximately the last 20 years at Earth’s surface and 17 to 27 years in the lower troposphere (where we live).[1] Over 95 percent simulate more warming than observed. These data confirm the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) observation that we are currently experiencing an absence of global warming long enough to be nearly impossible to reconcile with the models.

“All of this makes it increasingly clear that the models greatly exaggerate the warming effect of carbon dioxide. The models’ errors are not random — as often above as below observed temperatures, and by similar magnitudes — but consistently above observed temperatures, making it apparent that the models are biased. The large and growing divergence between model simulations and observed GAT severely reduces the models’ credibility both for predicting future GAT and for informing policy.”

And then they explained that the failure of the climate models to accurately simulate real-world observations meant they had failed the basic test of science; that now and for the foreseeable future wind, solar, and other renewable energy sources cannot substitute adequately for fossil fuels to provide the abundant, affordable, reliable energy indispensable to raising and keeping whole societies out of poverty; that the poor would suffer most from attempting to restrict fossil fuel use; and that rising atmospheric CO2 enhances plant growth and so helps feed more people, and animals, all over the world, the poor benefiting most.

They called “on the American people to speak out against policies aimed at curbing global warming and make their views known to opinion leaders at local, state, and national levels”; “on local, state, and federal policymakers to speak out against and refuse to endorse any global agreements that require such policies”; and “on the news media both to resist demands by climate alarmists to conform their coverage of climate science and policy to any consensus that human activity is causing dangerous climate change and to refuse to characterize those who challenge any such consensus on scientific grounds as ‘deniers,’ a pejorative term incompatible with rational, open, respectful discussion of scientific issues.”

And they concluded, “It is both unwise and unjust to adopt policies, whether at local, state, or federal levels, let alone a global agreement, requiring reduced use of fossil fuels for energy. Such policies would condemn hundreds of millions of our fellow human beings to ongoing poverty, and put hundreds of millions more at risk of returning to the poverty from which they rose, while achieving no significant climate benefit. We respectfully appeal to you to reject them.”

So, sure, let the GOP address global warming in its platform — wisely.

This article was originally published on Patriot Post.

Dr. Beisner is Founder and National Spokesman of The Cornwall Alliance; former Associate Professor of Historical Theology & Social Ethics, at Knox Theological Seminary, and of Interdisciplinary Studies, at Covenant College; and author of “Where Garden Meets Wilderness: Evangelical Entry into the Environmental Debate” and “Prospects for Growth: A Biblical View of Population, Resources, and the Future.”

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