COMMENTARY | One can figure out that the “science” of climate change has fallen on hard times when its chief defenders are not actual scientists, but rather a pair of comedians, Bill Maher and Bill Nye the former “science guy,” according to Politico.
Of course a third comedian, albeit an amateur one, is also flogging the idea. John Kerry is comparing “climate change” to the threat of WMDs. When one considers that controversy that ensued when the coalition forces that liberated Iraq failed to find much evidence of WMDs, it was perhaps an unfortunate analogy.
Nye, who started life as a comedian before he became the star of a children’s science show, recently inadvertently beclowned himself when he held up a picture of the Arctic while explaining alleged lost of ice pack mass in the Antarctic. He was also cherry picking a single data point to make it seem that ice is being loss in the Antarctic when it is, in fact, at just about normal levels.
“Climate change” used to be called “global warming,” the idea being that the use of fossil fuels was causing an excess of greenhouse gasses to be pumped into the atmosphere, causing a gradual greenhouse effect, thus raising global temperatures. The problem was, as the UK Telegraph reported, global temperatures stopped rising in 1998. Hence, the new label, which is a catch all phrase to explain everything from snow storms in the northeast to droughts in Texas and California.
The entire kerfuffle would be just a quaint academic exercise if it were confined to dueling scientists (and comedian) but there are public policy implications to “climate change.” It has served as the basis for a jihad against fossil fuels and a massive subsidy program to promote “alternative energy.” More from necessity than any logic, natural gas is no longer an evil fossil fuel, but now part of the “alternative” energy basket. This is because it is the most environmentally benign fossil fuel and the fracking boom has become so wide spread that it has become unstoppable, even by the geniuses in the Obama administration.
America has the potential to power its way at last out of the economic malaise with new drilling technologies like fracking and newly discovered sources of oil and gas. But fear of “climate change” is holding the country back. Unwise policies, ranging from the delay of the Keystone XL pipeline to a virtual moratorium on drilling on federal lands have served as a smoothing blanket, stopped the recovery from taking off. Until that changes, Americans are just going to have to put up with fewer jobs and slow economic growth.