July 12, 2016

July 12, 2016 | Factsheet on Climate Change

10 Reasons Why the #WebofDenial Campaign Is Wrong

Senate Democrats have initiated a rhetorical campaign against any organization that expresses skepticism about climate change policies. Unfortunately for them, unsettled climate science, flawed climate models, and marginal environmental gains from disproportionately harmful climate regulations don’t help their case.

Here are 10 reasons why the #WebofDenial campaign is wrong.

  1. Climate change models over-predict warming. The climate data simply do not suggest that man-made global warming should be at the top of the lists of concerns. The climate models that international bodies are using to justify regulations and commitments to restrict the use of affordable energy to reduce carbon dioxide are over-predicting warming.
  2. Even as global carbon dioxide emissions have increased, warming has plateaued. Most scientists would agree that the Earth has experienced some warming over the past century, but there is little agreement as to how much of that warming is attributable to human activity or if it is even harmful. An analysis by Judith Curry comparing five data sets of actual global temperatures found that all but one showed that global warming has slowed or stopped. However, climate models have predicted far more warming than has actually happened in the past 18 years. If models have been unable to accurately project climate conditions 10 years out, how can even longer-term projections be depended upon to make good policy decisions?
  3. Climate science is unpredictable, biased, and lacks consensus. Such a field does not justify extreme climate policies. The analysis by Dr. Curry found that all but one of the five data sets show that the warming trend has been essentially flat for periods exceeding 10 years during the past 18 years. More specifically, the observed climate data show a significant moderation of the warming trend over the past two decades. Depending on the endpoints chosen, recent warming has been modest or even negative (meaning slight cooling). Regardless of what fraction of the observed warming is due to anthropogenic carbon dioxide, the actual temperature trends are not troubling.
  4. Tropical storms, hurricanes, and major weather events aren’t increasing. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the main body on which global warming regulators rely for their science, dispels the notion that hurricanes are becoming more frequent. The panel notes in its most recent scientific assessment that there are “no robust trends in annual numbers of tropical storms, hurricanes and major hurricanes counts have been identified over the past 100 years in the North Atlantic basin,” and that there are “no significant observed trends in global tropical cyclone frequency.”
  5. Global warming regulations are a hidden energy tax that hit the poor hardest. Because the majority of America’s energy needs are met through carbon-emitting conventional fuels, the Obama Administration’s global warming regulations are a hidden energy tax. These regulations disproportionately harm low-income families because transportation and residential energy costs represent a larger portion of their budget. The median family spends about 5 cents out of every dollar on energy; low-income families spend about 20 cents of every dollar on energy.
  6. The United Nations Framework on Climate Change will result in minimal changes to emissions while costing U.S. citizens billions. If the U.S. follows through with this plan by restricting access to carbon dioxide-emitting natural resources, American households and businesses will incur higher energy costs. These cost increases will, in turn, slow economic growth and reduce the growth of per capita income while having little or no impact on the projected warming.
  7. Funding the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is illegal under U.S. law. On December 18, 2015, the Palestinian Authority acceded to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). As was the case when the Palestinians joined the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in 2011, this event should trigger provisions in U.S. law that will prohibit any future U.S. funding to the UNFCCC.
  8. The UN’s Green Climate Fund is a giant wealth transfer. Any such climate fund would amount to a massive wealth transfer. So far, only $10 billion of the sought after $100 billion has been pledged by 37 countries, with the U.S. being the biggest donor. In the end, it may amount to nothing more than a giant Ponzi scheme. The money may not even fund the politically preferred energy sources demanded by proponents of a climate fund.
  9. Major regulations based on flawed science, such as Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards, add thousands of dollars to the cost of living. Repealing CAFE standards would save consumers $3,800 or more on a new car. It would also make used cars more affordable. CAFE standards have a minimal impact on global warming—less than two hundredths of a degree Celsius in 2100 according to the Obama Administration’s optimistic estimate. These standards fail a cost-benefit test by a huge margin.
  10. The Obama Administration’s climate agenda is killing jobs and costing money—500,000 lost manufacturing jobs and lost incomes of $7,000 per person, to be precise. For decades, environmental activist organizations have pushed to regulate carbon dioxide emissions. Even though such regulations would have a negligible positive impact on the climate and the environment, the Obama Administration has introduced a series of measures aimed at controlling emissions from motor vehicles and power plants, both new and existing. The economic basis for these regulations has been the social cost of carbon (SCC). Derived from integrated assessment models (IAMs), the SCC supposedly quantifies the economic damages associated with carbon dioxide emissions. Although conceptually appealing and technically sophisticated in many ways, IAMs suffer from inherent flaws, including unrealistic assumptions about the costs of future damages, the temperature changes caused by increased carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere, and the time horizon (nearly 300 years into the future). Because of these flaws, the IAMs are fundamentally unsuitable for regulatory application.

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