George Bernard Shaw famously said, “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself.” There couldn’t be a better description of our president, who proclaimed in Berlin in July 2008: “This is the moment when we must come together to save this planet. Let us resolve that we will not leave our children a world where the oceans rise and famine spreads and terrible storms devastate our lands.”
The vice president was not far behind, just as persuasive but less vivid. “I think it is manmade. I think it’s clearly manmade. If you don’t understand what the cause is, it’s virtually impossible to come up with a solution. We know what the cause is. The cause is manmade. That’s the cause. That’s why the polar icecap is melting,” Joe Biden said, outlining the administration’s position on global warming; apparently, “Apocalypse Now” is threatening a host of calamities. Although the vice president sounds terminally confused, if he says “I think it is manmade,” then there should be no more debate. It is settled. We should take it as gospel and blow trillions of dollars in an effort to save the planet. And according to those two delusional alarmists, this is it. There will not be another moment. Must act now!!!
I am old enough to remember that not so long ago, in the mid-1970s, the world debated “global cooling” with the same intensity and urgency as we are debating global warming today. It was also very urgent and potentially catastrophic although, back then, we needed to save the planet from freezing. The cover of the April 28, 1975 issue of Newsweek proclaimed “The Coming Ice Age.” In the article “The Cooling World,” the magazine suggested that, among other disasters, cooling “may portend a drastic decline for food production.” In the June 24, 1974 issue of Time magazine, the article “Another Ice Age” painted a bleak picture for the future of our planet. These same publications now advocate global warming.
I recently raised this argument with a renowned defender of global warming. His response was that science is a lot better today than it was forty years ago. “Does that mean science was wrong in predicting a new ice age?” I asked him sarcastically. I got my answer when he did not respond: It really does not matter what science says; we simply must believe in global warming. This and other discussions with the supporters of global warming convinced me of the futility of citing scientific and historical records to initiate an intellectually honest dialogue. I also became aware that these people would never relinquish their convictions and will continue to find arguments to justify them—even if these new arguments are diametrically opposed to those they previously espoused.
Since Galileo’s time, ideology has been trying to overtake science; and it often has. It may just be human nature to want to acquire wisdom from prophets rather than bother with facts and scientific analysis. I finally realized that the struggle over global warming had become a religion and the three elephants from the ancient Hindu myths holding the earth are coming back. It teaches us that Mother Earth may soon crack under the weight of our environmental sins, but the three elephants of Al Gore, Barack Obama, and Joe Biden will keep the Earth from sinking into the abyss if we just follow them and don’t ask questions.
And so, the Church of Global Warming was formed. As with any religion, it has spawned extremists demanding an Inquisition. The Inquisition is headed by former Representative Patrick Kennedy, who once announced that anybody who does not believe in global warming is a traitor and should be treated as such. As we all know, religious fanatics usually demand full and complete obedience from their followers. The followers, in turn, must demonstrate that they are “more Catholic than the Pope.” As a result, stupid things are proclaimed true and billions of taxpayer dollars are spent on absurd projects.
The importance of the theology of global warming for the president’s strategy of re-engineering America cannot be underestimated. Global warming justifies unlimited expenditure, strangles oil and gas production, practically stops coal mining, and puts power generation under tight government control. It also puts a lot of money into the hands of Obama supporters. People like Al Gore, who are managing exchanges of greenhouse gas emissions, stand to make an enormous amount of money, literally out of thin air, by underwriting the sale of “carbon credits” that industries, utilities, and other entities must purchase for the “right” to operate facilities that produce industrial emissions. In addition, the containment of global warming justifies support for the alternative energy industry that cannot exist without government subsidies.
The whole global warming affair and the romantic dream of alternative energies remind me of the famous scene from Moliere’s Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme in which M. Jordan, the play’s principle character, is trying to improve his intelligence by taking writing lessons. He requests his teacher to help him with a love note. The teacher asks whether he wants the note to be written in poetry or prose. M. Jordan replies that he doesn’t want either. The teacher explains that it has to be one of the two because they are the only ways to write. M. Jordan admits to his teacher that he is quite surprised by the fact that he has used prose for forty years without knowing it. The supporters of global warming and advocates of alternative energy recite the poetry of dreams without any awareness that there exists a prose of reality. The president and his supporters believe that the hydrocarbons we use emit carbon dioxide gas, CO2, that causes global warming, and that we must make the transition to clean, alternative, renewable sources of energy. However, we may be quite surprised to find out that these people do not even know what hydrocarbons are.
On August 24, 2008, appearing on NBC’s Meet the Press, former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi demonstrated appalling ignorance when she suggested that natural gas—an energy source she favors—is not a fossil fuel. “I believe in natural gas as a clean, cheap alternative to fossil fuels,” she said at one point. Natural gas “is cheap, abundant and clean compared to fossil fuels,” she said at another, revealing the depth of strategic thinking of the Democratic Party. It is also indicative of what can be expected from leaders of our country whose level of intelligence does not exceed the eighth grade of American public school education; the less knowledge, the greater the conviction.
It is becoming abundantly clear that the president and his supporters talk a great deal about renewable energy but don’t know that, for the foreseeable future, there is no practical way for renewable forms of energy to replace oil, coal, gas, and other hydrocarbons, which now provide almost 90 percent of our energy supply. Nor do they care to know—which may lead us into a real, manmade (actually, Obama-made) calamity. The administration’s efforts to curtail production of hydrocarbons may lead to insufficient energy supply and send the economy into a tailspin, resulting in a protracted depression. Yet the president is ideologically a Marxist and, like all Marxists, he is a dogmatist. Dogmatism is a form of philosophical idealism that makes conclusions first and then selects facts to support those conclusions. In Obama’s case, it is not just an omission of relevant data; it is also a refusal to accept objective reality as well. It should not surprise us that during a June 2013 speech in Virginia, Obama announced that he will “double down” on his green energy efforts. Since the president has accepted the postulate of global warming and that the phenomenon is manmade and the source of the problem is hydrocarbons, he cannot be persuaded to change course, regardless of the prose of reality.
Not to be confused, as M. Jordan was, I decided that it might be time to sort out the poetry and prose of global warming and alternative energy. Since most of us lack the intelligence of Mr. Biden, let’s do it step by step and answer the following questions.
First, is there global warming?
Second, if there is, is it manmade, as Mr. Biden believes?
Third, can we do anything about it?
Fourth, is alternative energy a solution?
Contrary to this administration’s pronouncements, the science of climate change is not settled. Although many scientists, supporters of the environmental movement, and most of the media are committed to the theology of global warming, the science does not validate its existence. The administration’s strongest argument is that the majority of the scientific community—they call it “scientific consensus”—supports global warming. Be that as it may, the argument is totally irrelevant. Scientific disputes are not settled by majority consent. The majority has been proven wrong more times than not throughout history. Just remember heretics such as Galileo Galilei, Nicolaus Copernicus, and Albert Einstein, or the most recent example of a flawed scientific theory, global cooling, which also was supported by a majority of scientists. There is no convincing evidence that global warming exists as a permanent phenomenon rather than being just a forty- to fifty-year cycle, as some scientists believe.
The historic records indicate that climate change is not a unique phenomenon of our period. At a time when Nancy Pelosi is declaring Greenland a global warming disaster because the island’s ice cap is melting due to rising temperatures, it is worth noting that the island was covered with forests when the Vikings (or Norse) settled the region and created a farming community six hundred years ago. Perhaps that is why they named it “Greenland”! Pelosi might also be surprised to learn that the Romans grew grapes in northern England. Hence, temperatures on this planet were a lot higher then.
It has been well documented that the collapse of the Old Kingdom in Egypt and the Akkadian Empire in Mesopotamia around 2200 bc were brought about by a catastrophic rise in temperatures and subsequent droughts. At the same time, the European continent was being subjected to a prolonged ice age. Given the level of erudition of the advocates of global warming and some of our elected officials, we should wonder whether they are aware that neither the Bronze Age civilizations nor the Romans and Vikings had cars, oil refineries, or coal-fired power plants.
Considering the mountains of scientific data, in many instances highly controversial, assembled by both the supporters and opponents of global warming, we should recognize that the precise constellation of forces that leads to climate change is unknown at this time. Since no modern scientific model can explain temperature changes (either then or now), science is just not reliable when it comes to the subject of temperature change on this planet.
In case nobody noticed, the disciples of global warming are not sure the planet is warming either. Since the appearance of some evidence lately that suggests the planet may be cooling, they have stopped calling it global warming and are now calling the phenomenon “climate change”—just in case. Although they are not sure what it is, the ambiguity does not deter them from insisting that it is still manmade and that we have to spend money to save the planet.
The absurdity of global warming does not stop there. Let’s assume, for the sake of argument, that there is a long trend of this planet getting warmer. There is no compelling evidence to suggest that the source of this phenomenon is CO2; other persuasive causes for global warming such as the sun’s activity and the earth’s reflectivity, could affect temperatures on this planet. The only reason CO2 is blamed for climate change is because it is emitted by motor vehicles and industrial production. The environmental fanatics want us to abandon economic progress, become vegetarians, and ride horses and bicycles. Once the dogmatists had decided that global warming must be manmade, CO2 became the obvious culprit.
As the argument goes, if the United States would replace internal combustion engines with electric trains and restrict emissions from industrial and coal-fired power plants, we would save the planet. There is a reason I keep emphasizing the United States; other countries, especially the major polluters such as Russia, China, and Eastern Europe, have no intention of following this destructive path. Every single week of the year, China brings into service a new, large coal-fired plant that has practically no environmental controls and that subsequently contributes to 30 percent of the air pollution in Los Angeles. By taking this position, the supporters of global warming have demonstrated that they selectively collect, analyze, and utilize scientific data to support their ideological position. Otherwise, they might have found that the theory of global warming is full of holes and has not yet been proven.
Recent fires in Southern California demonstrated that Mother Nature can produce in several days an amount of greenhouse gases larger than that generated by all the cars in the region in a whole year. California’s yearly fires have been known since the Spanish conquistadors first visited in 1542. If we add volcanoes spitting into the air millions of tons of CO2 every year for thousands of years, then according to the proponents’ theory, we should already be living on small islands surrounded by an ocean of melted Arctic ice. It should be obvious that, although CO2 is a major source of air pollution, there is no solid evidence that it is having an impact on the Earth’s temperature one way or the other. Therefore, any change in temperatures is not manmade, and no amount of falsehood can make it so.
What about alternative energies? The administration holds a dual position on the subject. It is trying to convince the American people that alternative energies will alleviate the danger of global warming while simultaneously reducing our dependence on foreign oil. The problem with the administration’s pursuit of alternative energy is that solar power generation, where the administration has invested most of the taxpayers’ money, simply does not work on a large commercial scale. It lacks “commercially proven” technology and, in its current form, is unreliable and expensive. It cannot compete with conventional sources of energy such as coal, oil, gas, nuclear, or even wood chips.
To make the situation even worse, Obama appears to be pursuing two mutually exclusive objectives. The president plans to put a million electric cars on the road—which will require an increase in power generation and transmission to support this additional consumption. This is the presidential poetry of dreams. The prose of reality was outlined in a June 9, 2011 press release by American Electric Power Company. Its chairman and CEO, Michael G. Morris, stated, “Because of compliance with the new EPA regulations, we will have to prematurely shut down hundreds of good power plants, nearly 25 percent of our current coal-fueled generating capacity.” Based on the regulations as proposed, AEP’s compliance plan would retire nearly 6,000 megawatts of coal-fueled power generation. The futures market took notice. Electric grid operator PJM recently held a capacity auction, and the price for 2015, according to Investor’s Business Daily, will be $136 per megawatt, eight times higher than what was paid in 2012. In the regions where coal-fired plants are being retired, such as in northern Ohio, the rates are as high as $357 per megawatt.
Thus, instead of increasing the generation of electric power to support additional consumption, the administration is planning to dramatically reduce existing capacity. It is becoming exceedingly apparent that the administration is investing enormous resources to solve a problem that does not exist with a solution that does not work. Without a realistic program to replace the retired generating capacities and to address additional demand, the administration is creating an artificial energy crisis in this country—an Obama-made energy crisis.
The forgoing demonstrates that global warming is one gigantic fraud, which among other things is designed to scare the public and, as stated earlier, redistribute wealth from the taxpayers to the rich cronies of the president and his party in order to make them very rich. That is one example of how the president is planning to “share the benefits of open markets more equitably .”
Albert Einstein used to say, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” The American people would like to know how many times President Obama must take the taxpayers’ money and loan it out to clean energy companies and expect different results. Or, perhaps, he doesn’t.
Whether the continuation of government investment in alternative energies is a manifestation of the president’s dogmatism or just a shrewd strategy to spend more money, or both, we will never know.
About the Author:
Alexander G. Markovsky is a Russian émigré. He holds degrees in economics and political science from the University of Marxism-Leninism and an MS in structural engineering from Moscow University. He resides in Houston, Texas, with his wife and daughter, where he owns a consulting company specializing in the management of large international projects.
Mr. Markovsky is a contributor to FamilySecurityMatters.org and his essays have appeared on RedState.com, WorldNetDaily Family Security Matters, Ruthfullyyours and others.