Obama used the erroneous phrase “carbon pollution” a total of twenty times in his Georgetown speech.
He is, of course, really speaking of CO2, an odorless, invisble gas essential to plant life and in no way a pollutant. Yet the Obama Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) still designates CO2 a “harmful substance” so as to allow greater bureaucratic control of industry under the Clean Air Act. In Tuesday’s address, the president promised to expand the EPA’s CO2 regulations to cover existing power stations, an action sure to cost billions of dollars and millions of jobs for no environmental benefit. EPA’s claim is based on three lines of evidence that a recent amicus brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court shows are invalid. Regardless, calling CO2 “carbon” helps Obama politically since it encourages people to think of CO2 as associated with soot, something that is pure carbon and is clearly dirty and undesirable.
Of course, we can and should reduce the amount of soot going in to the atmosphere, and apart from China, significant advances have occurred. Scrubber technology for coal-fired power plants has been available for a long time. If Obama really wants to help people’s health and the environment, he should encourage all possible use of scrubbers.
The “carbon pollution” mistake is often used by activists to focus negative attention specifically on coal-fired electricity generation, since “carbon” comes from the Latin carbo, meaning coal. Over 40 percent of U.S. energy comes from coal, and so killing this energy source is fundamental to the president’s apparent goals of expanding government control and redistributing wealth. Obama wants to end coal use entirely in the U.S., no matter how clean it can be made. Obama even told the San Francisco Chronicle in 2008: “What I have said is that for us to take coal off the table as an ideological matter as opposed to saying if technology allows us to use coal in a clean way, we should pursue it.”
Aside from his support for climate change adaptation measures, actions that make sense if carried out properly, Obama’s Georgetown speech appears to be mostly oriented towards accomplishing political objectives unrelated to environmental protection. This is very much in line with former Colorado Democratic Senator Timothy Wirth, who in 1993 summed up the strategy well: “We’ve got to ride to global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing.”
It is ironic that Obama would equate his unscientific campaign to “fight against climate change” with NASA’s trips to the Moon. Unlike Obama’s dogmatic approach, always focused on reducing greenhouse gases no matter what science demonstrates about the real causes of climate change, NASA learned from their mistakes and made necessary changes.
For example, when Apollo 1 went up in flames, killing all three astronauts in 1967, engineers ended the use of high oxygen atmospheres in manned space vehicles. But, when climate models on which the global warming scare is based fail to forecast what actually happens in the real world, when cyclones and strong tornadoes diminish, when ice cover in Antarctica increases, Obama and his fellow alarmists simply raise the rhetoric.
Trying to scare us away, he labels scientists who want to base policy on real-world observations as members of “the Flat Earth Society.” Such name-calling merely strengthens our resolve to expose the most serious climate threat we face — the exploitation of public ignorance by alarmists such as Obama.
The president was, however, right to say: “This is not just a job for politicians. So I’m going to need all of you to educate your classmates, your colleagues, your parents, your friends. Tell them what’s at stake. Speak up at town halls, church groups, PTA meetings. Push back on misinformation. Speak up for the facts. Broaden the circle of those who are willing to stand up for our future.”
Yes, that is exactly what we will continue to do. Because you are wrong, Mr. President, dangerously wrong. America is too important for anyone, even those of us who are not U.S. citizens, to let it die because of a lie. And much of what you told Georgetown students on Tuesday was indeed a lie.