Conservatives Must Stand Up to Climate Change Bullying

Canada and the United States have many things in common – we love our hockey players, our astronauts and our veterans. We value freedom and prosperity and, when push comes to shove, will fight tooth and nail against those who would take either from us. We also have our shares of misguided conservative politicians who think they can win over left-leaning voters by promoting the climate scare.

In Canada we had Stephen Harper who was elected prime minister as a conservative and a committed climate sceptic but changed sides after being elected in an apparent attempt to curry favor with the left. It did him no good whatsoever and he was crucified by mainstream media, which swept the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau into power. Today’s federal Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer is no better, promoting the climate scare and promising to present his party’s climate change plan by the beginning of summer with a focus on so-called clean energy.

In the U.S., we have seen many prominent Republicans actively supporting, or at least acquiescing to, climate alarmism. After all, it was the late President George H. W. Bush who signed U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) at the Earth Summit in 1992 in Rio de Janeiro. The UNFCCC dictated the climate alarmist stance of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that set the stage for the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement. Bush also started the National Climate Assessment through legislation he signed in 1990. The NCA has been a thorn in the side of Republican presidents ever since.

More recently, we have Republicans like Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Neil Chatterjee, chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and even former Texas governor and current U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, embracing what are essentially climate alarmist views.

"I believe climate change is real. I believe man has an impact," Chatterjee said at the 6th annual Columbia Global Energy Summit in New York City on April 10, 2019. “And I believe that we need to take steps to mitigate emissions urgently.”

After dismissing Republicans who do not support global warming alarmism, Graham’s comments at the April 24 EarthX2019 conference in Dallas on climate change were truly absurd. “The first thing you gotta do is say greenhouse gas emissions are real and they are caused by C02 emissions. They trap heat,” said the senator, concluding, “Climate change is real, the science is sound and the solutions are available.”

Perry was less ridiculous in his remarks at the EarthX2019 event, instead supporting the climate scare indirectly. In a bombastic, rambling presentation, the energy secretary boasted that the United States “continue[s] to lead in reducing energy-related carbon emissions. That’s something to be proud of… We are determined to lead the drive for cleaner energy in this world… Back in Washington, people argue endlessly on what “clean” or “cleaner” means. Does it mean carbon-neutral or carbon-free?”

All of these statements are stupid. They are either wrong or irrelevant, both scientifically and politically.

Perry’s "carbon" is actually carbon dioxide (CO2). In contrast to carbon, which is a solid, CO2 is an odorless, colorless gas. It is crucial for plant photosynthesis and so required for life. That’s why the CO2 concentrations inside commercial greenhouses are often kept up to 1,500 parts per million (ppm), a level at which plants grow far more efficiently than at the 410 ppm in the outside atmosphere. We should not spend a single cent trying to reduce the air’s CO2 content.

And of course, climate change is real. So is continental drift. But no sensible person would conclude that humans are the master controller of either. And despite the demands of Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project that media “Call it a Climate Crisis” in their May 7 “day of action” Twitter storm, recent climate change has been well within expected natural variability.

Concerns about dangerous human-caused global warming are based on only one thing: computer model forecasts of the future. But these models simply do not work, having predicted three times the warming that has actually occurred between 1979 and 2017. Contrary to Graham’s assertion that “the science is sound,” our understanding of the science is so poor that we do not even know what mathematical equations to program into the models.

That abandoning their base and supporting the climate scare is terrible political strategy for Republicans was well demonstrated in the 2018 midterm elections. Only 53 percent of the 43 House Republican seats that were occupied by members of the bipartisan congressional Climate Solutions Caucus remained in Republican hands. In contrast, almost 90 percent of the seats held by House Republicans who did not belong to the caucus remained Republican after the election.

In support of his position, Graham argued that Republicans need to appeal to young people who support the climate scare. Marc Morano, publisher of the influential Washington DC-based Climatedepot.com, responded, “I can’t imagine that any millennial who cares about this is going to be voting Republican because they are activists at their core. If you’re a millennial and you’re skipping school and all excited about the Green New Deal (GND), there is no way Republicans can appeal to them with some sort of lite version of the GND.”

“You don't capitulate to young voters because they have been brainwashed into believing that mankind is driving a climate 'crisis,'” said Morano. “You lead and reveal to them that what they think they know just ain't so.”

Morano explains why so many Republican support climate alarmism: “They just don’t want to be seen as ‘evil deniers’ and they are prepared to give in wherever they can. They want to have less toxicity in the media, in town halls, in social circles around the Washington establishment. By supporting the climate scare, they’re going to be better liked, less embarrassed by their positions and can say, ‘you can’t call us deniers anymore!’ That gives them a level of comfort at parties, campaign events, speeches and town halls.”

Clearly, what is now urgently needed is for the Trump administration to go ahead with the President’s Commission on Climate Security. Then there would be an alternative federal climate change report with the seal of the U.S. government on it. Morano summed up, “We’ve never had a challenge to the UN from an official source. A Presidential Commission report would be the first one ever. Let’s just hope that it goes through.”

Indeed. For the sake of the country and all other nations which depend on a free and prosperous America for their survival, let’s hope it does.

Tom Harris is Executive Director of the Ottawa, Canada-based International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC). Dr. Jay Lehr is Senior Policy Analyst with ICSC and former Science Director of The Heartland Institute, a free market think tank headquartered in Illinois.