The Pacific Northwest is experiencing astonishingly high, record-breaking temperatures with Seattle seeing 108 degrees on Monday and Portland residents suffering through a 116-degree day.
Last week, the California Independent System Operator who runs the power grid warned of coming blackouts as temperatures rise and drought conditions continue. This, of course, leads to devastating wildfires, shortages of water, and astronomical electric bills.
Here's an example of how heat is causing some road pavement to buckle. Our crews are hard at work this morning fixing SR 544 in Whatcom County, trying to get it back open by afternoon. https://t.co/53XoBDBOMZ
— WSDOT Traffic (@wsdot_traffic) June 28, 2021
The culprit is a “heat dome” that has settled over the Pacific Northwest, much of the West Coast of America, and Western Canada. We’re told categorically that this is the result of human-caused climate change. In fact, the Biden administration is planning to use the weather to convince Americans to support his climate change legislation.
There’s no proof that anything Biden proposes will affect the climate by one iota. But severe heat is a problem and politicians have to be seen doing something about it. Since high tides are also a problem, perhaps the president could stand at the water’s edge and command them not to come onshore. It worked so well for King Canute.
Extremes in weather are not new, and the use of the weather to sell a political agenda has been with us for decades. But there’s never been the confluence of people and events to ignite a populist firestorm to pass economy-destroying legislation that would kill jobs and force massive changes on the American people.
Is this it?
The White House is signaling it intends to use this summer’s extreme weather in its messaging.
Biden on Wednesday plans to convene Cabinet officials, Western governors, and private-sector partners to discuss “the devastating intersection of drought, heat, and wildfires in the Western United States.”
Last week, Biden expressed alarm about “astounding” droughts, wildfires, and flooding during remarks ahead of a meeting with FEMA’s emergency preparedness team.
Climate activists are almost joyful. “These events are climate change. The science is clear,” said Leah Stokes, professor on climate and energy policy at the University of California Santa Barbara.
“It’s tragic, but the timing will elevate the issue of climate change in a lot of peoples’ minds because heatwaves, in particular, are very easy for people to connect to climate change,” Stokes said. “So we have to talk about the policies to address it.”
But will they “connect” to sky-high electric bills, rolling blackouts, and job losses?
In 2020, California’s electricity prices jumped by 7.5%, making it the biggest price increase of any state in the country last year and nearly seven times the increase that was seen in the United States as a whole.
According to data from the Energy Information Administration, the all-sector price of electricity in California last year jumped to 18.15 cents per kilowatt-hour, which means that Californians are now paying about 70% more for their electricity than the U.S. average all-sector rate of 10.66 cents per kWh. Even more worrisome: California’s electricity rates are expected to soar over the next decade.
Tell the people the truth about what these policies would mean for the average American and support for any climate change legislation will disappear. Most people don’t see a “crisis” in the climate. What we see are a lot of politicians trying to scare us into giving them enormous power to control the economy — and ultimately, us.