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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The Environmentalists (not Polar Ice) Melt down

President Trump signed an executive order today which changed much of the Obama regulatory structure for "combatting climate change".  The new order does the following:

1.  It gets rid of Obama's Clean Power Plan.  The environmentalists are screaming today that this will prevent the USA from meeting the goals of the Paris Accords.  The truth, however, is quite different.  The former head of the EPA under Obama told Congress that the Clean Power Plan would have no real effect on the climate but was needed as a "symbolic gesture".  It's meaningful is some bureaucrats lose their jobs; it's symbolic if American miners lose theirs.

2.  The order reopens federal lands for coal mining.  Think how many more jobs that will create.

3.  The order also reduces the consideration of global warming issues in the issuance of permits for infrastructure projects.  That's right; next time some railroad wants to rebuild and old bridge, it won't have to do a costly study to assess the effect on the climate of a new and safe bridge. 

4.  The order covers additional items, but the ones above are the big ones.

The reporting on the executive order is predictable.  Here's a tiny excerpt from Reuters:

An overwhelming majority of scientists believe that human use of oil and coal for energy is a main driver of climate change, causing a damaging rise in sea levels, droughts and more frequent violent storms.

There is, however, some major problems with this statement that Reuters ignores.  First, there hasn't been any rise in sea levels.  Second, there haven't been more frequent violent storms.  Quite the opposite is true; there have been fewer such storms.  Third, there are no more droughts today than there have been in the past.  Last, the "overwhelming majority" referenced by Reuters is a reference to a poll done many years ago.  There is no current data on the thinking of actual climate scientists.  They are the only ones whose opinions ought to get special weight.  No one should think that a nutritionist or a geologist has any special insight into the climate.  Think of it this way:  would you go to a climate scientist for medical advice? 

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