Perhaps President Trump is not particularly your cup of tea, and you are thinking that you might consider as an alternative supporting one or another of the Democratic contenders for the presidency. If so, here is an important question to consider: Is any one of these people not completely crazy?
To start with, I’m willing to grant that the bar for selecting a candidate to support for President is of necessity a low one. A person matching your idea of the perfect candidate simply does not exist in the real world; and even if such a person did exist, he or she would not make it past the first week of the campaign. Working strongly against the potential for even any half-way decent candidate is the fact that everybody who throws a hat into this ring is almost by definition a self-centered ego-maniac. Plus, every one of them deeply believes that each word they utter, no matter how ridiculous, is a pearl of God’s wisdom. And then, by the time you get to the general election, you will only have two options left to choose from. It goes without saying that both will be very deeply flawed.
But “deeply flawed” is not nearly the same as “completely crazy.” Surely, we can find some among the Democratic candidates who can pass the “not completely crazy” test.
Well, good luck trying. To evaluate the question of whether any of these people are not completely crazy, I’m going to look today at what they have said recently — mostly in the debates — about the federal government’s appropriate role with respect to “climate.”
As background, readers here know that I do not think much of what passes for the “science” of human-caused climate change, including such obvious flaws as the refusal of advocates to articulate their contentions in the form of a falsifiable hypothesis, the failure to attempt to articulate and refute appropriate null hypotheses, and also the alteration of data by advocates in order to create an apparently strong warming trend that did not exist in the data as originally officially reported. (See, for example: as to lack of a falsifiable hypothesis, “Things Keep Getting Worse For The Fake ‘Science’ Of Human-Caused Global Warming,” July 12; as to failure to articulate or refute appropriate null hypotheses, “You Don’t Need To Be A Scientist To Know That The Global Warming Alarm ‘Science’ Is Fake,” July 15; and as to alteration of data to try to make it fit the narrative, my now-23-part series “The Greatest Scientific Fraud Of All Time.”)
But for today, put all that aside, and assume if you will that there is something to the idea that human greenhouse gas emissions have the potential to cause meaningful climate change. Even if that is accepted (a very big if), there are certain bare minimum facts that you can’t avoid in considering what policies it is appropriate for the United States to adopt. These facts (many summarized in my July 24 post, “The Real Data On Energy Usage”) include: that the U.S. only accounts for about 15% of world greenhouse gas emissions; that “renewables” like wind and solar, after absorbing over the past decade or two subsidies going into the trillions of dollars, account for only a tiny sliver of world energy usage, and have led to almost imperceptibly small reductions (if any) in use of fossil fuels; that third-world countries account for the majority of world emissions (about 58%) and are continuing rapidly to increase their emissions as they bring their people up to first world living standards; and that even if the U.S. completely eliminated all emissions, that reduction would quickly be swamped by planned increases from the third world.
In the face of these incontrovertible facts, what do the Democratic candidates think are appropriate energy (of as they would call it, “climate”) policies for the U.S. federal government? Let’s take them one at a time.
Joe Biden. At the July 31 debate, Biden was asked by CNN’s Dana Bash: “Would there be any place for fossil fuels, including coal and fracking, in a Biden administration?” His response: “No. We would work it out. We would make sure it’s eliminated, and no more subsidies for either one of those, period.”
A complete ban on fossil fuels. No mention of how airplanes might work in this world, or of how you are supposed to heat your house.
Bernie Sanders. During the July 30 version, “We have got to be super aggressive if we love our children and if we want to leave them a planet that is healthy and is habitable,” Sanders said. “What that means is we got to take on the fossil fuel industry.”
How exactly does “taking on” the fossil fuel industry help to run your car, produce your food, heat your house, or fly an airplane? And, is he planning to “take on” the fossil fuel industry in places like Saudi Arabia, Russia, China, India, Brazil, and on and on? How?
Kamala Harris. Sen. Kamala Harris (D–Calif.) stated (on July 31) that "we must have and adopt a Green New Deal. On day one as president…I would re-enter us in the Paris agreement. And put in place [policies] so we would be carbon neutral by 2030."
I think that “Green New Deal” thing means for starters all fossil fuels gone by 2030, followed by no more airplanes, no more meat, and about 20 other equally ridiculous proposals. All to reduce world emissions by at most 15% (assuming the total wipe-out of the U.S. economy), even as third world emissions increase by some multiple of that over the same period. And the Paris Climate agreement? That’s the document that would commit the U.S. to substantial reductions in carbon emissions plus hundred of billions of guilt-expiation payments, while the entire third world goes on increasing emissions as much as they like.
Beto O’Rourke. At the July 30 debate, former Texas Congressman Beto O'Rourke declared, "I've listened to the scientists on this, and they're very clear. We don't have more than 10 years to get this right."
Once again, it’s the dreaded “tipping point.” I thought the official tipping point already expired back around the year 2000. Aren’t we already doomed?
Elizabeth Warren. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (MA) warned (in the July 30 debate) that the "climate crisis is the existential crisis for our world. It puts every living thing on this planet at risk."
She has plenty of proposals to hobble the U.S. supposedly to deal with this. Can you find anywhere where she says anything about how she will deal with exploding third world emissions? I can’t.
Pete Buttigieg. Again on July 30, South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg said that "science tells us we have 12 years before we reach the horizon of catastrophe when it comes to our climate."
They can’t resist the “tipping point” baloney, even after the abject failure of the dozens of previously issued tipping points.
And please don’t get the idea that the craziness is limited to candidates polling above 5%. For example:
Steve Bullock. "By 2030, we will have passed the point of no return on climate," claimed Montana Gov. Steve Bullock.
Jay Inslee. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, who has made addressing climate change the center of his campaign, stated that "the science tells us we have to get off coal in 10 years. Your [Biden's] plan does not do that. We have to have [sic] off of fossil fuels in our electrical grid in 15."
The electrical grid is only about 30% of U.S. emissions, which in turn are about 15% of world emissions. So everything you can do about the U.S. electrical grid is only about 4.5% of world emissions, even as world emissions increase between 2 and 3% each year.
Tulsi Gabbard. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D–Hawaii) observed that "long before there was ever a Green New Deal, I introduced the most ambitious climate change legislation ever in Congress called the Off Fossil Fuels Act."
That act says that 80 percent of all electricity, new vehicles, and train lines must be fueled by no-carbon sources of energy by 2027, rising to 100 percent by 2035. Sure.
Kristen Gillibrand. Sen. Kristen Gillibrand (D–N.Y.) said that "the greatest threat to humanity is global climate change."
Cory Booker. Sen. Cory Booker (D–N.J.) stated that "everything must be sublimated to the challenge and the crisis that is existential, which is dealing with the climate threat."
With enough work I could get one of these quotes from every one of the 20+. Hey, there’s even Tom Steyer, billionaire hedge funder and craziest of them all, even though he hasn’t yet qualified for any of the debates.
The simple point is, even if you believe that climate doom is coming and that the only solution is rapid reductions in human greenhouse gas emissions, the only approach that could possibly make any sense would be a worldwide effort that forced third world countries to keep their citizens in energy poverty and forego universal access to things iike electricity, automobiles, air travel and air conditioning for the foreseeable future. None of the third world countries is ever going to go along with that, and none of these candidates has breathed a word about such a thing. Every one of them is instead all about punishing American citizens for supposed climate guilt, via eliminating fossil fuels for Americans, imposing higher prices and taxes and generally impoverishing the citizenry.
None of it makes any sense. All of them propose to impoverish the voters in an exercise that can’t possibly have any effect on world climate. They are all completely crazy.