Your Climate at Work

Someone named Michael Casey at the Associated Press has written a collection of paragraphs concerning the so-called Climate Negotiations. Someone else needs to follow along behind Mr. Casey with a broom, because he has apparently "gone native" in his capacity as an ’environmental writer’ and now speaks with the voice of some sort of eco-nut. Since the Sunday night football game contains teams that I could not care less about, the task of fisking Mr. Casey’s "news" story has fallen to me.

We can begin with the headline, which warns ominously, US says climate bill might not pass in time. Let us pity those who have been following the dire warnings of Al Gore et Cie, for they probably read this headline and concluded that we’re all gonna die. "The US didn’t act in time. The planet is doomed! Woe is us!" The rest of us have become bored with environmental alarmism, and so treated this headline as just another in a long series of headlines that tell us that the planet is doomed and we’re all gonna die. Nothing new here, we can move along. Besides, what they really meant was "in time for some big meeting", which is not all that scary.

The fate of a U.S. bill capping carbon emissions was expected to weigh heavily on delegates in U.N. climate talks that begin in the Thai capital on Monday..

That’s Mr. Casey’s opening bid. We can’t tell whether he’s just sloppy, or actually believes that capping carbon emissions is as simple a matter as politicians passing a law. There’s been an epidemic lately of starry-eyed people believing that government can do anything, and now we’re at the point where they’re legislating the weather. Mr. Casey is apparently among the people who goes along with this. Perhaps the delegates to the U.N. climate talks go along with it too, which explains why the fate of a bill in the US Congress "weighs heavily" on them. My guess is that many of them don’t even know there is a bill pending, or think it passed when the House approved it, or haven’t had a thought about it one way or the other. I think that what weighs heavily on them is that the meeting after this is in Copenhagen, and they can’t find a smoking hotel room within 100 km.

As most of us could have predicted had we given the matter even a moment’s thought — which we hadn’t — the UN Climate Talks have degenerated into yet another venue in which the developing countries badger the rich countries (that’d be us, as if we were rich instead of in debt for two years’ worth of GDP) for money. According to Mr. Casey, if we rich countries do not pony up tens of billions of dollars, the Other Guys won’t sign a deal. We will then have Zambia and the like pumping CO2 into the atmosphere, using whatever means they might have at their disposal. And then we’re all gonna die. This has become a pattern, with the Other Guys declining to sign deals at the AIDS talks, the arugula talks, the child labor talks, etc., unless we bring wheelbarrows full of money.

In June, the House of Representatives passed the first U.S. legislation to cap carbon emissions. The Senate, which is currently embroiled in the health care debate, is expected to take up the legislation as early as this week.

That’s Mr. Casey again, this time failing to tell his readers that polar bears will be extinct before the "climate" bill escapes from whatever committee the Senate sent it for safekeeping. Our chief negotiator at the talks is aware of this; he doubts there’s enough time to pass a bill before the really, really, big climate meeting in Copenhagen, in December. Between now and then, if things go according to a plan Mr. Casey obviously knows nothing about, Republicans will have won elections in New Jersey and Virginia and scared the bejeesus out of every Democrat who doesn’t have an iron-clad safe seat in 2010. And that will be the end of humans legislating climate, at least until the next time the Democrats get ahead of themselves.

I had not been aware of this:

President Barack Obama and Chinese President Hu Jintao — whose countries are the world’s two biggest emitters, each accounting for about 20 percent of greenhouse gas pollution — both vowed tough measures to combat climate change at the New York talks.

In the case of Obama, one hopes that the measures he employs to deal with Iran’s nuclear weapons ambitions will be as tough. Probably not.

Here’s Mr. Casey performing a trick a lot of environmentally-conscious stupid people perform:

Hu said China would generate 15 percent of its energy from renewable sources within a decade

"Renewable sources" have become a kind of magic. They apparently have something to do with saving the planet, reducing global warming, and so on, even though most "renewable energy" turns out to be the product of burning food, which involves combining organic material with oxygen in a process called "burning". Which process releases CO2 the same as if one burned, oh, gasoline. So it’s not clear why China’s quest for "renewable" energy has anything to do with climate change, except that the word renewable has become a talisman to the dull-normal left.

Here is something you probably did not know. I certainly didn’t.

Most countries agree that temperature increases should be limited to 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celsius) above preindustrial levels of about 150 years ago

To me it’s just amazing that humans acting as "countries" have determined the optimum temperature for a planet they had nothing to do with designing, and which has gone from really, really hot to really, really cold several times without any help from governments. How does anyone with a puny human mind have the temerity to imagine that he or she can possibly know what the temperature "should" be? What are they messing with? Do they even know? Of course not. They are guessing, and they propose to make the lives of everyone on Earth a bit more miserable for no reason other than their silly guess. Arrrgggghhh. We cannot defeat these people at the polls soon enough.

The world’s average temperature already has risen 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit (0.8 degrees Celsius) since the 19th century.

There goes Mr. Casey again, this time adopting the dishonest tactic of environmental alarmists in which they carefully pick their starting and ending dates to produce the result they want. Mr. Casey does not add that the world’s average temperature has been declining for a decade now. It may be true that the temperature right now is higher than it was in the 19th century, but it’s going down, and until we know how and why it’s going down, it might be really stupid to take measures to make it go down even more. Ice ages do happen. Such a thing would kill hundreds of millions of humans. This is the problem with having big meetings in Copenhagen to propose changes to climate. No human knows enough to do it without having a 50-50 chance of making things worse. Yet nothing in Mr. Casey’s article suggests that there is any risk in having human beings meddle with the atmospheric/climate system of a planet with almost 7 billion people on it.