The White House released a third iteration of the “U.S. National Climate Assessment,”claiming it is “the most comprehensive scientific assessment ever generated of climate change and its impacts across every region of America and major sectors of the U.S. economy.” The report emphasizes the need for “urgent action to combat the threats from climate change.” Well, here are five reasons voters don’t believe what the White House says on climate change:
1. Overreach. The White House doesn’t just want it both ways, it wants it every way. Increasingly, when there is a topical weather event, be it a warm typhoon in the Pacific or a cold snap in the United States, we hear it is caused by global warming. But non-events, such as fewer tropical storms becoming hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico or the frustrating, inconvenient truth that there hasn’t been any warming in the past 15 years, are dismissed as meaningless because we are told you must evaluate climate change over the long term. On Tuesday, President Obama even took time to meet with local and national weather reporters as a way of emphasizing the effects of global warming on today’s weather. The left is inconsistent in its selection of what factors and events “prove” that manmade global warming is real.
2. Hypocrisy. Voters notice that the founding father of the global warming movement, Al Gore, has become fabulously wealthy by selling out to Middle Eastern oil and gas interests. Voters notice the mansions, private planes and the super-wealthy lifestyle. And Gore is not the only global warming hypocrite. I would guess that after he leaves office, President Obama will never again fly on a commercial airline – and he will probably be traveling by Global Expresses, Gulfstreams and the occasional large Falcon, not even on the more modest, smaller private jets. Voters are on to the fact that the global warming crusaders want us to pay more and live with less — but, of course, the rules don’t apply to the politicians who want everybody else to sacrifice. Not to mention, the people who insult and belittle anyone who has a question about the “science” of manmade global warming are often the same people who categorically dismiss the scientific proof of the viability, safety and reliability of nuclear energy. I have a little test for the global warming crusaders: If you’re not for nuclear energy and against ice cream, your commitment to the cause is questionable.
3. The global warming cause fits too nicely with the president’s left-wing political agenda. The prescriptions for dealing with climate change are the same policy objectives the left has promoted for other reasons for at least the past 25 years. That is, redistribution of wealth, higher taxes, anti-growth, anti-development regulations, etc. Because they don’t have much support from voters, the left has to advance its cause through surreptitious maneuvering rather than forthright advocacy of its specific global warming policies. The left never answers the questions of who pays, how much and for what result.
4. A lack of faith in foreign cooperation. Absent any verifiable, enforceable global warming treaty, any unilateral moves by the United States would be pointless. After all, the left wants us to believe that global warming really is global and that fossil fuels burned in distant lands are every bit as harmful as they are when they are utilized here at home. I would love to see a poll that asks American voters if they think American tax dollars should be spent on global warming remedies in foreign lands. Of course, we all know the vast majority of Americans would say no. Some say the United States should lead by example, but does anybody believe that if we affirmatively harm our own economy, others will somehow think that is a noble sacrifice and follow suit? The very notion is ridiculous.
5. This administration lacks credibility. For a long time, we have said in America, “If we can put a man on the moon, why can’t we do X, Y or Z?” Well, in the Obama era, that adage has morphed into, “If he couldn’t get a Web site right, how are we supposed to believe he knows how to control the climate?” Who really believes that a massive government tax and reordering of the economy in the name of stopping global warming or climate change or whatever will go as planned and the world’s thermostat will adjust to something the Democrats find more acceptable? Answer: Almost nobody. Voters don’t believe what the White House says on this issue in part because it has not been credible on so many other important issues. We’ve heard everything from “you can keep your health-care plan” to there is a “red line” in Syria. Why should anyone believe the White House now?
As I’ve said before, voters aren’t stupid. They know when they are not being leveled with. And all the bluster, intimidation and angry frothing won’t make their doubts go away or make the Obama administration any more believable.
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Ed Rogers is a columnist at The Washington Post.