By Bill Balgord, E&RT
Bloomberg is trying to make hay by claiming capitulation on the part of some Republican members of Congress on the climate-change issue. See: Republicans Who Couldn’t Beat Climate Debate Now Seek to Join It
But from my reading of the article (text below) I deduce there is more smoke than fire at issue.
It is what Smoky Bear and his side-kick might call a “crying shame” that American media can so easily become fascinated with a specious narrative.
It’s clear also that Mr. Natter has no real understanding of the issue in the broader perspective. No climate skeptic insists that climate does not change. It has changed continually since the time Earth first acquired its atmosphere and oceans several billion years ago.
CO2 is a second order greenhouse gas, following well behind water vapor in its effect. Along with even less efficacious methane, ozone and nitrogen oxides, CO2 contributes only 5% of the overall greenhouse effect. I congratulate Mr. Natter for the fact that he somehow restrained himself from the use of the pejorative “climate denier” throughout the piece. That is a rare exception on the part of a mainstream journalist today.
The habit of climate alarmists and their media following to connect the use of fossil fuel to natural weather disasters is to ignore the obvious–that such natural occurrences as tornadoes, hurricanes, droughts, and floods have recurred since the dawn of recorded history and before.
The Preacher wrote correctly in Ecclesiastes that “there is nothing new under the Sun.” None of the celebrated disasters that have happened since the alarmists claim man-induced global warming began to influence weather patterns in 1950 is in any sense unprecedented.
As I have written in several past opeds, the worst hurricanes occurred long before Sandy and Katrina. The same may be said of tornadoes. The mega tornado known as the “Tri-State” happened in 1925 killing nearly 700 people in Missouri, Illinois and Indiana. There has been nothing to compare with it since.
Lack of adequate preparation for storm surges and deficiencies in building codes have been the causes primarily responsible for the extent of the damage and death tolls in New Orleans and other locations. Yet the greatest death toll from a natural disaster in the US occurred in Galveston, Texas in 1900 when some 6,000 to 10,000 lives were lost during a hurricane. SUVs had zero to do with that catastrophe.
Bill Balgord, E&RT
Last month, in a turnabout, the Illinois Republican signed onto a letter with the top Republican of the House Energy and Commerce Committee that said “prudent steps should be taken to address current and future climate risks.”
“It’s just not worth the fight anymore,” Shimkus said in an interview when asked about his changing stance on climate change. “Let’s just see what we can do to address it and not hurt the economy.”
Shimkus is among a number of Republicans who — after years of sowing doubt about climate change or ignoring it altogether — are scrambling to confront the science they once rejected. They are planning hearings on the issue, pledging to invest in technologies to mitigate its impact and openly talking about the need for taking action.
The shift in posture follows the public’s growing anxiety after catastrophic hurricanes, flooding and wildfires linked to global warming. Fully 74 percent of registered voters think global warming is happening and 67 percent said they are worried it, according to polling conducted by Yale Program on Climate Change Communication. Among conservative Republicans, just 42 percent think global warming is happening but that is up five percentage points since a poll taken in 2017.
Moreover, Democrats have seized the issue with populist fever — even proposing a sweeping plan to phase out climate-warming gas emissions through a “Green New Deal.”
“Members are openly using the term climate change,” Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski, from oil-rich Alaska, said of her GOP colleagues. “You are not seeing this kind of dismissive attitude but more open conversations about some of the challenges, some of the technologies we can look to, some of the solutions.”
To be sure, the party hasn’t gone completely green. It hasn’t passed any major proposals to combat climate change and generally supports Trump administration policies to roll back environmental regulation.