Guest essay by David Archibald
In President Obama’s war on coal, and thus the US economy, what would be the cheapest way to start the counter-attack? The most effective allocation of funds would be to achieve what Nebraska set out to do. At the urging of State Senator Beau McCoy in late 2013, the Nebraska Department of Agriculture was tasked with commissioning a report on cyclical climate change. The budget for the exercise was $44,000. That right, for a mere $44,000 Nebraskans would be told what was going to happen to their climate. If the Sun was going to sleep with the consequence that cold air from the Canadians would come south faster and longer, Nebraskans would be forewarned and fore-armed. Alas, the effort was abandoned when promoters of global warming in the state offered to do it for free.
The danger to the promoters of global warming was that the stillborn Nebraskan climate report would have been the first government-sanctioned report on the planet to say that carbon dioxide and the burning of coal are nothing to worry about. A report on cyclical climate change would say that there is something far more serious coming that is going to smack our civilisation like a freight train. That serious thing is one of the cycles that the Nebraskans were going to be told about. One day the science of climate cycles might get out to Nebraska but in the meantime they will be wondering why their winters are getting colder and Spring seems to be delayed and how can they begin planting while their fields are still covered in snow.
It is one thing for books to be published which warn of the severe, solar-driven cooling coming (I’m on my third) and for retired academics to voice concerns over the low standards of US Government-funded climate science, but much more moral authority comes from the imprimatur of government. And any government can do it. Any government with coal mines, or coal-burning power plants, and tens of thousands of jobs at stake could wonder if the EPA view of climate science was all that there was to be known on the subject. Pennsylvania could do it, North Carolina could do it and Texas could do it to name a few. Half the states of the Union could do it and should do it.
As the climate reports come in, the vague, almost-impossible-to-believe notion that the Obama Administration’s war on coal through the EPA is a peculiar form of malicious self-loathing will be seen with crystal clarity. That there is no scientific basis for what the EPA is attempting to do whatsoever. That the degradation and disruption that the EPA is intent upon is a loathing for America as it is, pure and simple. Instead of the loftiest ideals of “thinking of the children” and so on, President Obama and the EPA are driven by the basest of motives – that their fellow Americans be poorer with reduced opportunities.
Now it is up to the states to defend themselves in the war on coal. Nobody else has the power or the interest at the moment. If they wish to defend themselves and their way of life, the first step is to acquire the armament appropriate to the battle. That would be a report on climate that they have commissioned and have ownership of. One government’s report on something like climate is as good as another’s. Thickness doesn’t matter so much. A 40 page report from the State of Pennsylvania that said that carbon dioxide is tuckered out as a greenhouse gas and that we had better prepare for solar-driven cooling would send the EPA into apoplexy. So where is Pennsylvania’s report on climate, and those of all the other states that have so much to lose? Hasten now, so much time has been lost already.
David Archibald, a Visiting Fellow at the Institute of World Politics in Washington, D.C., is the author of The Twilight of Abundance: Why Life in the 21st Century Will Be Nasty, Brutish, and Short (Regnery, 2014).