Guest essay by Eric Worrall
Are greens facing a growing crisis of confidence, in leaders who make great public shows of climate piety, without backing those words with actions?
Is The Climate Change Debate A Replay Of The Reformation?
Michael Lynch Contributor
Jun 30, 2019, 07:12am
In the early days of the global warming debate, I read an English writer praising his country’s example of recognizing climate change compared to American skepticism, although he did admit the British hadn’t actually taken steps to address the problem. Similarly, the U.S. has reduced greenhouse gas emissions more than most countries in the past few years, but incidentally, mostly due to cheap natural gas, and it remains the climate villain in the eyes of many because the president is a denier.
Some of the new proposals to address climate change put me mind of the debate between faith and works, especially when they seem more for demonstration purpose than actually reducing emissions. Numerous governments have suggested phasing out all carbon-based electricity generation or all petroleum-fueled vehicles by a point decades into the future, and these tend to be hailed by activists as representing, if not solutions, then great strides forward. New York state, for example, just proposed phasing out carbon-based electricity by 2050; France wants to ban conventional vehicles by 2040, the U.K. by 2050. But as Michael Coren notes, “So far, it’s just words.”
And we have been here before. Many other national and sub-national environmental programs were later abandoned; the 1990s saw California enact mandates for electric vehicle sales—requiring 10% of sales in 2003 be zero emission vehicles—which was adopted by a number of other states, primarily in New England. Ultimately, it was abandoned after wasting billions of dollars. Numerous locales in the U.S. signed on to requirements for oxygenated gasoline, only to back out at the last minute when the cost became apparent.
…Read more: https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaellynch/2019/06/30/is-the-climate-change-debate-a-replay-of-the-reformation/
Are we seeing a green version of The Reformation?
I agree with the author that there seems to be growing criticism of the blatant hypocrisy of high profile greens, their great public displays of green piety no longer seems enough to cover for all their private jets, opulence, and utter personal hypocrisy.
Yet even amongst greens critical of the hypocrisy of their leaders there is very little acknowledgement of practical issues. For example, very few greens, even amongst those to take their personal lifestyle choices seriously, seem to recognise that US fracking technology has substantially reduced the USA’s greenhouse emissions. Many greens continue to vigorously oppose zero carbon nuclear energy, despite its obvious benefits in terms of reducing CO2 emissions.
Sadly the author mars an otherwise excellent article by finishing up praising the potential benefits of a carbon tax, though he doesn’t really explain why a carbon tax would be different from previous failed green schemes.