As his “second-term agenda crumbles,” Ben Gemen reported for The Hill Friday, President Barack Obama “will use executive orders” to impose “climate change” regulations through the Environmental Protection Agency in an effort to salvage his presidential “legacy.”
Gun control legislation is dead; immigration reform is on life support; and reaching a fiscal deal with Republicans appears to be a long shot.
To make matters worse, what was supposed to be his signature first-term achievement — ObamaCare — is suffering from a disastrous rollout.
The “one thing that’s going right for Obama,” Gemen noted, “executive action on climate change is moving full-speed ahead at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).”
As the old proverb goes: “Desperate times call for desperate measures.”
Considering the string of administration failures — including the recent government shutdown following the budget impasse — executive orders will enable Obama to bypass the opposition posed by an increasingly unfriendly population of Republicans in Congress.
The “one thing” that could go wrong for Obama is that this last-ditch endeavor may rally the growing number of scientists and skeptics who have labeled the theory of man-made climate change as a “myth.”
As Examiner reported June 11, “Ivan Frishberg — the Climate Campaign Manager for Organizing for Action, formerly known as Obama’s reelection team, Obama for America – sent out an email announcing the administration’s new campaign of targeting “climate deniers” on Capitol Hill.”
While Frishberg reiterated the argument that “ninety-eight out of 100 climate scientists agree climate change is real, human activity is contributing to it, and it poses significant risks to our environment and our health,” Larry Bell of Forbes explained July 17, 2012 how this frequently cited “consensus” claim “is bogus.”
“The overwhelming judgment of science — of chemistry and physics and millions of measurements — has put all that to rest,” Obama said during his June 25 speech on climate change at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.
Ninety-seven percent of scientists, including, by the way, some who originally disputed the data, have now put that to rest. They’ve acknowledged the planet is warming and human activity is contributing to it.
Never mentioned by Obama or Frishberg is the petition initiated by the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine — signed by over 31,487 scientists, “including 9,029 with PhDs” — stating “there is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing (or will in the foreseeable future cause) catastrophic heating of the earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the earth’s climate.”
Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the earth.
“The most far-reaching piece of Obama’s climate plan,” Gemen noted further for The Hill, “is carbon emission standards for the nation’s fleet of existing power plants, by far the largest single source of industrial carbon emissions. The EPA is also writing standards for new plants.”
“In 1998,” Keith Johnson reported for The Wall Street Journal April 18, 2009, “the Clinton administration EPA studied the question and determined that the Clean Air Act was “potentially applicable” to CO2 and other greenhouse gases.
But despite continued pressure from environmental groups, the administration never moved to regulate the gases.
In a Dec. 7, 2009 news release – 11 months after Obama assumed office on Jan. 20, 2009 — the EPA announced it had officially classified CO2 as one of six greenhouse gases that “threaten public health and the environment.”
EPA’s final findings respond to the 2007 U.S. Supreme Court decision that GHGs fit within the Clean Air Act definition of air pollutants.
The problem is, CO2 is not a pollutant.
According to a November 2011 report by Popular Technology, “regulating Carbon Dioxide (CO2) will do absolutely nothing to make the air you breathe ‘cleaner.’”
According to John R. Christy, Ph.D. — Professor of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Alabama — “CO2 is not a pollutant.”
In simple terms, CO2 is plant food. The green world we see around us would disappear if not for atmospheric CO2. These plants largely evolved at a time when the atmospheric CO2 concentration was many times what it is today. Indeed, numerous studies indicate the present biosphere is being invigorated by the human-induced rise of CO2. In and of itself, therefore, the increasing concentration of CO2 does not pose a toxic risk to the planet.
Eleven other scientists — also quoted by Popular Technology — agreed.
“According to the bulk of scientific research,” Keith Johnson reported for The Wall Street Journal April 18, 2009, “such as that assembled by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the more greenhouse gases there are in the atmosphere, especially carbon dioxide, the more heat is trapped. That leads to rising temperatures.”
While Johnson said this new regulation “stands in stark contrast with the President’s supposed ‘all of the above energy approach’ and sends a strong signal that coal is not part of the President’s energy vision for America,” the “new rule” exemplified Obama’s 2008 campaign promise to “bankrupt” the coal industry, an effort he acknowledged would cause electricity costs to “necessarily skyrocket.”
On March 27, 2012 The Heritage Foundation’s Romina Boccia reported that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a new regulation for CO2 emissions from power plants, effectively banning new coal power plants, as the newly established emissions standards were set too low to be met by conventional coal-fired facilities.
In combination with other EPA regulations that contribute to the premature shutdown of existing coal plants, the EPA’s actions represent one of the greatest threats to the electric sector and America’s energy supply.
According to an Oct. 19, 2012 report by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), of all energy sources, coal produced the vast majority — 39 percent — of US electricity.
On Nov. 8, the EIA reported that coal – while losing a small “share of the generation market to natural gas and non-hydroelectric renewables” — is “still the largest single fuel used for electricity.”
As Newsmax reported Tuesday, “a controversial Supreme Court decision on the EPA regulation of greenhouse gases could help kill the coal business, says scientist Leighton Steward, chairman of the non-profit environmental group Plants Need C02.”
It would require the stationary sources to have 30 percent less CO2 . . . emitted by these new coal plants . . . and the technology to do that is not commercially available at this time,” Steward told “The Steve Malzberg Show” on Newsmax TV.
As Gemen further reported for The Hill Friday, the EPA has “endorsed” IPCC research.
The problem is – as Examiner outlined Sept. 13 — a string of embarrassing revelations has placed the legitimacy of IPCC “research,” reports and predictions into serious question.
The Telegraph reported Feb. 15, 2010 that a report co-written by American meteorologist and climate skeptic Anthony Watts discredited data collected by the IPCC from global weather stations “to back up claims that greenhouse gases” were causing an “unequivocal” rise in global temperatures.
The report by Watts – “backed by Professor John Christy, a former lead author on the IPCC who specializes in atmospheric science at the University of Alabama, Huntsville” — “showed photographs of weather stations near heat-generating equipment,” which artificially drove up their temperature readings.
Some are next to air-conditioning units or on waste-treatment plants, while one sits alongside a waste incinerator. A weather station at Rome airport was found to catch the hot exhaust fumes emitted by taxiing jets.
“Four major errors have also been uncovered in the second of the panel’s four reports on the state of global climate change, published in 2007,” The Telegraph noted further.
Most embarrassing for the IPCC was the inaccurate claim that the Himalayan glaciers would disappear by 2035 – hundreds of years earlier than other studies suggest – which was not backed up by any research.
As The Daily Mail reported Sept. 14, “a leaked copy” of the “final draft” of the IPCC’s 2013 report – “Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis” — revealed “the extraordinary concession that the world has been warming at only just over half the rate claimed by the IPCC in its last assessment, published in 2007.”
This “climate change debunking report sent the IPCC scurrying to organize a pre-summit ‘crisis meeting’” in Stockholm, where 40 of the report’s 250 contributing authors would meet “with representatives of most of the 195 governments that fund the IPCC, who “tabled 1,800 questions” demanding “major revisions,” starting with the IPCC’s “failure to account for the pause.”
“The IPCC is in full damage-control mode after it leaked advance copies of an upcoming Summary for Policymakers to what it assumed would be friendly journalists,” James Taylor reported for Forbes Sept. 25.
The journalists, however, quickly realized the IPCC Summary for Policymakers contained several embarrassing walk-backs from alarmist statements in prior IPCC reports.
In the end — as Obama’s “second-term agenda crumbles” — his plan to “use executive orders on climate change” in an effort to salvage his presidential “legacy” may simply expose him to yet another embarrassment.
“Just because humans sometimes damage the environment,” John Stossel wrote for Reason.com Aug. 7, “doesn’t mean government is competent to fix the problem.”
That’s the biggest myth of all.