Keeping up with the gradual collapse of the climate change bubble is a bit of a bore, but let’s see where things stand at the moment. Arctic sea ice has rebounded nearly 50 percent in one year from a previous low point (though, to be precise, it is still well below the level of 34 years ago, when we started more precise satellite measurements). And the U.S. is currently experiencing the most widespread snow coverage for mid-December in the last decade. It really doesn’t matter how long it’s been, because the climateers (I’ll save you trolls the trouble) will rightly point out that these short-term fluctuations aren’t relevant to long-term climate trends.
There’s just the one little problem: someone always forgets to send this memo to environmentalists and their toady journalists, who always run out and say that Hurricane Sandy (a Cat 1 by the time it reached landfall) is proof of climate change. Or the most pathetic case of all: Al Gore, who predicted five years ago that the north pole would be completely ice-free by this year—a prediction he made more than once.
There’s a lot of competition for the most pathetic climate change story of the week. One contender has to be the news that while Washington DC told “non-essential” employees to stay home on what turned out to be a not-much-of-a-snow day, Obama’s climate change task force met anyway, because of course climateering is obviously essential. As the Daily Caller reports:
The task force was established to advise the Obama administration “on how the Federal Government can respond to the needs of communities nationwide that are dealing with the impacts of climate change,” according to the White House.
Here’s an idea: how about helping the current energy boom go even further and reduce heating costs for Americans shivering through colder winters?
Another contender for most pathetic climate story is an entry from Salon on how the lack of U.S. climate change policy amounts to “terrorism against the people.” Not making this up:
As part of the pivot to Asia, the U.S. government has ramped up its counterterrorism cooperation with the Philippines, Indonesia and elsewhere. This has, understandably, sparked debate there over the wisdom of increased U.S. military presence.
But the bigger question from the perspective of Filipinos, in light of the natural disaster they have just experienced, is this: Why is it that the United States still doesn’t have a domestic consensus that there is such a thing as climate change? When we talk about a global community, we at least ought to be able to start with that item at the top of the agenda.
Now, remind me again which industrial nation has had the largest reduction in greenhouse gas emissions over the last decade? Oh yeah, that’s right, the United States. The nation without an explicit, UN-certified climate policy. Because, as you know, what’s important is that you say and think the right things about this issue. Results are for the private sector. (Which is where, or course, our energy boom came from. If Washington had gotten a clue 10 years ago that the shale gas boom was coming, they surely would have done something to stop it.)
But the winner of the Big Green Weenie for the most absurd climate story of the week (and which reinforces the previous point) goes to John Beale, the EPA employee who served as a “senior policy adviser” in the agency’s Office of Air and Radiation, but whose real job was bilking the government out of nearly $1 million dollars—completely unnoticed at EPA for nearly a decade—claiming he was a CIA agent. Good enough, apparently, for government work. Michael Isikoff’s story about this fraud of “massive proportion” includes this guffaw-producing gem:
In his court filing, [Beale’s defense lawyer] asks Judge Ellen Huvelle, who is due to sentence Beale Wednesday, to balance Beale’s misdeeds against years of admirable work for the government. These include helping to rewrite the Clean Air Act in 1990, heading up EPA delegations to United Nations conferences on climate change in 2000 and 2001, and helping to negotiate agreements to reduce carbon emissions with China, India and other nations.
Now I have a better idea of why the 1990 Clean Air Act is so bad. (Wait? What agreements to reduce carbon emissions with China and India?)
There’s also this gem:
[EPA inspector general] Sullivan said he doubted Beale’s fraud could occur at any federal agency other than the EPA. “There’s a certain culture here at the EPA where the mission is the most important thing,” he said. “They don’t think like criminal investigators. They tend to be very trusting and accepting.”
Yup. That explains a lot, doesn’t it?