George Will recently wrote,
Barack Obama, understanding the histrionics required in climate change debates, promises that U.S. emissions in 2050 will be 83 percent below 2005 levels. If so, 2050 emissions will equal those in 1910, when there were 92 million Americans. But there will be 420 million in 2050, so Obama's promise means that per capita emissions then will be about what they were in 1875. That. Will. Not. Happen.
Obama's goal is probably more unrealistic than even that. Rich Lowry (NRO) -
On a per capita basis, Steve Hayward of the American Enterprise Institute writes, emissions were probably never that low, “even back in colonial days when the only fuel we burned was wood. The only nations in the world today that emit at this low level are all poor developing nations, such as Belize, Mauritius, Jordan, Haiti, and Somalia.”
Yet achieving these draconian cuts in CO2 emissions are essential to preventing catastophe, we're told. Anything short of that is inadequate. And if reversing two centuries worth of humanitarian progress is required, so be it. The "green" movement in general, and the "global warming" movement in particular are anti-capitalist, anti-industry, anti-technology, anti-people. They're quite open about this too. The doomsday theorist Paul Ehrlich famously postulated in his "equation", that I = P × A × T where I = Environmental Impact, P = Population, A = Affluence, T = Technology. Greens long for a sparsely populated (P), impoverished (A) and technologically backward (T) world. Some go even further.
Bret Stephens (WSJ) -
In his 2007 best seller "The World Without Us," environmentalist Alan Weisman considers what the planet would be like without mankind, and finds it's no bad thing.
To convice normal people to follow them along the path to self-destruction, environmentalists play up fictional catastrophic scenarios like New York under water or Paris frozen over. Those being somewhat speculative, they also point to present day problems for which they blame global warming. Stephens lists some of these.
Here's a partial rundown of some of the ills seriously attributed to climate change: prostitution in the Philippines (along with greater rates of HIV infection); higher suicide rates in Italy; the 1993 "Black Hawk Down" battle in Somalia; an increase in strokes and heart disease in China; wars in the Middle East; a larger pool of potential recruits to terrorism; harm to indigenous peoples and "biocultural diversity."
All this, of course, on top of the Maldives sinking under the waves, millions of climate refugees, a half-dozen Katrina-type events every year and so on and on—a long parade of horrors animating the policy ambitions of the politicians, scientists, climate mandarins and entrepreneurs now gathered at a U.N. summit in Copenhagen. Never mind that none of these scenarios has any basis in some kind of observable reality (sea levels around the Maldives have been stable for decades), or that the chain of causation linking climate change to sundry disasters is usually of a meaningless six-degrees-of-separation variety.
Then there's "Please Help The World" an unintentionally parodic short film shown at the opening ceremonies of the ongoing UN Copenhagen climate change conference. Even the pro-emissions control Breakthrough Institute mocked the film. (Noted on the Weekly Standard blogsite by Mary Katherine Ham).
The film begins with the girl watching television news of climate disasters. That night, clutching her polar bear stuffed animal, she dreams a terrifying nightmare: climate apocalypse. She is hit by a flood. She runs from tornadoes. An earthquake, apparently the result of some as yet unknown climate change impact, tears the earth asunder.
The ground cracks open and her stuffy falls in. She thrusts her hand into the earth to save the polar bear. Finally, she jumps to grab a tree branch as a tsunami roars beneath her.
The girl awakens, screaming. Her father is there to offer comfort. In what is apparently an effort to calm her, he shows her, of all things, the United Nations COP15 web site. She watches speeches by U.N. grandees like Desmond Tutu and Rajendra Pachauri demanding action now. She grabs her father's video camera, leaps from her stool, and dashes to the rooftop of her apartment.
There, with an angry sky as backdrop, she does what any sensible person would do when faced with global apocalypse: she points the video camera at herself and starts talking.
It's not the climate change skeptics that are out on the fringe.