Tijdens zijn kennismakingsontmoeting met sommige redacteuren van de ‘New York Times’, verklaarde Donald Trump dat hij een ‘open mind’ had ten aanzien van klimaat. Dit werd door een aantal media geïnterpreteerd als zou hij terugkrabbelen van zijn eerder ingenomen standpunten terzake.

Onder de titel, ‘The Impending Collapse Of The Global Warming Scare’, legt Francis Menton op de website van de ‘Manhattan Contrarian’ uit dat het tegendeel het geval is. Ik pik er een aantal krenten uit.

Over the past three decades, the environmental movement has increasingly hitched its wagon to exactly one star as the overwhelming focus of the cause, namely “climate change.” Sure, issues of bona fide pollution like smog and untreated sewage are still out there a little, but they are largely under control and don’t really stir the emotions much any more. If you want fundraising in the billions rather than the thousands, you need a good end-of-days, sin-and-redemption scare. Human-caused global warming is your answer!

Even as this scare has advanced, a few lonely voices have warned that the radical environmentalists were taking the movement out onto a precarious limb. Isn’t there a problem that there’s no real evidence of impending climate disaster? But to no avail. Government funding to promote the warming scare has been lavish, and in the age of Obama has exploded. Backers of the alarm have controlled all of the relevant government bureaucracies, almost all of the scientific societies, and the access to funding and to publication for anyone who wants to have a career in the field. What could go wrong?

Now, enter President-elect Trump. During the campaign, as with many issues, it was hard to know definitively where Trump stood. Although combatting climate change with forced suppression of fossil fuels could be a multi-trillion dollar issue for the world economy, this issue was rarely mentioned by either candidate, and was only lightly touched on in the debates. Sure, Hillary had accused Trump of calling climate change a “hoax” in a November 2012 tweet. (Actual text: “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make American manufacturing non-competitive.”) But in an early 2016 interview, Trump walked that back to say that the statement was a joke, albeit with a kernel of truth, because “climate change is a very, very expensive form of tax” and “China does not do anything to help.” Trump had also stated that he intended to exit the recent Paris climate accord, and to end the War on Coal. So, was he proposing business-as-usual with a few tweaks, or would we see a thorough-going reversal of Obama’s extreme efforts to control the climate by fossil fuel restrictions?

With the recently announced appointments, this is starting to come very much into focus.

Vervolgens geeft Menton persoonlijke achtergrondinformatie over de benoemingen van Trump van mensen die met klimaat van doen zullen krijgen (Rex Tillerson, CEO van ExxonMobil, minister van buitenlandse zaken; Rick Perry, minister van energie, en Scott Pruitt, directeur van EPA). Dit zijn allen klimaatsceptici.

So what can we predict about where the climate scare is going? Among members of the environmental movement, when their heads stop exploding, there are plenty of predictions that this will be terrible for the United States: international ostracism, loss (to China!) of “leadership” in international climate matters, and, domestically, endless litigation battles stalling attempts to rescind or roll back regulations. I see it differently. I predict a high likelihood of substantial collapse of the global warming movement, both domestically and internationally, over the course of the next couple of years.

Start with the EPA. To the extent that the global warming movement has anything to do with “science,” EPA is supposedly where that science is vetted and approved on behalf of the public before being turned into policy. In fact, under Obama, EPA’s principal role on the “science” has been to prevent and stifle any debate or challenge to global warming orthodoxy. For example, when a major new Research Report came out back in September claiming to completely invalidate all of the bases on which EPA claims that CO2 is a danger to human health and welfare, and thus to undermine EPA’s authority to regulate the gas under the Clean Air Act, EPA simply failed to respond. In the same vein, essentially all prominent global warming alarmists refuse to debate anyone who challenges any aspect of their orthodoxy. Well, that has worked as long as they and their allies have controlled all of the agencies and all of the money. Now, it will suddenly be put up or shut up. …

Now the backers of the global warming alarm will not only be called upon to debate, but will face the likelihood of being called before a highly skeptical if not hostile EPA to answer all of the hard questions that they have avoided answering for the last eight years. Questions like: Why are recorded temperatures, particularly from satellites and weather balloons, so much lower than the alarmist models had predicted? How do you explain an almost-20-year “pause” in increasing temperatures even as CO2 emissions have accelerated? What are the details of the adjustments to the surface temperature record that have somehow reduced recorded temperatures from the 1930s and 40s, and thereby enabled continued claims of “warmest year ever” when raw temperature data show warmer years 70 and 80 years ago? Suddenly, the usual hand-waving (“the science is settled”) is not going to be good enough any more. What now? …

Vervolgens speculeert Menton over wat er op het internationale klimaattoneel zou kunnen gebeuren. Hij denkt niet dat andere landen het ‘leiderschap’ van de VS zullen overnemen. Integendeel, hij gaat er vanuit dat zij zich ook van de klimaathype zullen distantiëren en zich weer op fossiele energie zullen richten.

Ook de stopzetting van de financiering van alles wat met klimaatverandering heeft te maken, zal volgens Menton een ontnuchterende invloed uitoefenen.

If the multi-tens-of-billions per year funding gusher for global warming alarmism quickly dries up, the large majority of the people living on these handouts will have no choice but to go and find something productive to do. Sure, some extreme zealots will find some way to soldier on. But it is not crazy at all to predict a very substantial collapse of the global warming scare over the course of the next couple of years. ….

Lees verder hier.

Als het niet kan zoals het moet, moet het maar zoals het kan. Uit wetenschappelijk oogpunt is het triest dat de discussie tussen protagonisten en antagonisten van de menselijke broeikashypothese (AGW = ‘Anthropogenic Global Warming’) nooit goed van de grond is gekomen en dat het er naar uitziet dat politieke macht uiteindelijk de hoognodige paradigmawissling zal forceren.

Voor mijn eerdere bijdragen over klimaat en aanverwante zaken zie hierhier, hier, hier en hier.