Why Donald Trump is right about climate change.
Donald Trump is right about climate change. That seems like an impossible assertion to defend. It isn’t — but it seems that way because of two reasons.
Number 1 is the demonisation of Trump by the left. Hillary Clinton has ridiculed his hair, Barack Obama has made him the butt of many (unfunny) jokes in his speeches, and leftists in media have mocked and vilified him at every possible turn. He has been called a racist, a sexist, a homophobe, an islamophobe. He is none of those things (and the tag “islamophobe” is useless in any case), but the labels have been thrown at him nevertheless. This has created an atmosphere in which defending any position held by Trump is considered an exercise in insanity.
The second reason why Trump’s position on climate change seems impossible to defend is because it goes against the established wisdom on the left. Politicians, important cultural personalities(looking at you, Leonardo!) and a large chunk of the media believe in climate change with religious fervor. They believe that Earth is warming at unprecedented rates. That human industrial activities are the unquestionable source of this warming. That if global warming continues at the current rate, it’ll be catastrophic for our species. All three of these assertions are false, and we’ll explore them in greater detail in sometime. Before that, it’s important to remember that these narratives are coming from the left, and the left has a poor track record with truth.
The left regularly lies about rape statistics. The left misinforms the public about wage gap. The left misleads its electorate about the prevalence of race crimes. The left takes astonishing liberties with facts when it comes to informing the people about its own policies — an important example would be Obama blatantly lying about Obamacare.
Therefore, while the scale of deception about climate change is considerable, it shouldn’t come as a surprise. The left has always held alarmism and empty sloganeering above the sobering nuances of truth. There has always been a whiff of the impractical in their propositions, and it only takes one insincere, power-hungry politician to exploit that. The world has scores of them.
The below three points prove why the left is wrong about climate change, and why Trump has one of the most viable political positions on this supposedly global issue.
There’s no consensus that global warming is dangerous.
President Obama thinks otherwise. According to him, 97% of scientists believe that climate change is real, man-made and dangerous. He is wrong. First of all, he uses a poor form of argument — climate change can be real while not being man-made or dangerous. It can also be real and man-made, while not being dangerous. By bundling these words together, he appears less like a subtle policymaker and more like a fast-talking salesman hoping to bullshit his way through a deal. So let’s do his job for him — let’s break it down.
First of all, ofcourse climate change is real — it changes all the time. It shouldn’t surprise anyone if all the scientists in the world agree with that. But does that mean it’s man-made? Even if it’s man-made, does that mean it’s dangerous? Even if it’s dangerous, does that mean it’s catastrophically so? Do 97% scientists agree that climate change is real, man-made, dangerous and catastrophically so? No. The main study behind the 97% claim only makes this claim: 97% scientists agree that climate change is man-made. It stopped there. And it was wrong about that too — scientists covered in the study have accused it of misconduct and dishonest interpretation. This hasn’t stopped Obama, obviously — he went to UN a few months ago and made apocalyptic predictions.
“Submerged countries. Abandoned cities. Fields that no longer grow. Political disruptions that trigger new conflict.”
It would serve him well, perhaps, to look at proper surveys the next time — surveys which have proven that almost 50% of America’s climatologists, atmospheric scientists and meteorologists don’t think that human activities are the primary cause of earth heating up.
Even if global warming is dangerous, the current plan to counter it is all wrong.
Obama boasts about having multiplied wind power threefold, and solar power more than twentyfold. Hillary Clinton, the democratic presidential candidate and someone who wants to “carry forward the legacy of president Obama,” has a huge header of green fields peppered with wind stations on her election site. She wants to install half a billion solar panels too.
The left is, hence, obsessed with wind and solar power. However, wind and solar energy has been called “prohibitively expensive” by environmental policy expert James Taylor, and Bill Gates has said, “they can’t do the job…the costs are beyond astronomical.”
This Brookings paper breaks down the exact costs. The results are there for all to see. Wind energy is 15 times more expensive than hydro energy. Solar power is 20 times more expensive than nuclear power. And yet the left hates nuclear energy from all its bleeding heart and can’t close down enough hydro stations. Therefore, the left is either insincere about its end-of-the-world talk or too stupid to get the economics of renewable energy straight. I think it’s a little bit of both.
If you don’t agree with us, shut up.
Climate change alarmists aren’t very tolerant of opposing view points. If the general public doesn’t agree with them, they’re stupid. If practicing scientists disagree with their alarmism, they’re “not helping the cause.” Judith Curry, a climate scientist of international repute, has been ostracized for suggesting that climate might be warming slower than what the alarmists predict. (She has also said that along with human activities, fluctuating solar cycles have a role to play in the warming.) Jonathan Overpeck, a lead author of IPCC’s climate assessment report, said in a leaked email, “The trick may be to decide on the main message and use that to guide what’s included and what is left out.” This reveals shocking acts of selective data quoting at the highest levels of government bodies, and institutional resistance to people with differing views. Not very scientific, is it?
Now to Trump and climate change. What has been his position on the issue? Trump has said that he’s not a big believer in man-made climate change. (Neither are 48% of scientists.) Trump believes that temperature sometimes goes up, and sometimes goes down, which is the Trump-esque way of expressing skepticism about the narrative which says there is a runaway “upward spike” in global temperatures. He’s right about that too — from 1998 to 2013, global warming paused even as fossil fuels were burnt in ever increasing amounts. Trump has also trolled leftist environmentalists on twitter, calling climate change a chinese conspiracy. A lot of people fell for it, and he has since then clarified that it was a joke. (Duh.)
Those are his convictions. But it’s also important to know the policy implications of his convictions. How will his views on climate change translate into action? They won’t — and this is the best part. Since he believes that varying climate is not a big deal, he won’t pander to the environmentalist lobbies. He’ll enact no significant policies. He’ll make no doomsday predictions at UN conferences. That’ll be a good thing, because giving in to the climate change alarmists and letting their fear mongering affect economic policies, along with the lives of hundreds of millions of people, is a bad idea.
And hence, for all these reasons and more, Donald Trump is right about climate change. Human civilization is a wonderful thing — we’ve lit up continents, put ourselves on moon, and lifted billions of people out of poverty. As we continue to do these things and reach for exciting new frontiers, it’s important to remember that a large part of this progress is powered by the light of burning fossil fuels. Don’t let poorly drafted headlines, scare-mongering politicians and screaming NGOs take any of it away from you.