The crisis in Ukraine has highlighted, once again, the foolishness of the Western world's climate change gambit – that is, shackling ourselves with economy-crippling restrictions that the globe's largest, dirtiest, and most dangerous countries will ignore. Commentator Erick Erickson explained the ignorance recently:
Over the last two decades, Putin has taken advantage of the Western world's grievous fixation with climate change. European nations have reduced their dependence on both fossil fuels and nuclear power. As they expanded wind and solar power, their ability to generate a sustainable base load of power declined. This fostered their dependence on Russian natural gas.
In the United States, Democrat politicians and judges have ended drilling permits and leases on federal land, curtailed and canceled pipelines, and reduced our capacity to be energy independent. Congressman Dan Crenshaw of Texas notes we have gone from providing all our oil domestically a few years ago to importing 595,000 barrels of Russian oil a day. The Keystone XL pipeline, which Joe Biden killed, would have generated 830,000 barrels of oil a day. Concurrently, Biden got rid of Donald Trump's sanctions placed on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, a Russian project to supply even more gas to Europe.
Let's not be prisoners of the moment. This is far from the only example of our collective global warming facepalm.
Years ago, I shared on the radio about a scientific study that compared the general scientific knowledge of those who were panicked about the imminent calamity of man-made climate change to the scientific knowledge of those who were skeptical of such hysteria. Despite all the routine claims from the former that the latter are little more than knuckle-dragging flat-earthers, it turned out that the skeptics scored slightly higher.
I remember being overly obnoxious as I shared the scientifically proven, statistically significant findings that I was, in fact, a few percentage points smarter than all those global warming alarmists who routinely criticized my lack of expertise in climatology.
And though I'd like to think I've grown up a little bit since then, I have to admit that I still find it humorous when I come across stories like this one from Reuters.
Corn-based ethanol, which for years has been mixed in huge quantities into gasoline sold at U.S. pumps, is likely a much bigger contributor to global warming than straight gasoline, according to a study published Monday.
When you dig a little deeper, you find that this is a scientific analysis produced and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. In other words, this isn't right-wing misinformation even by progressive standards.
The numbers are alarming for anyone who even pretends to be wrought with anxiety over melting ice caps, rising sea levels, and species extinction. The very "green" solution held out for decades by our "green" experts to our dirty-fuel gasoline addiction ends up being far dirtier and far more destructive to the climate. It's just like the devastating news so many climate-conscious parents received after swearing-off disposable diapers. As it turned out, those washable cloth replacements polluted the environment more through requisite chemical detergents than the Pampers did.
Thinking about this Reuters revelation, I admittedly feel torn. On the one hand, it's kind of fun to think about all the condescending looks those of us driving gas-guzzling SUVs endured from haughty eco-warriors next to us as they pumped ethanol into their low-emissions Obama-mobiles. But on the other hand, consider all the tax money that has been spent propping up the ethanol industry, subsidizing a fuel source that was never economical but reportedly worth it in the long run because of the spotted owls we were saving.
That's maddening. But what's more maddening is that those who control the levers of power in Washington won't learn from this because, in the end, it's not their money. And those of us whose money it is are too divided by tribes to collectively demand better, which we could easily do.
A serious investment in the development and harnessing of nuclear power, coupled with significant efforts to learn the best ways to respond to any unalterable reality of warming climates would be so much more effective a use of time, energy, and resources than these futile (and so often counterproductive) efforts to control something that is thoroughly uncontrollable by humanity's pitiful exertions.
But when there are special interests to serve, elections to win, elaborate conferences to fund, and money to embezzle, who has time to actually care about humans and the earth we inhabit, right?
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