Killing Clean Power Plan By Tom Harris

President Donald Trump is right to kill the hugely expensive Clean Power Plan (CPP). After all, it only controls carbon dioxide (CO2), which is simply plant food. The Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change cites over 1,000 peer-reviewed studies showing that rising atmospheric CO2 enhances productivity of forests and grasslands. Commercial greenhouses run at up to about four times the outside level of CO2 to boost plant growth.

Increasing CO2 poses no direct hazard to human health either. Concentrations in submarines can reach 25 times normal atmospheric levels with no harmful effects on the crew.

Yet the CPP misleads readers by referring to CO2 as “carbon pollution.” Canadian environment minister Catherine McKenna does exactly the same.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator Gina McCarthy admitted that, by itself, the CPP would have an insignificant impact on climate. Its main purpose was to lead the world in the ‘fight to stop climate change’, she said. This makes no sense. Even if one accepts the dubious notion that humanity’s CO2 emissions threaten the climate, developing countries have indicated that they will not follow our lead. For example, President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines said last July:

“You are trying to stymie [our growth] with an agreement [the Paris Agreement on climate change] … That’s stupid. I will not honor that.”

Duterte can say this with a clear conscience since all UN climate treaties, including Paris, are based on the 1992 Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC) which states:

“Economic and social development and poverty eradication are the first and overriding priorities of the developing country Parties.”

This stipulation does not apply to developed nations.

Actions to significantly reduce CO2 emissions would require curbing the use of coal, the cheapest power source in most of the world. But this would obviously interfere with development priorities. So, developing countries won’t do it, citing the FCCC as their excuse.

Activists say that there will be important pollution reduction co-benefits to CO2 emission control. Yet the EPA’s own data show that total emissions of six major air pollutants dropped 62% since 1980 even though CO2 emissions increased by 14%. Using climate regulations to reduce pollution is an expensive mistake.

Trump’s promotion of coal and other hydrocarbon energy sources and his concentration on clean air and water is a relief. Thousands of people lost their jobs and saw prices soar as a result of President Obama’s focus on climate mitigation. The Congressional Research Service reported that the Obama administration spent $120 billion on climate change issues.

“But that era is over,” Senator James Inhofe (R-OK), former Chair of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, told the 12th International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC-12) in Washington, D.C. on March 23. “The outlook for environmental activists and climate change alarmists is grim… their political leverage and relevance has dwindled.”

However, Inhofe cautioned, “The Liberal extremists are not going to give up. Obama has built a culture of radical alarmists, and they’ll be back. You and I and the American people have won a great victory, but the war goes on.”

So what can be done to ensure that the climate scare is not resurrected by a future president or Congress?

The key is to sway public opinion so solidly against the global warming alarm that the Democrats never dare promote it again. According to Dr. Jay Lehr, science director at The Heartland Institute, the organizers of ICCC-12, the war will be won when at least 90% of Americans tell pollsters that they oppose the government spending any money at all on climate control.

Lehr told the ICCC-12 audience, “We have won the science. [But] the battle is going to go on. The challenge I make to you is to turn the minds of five people in a year. Reasonably neutral, sensible people. But we have still not won the attitude of the whole public and that is what we want to do.”

ICCC-12 provided a blueprint for how to do this. By itself, it’s not enough to show that the science underlying the scare is flawed. It’s not enough to reveal how $1 billion a day is wasted trying to control climate. Or that we should welcome rising CO2 levels to help grow the food billions more humans will eventually need. Or how millions of birds and bats are killed by industrial wind turbines erected to supposedly stop climate change. Or the ruined lives of hundreds of thousands of people who live near wind turbines.

All these arguments, and more, must be used to bring practical people, regardless of their political orientations, to understand that, as former University of Winnipeg climatology professor Dr. Tim Ball explained, “the climate scare is the greatest deception in history.”

Tom Harris is executive director of the Ottawa-based International Climate Science Coalition.