Global temperatures have been flat for 16 years — a curious time to unveil a grand, hugely costly, socially disruptive anti-warming program.
[...]For the sake of argument, nonetheless, let's concede that global warming is precisely what Obama thinks it is. Then answer this: What in God's name is his massive new regulatory and spending program — which begins with a war on coal and ends with billions in more subsidies for new Solyndras — going to do about it?
The United States has already radically cut carbon dioxide emissions — more than any country on earth since 2006, according to the International Energy Agency. Emissions today are back down to 1992 levels.
And yet, at the same time, global emissions have gone up. That's because — surprise! — we don't control the energy use of the other 96 percent of humankind.
At the heart of Obama's program are EPA regulations that will make it impossible to open any new coal plant and will systematically shut down existing plants. "Politically, the White House is hesitant to say they're having a war on coal," explained one of Obama's climate advisers. "On the other hand, a war on coal is exactly what's needed."
Net effect: tens of thousands of jobs killed, entire states impoverished. This at a time of chronically and crushingly high unemployment, slow growth, jittery markets and deep economic uncertainty.
But that's not the worst of it. This massive self-sacrifice might be worthwhile if it did actually stop global warming and save the planet. What makes the whole idea nuts is that it won't. This massive self-inflicted economic wound will have no effect on climate change.
The have-nots are rapidly industrializing. As we speak, China and India together are opening one new coal plant every week. We can kill U.S. coal and devastate coal country all we want, but the industrializing Third World will more than make up for it. The net effect of the Obama plan will simply be dismantling the U.S. coal industry for shipping abroad.
To think we will get these countries to cooperate is sheer fantasy. We've been negotiating climate treaties for 20 years and gotten exactly nowhere. China, India and the other rising and modernizing countries point out that the West had a 150-year industrial head start that made it rich. They are still poor. And now, just as they are beginning to get rich, we're telling them to stop dead in their tracks?
Fat chance. Obama imagines he's going to cajole China into a greenhouse-gas emissions reduction that will slow its economy, increase energy costs, derail industrialization and risk enormous social unrest. This from a president who couldn't even get China to turn over one Edward Snowden to U.S. custody.
Now previously I wrote about how there hasn't been any global warming in the last 16 years. I linked to the New York Times saying that, and to Reuters saying that. So everyone who isn't a flat-Earther agrees that there has been no global warming in 16 years - those are the facts. This is just Obama's attempt to change the subject now that everyone knows how badly he's been screwing up on foreign policy and with the economy.