So the House of Representatives, that august body led by union-backed leftists and intellectual dwarfs, has managed to narrowly pass a Climate change bill that will put a major burden on our fragile economy by taxing every source of energy at our disposal. Its unfathomable to me how we can spend billions of taxpayer dollars in bailouts and then make it even more difficult for the economy to recover. Worse, we are unilaterally disarming -- as other nations that have attempted "cap and trade" schemes are abandoning them left and right. As Kim Strassel at the WSJ shows today, the "climate" around climate change is, well, changing: Among the many reasons President Barack Obama and the Democratic majority are so intent on quickly jamming a cap-and-trade system through Congress is because the global warming tide is again shifting. It turns out Al Gore and the United Nations (with an assist from the media), did a little too vociferous a job smearing anyone who disagreed with them as "deniers." The backlash has brought the scientific debate roaring back to life in Australia, Europe, Japan and even, if less reported, the U.S.
The number of skeptics, far from shrinking, is swelling. Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe now counts more than 700 scientists who disagree with the U.N. -- 13 times the number who authored the U.N.'s 2007 climate summary for policymakers. Joanne Simpson, the world's first woman to receive a Ph.D. in meteorology, expressed relief upon her retirement last year that she was finally free to speak "frankly" of her nonbelief. Dr. Kiminori Itoh, a Japanese environmental physical chemist who contributed to a U.N. climate report, dubs man-made warming "the worst scientific scandal in history." Norway's Ivar Giaever, Nobel Prize winner for physics, decries it as the "new religion." A group of 54 noted physicists, led by Princeton's Will Happer, is demanding the American Physical Society revise its position that the science is settled. (Both Nature and Science magazines have refused to run the physicists' open letter.)
So it turns out that the whole climate change movement is based on science that is far from certain. In fact, the science may be junk: the earth has been cooling for the past decade, and it turns out that the hottest year on record was in the 1930s -- not the recent result of all the greenhouse gasses we've been polluting the atmosphere with. As Strassel shows, much of the world is wising up to the farce.
But not the U.S., which appears to be lagging behind the rest of the world, intent on repeating the mistakes of others. The truth, of course, is that the science has never mattered -- it was only a pretext to get people on a bandwagon that is really about social engineering. The left wants us to live differently, and the only way that they can enforce their social agenda is to play fast and loose with the facts to convince people we are on a slippery slope to self destruction. The goal is deprivation, driven by a "consumption guilt" that regrets the plenty we have because others have so little. Never mind that the most egregious offenders of CO2 emissions are the less developed nations that are clear cutting forests with reckless abandon with no limits on carbon output. But that's another inconvenient truth that Nancy Pelosi, Al Gore and the other true believers don't want to talk about.
The madness of all this is that this is bad policy -- even if it is good politics for a public that has been brainwashed into believing that "green jobs" can save the world. We will figure this out eventually -- as Australia and others have. But it won't be before we take a costly trip down a path paved with good intentions.