Perhaps because of my environmental background, the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and other environmental organizations continue to hope that I will financially support their “fight” against climate change and waste postage and printing expenses in pursuing me. EDF’s latest form letter arrived in my mail box on July 25 signed by EDF’s Membership Director, Sam Parry. I suspect that Sam is being paid to write all this, unlike most climate realists (including me), who largely volunteer their time and expenses. Besides sending money, Sam also wants me to sign and send short canned petitions he prepared to both of my senators, my representative (all correctly named), and to three Administration officials, Obama, McCarthy, and Moniz (Secretary of Energy).
The most amusing aspect of the mailing from my viewpoint was a “Certificate of Appreciation,” again signed by Sam, awarded to me by EDF “in recognition of your action and generous support to fight climate change.” I wish he had been more specific since I cannot recall any such actions or support. I have certainly acted and supported other causes supported by various environmental groups (although usually not in response to EDF efforts which I have always regarded as more radical than those I supported) over many decades, but that was before the environmentalists decided to abandon any semblance of scientific objectivity or economic sense in recent years.
Sam’s substantive pitch starts out as follows [with my comments in brackets immediately following]:
Sam: If you love this country as I do and you are as concerned about what climate change is doing to our planet as I am, now is your chance to do something significant to combat global warming. [My comment: Since there is nothing significant that the US Government or individual Americans can do about climate change currently, he’s already off to a bad start from my viewpoint. We do not understand exactly what determines global temperatures, but we know that changes in CO2 levels have at most a minor effect on global temperatures, so EDF’s and Obama’s favorite method to “control” climate change will have little or no effect even if the US Government could somehow actually significantly reduce human-caused emissions, which is very doubtful given the major part that human emissions of CO2 play in making possible modern society.]
Sam: Last year the Environmental Protection Agency finalized the Clean Power Plan–a game-changing policy that places national limits on carbon pollution emitted from our nation’s power plants–the single largest source of carbon emissions in America today. [Me: Now he’s going even further off the reservation. The “Clean Power Plan” should really be called the “Costly Power Plan” since its main effect will probably be to increase the electricity bills for most Americans by a factor of three or four when fully implemented. Since CO2 levels are relatively uniform throughout the world, changes in US emissions will result in no measurable change in either atmospheric CO2 levels or global temperatures. So although I agree that US power plant emissions are an important source of human-caused emissions in the US, they are almost irrelevant with regard to atmospheric CO2 levels or climate change.]
Sam: This important action is our best and most important opportunity to cut U.S. carbon pollution to prevent the worst consequences of global warming. [Me: It is not an important opportunity and will have no measurable effect on global CO2 levels or global warming.]
Sam: However, the fight to secure the Clean Power Plan has ignited an epic political battle between climate activists and climate deniers. [Me: “Climate deniers” is the pejorative term used by climate alarmists to characterize anyone who does not agree with the alarmists’ bad science and costly and useless government actions. The main “battle” is currently being conducted in the courts, not by the politicians. The reason is that EPA grossly overstepped its authority under the Clean Air Act and various important provisions of the US Constitution. In a precedent-shattering decision the Court earlier this year the Court prevented the EPA from implementing the CPP until these legal and constitutional issues can be settled. Such action by the Supreme Court to prevent implementation of a regulation before any lower court had considered the issues is probably unprecedented or at least highly unusual. They did this obviously because they felt very strongly about the legal and Constitutional issues involved. So Sam is misleading anyone who does not know the current legal situation.] Sam: The stakes couldn’t be higher: America cannot seriously address climate change without slashing carbon pollution from power plants….[Me: Yes, the stakes could not be higher: Attempts to ignore the law and flout the Constitution are likely to have very serious consequences for the future of the United States. The Obama Administration in general and the far left of the Democratic Party in particular believe that it is more important to increase Federal Government power than to preserve and obey laws passed by Congress and the Constitution. When their attempts at climate engineering fail, however, it is the legal and Constitutional precedents that will live on. I strongly agree with the Supreme Court that the legal and Constitutional precedents set by the CPP are so serious that that the CPP should not be allowed to be implemented during the legal review process. Congress could change the law if there were a majority in favor of doing so but it cannot easily change the Constitution.]
Sam: Even though a majority of Americans today want our government to take forceful steps to combat climate change, many in Congress refuse to listen. [Me: Public opinion polls on the subject vary greatly depending on the wording used. Yes, many Republicans in Congress are opposed to forcing electric power users to pay much for the power they use with few if any benefits from doing so.]
Sam: Unfortunately, a wealthy and powerful contingent in the fossil fuel industry has backed a cadre of climate-denying Representatives and Senators who continue to block any reasonable attempts by Congress to do its duty to protect the American people from the grave and growing harm of climate change. [Me: There are currently no major serious attempts in Congress to pass climate legislation of any sort. Much of the fossil fuel industry actually supports some aspects of the alarmist climate legislation. Much of the oil and particularly the natural gas industries seem to think that if coal use is outlawed or even reduced that they will benefit from increased use of natural gas. The coal industry does oppose new climate legislation because the Administration’s “War on Coal” is driving them into bankruptcy. It is grossly misleading to call the coal industry wealthy, however, since many firms are near or already in bankruptcy. The claim that Congress or anyone else can “protect the American people from the grave and growing harm from of climate change” is absurd. Weather is chaotic and cannot even be usefully predicted more than a few days or at most a week or two ahead. Claiming that future climate can be predicted accurately is even more difficult. Throwing away the public’s money “fighting” something which cannot now be accurately predicted is what must be avoided, not trying to avoid failing to protect the American public from hypothesized catastrophic global warming for which there is no scientific evidence that satisfies the scientific method.]
Sam: Industry front groups funded by the Chamber of Commerce, the American Petroleum Institute, the coal lobby and the Koch brothers are spending hundreds of millions of dollars in an all out assault on climate action. [Me: I only wish; despite the very grave threat that alarmists pose to the welfare of the fossil fuel industry, it is spending surprisingly little to point out that the alarmists’ efforts will damage the American public and the US economy for little or more likely no benefits. If Sam means hundreds of millions of dollars per year it is absurd, especially compared with the vast and much more heavily funded “green” enterprise, of which EDF is a part.]
….Sam: Their key ally in Washington is Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell…who made killing the Clean Power Plan a top political priority. Senator McConnell led a contingent of climate deniers to launch a legislative attack through the Congressional Review Act, a seldom-used tool that would invalidate the landmark pollution standards. The House of Representatives also passed its own Congressional Review Act. Fortunately President Obama vetoed Congress’ legislation. [Me: This paragraph is factually incorrect concerning when the Congressional Review Act was passed and may be intended to support Sam’s claim that the CPP is currently primarily a political rather than a legal issue. Yes, McConnell says that it is a major priority (after all he comes from Kentucky, a major coal state, and campaigned on the basis of this priority in his last reelection). But to date he has failed to do anything effective to implement his priority. This and related actions or lack thereof in other policy areas may have resulted in the popularity of “outsiders” such as Ted Cruz and Donald Trump in the Republican Presidential race, who claim they can do something about the Democratic Party’s increasingly leftist approach to many issues, including climate. The Congressional Review Act (CRA) was actually passed in 1996 and signed into law by President Clinton but is largely useless under the Obama Administration because it requires Presidential approval. The CRA climate efforts have been ineffective and McConnell almost certainly knew they would be. So Sam’s description of the recent Congressional make believe activity is both wrong and misleading.]
The EDF fund appeal is much longer, of course, but this gives a flavor for why I believe it is grossly misleading because it distorts reality to favor an ideologically based agenda which is benefitting a few at the expense of all users of electricity, a necessity of modern life. Even the letter’s description of the current status of the “fight” is grossly misleading since it claims that it depends on a few Republicans rather than the Supreme Court. If the Green Movement succeeds in getting the CPP implemented it is a very safe bet that even more ridiculous schemes to deprive Americans the use of fossil fuels will follow very soon. It is urgent to kill EPA’s CPP regulation before it does any more damage than it already has; sending money to EDF will not achieve this.