Posted 02/17/2010 06:52 PM ET
Climate Change: The scientific ”consensus” that man is warming the planet is cracking, and so is a group that was going to push for cap-and-trade. Some business members no longer feel threatened by the government.
Oil giants ConocoPhillips and BP and heavy equipment maker Caterpillar said Tuesday they’d be leaving the U.S. Climate Action Partnership, described on IBD’s front page as ”a coalition of green groups and leading corporations pushing for a cap-and-trade bill to curb emissions of carbon dioxide.”
IBD on Wednesday reported that the three corporations ”indicated that their leaving was based on disputes within USCAP over the direction the legislation was taking in Congress,” that it has become ”now tilted toward coal-based energy producers.”
We’re not as diplomatic as these companies, so we can provide a more plausible explanation: They see the agenda of the global warming alarmists crumbling and have determined they don’t have as much to fear from government regulation as they once did.
Because onerous government policy distorts markets and cuts into profits, it’s rational for companies to try to protect themselves from regulatory damage.
One way to avoid or limit damage from a regulatory regime is to be part of the regulation-writing exercise by joining a coalition involved in the process.
When it becomes clear that new rules aren’t forthcoming, there’s no longer a need to be part of the group.
This appears to be the case with the defections from USCAP. The House passed a cap-and-trade bill last year, but the Senate has been unable to put global warming legislation on the floor for a vote. That has created a Senate delay that’s looking like it might be permanent.
Either way, executives are starting to feel they can return to their primary function — running their companies — and put the cap-and-trade distraction behind them.
Less than a year ago, with Democratic majorities in both chambers of Congress and a Democrat finally in the White House, it looked like the country was going to be steamrolled by global warming legislation. The propaganda mill churned out one scare story after another about the effects of man’s carbon dioxide emissions. Democrats were set to enact the restrictions on the economy they’d been talking about for years.
Now the alarmists’ agenda is spiraling downward after a series of events embarrassing to anyone affiliated with the environmentalist lobby or sympathetic with its goals.
They began with the November release of e-mails from the Climate Research Unit at England’s University of East Anglia. The back-and-forth between global warming researchers at the CRU and scientists elsewhere revealed an effort to twist the numbers as well as an intention to cover up any data that didn’t support the global warming narrative.
Since those e-mails surfaced, the international Copenhagen climate summit faded weakly into the winter evening; Michael Mann, creator of the hockey stick temperature chart that has been found to be in error, is being investigated by his university; the United Nations used a hunch, not science, to back its claim that the Himalayan glaciers would be melted away by 2035; and weather station measurements used to support the global warming assumption have been shown to be flawed.
We’ve also learned in the last year that scientists cherry-picked tree ring data from Russia to make the case for man-made warming, and more recently Phil Jones, the man who has for now stepped down as chief of the CRU, confirmed there hasn’t been ”statistically significant” warming since 1995.
In contrast to what we’ve been told for years, climate science isn’t just unsettled; it’s also agenda-driven, profoundly confused and so unreliable, we are tempted to say it’s the work of an insular group of con men. But that might be an insult to con men everywhere.
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Etiketter: Al Gore, Carbon Trading, CO2, Etanol, EU, EU Parlamentet, Global Warming Hysteri, Havsis, Havsnivå, IPCC, Isbjörnar, Journalism, Klimatmodeller, Korruption, Kyoto, Media, News, Obama, Orkaner, Peer review, Politik, Press, Riksdagen, Snötäcket, Temperaturdata, Traditional Media, UN, Vindkraft