June 1, 2022 – Affordable housing, childcare, inflation, and economic growth are all central issues in Routt County. And each of those issues are tied to what many in Routt County believe is the center of gravity about our future – climate change. It is important for each of us to understand, the arguments we make for addressing these central issues are made in the context of the Left’s “Green New Deal” and our county’s “Climate Action Plan”.
What the “Climate Action Plan” doesn’t provide is global context. How can a small, regional effort provide any impact when countries like China, India, South Korea, Japan, and many others are moving in the opposite direction? In 2020, 350 new coal-fired power plants were under construction in these countries and many others.
Climate change is real. What’s not real, or at best unlikely, is that humans are the greatest contributing factor to climate change. Carbon emissions are one of several contributing factors of climate change. There are many other factors, including ocean currents, solar radiation, thermal absorption, clouds, volcanic phenomena, the earth axis, sun-spots, and others that are well beyond human control.
What is told to us about the human contribution to carbon emissions is also misleading. Science tells us that carbon dioxide remains in the atmosphere for decades. Even if we were able to shut off human carbon emission tomorrow, the amount of carbon remaining in the atmosphere would remain a contributing factor to climate change. Other phenomena on earth would continue adding to atmospheric carbon levels as well, and thus we would only be reducing carbon increase. What’s more, carbon levels in our atmosphere have been at much higher levels in the past and our planet has been warmer, which has resulted in longer growing seasons and potentially more food abundance.
Climate scientists rely on computer models to make their predictions. While computer models and simulations of atmospheric behavior have become more sophisticated, they have also become less reliable. Our predictions of weather rely on many of the same models, and we all know first-hand about the accuracy of weather predictions. Ironically, some experts tell us that the more data that is fed into these models, the more sensitive they become to inaccurate data that feed the variables performing the calculations. What’s worse, the output of these models is what the U.N.’s International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and other government agencies use to make policy. Recall when in 1989 that U.N. environmentalists used these model predictions to claim that if global warming was not reversed by 2000, entire nations could be wiped off the planet creating coastal flooding, crop failures, and global “eco-refugees”.
Twenty-two years later, no nation has been wiped off the planet and there are no “eco-refugees”. As a matter of fact, the survival rate for humans from environmental disasters (floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, etc.) has increased over 95% in less than a century. This is thanks largely to our global use of fossil fuels. This cheap, available, and reliable energy has allowed tens of millions of people to continue living in harsh climates through improved air conditioning, dependable heat, efficient food production, ubiquitous electricity, reliable transportation, improved construction, and rapid communication. And over the last few decades, fossil fuel has become cleaner and more available through improvements in technology.
What does all this mean for Routt County? Routt County has adopted an aggressive “Climate Action Plan” that seeks to move our communities from cheap and reliable energy to expensive and unreliable “green” energy. This effort is not only misguided by the idea that humans can alter the course of climate change, it comes at an unsustainable price to low and middle income families who struggle to live here. Add this reality to the current inflation and fuel shortages, many Routt County residents will no longer afford to live here. Businesses will become too expensive to operate, families will not be able to afford rent and utilities, and people will move. And when people move, so does the tax revenue and everything that makes us a community.
As Republicans, fiscal conservatives, and realists who understand the true impact of energy economics, we must remain educated on the costs of “going green” and the negative impact on future economic growth in our Routt County communities. And we must be prepared to show our government leaders what this impact will cost our low- and middle-income families as this “Climate Action Plan” is implemented.
PUBLISHED SOURCE: Steamboat Pilot & Today