Climate Claims Could Raise the Prices of What You Buy
by Deneen Borelli (bio)
Mankind's advancement is blamed for heating the planet, but the proposal to stop the seas from rising and the glaciers from melting could cause an economic Dark Ages.
"Cap-and-trade" emissions controls are peddled as the solution to global warming. As the limits get smaller over time, however, it's a sure bet that costs to businesses will be passed on to consumers.
As with so many regulations, cap-and-trade is likely to hurt those least able to afford it.
A recent flurry of scientific scandals tips the premise of man-made global warming on its ear:
• In late 2009, e-mails verified to have come from the Climate Research Unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia — a key scientific institution driving the global warming debate — revealed questionable activities by affiliated scientists, including discussions about deleting material, manipulating data and collusion to silence scientists not sharing their views.
• The U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a report in 2007 that claimed the Himalayan glaciers would melt away by 2035. A lead scientist contributing to the IPCC report, Dr. Murari Lal, has admitted the oft-cited claim was based on flawed data from an environmental lobby group. Additionally, a basic math error allegedly not caught by over 500 reviewers was added to the report to "impact policy-makers and politicians and encourage them to take some concrete action."
• Phil Jones, the former head of the CRU, recently agreed with a BBC interviewers statement that there has been no "statistically significant global warming" since 1995.
Despite all this, the Obama Administration is still pushing cap-and-trade through executive decree. In December, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced an "endangerment ruling" regarding carbon dioxide to give the agency broad regulatory powers under the Clean Air Act.
This is troubling since cap-and-trade is essentially a tax directed at those using fossil fuels. Since alternative forms of energy are not yet readily available, it means virtually everyone will suffer under the tax.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office noted in 2007 that "most of the cost of meeting a cap on [carbon dioxide] emissions would be borne by consumers, who would face persistently higher prices for products such as electricity and gasoline... [and] poorer households would bear a larger burden relative to their income than wealthier households would."
Furthermore, the U.S. would impose cap-and-trade unilaterally, without major nations governments such as India and China imposing similar limitations on themselves. In going it nearly alone, the U.S. risks all of the economic harm with little chance for environmental gain.
This folly isn't lost on the Obama Administration. At a July 2009 hearing, when Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) presented EPA administrator Lisa Jackson with the EPA's own data that showed a unilateral cap-and-trade policy would have no effect on global climate, Jackson replied: "I believe the central parts of the [EPA] chart are that U.S. action alone will not impact world [carbon dioxide] levels."
So it's a plan destined to fail, but not before it takes its licks on the economy. This makes black Americans are skeptical of cap-and-trade.
A poll of black Americans conducted for The National Center for Public Policy Research by Wilson Research Strategies found that 76 percent of blacks want Congress to make economic recovery — and not climate change — its top priority. Additionally, 38 percent believe job losses from climate change legislation would be felt most strongly in the black community, and 56 percent believe economic and quality of life concerns of the black community are not considered when addressing climate issues. ?
And 52 percent of blacks don't want to pay anything more for gasoline or electricity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
When it comes to cap-and-trade, Obama cannot rely on the scientific community, the public has abandoned him and even his once-loyal allies in the corporate world are beginning to drop off. While Miami may never be underwater as the global warming lobby warns, the President certainly seems to be in over his head.
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Deneen Borelli is a fellow with the Project 21 black leadership network. This commentary appeared in a longer format in the March/April issue of Freedom's Journal Magazine. Comments may be sent to [email protected].
Published by The National Center for Public Policy Research. Reprints
permitted provided source is credited. New Visions Commentaries reflect the views of their author, and not necessarily those of Project 21, other Project 21 members, or the National Center for Public Policy Research, its board or staff.
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