Global Warming Fears Fueled by False Science




Smoke rising from a coal-fired power plant, diesel exhaust from a rig hauling freight to the market, or the plumes out a steel mille are all considered contributing factors to global warming by those who consider climate change a threat.   Environmentalists are actively pursing an agenda of legislation to reduce and eventually to eliminate carbon fuels.  

The theory may sound good when the attributes of a cleaner environment are touted, but there are flip sides to every coin.  Some of those flips could be catastrophic to the way of life in the United States and especially in an energy-laden state like West Virginia.

Alarmists have claimed victory in the debate and believe the time for discussion is done–and the time for action is at hand.    It’s an attitude that permeates the environmental movement that frosts people like James Taylor, a Senior Fellow for Environmental Policy at the Heartland institute.  He doesn’t buy the premise that global warming is manmade or that it’s anything out of the ordinary.

"For most of the past ten-thousand years, temperatures were significantly warmer than they are today,” said Taylor during a recent panel discussion before the Outdoor Writers Association of America. "We’re not in any kind of an unusual warming period and we can continue warming at the current extent, even if it humans are causing it, for several centuries and still be cooler than conditions that have existed for the last ten-thousand years."

Taylor believes his attitude is one that is common among the scientific community at large, but he says most who know the truth are often impugned, ridiculed, and silenced by a vocal group of activists.  He believes fear, twisted statistics, a willing national press, and a population unsure of what to believe fuel their cause.

"What you have is rank speculation that’s not supported by science,” said Taylor.

Truly, West Virginia stands to suffer if the current trend toward environmental restriction continues.   Bill Rainey is head of the powerful West Virginia Coal Association.

"I think it deserves absolute scrutiny in the sense of just how critical is this and what do we do about it," Rainey said in a recent edition of West Virginia Outdoors. "We’re getting ready if you follow the policy trend and what some of them want is you’re going to raise everyone’s cost of living."

Rainey’s industry and West Virginia at large sit in the crosshairs of the proposed "solutions."  The Mountain State’s mining industry produces millions in annual tax revenues and fuels thousands of jobs both directly and indirectly to mining.  

"What policy affect is this going to have on the lives of our miners here in the Appalachian region?    What are you going to do in Washington if it’s going to disrupt their lives and their careers and cause them to seek some other means of making a living?"  Said Rainey who believes both are fundamental questions that presently have no answers from anybody in the debate.  "We’ve got coal in this country, we’ve got the best miners in the world, we know how to extract it, why not pull together and use American fuel to create energy stability."

"It befuddles me," said Rainey. "They’re wanting everybody to ride an emotional tide and accept it.  They’re wanting to raise a lot of money through the Sierra Club and these other groups by scaring everybody."

Taylor agrees.

"The debate is ‘over’ only among partisans who want it to be,” Taylor said.  "The science is certainly not settled, it’s just a media myth propagated by the other side."

Taylor cites a petition signed by 32-thousand scientists by Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine stating humans are not causing global warming.     He uses another survey of more than 500 world climate scientists showed fewer than half agree the matter warrants being turned over to legislators.

Rainey bristles at the most recent tactic of environmental activist, recruiting hunters and anglers to the fold.   Activist organizations point to struggles with wildlife and fisheries and explain their plight through a prism of global warming.

"I think this idea of pulling in the hunters and fisherman is a political move by them to gain credibility with those that follow hunting and fishing in Washington and in Charleston and trying to somehow connect the dots that global warming is having some impact on hunting and fishing," Rainey said.

Regardless of where the debate lands, there are some things that are certain.   Half of the U.S electricity is produced by coal.   Replacing that production with an alternative form of energy will be expensive.  The question may be up to Americans on whether they’re willing to pay that increased cost or endure the change in lifestyle such laws would create. 


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