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Is the 'Climate Circus' Leaving Town?

The April 29, 2013 edition of the Weekly Standard contains an essay by Steven Hayward about climate change and "traditional energy sources (going) from doom and gloom to boom." He begins with climate change, saying:

"If you had told environmentalists on Election Day 2008 that four years later there’d be no successor treaty to the Kyoto Protocol, that a Democratic Congress would not have enacted any meaningful climate legislation, that domestic oil production would be soaring even after a catastrophic offshore oil spill, and that the environmental community would be having a lively internal debate about whether it should support reviving nuclear power, most might have marched into the ocean to drown themselves. Yet that’s the state of play four months into President Obama’s second term.

< . . . >

"After two decades of steady and substantial global temperature increase from 1980 to 1998, the pause in warming is causing a crisis for the climate crusade. It wasn’t supposed to happen like this. The recent temperature record is falling distinctly to the very low end of the range predicted by the climate models and may soon fall out of it, which means the models are wrong, or, at the very least, something is going on that supposedly “settled” science hasn’t been able to settle. Equally problematic for the theory, one place where the warmth might be hiding​​—​​the oceans​​—​​is not cooperating with the story line. Recent data show that ocean warming has noticeably slowed, too.

"These inconvenient data are causing the climate science community to reconsider the issue of climate sensitivity​​—​​that is, how much warming greenhouse gases actually cause​​—​​as I predicted would happen in these pages three years ago: “Eventually the climate modeling community is going to have to reconsider the central question: Have the models the IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] uses for its predictions of catastrophic warming overestimated the climate’s sensitivity to greenhouse gases?”

Hayward concludes his essay that is worth reading in its entirety with:

"The final unexpected aspect of the global hydrocarbon renaissance is that it is starting to cause a few environmentalists to have second thoughts about .  .  . nuclear power. For nearly 30 years nuclear power was the only form of energy environmentalists despised more than hydrocarbons. But even with Japan’s nuclear power plant disaster of 2011, some environmentalists have come to see a positive tradeoff of nuclear power over coal and natural gas. James Hansen recently co-authored a paper concluding that nuclear power has saved 1.8 million lives over coal and gas-fired alternative electricity sources since 1970, and will prevent 7 million deaths by mid-century . . . ."

The essay even has a local touch when Hayward points out, "Despite these relentless setbacks for the climate campaign, environmentalists are not going gentle into this well-lit night, nor will they abandon their decades-old crusade to kill off hydrocarbon energy. The movement is too well funded, and has established ample footholds in the policy machinery stretching down to the local level in the United States. Having a “climate action policy” is de rigueur for just about every self-respecting city council and county commission in the country, typically raising numerous regulatory hurdles for new development." (italics in the original)

Yessiree, indeed. Thanks to Arlington County Board member Jay Fisette, Arlington County climate campaign director, Arlington County taxpayers have been funding a so-called Community Energy Plan since January 1, 2010. Here's how the county's website describes the effort to date:

"On November 20, 2012, Arlington made public its draft Comprehensive Plan Energy element, aka, the Draft Community Energy Plan (CEP), the accompanying Draft Community Energy Implementation Framework (CEIF), and the CEP Community Engagement Plan.  The CEP and CEIF documents will be brought to the County Board for action in mid-2013.  Please email us any questions or comments on either the CEP or CEIF documents to energyplan@arlingtonva.us.  Comments received to date, with staff responses, can be found here."

For more detail on what the "community energy plan" has cost Arlington County taxpayers, this staff response to a Board member question outlines some of the cost.

Growls readers will very likely enjoy reading the entire essay. A much-better read, we're sure, than the drivel coming from the mainstream media tomorrow about Earth Day 2013.

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