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March 4, 2013

Climate Change Runs Up Against Green Fatigue

FROM-Science 2.0


By Hank Campbell

Environmental activists make money telling us all how terrible things are; climate scientists appreciate the help promoting their data, we do have a bit of a train wreck coming at us emissions-wise, but climate scientists also know there is a risk of backlash if there are too many hyperbolic claims, and that 'green fatigue' will set in if every change in temperature and every storm is attributed to global warming. That's why even the IPCC, no wallflower when it comes to using media talking points, wishes media would not attribute local weather to climate change.

And then there is the money aspect to just taking a 'sequester' approach to emissions. While activists seem to believe a sequester approach to taxes and spending - egalitarian, across-the-board cuts without regard to merit - is bad, they have an idealized vision of what it will do in the economy regarding emissions. We should just do it, they insist. When activists said America just 'needs' to get down to early 1990s levels of emissions, they painted a perfect scenario where everyone would somehow be employed in either green energy production or white-collar environmental awareness jobs. Yet America is back at early 1990s levels of emissions right now - and the economy we have is what that looks like. Stagnant business climate, high chronic unemployment and food stamp recipients are numerous enough to pick a president, but the stock market is up so the government claims that higher stocks and higher taxes will eventually help poor people who bridge a wider chasm from the rich than ever.

The ironic downside for activists who have gotten the lower emissions they wanted is that in the hierarchy of needs, broad environmental issues are not all that important. When people can't pay the rent or meet lots of other basic necessities, the last thing they want to hear is how they are killing the planet but developing countries like China, India and Mexico are exempt. And so concern about environmental issues, including climate change, is now at a 20-year low, even in America, despite the full-court press by the media in late 2012 to say that the Sandy storm was caused by climate change. What else happened 20 years ago, the last time people didn't care about the environment? A president got thrown out due to the "It's the economy, stupid" movement. Not having money makes people think about their world, not the world.

So studies may predict the impact of climate change but people losing their homes are not worried about 50 years from now; the activists who want a full-stop on CO2, more regulations, more penalties, more taxes and then more subsidies for their pet 'green' projects are living in their own fantasy world, where if they mandate and subsidize something like wind power, capitalism will take over and make it viable. The 13th century is not the answer to 21st century energy issues but they are against both fossil fuels and every viable alternative.

Result: People begin to stop caring.

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