One week ago, on the same day 192 nations converged on the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, America’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) drove a stake into the ground, declaring carbon emissions its dominion and an “endangerment” to human health. The coordination of the EPA’s announcement with the opening of the conference was transparent as a political opportunity and it conveyed desperation, likely a reaction to the public’s disengagement from the issue of climate change and the administration’s need to appease the left flank. Unfortunately for the administration and Democrats more generally, attempting to place global warming front-and-center right now is a conscious and direct repudiation of the issues most important to voters in Middle America.
A January 2009 poll by Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, which can be viewed right here, rated global warming dead last as a priority issue—number 20 out of 20—well below issues like the economy, jobs, terrorism, Social Security, education and Medicare, to name a few. Democrats’ desire to jam Americans by attempting to make global warming a priority and the EPA the tip of the spear is a mistake. Democrats are demonstrating that they are out of step with Middle America and in lock-step with those outliers desiring a command-and-control economy.
This is not to say that Republicans are in touch with the needs of those in the middle, it’s just to point-out the obvious; the public’s interest in addressing global warming is waning. Many folks are quite frankly a bit confused. The rabid zeal with which many of the global warming alarmists advocate and the redistributive wealth solutions they advance leave reasonable people in Middle America wondering if this fanatical environmentalism is the new socialism. Are these environmental extremists like watermelons, green on the outside and red on the inside?
Most Americans have little to no interest in the globalism that attaches to any discussion of reparations or remedies to be paid to developing nations by developed nations as part of a global warming solution. In fact, most Americans are likely more isolationist than not, with tough economic sledding at home and two wars abroad. Further, any solution assumes that there is in fact a global warming problem, which some argue may also be in dispute, given recent revelations that some of the science behind global warming was done to produce a predetermined result.
Given the gravity of the financial cost that any global warming solution would have on the world economy—$45 trillion has been mentioned—no solution should be proposed without a virtual unanimity of solid science behind global warming.
Many Americans have read that 10-20% of global warming is man made and 80-90% of global warming is natural, not man made. Additionally, they believe that global warming is part of a natural cycle that has been occurring on earth for 4.5 billion years.
Nonetheless, the desire for a clean environment is non-partisan—we all want it, and many of us on the left, right and in the middle are doing our part every day to protect the environment and reduce the size of our carbon footprint, without the need for globalism, redistributive wealth solutions, or saber-rattling by environmental extremists.