The Great Divide

Current energy policy is largely predicated on the fear that CO2 emissions are causing climate change.

The debate over the Keystone pipeline is the most visible aspect of how energy policy is being affected by concern over CO2 emissions.

There are, however, a plethora of regulations, laws and mandates distorting energy policy, predicated on the fear of CO2 emissions.

A few include:

  • EPA’s Clean Power Plan
  • Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS)
  • Net Metering
  • EPA’s limiting CO2 emissions to 1,100 pounds per MWh for power plants
  • California’s Zero Emissions Vehicle mandate

There is a divide among scientists, as well as laypeople, about the effect of CO2 emissions on global warming, or climate change.

This divide needs to be debated, rather than hidden from view by the media and the activists, such as Al Gore, who refuse to debate.

Melting Chilean Glacier. Photo by D. Dears
Melting Chilean Glacier. Photo by D. Dears

Activists claim the science is settled.

But is that true?

The next time anyone makes the claim that CO2 emissions are causing global warming, he or she should be asked one, simple question.

“Why was it as warm or warmer nearly 1,000 years ago, in 1100 AD, when atmospheric CO2 levels were much lower? Specifically 280 ppm compared with nearly 400 ppm today.”

A similar question could be asked about the Roman Warm Period, but this one, simple question will suffice. References include and for both a Northern and Southern hemisphere perspective. More are available.

Whether the person is a scientist or a layperson, it’s virtually guaranteed they will not be able to answer the question.

Their response will be oblique, and not direct. It will probably try to shift the subject.

For example, the response may be, “CO2 levels are higher today than any time in the past 800,000 years.”

Or, “Ocean levels are rising, which threatens islands and cities.”

Or, “There are more severe storms today, such as Sandy.”

Or, “The IPCC has established computer forecasts for the future showing temperatures rising with CO2 levels.”

The question will not be answered directly because no direct, cause and effect relationship has ever been established between atmospheric CO2 levels and temperatures. The IPCC computer models assume such an effect, without proving it.

In fact, the disparity between temperatures and CO2 levels in 1100 AD and today confirms there isn’t any direct, cause and effect relationship.

While this does not definitively establish the effects of CO2 emissions, it does establish that the science isn’t settled.

This is why there should be a public debate about the cause of global warming or climate change.

It’s also why there should not be any regulations, laws or mandates requiring reduction of CO2 emissions.

As stated above, it’s these inappropriate regulations, laws and mandates that are having a serious, negative effect on energy production and usage: Which, if allowed to continue, will lower the standard of living of every American.

The IPCC’s quest for fewer CO2 emissions can also harm billions of people around the world.

There must be a debate to resolve whether CO2 emissions are the primary cause of global warming or climate change. And what to do if CO2 emissions are having anything more than a negligible effect.

These articles are intended to both inform about energy production and usage, and help precipitate serious debate about the effect of CO2 emissions on global warming and climate change.

This first article of the New Year explains the motivation behind Power For USA.

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