The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

The Insiders: Liberals are destroying the planet

I think Carol Costello from CNN is the best. She is my favorite anchor on TV, period, and CNN made a huge mistake by taking her off the early-morning shift. I’m an early riser so, thanks to that move, I don’t see her as much.

Anyway, when I saw that she had written something about climate change, I read it immediately with high expectations. Everyone should read it for themselves.  Unfortunately, her views on climate change are about what you would expect from a big-league media type. The conclusions and prescriptions are non-specific and, well, it was kinda sorta typical.

But the piece did include some very interesting analysis from Anthony Leiserowitz, the director of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication. The YPCCC, which “conducts research on public climate knowledge” has grouped Americans’ sentiments about global warming into six categories, ranging from “The Alarmed” to “The Dismissives.” Even though I am properly suspicious of anything Yale has to say about global warming, I think Mr. Leiserowitz makes some interesting points. His analysis puts into vivid relief that one group is missing from the spectrum of debate on climate change. There should be an additional category called something like “The Prudent Rationals.” There should be, but there is not — and it is the liberals’ fault.

“The Prudent Rationals” would be comprised of those whose attitudes comport with something like the following: They are generally respectful of the scientific community and are eager to listen to mainstream scientists and researchers. They want to hear from legitimate experts who acknowledge the variables, the uncertainties and, importantly, the mistakes and errors of climate science so far. This group could support a prudent plan to produce measurable benefits, but only if the plan were truly global in scope and the cost seemed to be proportional to the outcome. The “Prudent Rationals” believe it is reasonable to accept that there are consequences for continually pumping gases into the atmosphere. And it seems right that one generation should leave the planet better than they found it for the next generation. But we need to be realistic about technical science and political science. If we can’t act globally to limit these gases, we should be focusing on local pollution, not on plans that unilaterally wreck our economy and impoverish millions – if not billions – for nothing.

The “alarmists” and the “deniers” aren’t really the problem. The problem is that many reasonable voters find it hard to know whom to believe. They are turned off by the hypocrisy of Al Gore and the Learjet liberals, the money-grabbing tactics of the third-world-victim industry and the members of the traditional American left who want to raise everyone’s power bill to enforce a lifestyle they find acceptable, all in exchange for nothing. You don’t have to buy into the suspiciously precise claim by the Democrats that “there is a 97 percent consensus among scientific experts that humans are causing global warming” blah blah blah to believe there is sufficient cause for the world to take prudent collective action in an effort to avoid pollution-induced problems.

Regrettably, this option doesn’t exist because of the actions of hypocrites like President Obama and Al Gore, the shrill phonies from academia and the pious usual suspects on the left.  I blame the liberal political elite, not the scientists, for where we are. Our politicians have not made the case for a practical, beneficial, cost-effective, global plan that would address climate change efficiently and effectively. Oh by the way, President Obama and the Democrats can’t even finalize a trade deal with Asia or Europe, much less come to a global environmental/economic agreement. And it is a scientific fact that unilateral measures by the United States would be insufficient to meet the goals that liberals say must be met in order to avoid global disaster.

There is zero chance that thinking people will capitulate to the Obama/Gore climate change agenda. And why would they? The president and his allies have been wrong about almost everything else.  It will be a cold day … everywhere before Republicans and other fair-minded voters are cowed into submission by the liberal bluster about climate change.

The Democrats’ global-warming “solutions” fit a little too nicely into their tiresome political agenda of class warfare, anti-business regulations and the big government controls they want to force on us. In the meantime, the “Prudent Rationals” have nowhere to go.

Follow Ed on Twitter: @EdRogersDC