The Climate Change Agenda impacts the wallet, not the climate

by John Steinberger | February 2, 2020 2:25 pm

The Climate Change Agenda backed by Representative Joe Cunningham and most other Congressional Democrats would not have any impact on the climate. Its aim is to increase the cost of gasoline, diesel, natural gas, and electricity and change the American lifestyle.  Cunningham has used the phrase, “We need to get people out of their cars “ in public appearances. High fuel prices[1] in Europe have actually accomplished that objective for millions who can no longer afford to drive. A recent study in Germany showed that high energy prices prevent 20% of residents from being able to adequately heat their homes.

Carbon dioxide (CO2), a biproduct of most energy consumption, is an invisible, odorless gas that has no adverse impact on human health. Plants depend on CO2 for growth in the process of photosynthesis. CO2 makes up only 0.04% of our atmosphere and human activity accounts for less than 4% of worldwide CO2 emissions. There is no scientific evidence that restricting American CO2 emissions would lower the global temperature.

Recorded history and geological evidence show that climate change has been a constant on planet earth. If you visit the South Carolina Aquarium downtown, you will see a display that shows the South Carolina coastline once went as far west as Columbia (100 miles inland), which is geologically described as the “sandhills region” of the state. Shark’s teeth have been excavated in Columbia. During ice ages, our coast extended 60 miles into what is now the ocean. During the Medieval Warming Period, which extended from about 900-1350 AD, the Vikings farmed in Greenland, before the glaciers forced them to leave. The “Little Ice Age” lasted from about 1400 to 1850, with many documented examples of frozen rivers in Europe and North America. There has been a gradual warming period since the late 1800s, long before there were motor vehicles and electrical power plants.

Rep. Cunningham is one of 164 Democrat co-sponsors of the 100% Clean Economy Act (HR-5221). The legislation would require America to reduce CO2 emissions 40% to 60% by 2030. This would drive up energy prices, lower the American standard of living, and harm the American agriculture, trucking, and manufacturing industries, which depend on low fuel and electricity prices to be competitive with China and other countries that are not participating in the Climate Change Agenda.

The legislation states, “Greenhouse gas pollution, like many other forms of pollution, adversely affects human beings on both local and global scales.” CO2 does not harm human health. The six harmful pollutants, particulates, ozone, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide and lead, have declined 73% since 1970, according to EPA records[2]. Case in point, Charleston used to have frequent smog days prior to the 1990s but never has smog days now.

The 100% Clean Economy Act also has a social justice and pro-union worker agenda, which has nothing to do with climate. It states, “Federal climate policy can and should be shaped to diminish economic inequality and expand the rights of workers.” The Republican Party believes that wages will increase by preparing our workers for the jobs in demand and promoting free enterprise conditions which attract capital to Charleston County. We want our high school graduates to get the manufacturing and technology jobs coming to the Charleston area.

The Climate Change Agenda will increase energy costs and lower our standard of living, with no benefit to the environment or climate. Raising the cost of gasoline to $5 per gallon would disproportionally hurt low- and middle-income residents. High electricity prices will crush our burgeoning manufacturing sector. Republicans support conservation and a clean environment but reject efforts to lower our standard of living and way of life.

Endnotes:
  1. High fuel prices: https://lowcountrysource.com/feature-this/climate-change-agenda-hampers-uk-standard-of-living/
  2. EPA records: https://www.epa.gov/clean-air-act-overview/progress-cleaning-air-and-improving-peoples-health

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