The place is the Outrage Over Local weather and Power Coverage?

Where is the Outrage Over Climate and Energy Policy?

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by Paul D. Hoffman

The headlines tell the story and it's not a pretty one. Climate realists like me are losing the climate change debate. Not because we're wrong. In fact, we win every time! But we lose people's hearts and minds because we couldn't use their emotions.

The climate alarmists don't care about the facts. They beat us down with children like Greta Thunberg and taught us about selfishness and our cowardice in the face of “mass death”. They play with our natural emotions and worst fears by associating climate change with the uncontrollable things we are most afraid of – hurricanes (lions), forest fires (tigers), and tornadoes (and bears, oh my god!).

Despite these facts:

  • Climate models could not accurately predict future global average temperature changes.
  • There is no ideal average temperature for a world where on any given day the temperature could be -50 ° F in one place and 120 ° F above zero in another. (Remember, if you live by averages, you can comfortably stand with one foot on a block of ice and the other in a fire.)
  • Global mean temperatures have fluctuated much more and changed much faster in the geological past and long before humans started burning carbon-based fuels in significant quantities.
  • Weather patterns are much more due to cyclical changes in ocean currents than to climate change.
  • The use of oil, gas and coal creates a significantly higher quality of life for billions of people, reduces poverty, ensures abundant food supplies and means cleaner air and water.
  • There is overwhelming evidence that climate change is not primarily man-made, nor is it an existential threat to humanity or any other species.

Despite all of this and more, we are gradually losing the battle for people's minds when it comes to the debate on climate change. And we're not just losing the political debate. We lose in the boardrooms and not only in the bright companies like Amazon, Nike, Apple or Google, but also in the boardrooms of the utility companies, the oil and gas industry and the manufacturers.


We tend to represent our case with shaky science that even scientists don't fully understand. People can't grapple with our rational explanations, but they damn sure understand the fear of events that could affect them directly and personally.

We tend to argue about the adverse macroeconomic effects of climate policy – the loss of millions of jobs, green energy costing trillions of dollars, and the failed goals of wealth redistribution. These effects are real and catastrophic.

Have you ever wondered why voters fail to support social security or health care reforms despite overwhelming macroeconomic evidence that both systems are likely to be bankrupt within the next decade? The answer is pretty simple. People make decisions based on microeconomics, not macroeconomics. People choose each time to protect their personal gain from the system's solvency.

Consider these examples of the microeconomic impacts of climate change policies. Here in Virginia, Dominion Energy is closing coal-fired power plants in favor of solar and wind parks. This move towards renewable energy sources will increase electricity bills by $ 1,000 per person per year by 2030.

Are you asking someone if they are willing to pay a thousand dollars a year if the average global temperature is unlikely to change at all? That question brings the problem home, and the answer will be a resounding "No!" Far more often. Ask the same person if they think climate change is a threat and if we should do something about it and you will get many more positive answers.

The Transportation & Climate Initiative, a regional collaboration of 12 north-eastern and mid-Atlantic states plus DC, proposes a 20 to 25% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions in the region. Your policy of choice is a "carbon tax". Virginia recently enacted a carbon tax on electricity production, and the General Assembly will consider a fuel tax, which may include a gasoline tax of 28 cents per gallon and a diesel tax of 26 cents per gallon. Based on current miles and miles driven per capita, these tax increases could cost each driver more than $ 1,000 a year! Once again, I can pretty easily predict most people's reaction to being willing to pay an additional $ 1,000 a year for no significant climate change.

People expect their lights and computer to work when they flip the power button. Talk about the potential for brownouts or planned blackouts so someone else can charge their electric vehicle at the taxpayers money built charging station (have you ever seen a government built gas station?), And I think you will Get a predictable negative response.

I'm sure we can find many more examples, but my point is this: let's take the case against climate change down to the personal, microeconomic level. Remember the indictment against George H. W. Bush: "It's the stupid economy!" It wasn't that Bush didn't understand that there was a recession. it was that he failed to see how this recession was affecting people on a personal level.

In other words, everything in life is political, except politics, which is personal. Explaining how a policy threatens someone's paperback will get their attention.

Paul D. Hoffman has been involved in environmental policy making and communication throughout his career. He was State Director to then Congressman Dick Cheney, Executive Director of the Cody Country Chamber of Commerce just outside Yellowstone National Park, and Assistant Assistant Secretary for Fish, Wildlife and Parks at the US Department of the Interior. He is currently a publicist at Hope Springs Media and a resource management strategy consultant. He holds a bachelor's degree in economics and biology from the University of California at San Diego, Revelle College. He wrote this article for the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation.

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