Παρασκευή, 5 Απριλίου 2013

On the Environment, the Alarmists Are Still Losing


All that money. All that effort. All the sermonizing and
bloodcurdling imagery and still, Americans don't seem to be
evolving quickly enough on the environment.


A new poll by Pew Research Center, for instance, finds that a
wide majority of Americans support building the Keystone XL
pipeline, which would transport Canadian oil to refineries in
Texas. Sixty-six percent of Americans favor finishing the pipeline,
with only 23 percent in opposition. Strong support cuts through
every political distinction—other than "liberal" Democrats.


The Obama administration, which likes to count every organism
that's even tangentially connected to a clean-energy project as a
"green job," has dismissed the job-producing prospects of the
long-delayed pipeline as overblown. Perhaps. But cheap and abundant
energy certainly helps save and/or create more jobs
than any stimulus that was dreamed up in Washington.


Nearly half of Americans also support the increase use of
fracking—a major innovation in productivity that helps protect the
environment. This is a remarkable percentage when you consider the
widespread scaremongering we've witnessed on the issue.


Global warming? According to Pew, 69 percent of Americans say
there is solid evidence that the earth's average temperature has
been getting warmer over the past few decades. But you'll notice
something more interesting when you break the numbers down.


Among those who see the irrefutable scientific evidence of
global temperatures rising, only 42 percent believe that most of it
should be attributed to human activity. In fact, when you break it
down, 23 percent of Americans believe that natural patterns in the
earth's environment are heating the earth, and another 27 percent
don't believe there is any solid evidence of warming at all. The
more appropriate question would be: Do you believe in man-made
global warming? The answer: Less than half of Americans would say
yes. That, even after the unrelenting cultural, educational and
political bombardment we've all had to endure on the topic.


And though 33 percent of Americans believe that global warming
is a "very serious" problem, that number has declined by 6 points
since October 2012.


The crusade to convince us that global warming can only be dealt
with by wealth destruction and higher energy prices began with an
effort to "raise awareness," which turned into some delicate
nanny-state prodding before efforts to artificially inflate prices.
You might remember that cap-and-trade legislation was a top
priority for the president. The administration employed a number of
extremists—from science czar Dr. John Holdren, who once advocated
for mass sterilizations, to Energy Secretary Steven Chu, who once
advocated raising gas prices to match those in Europe—to press the
case.


What's next? Shame. Those who don't buy the apocalyptic plotline
are, at worst, deniers—with all the immorality that signifies—or,
at best, quacks. Take a recent survey from lefty pollsters at
Public Policy Polling of 20 "widespread and/or infamous conspiracy
theories." It found that 6 percent of voters believe Osama bin
Laden is still alive, 7 percent of voters think the moon landing
was faked, 5 percent of voters believe that Paul McCartney actually
died in 1966, and so on.


The survey also found that 37 percent of voters believe global
warming is a hoax and 51 percent do not, as if ridiculous
conspiracies, easily disprovable, were the same as a theory that
has been overhyped and manipulated for political ends. Americans
may be "evolving" on so many fronts, but the issue of energy is
less open to emotional appeals and pandering. Progressives, then,
still have their work cut out for them.

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