Nate Jackson / Nov. 26, 2018

What to Make of the Latest Dire Climate Report

The Fourth National Climate Assessment blames humans for destruction ahead.

“People are going to die if we don’t start addressing climate change ASAP.” So said socialism’s brightest new star, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. But so also said climate scientists Friday in releasing the Fourth National Climate Assessment — the first such report since 2014.

According to The Washington Times, “As many as 9,300 more people could die each year because of extreme heat or cold related to climate change by the end of this century. … The range of disease-spreading mosquitoes and ticks will expand, as will extreme weather events — all of which will bring additional mental health problems such as depression and even suicidal tendencies, the U.S. Global Change Research Program, made up of 13 federal agencies, said in the ‘Fourth National Climate Assessment.’”

The Washington Post adds, “The report finds that the continental United States already is 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than it was 100 years ago, surrounded by seas that are on average nine inches higher and being racked by far worse heat waves than the nation experienced only 50 years ago.”

The assessment, partially built upon work funded by billionaire socialists Michael Bloomberg and Tom Steyer, concluded that it’s all man-made: “Both human and natural factors influence Earth’s climate, but the long-term global warming trend observed over the past century can only be explained by the effect that human activities have had on the climate.” And the report came with the requisite warnings that the poor and minorities will be hardest hit.

Specific policy recommendations are not included in the report, though it took a New York second for climate alarmists to renew their calls for draconian regulations to combat the problem. Given the massive expense of such regulation, it struck us that a repeated theme in the new report is how expensive inaction would be. Lost productivity, coastal property damage, and more deaths would indeed be expensive — if predictions are accurate. And the emphasis on human activities as the cause leads to the logical conclusion that human activities must be restricted if we are to slow the trend. We know how expensive that will be, not just in terms of the economy but of Liberty.

Meanwhile, there’s an inconvenient truth: The U.S. is leading the world in reducing carbon emissions while President Donald Trump eases regulations, exits the Paris Agreement, and encourages fossil-fuel development.

Speaking of Trump, he quipped last week, “Brutal and extended cold blast could shatter all records — whatever happened to global warming?” He’s joking, of course, because climate alarmists routinely point to weather events to prove that they’re correct, even while lecturing “deniers” who dare to make those obvious jokes.

Exhibit A: One climate researcher pointing to the deadly California wildfire and saying, “Looking at the smoke, I could not help but think: ‘This is climate change. This is what climate change looks like.’” No, it’s what irresponsible environmental policies look like. Whether more policies designed by the same extreme leftists can reduce earth’s temperature in the future is the open question, isn’t it?

Update: Asked what he thought of the report, Trump responded, “I don’t believe it.” And The Daily Signal notes four major problems with the study: “It wildly exaggerates economic costs. It assumes the most extreme (and least likely) climate scenario. It cherry-picks science on extreme weather and misrepresents timelines and causality. And energy taxes are a costly non-solution.”

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