Climate warming has become so universally accepted that it is worth one's reputation to raise even a tepid question regarding warming wisdom or its factual accuracy. Ordinary civic minded citizens who dare to exhibit the temerity to raise serious questions about the merits of man-made CO2 are routinely dismissed as uninformed troglodytes. Scientists who question prevailing climate wisdom are shunned by professional colleagues and shut out from lucrative government research grants. Often their careers are sidelined and professional reputations damaged, sometimes beyond repair, simply because they insist that the methodologies of science be respected.
Indeed, Al Gore, Nobel Laureate and 'eminence grise' of the global warming and climate change movement, continually repeats...the world as we know it will surely come to an end...caused by the rapid temperature increases and massive flooding...triggered by rising ocean levels and...only dramatic measures designed to stop the production of man-made anthropogenic CO2 caused by burning fossil fuels...will alter the trajectory of this looming disaster... otherwise a global calamity of immense proportions is inevitable.
Unfortunately, those environmentalists motivated to support initiatives which contribute to the greater good of society but reluctant to subscribe unthinkingly to the political agenda of the warming movement, are routinely scoffed at and humiliated. Publicity demonizing carbon dioxide, especially the man made version, routinely convicts anyone who drives a gasoline-powered car, cooks his hamburgers on the barbeque, warms their living room with the cosy flames of the fireplace or cools their home with air conditioning using electricity generated by coal or natural gas. We are pronounced guilty of contributing to a looming genocide. The guilt we are made to feel, stemming from our apparent insensitivity and warped morality, is almost palpable.
Climbing Aboard the Global Warming Train
1. Government Leaders
Do our institutional leaders, untrained in climatology, know more than the rest of us or is it possible they find being advocates of the warming cause useful for personal career reasons? Maybe fragile egos crave approbation and validation by the majority who are warming believers? There are more than a few experts in organizational and leadership theory who have noticed that leaders frequently exhibit well honed skills at discerning which direction the parade is heading. Having made that determination, these leaders hastily head to the front of the march to squelch man-made carbon dioxide.
2. Electric Power Utility Companies
Also puzzling is finding sizeable support for the warming cause from business sectors one instinctively expects to be opposed to caps on CO2 emissions. Major electric power utility companies, which are among the largest consumers of fossil fuels leading to the emission of significant quantities of CO2 and other air and water born pollutants, have also joined the climate warming brigade. How can that be? Isn't that contrary to their financial self interest? Is it possible that power utilities are actually public spirited corporate citizens driven to do what is best for the environment?
What about their significant support for "Cap and Trade" which is the centerpiece of CO2 mitigation measures? Not only is it notable that many utility companies have enthusiastically signed on to the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), but so, too, have major investment banks and hedge funds. Trading Carbon Futures has obviously drawn these moths to the global warming heat simply because it is a golden opportunity to mint money. Whatever the additional costs imposed by the purchase price of carbon credits, utility companies are certain that regulators will allow those additional costs to be passed on to consumers. Moreover, trading carbon credits opens the door to exploit major new profit opportunities.
3. Wall Street Banks
Investment banks, such as JP Morgan Chase, have also joined-in. Money-masters like Chase have recently been discredited and shut out of further billions of dollars previously generated by their creation and sale of various forms of questionable and fraudulent financial paper known as Derivatives. Trading carbon credits provides a new profit source.
Considering that these amoral - some might suggest "sociopathic" - institutions almost gutted the globe's financial system in September 2008, any issue to which they attach themselves should be viewed with considerable alarm. While not guaranteed, it is reasonable to conclude, from their recent actions that in whatever activity these financial behemoths involve themselves, it must, by definition, run counter to the public interest.
4. Hedge Funds
These large pools of private capital also use large amounts of borrowed money to leverage their speculative trades in a variety of financial products which now include carbon credits. Is it not an inconvenient truth that the pious pied piper of climate change, Al Gore, has become a partner in two hedge funds, Generation Investment Management (GIM) and Capricorn Investment Group LLC, set up to specifically trade carbon credits? Speculation suggests his paltry 2 million dollar net worth at the time he lost his Presidential bid to George W. Bush has mushroomed fifty fold since taking up the climate cause.
Speculative trading in carbon credits will primarily benefit institutional traders, with only limited benefit accruing to the environment or third world nations to use in kick-starting climate friendly projects. The cost of carbon credits will most certainly contribute to raising the cost of electricity, manufacturing costs and the cost of living generally. All the while imposition of caps is guaranteed to contribute precious little to limit carbon emissions.
5. Ordinary Citizens
Enlisting massive support from so many well intentioned people who genuinely believe in the need to nurture nature has been its singular success. Regular citizens have been bought into the cause in spite of the fact that their cost of living will increase and their standard of living lowered. Selflessness in the cause of preserving the environment is their motivation.
Some of us, however, are by nature cursed with an inquisitive mind and have developed and honed our analytical skills to a degree sufficient to prevent us from blindly bending to overwhelming publicity which promotes a single perspective. In spite of the powers of persuasion mounted by climate activists, opinion makers and their cheerleading media mascots, there remain those who insist on examining the results of rigorous and independent research before adopting any assertion, ideology, belief or conventional wisdom portrayed as truth.
Contrarians naturally find themselves uneasy with any large public policy issue which seems to have had the benefit of a consensus viewpoint from the beginning. "The science is settled" and "peer review proves it" are mantras which are just too convenient for comfort.
Have you hopped aboard the global warming/carbon credit trading train or are you starting to question what you have been told and question what the benefits are for those who promote such 'science' as opposed to you as a private citizen of this planet?
Editor's Note: This article is the first part of a four-part series.