Earth Day Betrayed

Doug Domenech

National Review

14th April 2016

Later this month, First World environmentalists will rally around Earth Day as their most important annual celebration. There will be marches, recriminations, and at globalization, development, and the industry in particular for what these activists see as the desecration of the world as we know it. Earth Day was started in 1970 as a way to focus attention on the environmental problems on our planet.

This year, United Nations Ban has invited “all world leaders” to travel to U. N. headquarters in New York City on April 22 for a signing ceremony for the historic climate agreement that was reached in Paris in December.

The agreement will remain open for additional signatures for one year. I was a freshman living in Puerto Rico in 1970, and I admit the first Earth Day piqued my interest. Environmentalism, as a movement, was sweeping America, appealing to young idealists.

Three years later, with my ponytail, guitar, and I entered college. I majored in forestry and wildlife management, and have spent the majority of my career working in the field. RELATED: Climate in Paris, But that isn’t to say there weren’t environmental problems.

Efforts to protect our air and water were nonexistent. Former EPA Administrator Carol Browner has said, “City after city, state after state, had essentially failed in their efforts to protect their air and the water, the land, and the health of their citizens. ” Stories abounded of rivers catching on fire there were major oil spills, air pollution was commonplace, and, although its principal assertion was later proven to be false, Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring, which blamed DDT for the massive killing of birds, had been widely read and accepted as truth.

These facts and others led to federal legislation to take primary environmental oversight away from the states and give it to the federal government. RELATED: Paris: The Treaty that Dare Not Speak Its Name, In 1970 Congress passed, and Republican president Richard Nixon signed, the Clean Air Act. Two years later, he signed the Clean Water Act.

According to the EPA, in the years since, the levels of six common pollutants — carbon monoxide (CO) ozone (O3) lead (Pb) nitrogen dioxide (NO2) sulfur dioxide (SO2) and particulate matter (PM) — as well as numerous other toxic pollutants, have been lowered by 69 percent. Share article on FacebookshareTweet These things are worth celebrating. But the central question is: Is the world better off 46 years after the first Earth Day? Resoundingly yes.

High levels of poverty, hunger, malnutrition, child labor, illiteracy, and unsafe water have ceased to be global norms. Infant mortality has never been lower, and we are living longer and healthier lives. That is worth celebrating this Earth Day.

However, just as with the dire predictions of 1970, climate alarmists are once again predicting the end of the world as we know it. This time the culprit is carbon dioxide. RELATED: Apocalypse Delayed, In Paris, the 196 parties to the U.

N. Framework Convention on Climate Change reached their historic agreement to combat climate change by pledging to keep the global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius and to drive efforts to limit the temperature increase even further, to 1. 5 degrees Celsius above levels.

How? By limiting the emission of CO2, a trace greenhouse gas. Stephen D. Eule, vice president of the Institute for 21st Century Energy and former director of the Office of Climate Change Policy Technology at the U.

S. Department of Energy, recently testified before the U. S.

Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. He told the senators that there are flaws in the Obama administration’s intended nationally determined contribution (INDC) to the U. N.

goal. The administration set a goal of cutting the United States’ net emissions 26 to 28 percent from their 2005 level by 2025, with a “best effort” to achieve 28 percent. RELATED: The West’s Penance, How does this U.

S. commitment add up? “It does not,” said Eule. He described the significant pace of technological innovation that would be required to meet this goal and the lack of basic information in the commitment.

He also told the committee that a close examination of the INDC “raises more questions than it answers. ” For the U. S.

to achieve a 28 percent reduction by 2025, emissions would have to drop to 4. 6 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (TCO2 eq. ).

Taking all of the efforts together, the Institute for 21st Century Energy estimates that in 2025 total net emissions would still be about 800 million TCO2 eq. or 45 percent short of the 1. 8 billion TCO2 eq.

in reductions needed to meet President Obama’s 28 percent target. The math does not add up. More Climate Change Adding Economic Catastrophism to Climate Catastrophism Does Not HelpAu Revoir, Paris Climate AccordFor America’s Loudest Climate Alarmists, Do as I Say, Not as I DoEule goes on to say that the U.

N. goals are significantly unequal between nations. While the U.

S. is aiming for these draconian reductions, “the rest of the world,” he said, “continues to emit [carbon] with abandon. ” China, India, and Russia have not made commitments anywhere close to ours.

The consequence is likely to be the movement of manufacturing, industry, and jobs from the U. S. to other countries.

In order to achieve the unmeasurably small climate benefit of 0. 018 degree Celsius, the United States would have to wreak havoc on the economy, jobs, and electricity rates — and, in the process, on the lives of millions of people. While life on Earth is improving, the U.

N. policy would only reverse what has been achieved. Earth Day resulted in tangible benefits to society.

The Paris agreement will not.,.
 

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