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Christian: Don't let climate catastrophists hijack COVID-19 relief

Wayne Christian

Wayne Christian

Since it was first uttered by Rahm Emanuel to newly elected President Obama, the phrase “never allow a good crisis go to waste” has been a cornerstone of the far left’s strategy to push forward their liberal agenda.

While this concept has been utilized on a variety of issues, it is used most frequently on issues of energy and the environment, where the liberals have attempted to leverage every natural hurricane and drought to prop up the solar and wind industry and push forward their radical climate change agenda.

The idea of profiting off the hardships of others has always made me uneasy. For most of us, tragedy is a time to come together and truly show what we can do as unified Texans and Americans to help our neighbor in their time of need. We did so during Hurricane Harvey and I believe we will do so again as we start the long road to recovery from COVID-19, as long as we don’t allow vocal minorities to hijack the recovery for their pet projects or causes.

That seems to be exactly what the International Energy Agency is doing as it recently urged national governments across the world to use coronavirus-related legislation to put global warming goals into law, such as dramatically increasing investment in renewable energy over the next decade.

The world spends up to $264 billion a year on renewable energy, but the IEA says that is “nowhere near enough” and must at least double to more than half a trillion annually over the next 10 years to prevent global warming.

Projections and models are an important part of science, but what the public fails to realize when they read a prediction is that models, like the weather forecast, are fluid and can change drastically as variables change. Our models are also created by imperfect people who must seek funding to pay for their research. What is the easiest way to convince people your work is important enough for financial investment? Tell them the world is going to end.

The EIA’s policy recommendations are wrong for several reasons, but primarily because they are based on flawed models that have incorrectly predicted catastrophe for decades. Over the past 40 years, models created by the United Nations have, on average, “predicted about twice as much warming as has” happened, according to the Wall Street Journal. Except for an unusually strong El Nino in 2015, surface temperatures globally have not significantly increased since 2000.

This would suggest that emissions were capped (i.e., have not increased) in the past 20 years, but they were not capped. Oil and gas consumption have increased, but without any impact on surface temperatures. You would expect the experts to ask why. Instead they predict dire famines, deadly “clouds of blue steam” and a new ice age. None of this happened. Imagine being 100 percent wrong at your job — that is climate catastrophists. The law should not be based on predictions from folks that are always wrong.

Second, existing law and technological innovation have been steadily improving environmental quality — despite record consumption of fossil fuels — for decades. The six major air pollutants monitored by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have fallen 73% since 1970, while our economy grew 262% and our population by 60%. Furthermore, from 2000-2017, the United States lowered its carbon emissions more than any country in the world nine times. Thanks to efforts by the federal government, state governments, and oil and gas companies the environment has not been cleaner since the end of World War II.

Third, fossil fuels create plentiful, affordable, and reliable energy that generates nearly two-thirds of the electricity in the United States and powers more than 99 percent of the cars and trucks on our roads.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, wind and solar combined make up only ten percent of our nation’s energy. Modern physics dictates that with current technology wind and solar just cannot do the job, even with substantial help in the form of government subsidies.

With millions unemployed and hundreds of thousands sick across the globe, it is nauseating that environmental ideologues are attempting to use this situation to sneak or shove their agenda down our throats. Oil and gas production and consumption generates vastly more electricity, powers many more vehicles, creates more high-paying jobs, save consumers more money, and pays much more in taxes than intermittent sources energy like wind and solar. The average American and global citizen has nothing to gain, and a lot to lose, from a push to renewable energy at the expense of oil and gas.

— Wayne Christian, a resident of Center and former state representative, is chairman of the Railroad Commission of Texas. He also represents Texas on the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission.

Today's Bible verse

“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not of yourselves,

it is the gift of God ...”

Ephesians 2:8

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