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Institute for Energy Research speaks out against US NCA

Hydrocarbon Engineering,


Below are extracts from an analysis by the IER on the 2014 National Climate Assessment titled Science Doesn’t Support NCA’s Scare Tactics.

'The Obama Administration has released its 2014 National Climate Assessment (NCA), with the goal of prodding Americans into supporting immediate action to fight manmade climate change. As we will document in this post, the science cannot support the scary claims. Thus the NCA is written with misleading section headers that obscure what even the latest IPCC report has to say about hurricanes, tornadoes, and even drought in the US.

'The solutions proposed in the NCA do not fit the bill: One can’t justify why it makes sense for the federal government to impose regulations and/or taxes on the US economy, without knowing what other major emitters (such as China and India) are going to do over the next century. The state level initiates against greenhouse gas emissions are even more dubious. These inconvenient truths explain why the NCA never tries to present an actual cost/benefit justification for the proposed measures. Instead, the strategy is to first scare Americans, then offer policies that will fight the alleged menace, without explaining the marginal changes from the policies and the corresponding costs in terms of economic growth and higher energy prices.'

Past, present and the future

'The most notable aspect of the 2014 NCA is its switch from possible future threats to warnings about dangers happing right now.'

'The more time passes, the weaker the case for aggressive intervention becomes. Indeed, the peer reviewed research contained in the latest IPCC report is moving in the opposite direction from the NCA, despite the efforts of government representatives to spin the results to the public. Economist Richard Tol actually took his name off the ‘Summary for Policymakers’ because he said the latest research was pointing to a strategy of adaption, yet instead of hearing the truth the public was being scared with apocalyptic rhetoric.'

Extreme weather

'Even taking the Administration’s approach at face value, the actual physical science makes it very difficult to attribute specific weather events to long term changes in the climate. After all, as the defenders of the popular computer models remind us whenever there is a cold snap or global temperatures fail to rise: ‘There is natural variability that can mask the long term trend.’ But that very variability means it is difficult to blame, say, Hurricane Sandy on human emissions of CO2.

‘We can see the tension between the NCA’s desire to scare Americans in to immediate action, versus the limited claims one can make from the science.’

Conclusion

‘The Administration’s NCA makes a clear rhetorical shift in trying to scare Americans about harms occurring to day from manmade climate change. The problem they immediately run into is that the science cannot support the scary claims. Thus the NCA is written with misleading section headers that obscure what even the latest IPCC report has to say about hurricanes, tornadoes, and even drought in the US.

‘Regardless of the specific impacts of climate change on the US, the Administration faces another huge hurdle with its agenda: country specific measures at slowing emissions can do little to impact global climate change. It is thus difficult to justify, on a cost/benefit basis, why Americans should support the Administration’s preferred interventions into the economy, such as cap and trade, carbon taxes, and bans on new coal fired power plants. Instead, American are simply shown scary items to make them fear climate change, so that they will support any measure that can be described as fighting climate change.’


Adapted from IER analysis by Claira Lloyd.

Read the article online at: https://www.hydrocarbonengineering.com/gas-processing/15052014/ier_speaks_against_us_nca_findings527/


 

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