by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Before you read Michael Grunwald‘s latest TIME story touting President Obama’s energy agenda, which “may be his biggest legacy,” you might want to prepare by revisiting Roy Cordato’s latest Daily Journal.
Why? Grunwald’s article is full of references to “carbon emissions” and a “clean-energy revolution.” As Cordato would predict, the article offers no information to address the supposed goal of global warming policy.
Playing on the fact that most people do not have much knowledge of science, the propagandists actually have started lying about what the problem or perceived problem is. In newspaper articles and reporting on global warming, commentators have substituted carbon, C, for carbon dioxide, CO2. In terms of emissions, the issue is the latter, not the former.
CO2 is the greenhouse gas that is accumulating in the atmosphere and that will presumably warm the planet to intolerable levels. It is CO2 emissions that government policies are meant to reduce. But carbon dioxide is rarely ever mentioned. Instead we hear of “carbon taxes,” “carbon emissions,” and “reducing our carbon footprint.”
There is a propaganda-driven reason for this. Every school child learns (hopefully) that CO2 is an invisible, odorless gas that helps plants and vegetation grow and supports life on earth. CO2 is not scary. On the other hand, carbon suits the propagandists’ purposes much better.
Most people associate carbon with a black, sooty substance that is harmful to inhale and soils everything it comes in contact with. As a negative image, carbon presents a much better target for the shyster ad man than does CO2. So why not drop that inconvenient O2 and just stick with the C? After all, anyone who calls us on it is just a “flat earther” anyway.
To make the trilogy complete, the propagandists have changed the goal of policy from reducing temperatures to reducing emissions. Reducing CO2 emissions is not a goal unto itself. It is a means to an end: reducing global temperatures. But it has reached the point at which this goal is almost never mentioned when discussing actual policies.
The focus is on how much emissions will be reduced, not temperatures. It is no accident that during his recent speech on “climate change,” the president made no mention of what his proposals would accomplish in terms of temperature reduction.
There is a very good reason for this. Temperature reduction as a result of any of the policies that have been discussed, including the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade legislation designed to reduce CO2 emissions by over 80 percent, would be unnoticeable.