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It’s Time to De-Politicise the Weather

“Please, spare me of idle conversation about the weather. When one discusses the weather I am quick to assume they mean to discuss…something else.” ~Gwendolyn in The Importance of being Earnest by Oscar Wilde, 1895.

Britons are famous for talking about the weather. British weather is, well, temperate but rainy for the most part, but if it ever gets really bad the Express will tell you all about it. In Texas, there is an expression “that if you don’t like the weather, wait a bit, and it will change” because of how quickly and often it varies. Talking about the weather is all fine and good, it affects much of our daily lives. But recently, when I hear talk of the weather, I can’t help but think that people are often meaning something political; a strictly modern phenomena if you exclude times before Anno Domini. Right after Christmas, I was listening to LBC and the topic was “who was to blame” for the flood response. The host made a good point though, maybe it wasn’t the politicians’ fault at all (whether council or national) but many of the people themselves, people who, after hearing the weather forecasts, did nothing to prepare for the flood. The debate on the radio was spirited, and being that I don’t live in Kent I have truly no idea who the “blame” should truly rest on. But there is an underlying problem with weather politics. After Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in 2005, rapper Kanye West proclaimed “George Bush hates black people” because of the Katrina response. This blaming of politicians for forces beyond their control is the ultimate in stupidity of modern “somebody is to blame” mentality in my opinon. But I think there is a bigger, more dangerous, weather “blame game” that affects our daily lives more than tabloid weather sensationalism or Kanye West ramblings: the current state of debate on climate change.

In case you have not heard, Canada and America are in the grip of a “polar vortex” that has brought temperatures to lows that go below temperatures in Siberia and the surface of Mars. Even here in Dallas, we are having highs below freezing, which is unusually cold for us. Now, you would think that events like the polar vortex would make some climate change advocates stop and consider that maybe, just maybe, their alarmism about a planet on the verge of polar ice caps melting and skin cancer killing us all might be a little overstated. You would think. But no, they assure us that the polar vortex is actually due to global warming, it’s just we are too stupid and uneducated to notice the connection. Time Magazine explains to us that actually the extreme cold is due to global warming resulting from human activity, although in 1974 they explained to us “plebs” (as Andrew Mitchell did not say) that the cold weather was because we were about to enter another ice age, because of human activity. If you are confused how we went from about to enter another ice age, to global warming, to now cold weather due to global warming, do not feel alone. I am not a scientist and will not try to explain how this is possible. However, I do study history and politics quite extensively. Below are a couple of “inconvenient truths” that make me consider possibly joining the ranks of one of those evil, subhuman, “climate change deniers”.

The cold, hard facts are that the climate change proponents and environmental lobby are cashing in on their moral crusade and cashing in big. Al Gore, the former Vice-President of the United States turned climate change messiah has certainly made a lot of money out of his weather predictions. In this excellent blog by Tyler Durden at Zerohedge, one can see how Mr. Gore turned his climate change advocacy into a fortune of $250 million, preaching doom and pushing his way onto corporate boards. And it’s not just Mr. Gore who has profited off climate change hysteria. Hollywood has found a new way to make loads of money on apocalyptic, global warming movies. But what is most concerning of all is not the prophets of doom. This is a free society after all, they can say what they wish. It is how government has used climate change to enable a “crony capitalism” that enriches friends of government and hurts your average citizen that concerns me.

Starting on January 1st of this year, the federal government has made it illegal to manufacture or import traditional light bulbs. Thanks to the lobbying of major companies (who have the financial capability to manufacture and distribute led “green” light bulbs) , American consumers will have to pay more for what was once a fairly cheap and ubiquitous product. And of course they will have to pay that  money for a product that virtually everybody needs to a smaller group of companies, specifically General Electric, who thanks to marvelous green tax breaks paid NO taxes in 2010. And GE is just the tip of the iceberg! If you happened to own a green energy startup or a green energy company, the US government likely bankrolled you. Never mind that most of these companies failed and these green experiments cost the taxpayer billions of dollars, it was worth it all in the name of combating climate change, right?

This problem, as you are keenly aware in Britain, is not unique to the United States. In Great Britain, all of the three main parties were behind a push towards green energy, at least until David Cameron and the Conservatives rightly saw that it was time to “cut the green crap“. Whether Cameron’s conversion was genuine, a product of political expediency, or both, it is good that he is looking to get rid of the green levies that are crushing your average tax payer in their energy bills. The green levies need to be reduced or gotten rid of all together, and the government is taking steps in the right direction. As the “green crap” Telegraph article points out, green energy levies add £112 to a typical household bill!  Furthermore, “if there was no policy change, green levies could rise from the current £112 to £194 – or 14 per cent of the typical household bill – by 2020.” Green levies,and their affects on individuals and businesses budget are a modern regressive tax, they are truly unfair, and are the antithesis to what the Liberal Democrats claim to be in favour of: a fair society. As for the other party, good old Labour, well we all know they got us into this mess in the first place and are devoted disciples to the climate change dogma.

Many might be asking, so what if climate change politics cost a little more and enriches some more people? We are still trying saving the planet! And it is undeniable, the vast majority of climate scientists believe global climate change trends are “very likely” due to human activity. Again, I am no scientist, I don’t pretend to be, and I never will be one. I don’t know how much of climate change is man made. But I am pretty sure that the situation is not dire enough to compel our nations to enrich Al Gore, General Electric and England’s wind tubine industry at the expense of your ordinary citizen. Consider our two polar ice caps. In 2007, the BBC, Al Gore and others told us, that by 2013 (yes, last year), the arctic  ice cap would be melted. Interestingly enough, it has expanded and is now larger than it was in 2007, growing 29% in 2012 alone! In Antarctica, sea ice is at a 35 year high. And I don’t mean to poke fun at pious earth savers, but I wish they would known the facts of Antarctic ice levels before they got stranded in the Antarctic ice…in the middle of summer. I am no scientist, but if the ice levels are expanding and not melting with an impending global flood about to kill  us all….well maybe they can spare a few pennies for us poor consumers?

It’s time that when people talk about the weather, they prove Gwendolyn wrong and are actually talking about the weather. Not politics, the weather. Because I am beginning to wonder, is this video truly what the left wants with it’s climate change policy, and not a better planet?

About Ted Yarbrough

Profile photo of Ted Yarbrough
Ted is the co-founder and editor of the Daily Globe. He is a long-time blogger on British politics and has written a thesis on Thatcherism. He is based in Dallas, Texas, USA.

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