Clinton’s Cap-and-Trade Con

U.S., Pakistani and United Nations officials are not letting Pakistan’s flood crisis go to waste. They are exploiting it for an advantage in the high-stakes climate change debate.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pronounced on Pakistani television that she knew the cause of the flooding: global warming.

“There is a linkage” between warming and this summer’s natural disasters, including the floods, she said.

“You can’t point to any particular disaster and say, ‘it was caused by,’ but we are changing the climate of the world,” she said.

At least she got the first part right. As news organizations have been pointing out, responsible climate scientists, even those who believe that humans are warming the planet with carbon emissions, say it is impossible to link a specific event to climate change.

“While climate scientists say single flooding events can’t be directly blamed on global warming, more intense droughts and floods could be in the forecast for the future,” as Reuters put it earlier this month.

Moreover, the flooding seems to have been caused by other more direct factors. The New York Times reported on Friday, “Debate is heating up over what caused the catastrophe, with experts pointing to deforestation, intensive land-use practices or mismanagement of the Indus River as possible causes.”

That’s The New York Times, citing those famous unnamed “experts,” which the Times uses to imply a widespread scientific agreement. It then juxtaposes the explanations of scientists with those of politicians. “But top U.N. and Pakistani government officials are now clearly pointing to climate change as the principal culprit,” it reported.

Why would the political class be disagreeing with the “experts” on what caused the flooding? The Times had the answer:

[Pakistan’s foreign minister, Makhdoom Shah Mahmood] Qureshi and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon hinted that they would use the Pakistan crisis to spur the now-stalled international climate talks. At the very least, the disaster shows that massive funding is needed to make the developing world more resilient to extreme weather events, Ban said.

If the floods can be blamed on climate change, the U.N. and Pakistan can use the disaster to demand “massive funding.” As with so much of the global warming campaign, it’s all about money.

Then what is Hillary Clinton’s excuse for peddling the link to climate change? That’s easy enough to see. The Obama administration desperately wants to pass a cap-and-trade bill that doesn’t have enough votes in Congress. Successfully linking the floods to global warming would create the impression that Washington has to take drastic — and immediate — measures to reduce America’s carbon output to prevent a future catastrophe here at home, like, say, pass a cap-and-trade bill. If people believe we’re already seeing natural disasters caused by global warming, they will be more supportive of the administration’s effort to give Washington more control over the energy sector.

As usual, the administration is exploiting a crisis for political advantage.

Andrew Cline is editorial page editor of the New Hampshire Union Leader. His Twitter ID is Drewhampshire.

  • Dave Seagraves

    Read the handwriting on the wall, Andrew. Global Warming is a fact. Catastrophic climate changes are the inevitable result. Whether this particular event can be "connected" to global warming or not, it portends the future. It is a shame that you see efforts to stem humanity's deleterious impact on the environment as a political football. It should be everybody's concern, not a matter of political debate. You think it's about the money? We have not begun to see the economic impact of such events as the flooding in Pakistan, as they worsen and spread to the rest of the world. The time to act is past. Every moment we delay with your rhetorical arguments is a billion dollars lost.

    • Buck Rogers

      Dave, I fear you have fallen prey to the hysterical rants of the eco-alarmists. None of you can offer a solution short of throwing money at the problem. That solution is especially problematic in light of the fact that we simply don't have the money to toss down that rathole! All of you are oblivious to the fact that we simply cannot reverse the course of natural events.

    • groovimus

      We just have to laugh at you guys hanging on to this hoax. Polls show the majority in the US have abandoned belief in said hoax. You have lost. Deal with it.

  • Gamaliel Isaac

    The more flooded Pakistan is the fewer American soldiers they can kill in Afghanistan.

  • Buck Rogers

    Last Month I blogged about Clinton and the fact that she has an unusually advantageous position that will enable her to quietly secure the Democratic nomination in 2012.… This is just another screw. She is garnering the far left vote as we speak. Don't forget…I predicted it last month… just watch her go!

  • Kim Bruce

    In my model the World is warming due to climate change but it is not man that is the culprit. It is a part of the natural progression of a planet. The earth heats up, so does mars, venus, saturn and jupiter.
    I believe the sun plays an active role in this but it is much more complicated than just the sun.
    The atmosphere and the oceans play the biggest part. Moisture is mainly to blame and partly CO2 binding with moisture. That also creates rainfall and snowfall.
    CO2 is required for all plant and animal life to exist.
    We have been through warming periods much worse than this, in the past, and man had nothing to do with it. Often the warming period is followed by an ice age.
    I would rather be toasty than frozen, thank you very much.

  • AlexKovnat

    To say that the tragic flood in Pakistan was caused by global warming, is post hoc, ergo der propter hoc (after this, therefore because of this) reasoning. And false! There have been floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, mudslides, and volcanoes long before Henry Ford put the world on wheels with the Model T. To claim that floods in Pakistan were caused by global warming because you don't like the auto industry, is like saying that if a disastrous earthquake were to strike a given area the morning after Lady Gaga performed in that area, said earthquake is evidence of God's wrath against female show business personalities performing in bikinis.

  • USMCSniper

    The Democrats want to force us to live as third world citizens to satisfy the desires of deranged eco-fanatics, one of their favorite nutcase constituencies. The Democrats don;t care that this will drive businesses and jobs out of this country in one of the most egregious hoaxes in history, intended only to give virtually dictatorial power to the government and their subsidized parasites and bilk the American people of trillions of dollars. Cap and trade is a sham, just like the pseudo science behind the underlying hoax. Tell your elected representatives you won't live like they do in the third world.

  • jerrylogan12

    Yes, Deniers, and the sun revolves around the sun, there is no such thing as evolution, and
    e only equals mc. How does it feel to be so willfully ignorant?

  • AlexKovnat

    If global warming is reality, I favor putting a tax on fossil fuels to provide a firm, but flexible incentive to reduce fossil fuel use. If we MUST talk cap and trade, I favor more trade and a less rigid cap.

    BTW if, as a Republican, I were to demand a balanced budget no matter how much or how many people might be hurt, I would be denounced as mean spirited. So why arent those who demand a rigid, inflexible balanced carbon budget also being denounced as mean spirited?

  • joeroman

    She can try to screw America all she wants.But by trying to pick up where Gore left off, continuing to push CAP & TAX. She'll slam the last nail in her partys coffen. Go for it .