(/sites/default/files/uploads/2014/09/140625-iraq-isis-mosul-street-445a_82f23afee3a82a104ef51a50474e30c61.jpg)A Pew Research Center/USA Today survey conducted between Aug. 20 and 24 reveals a startling disconnect between Democrats and the rest of America.
A staggering 68 percent of Democrats consider global climate change a greater threat to the United States than either Al Qaeda at 67 percent, or ISIS at 65 percent. By contrast, 80 percent of Republicans cited Al Qaeda as the principal threat facing the nation, followed by 78 percent citing ISIS, and only 25 percent expressing concern about global climate change. Among Independents, Al Qaeda led the way at 69 percent, followed by ISIS at 63 percent, and global climate change bringing up the rear at 44 percent.
The survey addressed nine categories, including Iran’s nuclear program; China’s emergence as a nuclear power; the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; extremist groups like Al Qaeda; Islamic militant groups like ISIS; North Korea’s nuclear program; growing tension between Russia and her neighbors; the country-to-country speed of infectious diseases; and global climate change.
For Democrats, global climate change was concern Number One. For both Republicans and Independents, it came in dead last.
Such findings should surprise no one. Global climate change has assumed a cult-like status among the American left, one that not only transcends scientific reality, but engenders an unseemly level of rage directed at skeptics, and a monumental level of hypocrisy among its adherents.
The scientific reality has been scarred by politics. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) admits that many of their hypotheses are based on “best guess” assumptions. Yet those best guess assumptions have consistently over-estimated the amount of warming, with predictions far exceeding that which is actually taking place. We are currently in a global warming “pause” that has exceeded 17 years. Yet even if one goes back to 1979, when satellite instruments began to consistently measure temperatures in the Earth’s lower atmosphere, the overall temperature rise has been approximately one-third of one degree Celsius, or approximately one degree Celsius per century. Since 1990, IPCC computer models have predicted at least 2.4 degrees of global warming per century, almost two-and-a-half times the actual amount.
Perhaps such measurements are honest mistakes. Or perhaps not. In 2009, the Climategate scandal revealed scientists at the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit conspired to suppress data that conflicted with their apparently preconceived conclusions. According to Real Science blogger Steven Goddard, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has also been involved data manipulation, replacing real temperature readings with data compiled on computers. And much to Al Gore’s chagrin, the Arctic ice cap he predicted in 2007 could be “gone in summer in as little as seven years,” has now expanded two years in a row by as much as 43 to 62 precent, depending how one measures it.
None of these inconvenient realities (and countless others) are presented to entirely dismiss the notion that global temperatures may be increasing, but rather to demonstrate that among leftists, hysteria and fear-mongering remain an integral part of the climate change debate.
It is hysteria and fear-mongering that demands any skepticism whatsoever must be threatened. Thus when Swedish climatologist Dr. Lennart Bengtsson expressed his own reservations about climate change, his fellow colleagues turned him into a pariah that made it impossible “to conduct my normal work and ….even start to worry about my health and safety,” he said in letter explaining his resignation from a London think tank—not because he questioned global warming, but because he challenged the rate of change demanded by the dogmatists.
On Monday, Robert Kennedy Jr. epitomized the left’s determination to silence the doubters, insisting there should be a law allowing authorities to punish skeptics who are “selling out the public trust,” even as he accused the left’s favorite target, the Koch Brothers, of engaging in climate “treason.” Getting even more hysterical, Kennedy stated that the Kochs should be thrown in “the Hague with all the other war criminals.” Yet when a reporter confronted Kennedy about his own rather large carbon footprint, he became irate and accused her of “destroying democracy,” before stating that he does not believe quality of life should sacrificed for the environment.
The exchange highlights the glaring hypocrisy that animates Kennedy, Al Gore, Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, and a host of other celebrities and politicians more than willing to talk the talk, as they conspicuously avoid walking the walk. Even the 300,000 marchers who took part in New York’s “People’s Climate March” Monday were apparently unconcerned by the tons of non-biodegradable garbage they left behind in their wake. Furthermore, it’s quite easy for jet-setting, yacht-squatting celebrities to pontificate about preserving one’s “lifestyle”—as long as one is willing to ignore the reality that millions of people’s lives depend upon the economic development that requires energy expansion.
In a speech yesterday at the United Nations, President Obama addressed party’s favorite issue, warning the developing nations of the world that, because of global warming, they cannot repeat the “dirty phase” of industrial development. According to a fact sheet from the White House’s Office of the Press Secretary, the president’s initiatives include an “Executive Order on Climate-Resilient International Development, requiring agencies to factor climate-resilience considerations systematically into the U.S. government’s international development work and to promote a similar approach with multilateral entities.”
That didn’t sit particularly well with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), with one insider characterizing such considerations as “an unnecessary hurdle” to leap over during emergencies that require urgency. On Monday the CDC offered up a sobering example of such urgency, predicting that as many as 1.4 million people could be affected by the Ebola outbreak by January of next year.
Furthermore, the multilateral entities to which Obama referred don’t include India and China. Both countries decided to ignore yesterday’s UN Climate Summit, despite being responsible for one-third of the total carbon emissions in 2013. Both nations have little interest in curbing their emissions until the United States and the European Union offer “substantial incentives” for doing so. Their resistance is likely exacerbated by the reality that the Green Climate Fund, established by the UN at the 2010 talks in Cancun to finance green energy projects in Third World nations, has failed to get off the ground. Absent the transfer of wealth from rich nations to developing nations this fund represents, there is little likelihood of either nation jumping on board the “green” bandwagon anytime soon.
In the meantime, Democrats’ “less-urgent” national security priorities have forced the Obama administration’s hand. A bombing campaign was initiated in Syria Monday, driven in large part by the reality that a virtually unknown group of al Qaeda affiliated terrorists called the Khorasan Group “was in the final stages of plans to execute major attacks against Western targets and potentially the U.S. homeland,” according to Lt. Gen. William Mayville, the director of operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff. American officials contend the group, comprised of al Qaeda operatives from the Middle East, South Asia and North Africa, is even more intent on initiating domestic terror attacks than ISIS is. Moreover, they have a special affinity for terrorists plots involving concealed explosives.
ISIS may disagree. In a 42-minute speech released Monday, ISIS spokesman Abu Muhammad Adnani called on Western Muslims to perpetrate domestic attacks in a series of “lone wolf” operations. ”Do not ask for anyone’s advice and do not seek anyone’s verdict,” Adnani said. “Kill the infidel, whether he is civilian or military for they have the same ruling. Both of them are disbelievers.”
One is left to wonder whether Democrat “true believers,” who view global climate change as a greater threat than Islamic terror, are swayed by the possibility of “imminent” domestic terror attacks. Perhaps they need reminding that 9⁄11 was a “two-fer,” as in a terrorist attack that also precipitated an environmental disaster in Lower Manhattan. Nor does it take much of an imagination to envision the “environmental impact” of a “dirty” bomb, or outright nuke, detonated in an American city. It takes even less of an imagination to know how a majority of Americans would view the warped priories of Democrats if Islamic terrorists make good on any of their murderous designs. Perhaps that majority should remember those priorities in November.
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