Fred LaSor: Sleepless on Capitol Hill

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez announced this week her generation is smarter than anyone older than she is. That brought to mind the furor that bubbled over a few months ago as authorities scrambled to stem the swarm of young YouTube viewers who were caught up in the craze of eating Tide pods. Right, congresswoman, sure thing.

But what AOC was really preening about was that her generation was “smart enough” to accept without question the urgency of climate change. She herself wakes up at 3 a.m., she said, to worry about it.

This story broke the same week that we learned Dr. Michael Mann lost his libel suit against Dr. Tim Ball in a court in British Columbia. Ball had questioned the scientific methodology of Mann’s climate research. In addition to losing his long-running suit “with prejudice,” meaning he may not refile it, Mann was ordered to pay Ball’s legal costs.

It was a resounding legal rebuke to the Penn State professor who developed the so-called “hockey stick” graph to demonstrate that temperature records from bristlecone pine tree bark for the period from 1000 to 1890 were flat, while thermometers in the 20th Century showed a steady rise in temperatures. Several scientists pointed out that Mann stopped using tree bark numbers as of 1890, switching to thermometers in settings which could be influenced by cars and factories in urban “hot spots.”

The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change grabbed the hockey stick graph to warn that we faced a climate change crisis. So did Al Gore, who shared a Nobel Prize with the IPCC over the issue.

I have previously written about climate change. I’m not skeptical about it: I am agnostic. I just don’t think we have enough information to know if it is the result of human activity or not, as Gore and the U.N. would have us believe.

I do know Gore and others – including the UN – have made lots of money from the issue. And I do know that AOC and her cohort are convinced climate change is not only a problem, but an existential one, meaning it threatens our very existence. She has declared that we have 12 years left to solve climate change. Her “Green New Deal” called for massive spending and truly questionable policies, like ending air travel and committing the nation to total replacement of electricity generation by renewable sources. Yet Gore and other “climate scolds” travel in private jets and live in huge estates, and the Obamas just bought a mega-mansion on Martha’s Vineyard, only a few feet above the ocean.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee put together a hefty climate proposal during his run for the White House and was the most outspoken of the 22 candidates for the Democratic nomination. But he could not break through 1 percent support from Democrats and he dropped out a couple of weeks ago. His concerns did not resonate with voters.

CNN is organizing a climate change town hall with the Democratic candidates. I predict all will agree it is man-made and call for a massive government intervention. This from the same people who could not fix our healthcare problems.

There is reliable evidence the globe is warming. It has warmed and cooled before over tens of thousands of years, so one may fairly ask why man is the cause now but not in previous millenia. Pointing to Mann’s hockey stick, which he refused to defend in court, does not convince me. Nor does AOC’s 3 a.m. wakefulness. I might believe it if rich people stop buying beachfront property or chartering private jets.

Fred LaSor has been studying climate change — and its believers — for more than a decade. He lives in the Carson Valley.


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