President Obama and Big Green environmentalists have failed in recent years to convince the American people that global warming is a serious problem requiring draconian regulation, skyrocketing electricity costs for consumers, and lowered expectations of future prosperity and economic opportunity. So they are now trying to use scare tactics to get their way. It's not a pretty sight, at least for those who think public policy should be based on facts rather than fear. To illustrate, the two following paragraphs cannot both be true.
The first paragraph is from Obama's National Climate Assessment report: “Summers are longer and hotter, and extended periods of unusual heat last longer than any living American has ever experienced. Winters are generally shorter and warmer. Rain comes in heavier downpours. People are seeing changes in the length and severity of seasonal allergies, the plant varieties that thrive in their gardens, and the kinds of birds they see in any particular month in their neighborhood.” This is all allegedly caused by burning fossil fuels - oil, natural gas and coal - which injects carbon into the atmosphere, trapping more heat, thus causing global warming.
Compare the preceding paragraph with this October 2013 statement by the SI Organization, a private-sector technology firm that provides the U.S. Air Force and other defense and national intelligence agencies with worldwide daily and long-range weather forecasting:
“There have been many forecasts in the news in recent years predicting more and more extreme weather-related events in the U.S., but for 2013 that prediction has been way off the mark. Whether you’re talking about tornadoes, wildfires, extreme heat or hurricanes, the good news is that weather-related disasters in the U.S. are all way down this year compared to recent years and, in some cases, down to historically low levels.”
Granted, the SI Organization paragraph focused specifically on 2013, but it was derived from years of historical data. A look at that data on the annual number of days of 100+ degree temperatures presents a dramatically different picture from the alarming scenario put forth by the Obama report.
According to data compiled by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the five summers with the most super-hot days occurred in 1936, 1934, 1954, 1980 and 1930. Note that none of those years occurred during the last three decades.
The historical data presents a similar contrast on other extreme weather measures, especially tornadoes and hurricanes. There were 943 tornadoes in 2013, which was way too many for anybody caught in one of them. Still, that’s the lowest number since 2002. And Obama's report claims that “risks associated with extreme weather events like hurricanes are increasing.” In fact, according to Professor Roger Pielke of the University of Colorado’s Center for Science and Technology Policy Research, hurricane incidence in the U.S. has decreased 25 percent since 1900.
The politicians and Big Green activists have a self-aggrandizing agenda that would give them far more control over where and how people live, work and play. Using fear to gain government power over people is the essence of demagoguery.