John R. Smith: Americans refuse to pay much to combat climate change

OPINION: John R. Smith

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As they salivate over the Green New Deal, the left-wing climate outrage machine may be about to follow Wile E. Coyote over the cliff, followed with getting squashed by a boulder. They deserve it.

While that’s happening, the polls show Americans are concerned about global warming, but most are not willing to pay their own money to fight it.

Sure, our climate is changing, but it’s been changing the entire 500,000 years that Homo Sapiens have been on earth. And, any conclusions that such changes are being caused mostly by humans fail to qualify as a scientific law or fact.

At best, it is a hypothesis.

But the point of this column is not to debate causes, because the list of possible culprits is almost countless—sunspot activity and variation in the sun’s energy and solar wind, volcanic eruptions, ocean currents, solar flares and ultraviolet radiation, carbon emissions and carbon dioxide, Earth’s natural processes producing thermal expansion and tectonic plate movements, the greenhouse effect and greenhouse gasses, cooking fires and nitrous oxide, methane production, wind and air masses, wobbles in the earth’s orbit, aerosols from marine plankton. The list goes on and on, while climate research lacks integrity and falls prey to politicized groupthink.

What has become plain in the polls is that the American public is not prepared to pay any price, or bear any burden, to fight global warming. They are not willing to make big personal sacrifices.

A survey by AP-NORC shows that over 2/3 of Americans would not be willing to pay $10 more per month in higher electricity bills if the money was used to battle climate change. A University of Chicago/AP poll found that 57% of those polled would be willing to pay $1 per month to fight climate change but 43% said they would not be “willing to pay anything to deal with climate change”. A Reuters poll showed only 34% of respondents might be willing to pay an extra $100 per year on their taxes (that’s $8.33 per month) to help. Another national survey revealed that 51% of Americans said they are not willing to pay more to get their electricity from renewable sources.

Yes, it seems that when the personal price tag goes up, like paying more taxes or bigger power bills, voters’ support for climate action falls dramatically. They might want their government to do more, but most Americans are not willing for their wallets to take a big hit. Another poll in October 2017 revealed that “If climate policies cost an extra $10 per month, 60% of respondents said they would oppose them”.

The other point that thinking Americans are beginning to understand is that it’s a fool’s game for America to play in the world-wide climate change tournament. It’s a sucker’s game that only a foolish nation would play because it’s rigged so that any one country like America cannot win.

Why? There must be a global mandate for emission reductions. As long as there are countries that do not or cannot abide by the collective mandate, the countries that comply and adhere to the rules will be at a significant disadvantage; their economies will be harmed.

America cannot allow our economic gains to be jeopardized by international greenhouse-gas agreements that other nations do not honor. Examples are the old Kyoto Protocol of the 1990s and the Paris Agreement, from which the U.S. has wisely withdrawn. America would have been disadvantaged and punished by the terms of both agreements because they imposed no meaningful obligations on the world’s polluters. China will be allowed to build hundreds of new coal plants, and other countries would be allowed financial and economic advantages over America. And the Paris Agreement would have imposed “a massive redistribution of U.S. wealth to other countries”, in return for a reduction of only 2/10 of one degree Celsius by year 2100.

So, this “climate change” stuff could very well be a trap in plain sight for Democrats. Their wiser course is to move cautiously with their apocalyptic prophecies and 12-year doomsday predictions. But I suspect they will meet the same fate as Wile E. Coyote.

Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of BizPac Review.

John R. Smith

John R. Smith is chairman of BIZPAC, the Business Political Action Committee of Palm Beach County, and owner of a financial services company. He is a frequent columnist for BizPac Review.
John R. Smith

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