Last Updated:October 21 @ 05:59 pm

Harsanyi: On the Environment, the Alarmists Are Still Losing

By David Harsanyi

All that money. All that effort. All the sermonizing and bloodcurdling imagery and still, Americans don't seem to be evolving quickly enough on the environment.

A new poll by Pew Research Center, for instance, finds that a wide majority of Americans support building the Keystone XL pipeline, which would transport Canadian oil to refineries in Texas. Sixty-six percent of Americans favor finishing the pipeline, with only 23 percent in opposition. Strong support cuts through every political distinction -- other than "liberal" Democrats.

The Obama administration, which likes to count every organism that's even tangentially connected to a clean-energy project as a "green job," has dismissed the job-producing prospects of the long-delayed pipeline as overblown. Perhaps. But cheap and abundant energy certainly helps save and/or create more jobs than any stimulus that was dreamed up in Washington.

Nearly half of Americans also support the increase use of fracking -- a major innovation in productivity that helps protect the environment. This is a remarkable percentage when you consider the widespread scaremongering we've witnessed on the issue.

Global warming? According to Pew, 69 percent of Americans say there is solid evidence that the earth's average temperature has been getting warmer over the past few decades. But you'll notice something more interesting when you break the numbers down.

Among those who see the irrefutable scientific evidence of global temperatures rising, only 42 percent believe that most of it should be attributed to human activity. In fact, when you break it down, 23 percent of Americans believe that natural patterns in the earth's environment are heating the earth, and another 27 percent don't believe there is any solid evidence of warming at all. The more appropriate question would be: Do you believe in man-made global warming? The answer: Less than half of Americans would say yes. That, even after the unrelenting cultural, educational and political bombardment we've all had to endure on the topic.

And though 33 percent of Americans believe that global warming is a "very serious" problem, that number has declined by 6 points since October 2012.

The crusade to convince us that global warming can only be dealt with by wealth destruction and higher energy prices began with an effort to "raise awareness," which turned into some delicate nanny-state prodding before efforts to artificially inflate prices. You might remember that cap-and-trade legislation was a top priority for the president. The administration employed a number of extremists -- from science czar Dr. John Holdren, who once advocated for mass sterilizations, to Energy Secretary Steven Chu, who once advocated raising gas prices to match those in Europe -- to press the case.

What's next? Shame. Those who don't buy the apocalyptic plotline are, at worst, deniers -- with all the immorality that signifies -- or, at best, quacks. Take a recent survey from lefty pollsters at Public Policy Polling of 20 "widespread and/or infamous conspiracy theories." It found that 6 percent of voters believe Osama bin Laden is still alive, 7 percent of voters think the moon landing was faked, 5 percent of voters believe that Paul McCartney actually died in 1966, and so on.

The survey also found that 37 percent of voters believe global warming is a hoax and 51 percent do not, as if ridiculous conspiracies, easily disprovable, were the same as a theory that has been overhyped and manipulated for political ends. Americans may be "evolving" on so many fronts, but the issue of energy is less open to emotional appeals and pandering. Progressives, then, still have their work cut out for them.

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David Harsanyi is editor of Human Events and the author of "Obama's Four Horsemen: The Disasters Unleashed by Obama's Reelection." Follow him on Twitter @davidharsanyi. To find out more about David Harsanyi and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2013 CREATORS.COM

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3 Comments

  1. makesenseComment by makesense
    April 5, 2013 @ 9:24 am

    Those who believe in Climate Change do not believe the environmetalists are pushing the right solutions. The biggest solution is off the table…. nuclear power plants which emits no CO2 gases. Only two new reactors are being built today in the US. Twenty five of those existing 104 plants are going to be closed down in the next ten years. Obama is pushing to close down coal plants via the EPA regulations. Where are we going to get the power to support our consumption? Hundreds of thousands of windmills and solar panels will not support all our electrical usage today…..

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    • middlegroundComment by middleground
      April 5, 2013 @ 11:16 am

      Long before this president used the mask of “saving the planet by preventing global warming” we knew fusion power, not fission would be the energy source of the 22nd century. So why are we cutting back on funding for the international consortium on fusion and attacking domestic fossil fuel use? To me the answer is that our political campaigns are awash in special interest money from China, OPEC, organized labor and our nation’s enemies. Why spend money on an army, when a billion or two can buy you people who will do what you want?

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  2. mysticComment by mystic
    April 5, 2013 @ 3:23 pm

    How else will we, American’s, understand how the 3rd world population lives unless Obama creates it for us? Answer is, He can’t. So, out with the evil fossil fuels and coal energies that we’ve literally built our Nation and it’s wealth upon. Up comes wind (untested and worse for the environment) solar (to expensive to mass produce enough energy nation wide to make it readily consumable) and hydro (which is almost always stopped by the ‘save the three spotted sardine’ groupies out there.) And yet, our dear deluded President continues on in rhetoric we all know to be hog wash.

    Why? why is he pushing so hard on a topic that science and anyone with two brain cells to rub together can understand? Because he has goal. That goal? To turn us into those hard 3rd world nations the he himself was brought up in. To ‘feel’ their pain as it were. To bring about his social justice so we can be ‘just like everyone else’. A bit childish? Perhaps. A bit tantrum laden and hate filled for a nation that has always excelled regardless the challenge? Maybe. Feeling all powerful over a nation that has fought from it’s inception those who would bring us low? Oh you betcha!

    He can put all the lipservice he wants to his ever dwindling socialist groupies…he can bloviate all he wants on what he thinks is best for our nation…. the mass populace…they are catching on…and ‘they’ are not happy.

    ~M

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