Opinion Extra

The bad news will resume

Warnings about cataclysmic warming increase in stridency as evidence of warming becomes more elusive. A recent report from the United Nations Environment Program predicts an enormous 6.3 degrees Fahrenheit increase by the end of the century even if nations fulfill their most ambitious pledges concerning reduction of carbon emissions. The U.S. goal is an 80 percent reduction by 2050. But Steven Hayward of American Enterprise Institute says that would require reducing greenhouse gas emissions to the 1910 level. On a per-capita basis, it would mean emissions approximately equal to those in 1875.

That will not happen. So, we are doomed. So, why try?

America needs a national commission appointed to assess the evidence about climate change. Alarmists will fight this because the first casualty would be the carefully cultivated and media-reinforced myth of consensus - the bald assertion that no reputable scientist doubts the gravity of the crisis, doubt being conclusive evidence of disreputable motives or intellectual qualifications. The president, however, could support such a commission because he is sure "there's finally widespread recognition of the urgency of the challenge before us."

So he announced at the U.N. climate change summit, where he said the threat is so "serious" and "urgent" that unless all nations act "boldly, swiftly and together" - "time ... is running out" - we risk "irreversible catastrophe." Prince Charles agrees. In March, seven months ago, he said humanity had 100 months - until July 2017 - to prevent "catastrophic climate change and the unimaginable horrors that this would bring." Evidently humanity will prevent this.

George Will

The Washington Post