Much of the Hot Air Is Coming From Washington
A Commentary By Stephen Moore
Baby, it's hot outside.
Right on cue, a New York Times headline links this surge in temperatures to "climate change."
Temperatures have climbed to well over 100 F in Las Vegas, Arizona, much of Texas, and New Mexico in recent weeks. In Phoenix, the heat wave is the worst since 1974.
Is The New York Times right? Is this climate change? Of course, yes. The climate on Earth has been changing since the Big Bang created this giant rock orbiting the sun.
We had multiple ice ages and heat waves long before we had coal mines, gas-guzzling automobiles and air conditioning. Or human-made CO2 emissions. Or human-made anything. The biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions has been Mother Nature.
Forest fires and volcano eruptions have been some of the leading causes of greenhouse gases being released into the atmosphere. The forest fires in California last year and Canada this summer have undone almost all the "progress" in reducing carbon emissions from the green energy fad. Instead of outlawing cars, how about better forest management?
You've probably heard some of the preposterous scaremongering from politicians and the media. CNN declared in big, bold letters that "global temperatures are likely highest in at least 100,000 years."
According to whom? "One scientist told CNN." Gee, that sounds authoritative.
Yet other major news outlets, including the Washington Post "fact-checkers," assured us this was true.
Huh? Does any sane person think anyone has scientifically reliable daily temperature data from 1,000 years ago, let alone 100,000 years ago? Is it really beyond doubt that the temperature this summer is hotter than in, say, July 90,000 B.C.?
One of my favorite climate change "fact-checkers," Steve Milloy, who runs the blog JunkScience, has noted in a brilliant rebuttal that "reliable satellite temperature data for the planet didn't even exist a century ago."
But what we do know well is that the planetary temperature over the past 25 years shows no trend line toward extreme heat waves despite this year's scorcher.
Then, if we look at the thermostat data climate researchers at the Heartland Institute have documented, the famous heat wave of the mid-1930s was at least on par with the current surge in temperatures and probably worse.
This begs the question: Was the 1930s heat blast due to "human-made climate change," too?
That would be a virtual impossibility. The yearslong oppressive heat blasts during the Great Depression happened before 90% of the global CO2 emissions were belched into the Earth's atmosphere.
We also know that death rates from extreme weather conditions have rarely, if ever, been lower than they are today.
That's because what is different now than at any other time in history is we have refrigeration and air conditioning and cars and airplanes (to take us north during the summertime). Those on the Left have everything upside down. They think it's cars and planes and air conditioners and fossil fuels that are heating the planet. Wrong -- these are the things that keep us cool, even when the thermostat hits 112 in Tucson.
Stephen Moore is a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation and a co-founder of the Committee to Unleash Prosperity. His latest book is "Govzilla: How the Relentless Growth of Government Is Devouring Our Economy."
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