With extreme weather events occurring on a regular basis in recent years, it comes as no surprise to hear politicians attempt to use climate change as a political rallying point. There’ s nothing like a good dose of hyperbole and hysteria to rally the masses.

Convince enough people that their safety is in the hands of lawmakers and pretty soon you end up with babbling politicians promising to swoop in and save the planet. Trillions of tax dollars required, of course.

Journalists may be the only group more willing than politicians to exploit fear and unease among the public. The result is that we’ve become obsessed with extreme weather. Do we need to watch a half dozen television reporters, positioned at various points along the East Coast, standing knee deep in water, with trees whipping and waves smacking in the background? No, but we can’t help but to look, in much the same way we rubber-neck while passing an accident scene.

There’s something compelling about watching major storms unfold. The drama of it resonates with something deep within the human spirit, no matter if it’s hurricanes, floods, or blizzards. Politicians know this.

Now that we’re in the middle of hurricane season, as well as the middle of presidential primary campaign season, the likes of Hurricane Dorian won’t be the only source of hot air in coming weeks.

There is truly a lot of hysteria surrounding our changing climate, and, yes, a lot of it emanates from politicians, and a lot of their propaganda is spread by journalists. We’ve heard the ridiculous pronouncements. Foremost is that the world will end in 12 years if we don’t take action—NOW! Foolish talk such as that does nothing but undermine legitimate science. It demonstrates quite clearly the folly of politicians masquerading as experts, particularly former bartenders and first-year congressmen.

Keep this in mind when you hear the next politician invoking climate change into campaign rallies: There is a clear connection between climate change zealots and socialists. The Green New Deal and its absurd transformation of society is nothing but a blueprint for a new America where capitalism is shoved aside for socialism.

Climate change zealotry and socialism actually have a lot in common. Both see government as the means to an end—whether it’s environmental nirvana or a utopian society. Significantly, however, both seek to quash dissenting voices. Silence the naysayers and the path becomes clearer for both socialists and environmental zealots.

Also of significance is that both require massive amounts of tax dollars. We’ll hear about how new taxes, especially ones designed to reduce our carbon footprint, will subsidize the federal programs needed for our green transformation. It’ll pay for itself, we’ll hear. Never trust a politician who says a new program will be self-sufficient. It’s an old scam.

Yes, the climate is changing. A lot of data indicates as much, including from several government agencies, such as NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey. Each has dedicated websites to climate change and the need to educate the public. On the other end of the spectrum is the reluctance to trust government information. There is no group of people more adept at, and more dedicated to, justifying their existence than the participants in the endless web of our federal bureaucracy.  

Two fundamental questions emerge from the topic. One is how much of the change in climate is man-made; and two, how much can be reversed, if any. The consensus is that climate change, at least most of it, has been caused by mankind, particularly since the Industrial Revolution of the late 1800s. As far as how much can be reversed, or at least abated, there seems to be a lot of empty talk but few practical solutions.

One of the wisest moves by the Trump administration was to exit the Paris Agreement on climate change. It was a sucker’s bet, slated for the U.S. to commit billions of dollars for minimal gain. That much is well documented. It’s one thing to offer solutions to a perceived problem but throwing money at it with little gain is the very definition of wasteful government bureaucracy.

Alas, there are global warming skeptics among scientists and others whose careers involve studying climate. Climate change zealots refer to skeptics as “deniers” as if refusing to adhere to the supposedly rigid truth of climate change is to deny the obvious.

Over five years ago, the late Charles Krauthammer wrote a column titled, “The myth of ‘settled science’,” in which he chastised former president Barack Obama for referring to the “settled science” of climate change. It’s worth looking up.

Also, the website www.climatechange.procon.org offers information on both sides of the issue.

This column has previously mentioned the work of meteorologist Joe Bastardi. His book, “The Climate Chronicles: Inconvenient Revelations You Won't Hear from Al Gore—and Others,” casts a skeptical eye toward climate change hysteria.

Also prominent among those who debunk much of the science behind climate change are John Christy and Roy Spencer, professors at the University of Alabama-Huntsville. Both have written extensively on the topic.

The primary takeaway from climate change information is to rely on sources other than the rabble-rousers whose ultimate goal is to transform American society in the name of saving the earth.

 Larry Cothren is a former newspaper and magazine editor who currently teaches marketing at the high school level.

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