In that article there are two videos, both with Katie Couric doing the questioning of Ted Cruz and Carly Fiorina. Notice what she does. She keeps trying to get Cruz and Fiorina to admit that Global Warming (OK you can call it Climate Change if you want to) is a hoax, fraudulent science. They both probably believe that and Cruz comes closest to admitting that, yet he says over and over that we ought to follow the data. But Couric, being the Left Wing ideologue that she is, is out to brand them both as DENIERS!!! When she can’t do that she is totally frustrated.
As soon as you admit that you do not accept the conclusions of those who blame humans for changes in the climate, the Left wants to trash you. In fact they take great pleasure in making you feel like a low life. But Cruz and especially Fiorina won’t let Couric do that. Fiorina talks about innovation and whether any drastic remedies from the Left will actually do anything. If they don’t and they hurt the economy and people’s livelihood then maybe we ought to be taking a different tack or exploring other means to solve the problem. This drives Couric insane as she can’t proudly vanquish her Denier opponents.
In the political battles over climate change, there are three distinct and relevant questions. First, does mankind have a material effect on the Earth’s climate? Second, if mankind does impact the climate, is that impact harmful? And third, if we assume that mankind is harming the environment, will any given American policy or collection of policies have a meaningful beneficial impact? So far, the conservative movement has mainly pushed back on the “scientific consensus” related to the first question — the extent of human influence over the Earth’s climate. To see a textbook example, watch Ted Cruz’s recent interview with Katie Couric earlier this year, when he confronted her with the miserable recent history of environmentalist predictions:
Make no mistake, that pushback has worked. Earlier this year, Scientific American lamented that while 87 percent of scientists believe that “climate change is mostly due to human activity,” only 50 percent of Americans agree, with the differences falling along ideological lines. Yet the danger of the 50–50 split is obvious — as with so many issues in our polarized times, it’s extraordinarily difficult to create a coalition sufficiently strong to stop ideologues from destroying American industries, raising utility bills, and throwing away billions of dollars in unproductive quests for “renewable” alternatives to efficient and powerful fossil fuels.
But is there a path to consensus in the third key political question, whether climate-change regulations will have any meaningful impact on the climate? Climate-change activists constantly say that “we have to start somewhere.” But what if in fact we’re starting nowhere? What if we’re asking Americans to sacrifice to no purpose? What if America can’t stop climate change?
That’s Carly Fiorina’s argument, and it may represent the best, and most easily defensible, path forward to consensus. Here she is, like Ted Cruz, making her case to Katie Couric:
The short version of Fiorina’s argument is this: If the scientific consensus is that man-made climate change is real, there is also consensus that America, acting alone, cannot stop it. Indeed, the Chinese are only too happy to watch us constrict our economy as they capture the market in clean coal.
California enacts regulations that will make no difference in global climate. The Obama administration enacts regulations that will make no difference in global climate. Yet Americans are asked to pay the price for — to take one example — climate regulations that, by 2030, would only save the world the equivalent of slightly over 13 days of Chinese emissions. We’ve already been made to pay the price for the veto of the Keystone XL Pipeline when even the State Department declared that it would have “negligible impact” on the environment.
The Left doesn’t seriously dispute the notion that American regulations aren’t going to save the planet, but they justify the demand for American sacrifice by essentially ascribing a mystical power to our national policies — as if our decision to fall on our own sword will so move India and China and the rest of the developing world (which has a lot of fossil fuels left to burn to lift its people out of poverty) that they’ll essentially have their own “come to Jesus” movement in defiance of national interest and centuries of national political culture. “America leads,” they proclaim. “The world laughs,” is the proper response.
Nations, as the saying goes, do not have friends, only interests. Our geopolitical competitors will not sacrifice their strategic interests for the sake of combating global warming. Nor will developing nations sacrifice their economies, or their people’s lives, by restraining their own economic growth.
Americans have proven time and again that they’re willing to sacrifice — if convinced that their sacrifice has a purpose, that it accomplishes an objective. There’s certainly room for Cruz’s climate-change skepticism in the national debate, but there just may be more room for Fiorina’s economic, scientific, and geopolitical realism. The Left is asking America to sacrifice for nothing — for no true economic benefit, no true climate benefit, and no true or meaningful “global leadership.” That’s a bad deal even for those who believe in man-made climate change, yet that’s the “deal” the Left demands.