Guest essay by Larry Hamlin
The Orange County Register ran a great article written by columnist Susan Shelley addressing ironic comments made by former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger who created the state’s AB 32 Global Warming Solution Act saying that people have “tuned out” the climate change activism movement because it is “stuck in despair and confusion.”
Her column addresses the climate alarmism politics that have taken over and flooded the public air waves and press articles that parrot endless doom and gloom pushing the global wide climate alarmist campaign.
She notes the following key climate activist schemes:
“The wild exaggerations of climate doomsayers have been called out by longtime environmental activist Michael Shellenberger in a 2020 book titled, “Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All.” In the introduction, he describes himself as “fed up with the exaggeration, alarmism, and extremism that are the enemy of a positive, humanistic, and rational environmentalism.”
“Let’s just say there’s a lot of money to be made in “grassroots” fundraising for causes that align with the business interests of various players in the energy sector of the economy. On all sides.”
“Who gets that money and on what is it spent? These are questions that are rarely asked and even more rarely answered. Climate alarmism facilitates the movement of billions of dollars from one set of pockets to another, and there is no evidence anywhere that this policy of wealth transfer is doing anything to affect the climate.”
Her article then exposes the complete uselessness of these schemes in actually doing anything that impact climate change as follows:
“Yet it’s all sold to the public as “doing something” to stop climate change.
In 2006, then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed AB 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act, which committed the state to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The law put the California Air Resources Board in charge of figuring out how to do this, and CARB came up with a cap-and-trade program that essentially requires utilities, refineries and manufacturers to pay an extra fee for operating. The cap-and-trade program operates like a tax. It increases the cost of gasoline, diesel fuel, electricity and heat, and it raises the price of everything that’s made or moved in California, where the high cost of living has contributed to the highest poverty rate in the nation, according to the Census Bureau.
What has it done for the climate?
Meanwhile, the mandate to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in California has affected decision-making on everything from road repair to housing construction. Driving is considered an “impact” that increases GHG emissions, so your gas taxes are being used to build bike lanes, and new housing construction in outlying areas, where homes would be more affordable, is virtually banned. That’s why state lawmakers are attempting to force high-density housing into existing single-family neighborhoods; the old pattern of expanding the suburbs to new areas where young families can happily buy homes is considered bad for the climate. So young people are told the world is ending, and then they can’t afford to live anyway.”
She then challenges the legitimacy of how the climate alarmism campaign is being pursued and suggests that Arnold Schwarzenegger is right to want to put a stop to the endless and useless message of despair promoted by alarmists.
“With his signature on AB 32 and his advocacy of useless climate policies, Arnold Schwarzenegger did more than anyone to cause California’s housing crisis, high energy costs and high poverty rate.
Now he says it’s time to stop depressing the public.
Maybe it’s time to stop manipulating public opinion and open up a new debate about the cost, effectiveness and unintended consequences of the policies he has promoted.”
The GWPF has also chosen to address Ms. Shelley’s article as noted below.