Bastasch: Biden Admin determined to keep climate apocalypse fears alive, science be damned

This commentary is by Michael Bastasch, managing editor of the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Something strange just happened in the pages of New York Times’ magazine. They published an eye-opening admission from renowned climate alarmist David Wallace-Wells, titled “Beyond Catastrophe: A New Climate Reality Is Coming Into View.”

What is this intriguing “new reality”? In short, as Wallace-Wells writes, the “worst-case temperature scenarios that recently seemed plausible now look much less so, which is inarguably good news and … a truly underappreciated sign of genuine and world-shaping progress.”

In other words, the apocalypse is canceled.

Now, Wallace-Wells is wrong that these worst-case climate modeling scenarios, collectively called RCP8.5, were ever “plausible” to begin with. They weren’t. RCP8.5’s scary results largely stem from already overheated climate models and highly unlikely projections that global coal use per capita will boom about six-fold.

As Roger Pielke Jr. and Justin Richie noted in a 2021 paper, “[i]n the latest version of the RCP8.5 scenario (SSP5-8.5), coal would even surpass oil and electric vehicles to become the dominant fuel for the world’s cars.” Do you foresee the return of steam engines?

Pielke and Ritchie blame RCP8.5’s unwarranted fixation with coal “to the beginning of the IPCC assessment process in the late 1980s and the influence on its early energy-use projections of flawed reports of virtually unlimited, very inexpensive coal in China and Siberia.”

Back in 2018, climate scientist Pat Michaels noted RCP8.5 “was obsolete when it was first published in the journal Climate Change by Riahi et al. in 2011″ as “the shale gas revolution was underway,” which changed the global energy landscape by allowing fuel-switching from coal to less carbon dioxide-intensive natural gas.

Likewise, Ritchie authored a landmark 2017 study, finding RCP8.5 contained “systematic errors in fossil production” and “should not be a priority for future scientific research or a benchmark for policy studies.”

There are more problems with RCP8.5, but you get the idea. It was never going to happen. Despite this, it became the most commonly used climate scenario used in studies, and its projected nightmare results have dominated news headlines. It even played a central role in the last U.S. National Climate Assessment and served as a basis for its more alarming predictions about future warming.

So, now that even New York Times Magazine is publishing lengthy screeds on why RCP8.5 is unlikely, will climate science and policy finally be rid of the baseless catastrophism that’s plagued it for decades? Will Wallace-Wells’ piece be a final nail in RCP8.5’s coffin? Fat chance! In fact, the Biden administration is still using this discredited climate projection to further its regulatory agenda.

The latest example comes from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which just announced emperor penguins of Antarctica would be listed as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act. This is despite the fact the “emperor penguin is currently in high condition with high resiliency, redundancy, and representation … with no indication that their distribution is presently decreasing,” according to the Biden administration’s own regulatory analysis.

Likewise, the administration reports: “The satellite record over 40 years … reveals that the sea-ice extent in the Southern Ocean is currently within its natural range of variability. Thus, we determined that the emperor penguin is not endangered.”

That’s where RCP8.5 comes in. It, of course, projected the poor penguins would be “near extinction” by the century’s end, and the Biden administration, despite all the evidence, confidently declares this a real possibility. Coal-powered cars are apparently going to be the next big thing!

Now back to reality.

The real reason the Biden administration will continue to use RCP8.5 is simple – it increases its power. Catastrophic climate projections of cities being submerged by sea level rise and mass famine make it easier to justify concentrating more power and money in the hands of federal bureaucrats and the climate industrial complex.

In fact, The Washington Post gave the game away by noting environmental groups hope listing emperor penguins under the ESA will “lead to stricter limits on fishing for krill around Antarctica and compel U.S. officials to weigh the climate implications of federal projects before approving them.”

Now, imagine all the other ways RCP8.5 can be used — and is likely being used right now — to increase the size and scope of the regulatory state over your life, the energy sector and the economy at large.

Ultimately, this is not about science. It’s not even about what’s best for penguins, let alone American citizens. It’s about control. The less normal Americans have, the better for the elites in D.C. and elsewhere who want you to sit down, shut up, and eat your insects.

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Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Gillfoto
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4 thoughts on “Bastasch: Biden Admin determined to keep climate apocalypse fears alive, science be damned

  1. So all the ice cores from both the Arctic and Antarctic show that over hundreds of thousands of years that Temperature always increases BEFORE CO2 levels rise. This means that CO2 is NOT the control knob for the atmosphere. Funny how they always seem to ignore that fact.

    Politicians would rather listen to a screaming bunch of petulant teenagers rather than actual scientists.

  2. Liberals are all about creating fear…it goes back hundreds of years ago to Italian historian, Machiavelli…And the tool they use is Climate Change….but any “change” is miniscule by Man…and almost totally in the hands of Mother Nature. Basically, it is the biggest fraud in human history…AND IT WORKS – YEAR IN AND YEAR OUT! It is how Dems get & keep power….FEAR:

    “Machiavelli’s historical observation that “whoever controls the people’s fears becomes master of their souls.” The formula for achieving such mastery has not changed in millennia: stoke any fear, turn the fear to hate of whomever and whatever you accuse of standing in the way of safety, and make yourself the agent of that hate.

    The formula works when its dynamic embeds itself in the masses’ behavior—even when the master himself is the one to be feared. That is because stampeding humans readily give up their souls and become no more mindful of their own interest than steers. Hence, whoever manages to madden crowds – while directing their hysteria onto his enemies stands to reap power.”

  3. Crisis is to politicians as blood is to vampires.
    – Mussolini stated that Fascism was not an ideology. It was a method, through propaganda, through use of existing and government generated social upheavals and disruptions, to motivate the people to democratically demand centralized control by government to restore order and return civil function to normal. Note Government Generated. If you don’t have a crisis, create one.
    – Rahm Emanuel: “You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”
    In psychology, there’s a term “Hero Complex” describing a pathology where the perpetrator deliberately creates crisis problems, generating the opportunity to be a “hero” by resolving them – like today’s Progressives. Which are anything but capable of resolving them, hence the mess in which we now find ourselves.

  4. Computer models=garbage in/garbage out. All computer “models” contain the individual bias of the programmer. Remember the faulty Ferguson computer model of COVID-19 that started the whole debacle? Just like statistics, computer models can be manipulated to reveal any desired outcome.

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