By Rob Roper
There is a great Seinfeld episode in which character George Costanza dates a woman who habitually covers up elements of her stories by saying “yada, yada, yada,” a practice which George adopts himself to avoid mentioning embarrassing details of his departed fiancé’s death. “Well, we were engaged to be married, uh, we bought the wedding invitations, and, uh, yada yada yada, I’m still single.” I’m beginning to think advocates of a carbon tax in Vermont have seen this episode.
Three articles in just this past week (two op-eds and one news piece) involve advocates bringing up the horror stories of what climate change will do to Vermont both economically and environmentally. Steve Gagliardone writes, “The biggest storms are getting bigger. The largest annual storms in Vermont now produce 35 percent more precipitation, on average, than they did 65 years ago. Those storms cost lives, they cost our economy, and those most affected are the poorest among us.”
Rep. Mollie Burke, P-Brattleboro, opines, “I also worry about the impact [of climate change] on the Vermont economy, so dependent on the ski industry. Our small stated relies heavily on tourist dollars to fund the basic functions of government. As a Vermont state legislator, I feel especially tuned to this economic reality. A bad ski season (like this year’s February rains) makes a big difference in our revenues, and carries the possibility of cuts in all the services we provide. The same holds true for foliage season, and maple sugaring time.”
In that same vein, in an article titled “Climate change viewed as serious threat to ski industry,” Elizabeth Burakowski warned that what’s at stake “is more than just an important industry in the Northeast. An entire wintertime culture, shared by families over generations, also is at risk.”
What should we do? Pass a carbon tax on Vermonters.
The story goes like this: Climate change will wreck the ski industry, foliage season, the maple sugar business and cause general weather-related devastation and, uh, yada, yada, yada … let’s pass a carbon tax.
What embarrassing details are these advocates yada, yada-ing away? The fact that neither a carbon tax in Vermont, nor any climate change policies at the state level — nor any current proposals on a global scale — will have any impact whatsoever on the future of any of these industries or future weather events. To imply so is fraudulent.
Dr. Bjorn Lomborg of the Copenhagen Consensus Center estimates, “Even if we assume that these promises [the Paris Climate Accord] would be extended for another 70 years, there is still little impact: if every nation fulfills every promise by 2030, and continues to fulfill these promises faithfully until the end of the century, and there is no ‘CO₂ leakage’ to non-committed nations, the entirety of the Paris promises will reduce temperature rises by just 0.17°C (0.306°F) by 2100.”
If you accept the temperature projections of the climate alarmists (for argument’s sake here we will), even the most draconian “solutions” they offer will not have enough of an impact to “save” Vermont winters. Stating or implying that passing a carbon tax or transitioning to 90 percent renewable energy by 2050 — or whatever the green cause du jour is — will in any way help accomplish these goals is not remotely true. What these folks are actually advocating is that Vermonters live with both the natural impacts of climate change plus the self-inflicted economic wounds of useless climate change policies. And, with sad irony, these policies would leave Vermonters with fewer resources available to actually adapt to a changing climate.
How can these carbon tax advocates look themselves in the mirror every morning when pushing this colossal fraud on 625,000 friends and neighbors? It recalls another George Costanza quote: “It’s not a lie if you believe it.”