The debate over climate change, as with seemingly every other debate, has had its terms set by none other than the Democrat party. A common theme, which is rarely discussed, and similarly seldom challenged. I started writing an article pointing out the specific differences between the left and the right, regarding climate change, when I stumbled across the most eye-opening fact. The left has successfully constructed the argument for both sides.
How does a debate usually unfold, between opposing sides, when discussing climate change? It tends to go something like this:
(For the sake of “equality”, I will give equally satirical names to each subject involved in this example)
Climate Justice Warrior: Where do you stand on climate change?
Climate Denial Specialist: The Paris Climate Accord is global redistribution of wealth, at its finest.
CJW: Oh okay, so you’re one of those, who doesn't believe in science, huh?
CDS: First of all, I do “believe” in provable science…
CJW: Then what’s your problem? Over 90% of scientists agree that we are causing significant change to the climate, via our carbon emissions.
CDS: That “90%” statistic has been debunked. Scientists on both sides have presented evidence and counter-evidence. Most of the doomsday scenario-type information being pushed, is coming from forecasting, rather than historical fact.
CJW: Everybody knows the climate is heating up, just look at the series of tropical storms over the last couple of months. CNN had a member of Congress the other day, talking about how our warming oceans fed into the strength of the storms. How can you deny that? How can you ignore the devastation those storms caused, unless you are completely heartless?
I could continue to draw out this conversation, but I believe I’ve made my point. The left successfully frames the argument in such a way, that one side is the “compassionate” side, and the other is simply devoid of compassion. This is brilliant, because the “compassionate” side does not actually have to be right! This turns the discussion into a “caring” versus “non-caring” argument. You “care” if you side with the left, and you don’t care if you take any position other than theirs. There is simply no room for skepticism over the “science,” which has been suspect at times. We cannot get by with the idea that there are other ways of dealing with problems, outside of shackling individuals with regulation.
This is where conservatives need to fight back, and stay on point. There has not been much debate over whether climate change is real or not. It is being talked about, but true debate is not taking place. The left laughs at the right, claiming we are all science-hating Neanderthals. Take the time to openly discuss the issue with a lot of intellectually honest conservatives, and you will find a much more robust conversation.
Looking at all of the historical data, current numbers, and the forecasting models, there is little doubt in my mind that humans are affecting the environment. The certainty of how much, is much more difficult to discern. With the idea that we are doing “something” to the climate, I believe that it is in our best interest to do “something” about it. Does that sound like a position totally lacking compassion? I don’t really care if it does, but I personally believe there is some there. What do we do about it? Here is where conservatives can throttle the left.
The left believes entering into worldwide overarching regulatory agreements, with absolutely zero binding terms, will pull earth out of its nosedive toward climate-induced apocalypse. Furthermore, they believe any attempts to move in any other direction is “against” humanity itself. And we (conservatives) are the crazy ones? They believe that America should “lead” by significantly reducing our carbon emissions, which will hurt our economy, but will show the world how serious we are about “fixing” the earth. This allegedly will lead to other countries lining up to do the same… Once they have successfully “caught up” to where the U.S. is economically. After all, it isn’t fair that the U.S. rode the wave of unregulated carbon emissions to greatness, and then shuts off the rest of the world’s ability to do the same. Then we can regulate the world’s energy consumption together, forever! Soon after we will all gather, at the exact same time, join hands, light culturally neutral incense, and sing Kumbaya.
The conservative response should be a stern rebuke of the unrealistic pipe dream of the left. The fact is we do not know exactly how much we are affecting the earth’s climate, what (if anything) we can do to fix it, or how the climate will react going forward. We have hypotheses galore, but no concrete sureties. However, we should not sit around, and do nothing. We should let the innovators innovate, the inventors invent, and let the power of the free market open the door to cleaner energy, as well as increase the efficiency of the machines which use various forms of energy. The government should not be stepping in, and demanding that individuals and businesses consume the way it sees fit. If the scientific community cannot agree on the science, then the government is at least a light-year away from being able to discern the most efficient way to handle the situation. The only thing the government is good for is ramming a single-minded approach down its citizens’ throats, at a much higher premium than a similar private-sector entity would. As for the rest of the world; who are we to decide how our competitors consume energy?
The bottom line is there is a fundamental divide between the right and the left, in regards to climate change. It is the age old fight between forcing change via government mandate, and allowing citizens to make their own decisions, for better or worse. There is much less disagreement over the existence of climate change, in general. Conservatives can maintain skepticism over the degree of man-made climate change, while taking a hard stance on what a free society should do to change it. If people really want to move toward cleaner, more efficient energy consumption, freedom will ensure the most efficient and consumer-friendly path toward that goal. By the way, that is not the non-compassionate way to look at the situation. That is the traditional American way to handle this issue.