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Debating warming: Heed the alarm or else

May 10. 2014 1:18AM

There is a reason the White House calls the new Climate Action Report an "alarm bell." When alarms ring, we respond without thinking. The Obama administration has sought that response from the American people on many issues. It is why Obama so often says the time for debate is over. It has been the President's take on global warming all along. The science is settled. The debate is over. We must act now.

We are supposed to ignore the discrepancies between the predicted results of global warming and the actual outcomes. Al Gore claimed in "An Inconvenient Truth" that Greenland's melting would cause sea levels to rise by 20 feet "in the near future." A British judge ruled that claim false, noting that such a rise would come "only after, and over, millennia."

Britain's Independent newspaper reported this: "According to Dr David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia, within a few years winter snowfall will become 'a very rare and exciting event.'" That was written 14 years ago.

In 2013, "snow and blizard conditions blanketed the whole of the country" and "caused havoc all over," Britain's Daily Mirror reported.

The new Climate Action Report states that "climate models have become more comprehensive, earlier predictions have largely been confirmed." But The Washington Post questioned that claim, pointing out that "an August 2013 paper in Nature Climate Change concluded that computer models simulated over four times as much warming compared to reality since 1998."

But let's not quibble. Let's assume for the sake of argument that the predictions are all accurate and action is needed now. The question then becomes: What action? The Obama administration has wanted to avoid a debate on this question, too. But it matters immensely.

Subsidizing more Solyndras will not cool the earth. Some policies are more effective than others, and all have tradeoffs. Obama pretends there are no costs, but there are always costs. Do those costs outweigh the benefits?

On the premise that action is required immediately to avoid a crisis, the President wants debate to cease and his plans to be rubber stamped. And why not? It worked so well with Obamacare.

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