Tom Harris: "McCarthy’s ‘moral’ programs not the solution to pollution."

ICSC Executive Director Tom Harris replies to an opinion piece by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) head Gina McCarthy.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) head Gina McCarthy wrote that we have a “moral obligation to prevent climate impacts that threaten God’s creation, especially for those most vulnerable.” (“Obama officials: Power plant rule part of a ‘moral obligation,’” July 13.) But we also have a moral obligation to use our God-given brains to think rationally about the issue.

It is clearly irrational for McCarthy to focus most of her agency’s climate-related programs on vainly trying to stop climate change, something that has been happening since the origin of the atmosphere, billions of years ago.

It is clearly irrational, indeed immoral, for the EPA administrator to encourage a situation in which, of the $1 billion spent globally every day on climate finance, only 6 percent of it is dedicated to helping vulnerable people adapt to climate change today. The rest is wasted trying to stop phenomena that McCarthy wants us to believe will someday happen if we don’t follow the steps she proposes.

It is both irrational and immoral that, because of the climate scare, 6.5 percent of the world’s grain now goes to fuel instead of food, causing food price spikes in the developing world.

It is stupid and unethical that 1.2 billion people still lack access to electricity even though their nations have plentiful fossil fuel resources. People like McCarthy make it far more difficult for poor countries to get the money they need to develop these sources.

It is a tragedy that millions of birds and bats die each year in collisions with industrial wind turbines, massive machines built to supposedly stop climate change. Even more serious are the ruined lives of hundreds of thousands of people who are subjected to 60-story turbines erected close to their homes.

Or how about the hard-working Americans who will lose their jobs as coal, the most important source of electricity in the U.S., is rapidly phased out, electricity rates soar and companies close down or relocate overseas?

Finally, it is clearly irrational — indeed inexcusable — for McCarthy to refer to carbon dioxide emissions as “carbon pollution.” Besides the fact that CO2 is no more “carbon” than are any other of the thousands of compounds that contain carbon, CO2 is a benign, colorless, odorless gas on which all plant life depends, the very opposite of pollution.

Yes, Ms. Administrator, climate change is a moral issue. But you and your allies are the cause of many of these ethical tragedies.