Via the Corner, a reminder that, along with everything else, the hole in the ozone layer is Emmanuel Goldstein’s fault. The clip’s long but all you really need to watch of this latest Koch binge by Dingy Harry are the first few minutes, where he insists that his least favorite “multizillionaires” are one of the main causes of climate change. True or false? The Free Beacon has an enjoyable “fact check” of that, but I’d add a bit more. Just for starters, note that his source for the shtick about tornadoes in Arkansas at the beginning isn’t a climate scientist but, um, Mark Pryor. There’s a reason for that: Even the White House’s new study of climate change released yesterday admits that “the effect of climate change on the intensity or frequency of tornadoes is uncertain, and scientists are unsure whether climate change has played a role in recent erratic patterns of tornado activity.” From the very start here, he’s pushing conjecture in place of actual science.
As to his chief point, that the Kochs are “one of the main causes” of climate change, it’s certainly true that they’re a big polluter. Lots of industrialists are. According to this “toxic score” ranking of U.S. companies, they had the most “toxic air releases” for the year in question but ranked 14th in their “toxic score.” Safe to call them a “main cause” of climate change globally, then? Before you say yes, eyeball this international ranking of emissions by industrial companies first. Only two of the top 15 are based in the U.S.; the top four are all Chinese and were pumping out massive amounts of carbon as of 2009. The carbon footprint of the dirtiest Chinese company, though, would still account for less than seven percent of the total carbon footprint of the U.S. All of which is to say, if you’re serious about man-made climate change — which Reid, per his grasp of Arkansas tornadoes, is not — and eager to reduce carbon emissions by a meaningful amount, it’s not just goofy but highly counterproductive to go around calling any one company or its owners a “main cause.” The point that serious warmists are forever making is that this is a massive collective action problem, requiring cooperation from every major industry in every industrial country. To present it as something capable of a quick fix, by targeting one key polluter, only makes it harder to muster that collective action; Koch could go out of business tomorrow and barely anything would change. Reid doesn’t care about that, though. This is, as always, simply an opportunity for tinpot demagoguery, giving liberals a boogeyman to vote against this fall. He’s doing his ostensible cause here a great disservice by framing it this way, but whatever. Enjoy this, warmists.