‘Citizen’s Guide to Climate Change’ Exposes Activist Falsehoods


Climate change is not a hoax, but as a political matter, it is a perpetual pretext for expanding government control over the economy, redistributing wealth, and empowering unaccountable elites at the expense of voters and their elected representatives. The pretext consists of three falsehoods:

1. Science has determined that climate change is a “planetary emergency”—a rapidly unfolding global catastrophe.

2. A panoply of market-rigging interventionist policies, called “climate solutions” by their proponents, can deliver meaningful climate protection at reasonable cost.

3. Only deluded science deniers or greedy polluters oppose such policies.

In fact, climate change does not endanger the survival of civilization or the habitability of the planet. So-called climate solutions are bureaucratic power grabs and corporate welfare schemes with no detectable climate-related benefits. Opposition to such policies is prudent regardless of one’s views on climate science. Or so I argue in A Citizen’s Guide to Climate Change, a policy paper released today by the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

Confused by the planetary-emergency narrative, some conservatives assume they cannot oppose carbon taxes, cap-and-trade, or the Paris climate treaty unless they deny or doubt industrial civilization’s enhancement of the greenhouse effect. That puts them crosswise with nearly all scientists, which in turn makes them timid in debate and vulnerable to attack as “anti-science.”

CEI’s Citizen’s Guide invites policymakers and the public to consider a realistic alternative to both catastrophism and denialism. Sometimes called “lukewarming,” this perspective uses the scientific method—testing hypotheses against data—to assess climate change risks. Lukewarmers also use economics to assess the costs and risks of climate “solutions.”

Here are the main takeaways:

  • The catastrophe narrative is concocted out of overheated climate models, inflated emission scenarios, political hype, and unjustified pessimism about human adaptive capabilities.
  • The very real costs of climate “solutions” hugely exceed their hypothetical benefits.
  • Citizens have more to fear from the climate agenda than from climate change itself.

To read CEI’s Citizen’s Guide to Climate Change, click here.