Climate change issue comments spark discussion

Published 4:47 pm Friday, September 25, 2015

Some readers were concerned with my position on the issue of climate change. Their comments expressed fear that we are destroying our planet by burning coal and gas and that we should do more to move to the use of more wind and solar power. They make good arguments. Good arguments if you ignore economics and true scientific research! In a perfect world in which there is no concern about cost, their argument works; however, everything comes at a cost.

The science of both wind and solar is more efficient now than a couple of decades ago, yet the cost is still far more expensive than carbon-based power. Currently, only about 5 percent of our power is from so called green energy. If there were no mandates requiring more solar and wind power and tax credits from governments, power companies would not be investing in their use to the extent that they are.

Those tax credits come at a cost to other government programs that have merit. At the state level, it is at the cost of education and public safety. At the federal level, our national debt is now over $18.5 billion and climbing as this administration keeps throwing money at company after company that cannot sustain themselves.

This effort comes at a cost to families and to businesses. Families who spend more to heat and cool will forgo other purchases. Businesses will make corporate decisions to not expand or to do business elsewhere in the world, reducing job opportunities for Americans.

As the cost of heating goes higher and higher, families will make choices that best serve their families. More will try to reduce their power bill by turning to home heating systems that will rely on wood and coal that will create more unregulated pollution as 21st century power plants become cleaner. What might this accomplish?

If we meet the president’s and EPA mandates, we will successfully affect the temperature two one hundreds of one degree (0.002 C) according to EPA models.

To understand, try this test. Locate a big stack of hay and have someone drop a needle into it. Try to find the needle. Should the mandates survive, this promises to create a $2.5 trillion loss in GDP, hundreds of thousands of jobs lost, and a total income loss of $7,000 per person by 2030.

While forcing untold expense on our economy, most of the world is not and will not destroy their economies.

They understand that there must be a balance between the need for jobs and protecting our environment.

Ignoring the economics of the issue is bad enough. Former Vice President Gore and current President Obama make statements that are repeated over and over until some simply take them as fact.

They use scare language about the devastation that will come about by global warming despite the fact that there has been a global cooling in most of the last 15 years. They talk about icebergs melting. In fact, Arctic sea ice averaged 2.35 million square miles in August 2013, as compared to the low point of 1.32 million square miles recorded on Sept. 16, 2012, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center.

A chart published by NSIDC shows the dramatic rise, putting total ice cover within two standard deviations of the 30-year average.

Should we do all we can to protect our environment? Of course, but let’s use common sense.

FRANK RUFF is a senator for Virginia. His email address is