Cap and Trade, the expensive plan to limit carbon dioxide emissions through taxes and regulation, should have been a slam-dunk for the White House. The President wanted it. The Left wanted it. Even some corporations wanted it.
But cap and trade died, at least temporarily.
The collapse of cap and trade was surprising. It's failure may be another sign that the global climate change movement is continuing to decline, the victim of bad science and exaggerated claims.
The recent "Climategate" scandal revealed how climate scientists were manipulating data to make it look like the earth was warming faster. The revelations triggered rare media scrutiny of climate science, which in turn led to more admissions of bogus claims.
This year scientists were forced to withdraw a study on projected sea level rise due to global warming after finding mistakes that undermined the report. The author of the study, Mark Siddall with the University of Bristol, now says the true estimate of sea level rise is unknown.
No, the Himalayan glaciers will not be gone in 25 years. That was based not on scientific data but on a quote in a magazine article. And rising sea levels are not going to submerge coastal cities, as shown in the film "The Day After Tomorrow" - another claim debunked.
Last year the presidential cabinet of the Maldives Islands held an underwater session in scuba gear to raise awareness about fears the Island chain will someday be under water from rising sea levels caused by climate change.
"We're now actually trying to send our message, let the world know what might, what is happening, and what will happen to the Maldives if climate change is not checked," Maldives president Mohammed Nasheed told reporters.
But Dr. Nils-Axel Mörner of Sweden, one of the top sea level experts in the world, has known for years that sea levels have not been rising. Nine years ago Mörner went on a Maldives broadcast to tell the Islanders the good news.
But he claims the government censored the program. After the Maldives cabinet met underwater, Mörner wrote an open letter to the Maldives president, telling him again that the Islands are not in danger:
"When I wrote an open letter to the president that he should at least consider those things and consider them with happiness if he was a good president, he didn't even answer," Mörner said.
But Mörner is used to being ignored. When the UN issued dire warnings about the threat of rising sea levels, it ignored Mörner's research.
"I was the president at that time of the International Commission on Sea Level Changes and Coastal Evolution," Mörner said. "I had a group of 400 scientists all over the world. None of those was consulted."
Hyped-Up Media Campaign
One of America's leading meteorologists Joseph D'aleo, the first director of meteorology at The Weather Channel, said the methodology used for showing the earth is warming has been unscientific. Weather stations were poorly sited. Data was cherry picked.
"The temperature records are contaminated, unfortunately, especially in regards to the station data," D'aleo said. "Siting of the stations is very important and we've found that 90 percent of the temperature stations are poorly sited and do not meet government standards, and they all have warm biases. "
And while the climate change movement and United Nations have relied on bad methodology, they have been hyping the dangers from global warming, like creating commercials featuring terrified children.
Other Internet commercials feature polar bears falling from the sky and dying because people ride in jetliners that warm the earth and melt the icebergs. Others show the cute animals committing suicide because they're so depressed about climate change.
Ignoring the Facts
The world has been subjected to an over the top media campaign that climate change is the world's top problem. But surveys show concern about the issue has been dropping around the world. It recently ranked dead last on Americans' list of concerns.
But the White House and the U.N. still claim that climate change is a threat to mankind, that Carbon dioxide is bad and that cap and trade is needed.
"We must urgently transform the global energy system. We need grow, but we need to grow green," U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said. "We need to provide affordable energy to all, and we need to stop the rise in greenhouse gas emissions."
Cap and Trade could emerge again in the lame duck Congress. The Environmental Protection Agency has already classified CO2 as a pollutant - something Australian geologist Ian Pliming says is ridiculous.
"We've seen big climate changes in the past. None of these has been driven by carbon dioxide," he said. "In fact we've had six major ice ages. Each one of those ice ages started when carbon dioxide was much higher than now. So why is carbon dioxide a problem now? It's plant food."
The Heat is On
Pliming doesn't disguise his contempt for Cap and Trade.
"I don't think the devil could have thought of a better method to taxing people and frightening people," Pliming said. "Cap and trade: Now what we're going to do is frighten you witless about living a comfortable Western life. And then we're going to slip our hand in your pocket and take out all the money we can find."
"That's what cap and trade is about. It's got nothing to do with science," he added.
Republicans claim cap and trade could cost the average family $3,000 a year. The major environmental groups in Washington, D.C., none of which agreed to appear in this story, are reported to be hopping mad about its failure.
And the pressure is on the Democrats to revive it.