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Controlling the Little People

As part of the continuing attack on rural Pennsylvanians the Pennsylvania Bipartisan Climate Initiative has launched an initiative to further restrict land use in PA. From the Climate Initiative’s website: “The Initiative supports Drexel University’s Environmental Collaboratory in their work to curate best practices for communities throughout Pennsylvania, especially those that have been historically underserved.” The “curation” is the use of zoning and other local laws to stop rural activities that violate their climate agenda.


Says Michael Sklaroff, Executive Director of the Initiative: “The global climate crisis requires immediate action, and we can start here at home in our Commonwealth, where we produce more than one percent of global greenhouse gases annually.” Says Advisory Board Member Bill Peduto: “Climate change is a global issue, but Pennsylvanians know that the local impacts are increasingly severe. Residents in our communities are suffering from the effects of rising temperatures, tainted air and water, and storms.”


Before these Climate Initiators curate rural Pennsylvanians out of existence, let’s do a reality check. PA is not the cause of 1% of global greenhouse gases (GGG). China produces TWICE the GGG’s of the United States. Per capita, Saudia Arabia produces 20% more GGG’s than the US. California produces 50% more GGG’s than PA. The real PA GGG number is .0095. But accuracy and climate change aren’t often used in the same sentence.


Take Mr. Peduto’s claim that residents in our communities are suffering from the effects of rising temperatures. Check the United States EPA’s own data in the graph below.


Wrightstone 2017


There is no increase in heat waves (red line) in recent decades. Instead, there was a remarkable spike in heat waves in the 1930’s—long before GGG’s alleged impact on climate. In fact, heat related deaths in the United States have declined dramatically in the last half of the 20th century and into this century. Dare we point to the benefits of air conditioning—or is air conditioning also supposed to be curated out of existence?


While on the subject of deaths from temperatures—will the curators allow us to discuss cold? A recent study by Gasparrini, involving 384 worldwide locations, finds that cold weather kills 20 times as many people as heat. Mortality risk attributable to high and low ambient temperature: a multicountry observational study - PMC (nih.gov) Of course the curators won’t discuss deaths from cold…because fossil fuels supply the vast majority of the heat that keeps us at a comfortable 72 degrees even when the cold climate, outside, wants to freeze us to death. Because of fossil fuels, worldwide human deaths by cold have fallen dramatically. If the curators want to test the truth of that statement we encourage the curators to turn off the natural gas valves to their homes this winter—welcome to your curated environment.


The Climate Initiative is a thinly veiled push to stop agriculture, timber harvesting, natural gas, and oil production in rural PA. In some alternate version of reality that would create a halcyon paradise. But not in this reality. In this reality furnaces still run on natural gas, milk still comes from cows, and cows still poop. And the benefits of fossil fuels far outweigh the problems. Pennsylvanians today live longer and healthier than ever before. Stop the alarmism. Get a grip on reality. Or else go turn off that valve.

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