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Thoughts on global warming

By Bernie Kuntz, Outdoors

The past month has not been a good one for the global warming crusaders, with record-setting cold over much of the nation — the coldest in more than 100 years in some southeastern states.

An article in the Sun said December 2013 was the fourth coldest on record in Jamestown with an average of 4.6 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the National Weather Service. (The third coldest December was in 1964 with 3.2 degrees; second coldest was in 2000 with 2.3 degrees, and the coldest December on record was 1983 with -1 degree for an average.) However, I cannot say how long temperature records have been kept for Jamestown.

In Bozeman, where I have lived for most of the last 28 years, it was -15 to -29 below for six days in a row in early December. The -29 temperature was the lowest recorded since 1990. Also, summer temperatures failed to reach triple digits for the third year in a row, the high being 92 degrees. Temperatures have been recorded here since the 1890s.

Also amusing was the Russian ship carrying “global warming scientists” that got marooned in the ice of Antarctica’s summer. Three ice-breakers from China and Australia couldn’t reach the ship, so the Chinese airlifted the 52 scientists out by helicopter. I wonder if any environmentalists were concerned about the “carbon footprint” of all that? If they were I didn’t hear it or read about it.

I honestly am not a denier of global climate change — I believe it is going on all the time, and will continue to do so. I simply am doubtful that the change is caused by man, and I don’t like it when leftists turn environmentalism into a sort of religious cult. It reminds me of the days in the early 1970s when these same people were warning of a new Ice Age. Without a Vietnam War to protest anymore, these leftists made a smooth transition into environmentalism. With that came a rash of anti-hunting sentiment that still exists.

But back to climate change: Most North Dakotans know that, with the exception of the Badlands in the southwestern part of the state, all of what is North Dakota was once covered by an enormous ice sheet thousands of feet thick. And most Montanans know that millions of years ago eastern Montana had a tropical climate. That’s why that part of the state has been a treasure trove for dinosaur fossils. So climates were changing long before the invention of the gasoline and diesel engine, coal-fired plants and the burning of natural gas.

It still bothers environmentalists that the U.S. didn’t sign the infamous Kyoto Treaty, addressing global warming (neither did China or India — the world’s biggest polluters!) The Obama Administration, which is heavily populated with environmental crusaders, is still smarting because it didn’t get its “cap and trade” bill passed. This would have forced companies to buy permits to offset pollution caused by these same companies. It would have been a redistribution scheme that mirrors goals for Democrats in 2014, with that party’s fixation on “income equality.” Cap and trade would have taken money from private companies and given it to the U.S. government (and ultimately to developing countries’ governments around the world) to squander as they wished. All the while, China and India would continue to pollute.

Astonishingly, the Obama Administration has spent almost $7.5 billion studying climate change in other countries! Billions in grants have gone to scientists who essentially are getting paid to say climate change is occurring. The EPA has attacked coal companies relentlessly with myriad new rules. The goal is a path to global governance that would regulate business and industry.

If these zealots are genuinely concerned about climate change, they should be pursuing nuclear power. Look to France as an example, and quit the global warming whining.

Bernie Kuntz, a Jamestown native, has been an Outdoors columnist for The Sun since 1974