Montgomery County’s Climate Action Plan’s Assault on Citizens and Businesses
By Edward Hudgins
If you reside in Montgomery County, the “Climate Action Plan” under consideration by the County Council, might soon make the climate for you living a free, comfortable, and prosperous life here decidedly chilly. Bitter cold, in fact.
The Plan, developed pursuant to the Council’s 2017 resolution initiating an “Emergency Climate Mobilization,” is a political declaration rather than a scientific examination, predetermined that the Plan itself would impose heavy-handed and costly burdens on citizens and businesses alike.
The “No measurable impact” plan. The plan seeks to reduce “greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2027 and reaching 100% elimination by 2035.” The premise is that human uses of fossil fuel, as opposed to natural processes, is causing runaway global warming that will seriously harm human well-being.
Addressing the alleged threat is not and should not be a county government priority. We have serious problems with our schools, crime, and the devastation to our businesses and our lives from COVID that should be its business.
In any case, the most important thing to know about the plan is that it offers no estimate of the global warming it proports to mitigate. In other words, it will have no measurable impact on the feared warming. None! Zero! Zilch!
False fears. The premises of the plan do not hold up to scientific examination. Climate has been changing for billions of years, and been much warming in the past than today with no human agency involved. During the Medieval Warm Period, Vikings could call now-frozen Greenland “green” with straight faces.
Warming predictions are notoriously inaccurate. In 1990 the U.N Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicted warming of .3° C per decade or 3 C per century. In the 30 years since then, the measured rise has been only .13 C or 1.3 C per century. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration data since 2005 finds no temperature rise in the lower 48 states, possibly just a pause since climate has been gradually warming for almost two centuries, since the end of the “Little Ice Age.”
The county’s Plan offers unsupported fears of extreme heat, high winds, extreme precipitation, and drought. (Lot of rain or no rain? Make up your mind!) And again, by the proponent’s own admission, the Plan will have no measurable impact on warming.
Controlling us, not warming. Think our taxes are too high now? The Plan "will require substantial financial resources, sometimes on the order of hundreds of millions of dollars or higher.” And since it cannot drain enough blood from us in this county, the Plan will put the squeeze on "public and private sectors, while leveraging state and federal government resources.” Beggar thy neighbor!
The Plan would control every aspect of building, energy use, and transportation. Better trade in your car for hiking shoes and a bike because under the Plan it “will also be necessary to reduce private vehicle use.”
The plan disingenuously touts “racial justice,” arguing without a scientific foundation that minorities will be especially harmed by alleged warming. In fact, the harm caused by the Plan itself—economic damage, higher energy prices—would fall especially hard on minorities.
And the Plan will block our ability to push back at the ballot box since “Climate Governance” includes “actions to help institutionalize climate change considerations in Montgomery County Government operations and decision-making.” The deep state right in our own little county!
This Plan which by the proponent’s own admission, will have no measurable impact on warming, seems virtue signaling with an iron fist. Citizens of Montgomery County who don’t want it to land on their lives need to make their voices heard with the County Council.
Edward Hudgins is native Marylander, lives in Rockville with his wife and two ten-year-old daughters, and has a 35 year career in public policy. You may reach him at [email protected] .