Finally, both presidential candidates agree on one thing: after the election, the suburbs are gonna burn, baby. If we elect Joe Biden, Donald Trump claims, they’ll burn as Black Lives Matter forces police into further retreat. If we re-elect Trump, Biden warns, then the climate will burn the suburbs.
Frankly, I’d take my chances with climate change over BLM and the Democrats pandering to them. But wait, Biden says, there’s more! Suburbanites won’t just get the fire, but the floods and the wind, and who knows what else (via Twitchy):
.@JoeBiden: If Trump wins again, “how many suburbs will be burned in wildfires? How many suburban neighborhoods will have been flooded out? How many suburbs will have been blown away in superstorms?” pic.twitter.com/bWYZpI9iiz
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) September 14, 2020
At one point, Biden calls Trump a “climate arsonist” over the wildfires on the West Coast. That’s a clever turn of phrase, but the existence of actual arsonists in connection to some of these fires makes it a bit difficult to sustain. Furthermore, Biden and Barack Obama had eight years to solve this problem, while Trump only had three to exacerbate it. What precisely did Trump do differently than the Obama administration on climate change and actual carbon-emission reduction that would sustain a charge of “climate arsonist”?
Actually, the Trump years have been mostly below the carbon-emissions output of the Obama-Biden years, according to a study released in January of this year:
Greenhouse gas emissions in the United States dropped last year after a sharp increase in 2018, new data released Tuesday show. The drop resumed a long-term downward trend driven chiefly by a shift away from coal power generation.
The story of the emissions decline has largely been one of market forces—rather than policies—that have made utilities close coal plants in favor of cheaper natural gas and renewable energy. But this shift to lower-carbon energy has been restricted to the electricity sector, and the nation’s emissions cuts are still not on track to meet the targets it agreed to under the Paris climate accord. …
Overall, U.S. greenhouse gas emissions fell about 2 percent in 2019, according to preliminary estimates by Rhodium Group, an economic analysis firm. The previous year, strong economic growth and other factors had pushed emissions up roughly 3 percent.
Emissions did rise in 2018, but not as high as they did in 2014 in the Obama-Biden term. The 2012-14 and 2018 bumps correlate to an expansion of economic activity — the kind of growth that adds jobs. All three years of Trump’s term shows a smaller carbon-emissions total than all but three years of Obama’s term, and perhaps only two years. Trump’s 2018 peak is still well below two peaks in the Obama era, 2009 and 2014.
Furthermore, given the immense impact of the shutdown on both the economy and energy use, we can expect 2020 to be one of the lowest on record for US carbon emissions. So how could Trump’s position on climate change have anything to do with the wildfires on the West Coast, other than in Biden’s imagination — or perhaps more accurately, Biden’s demagoguery?
Like I said at the top, this suburbanite will take his chances with Trump rather than on the tender mercies of the BLM and Antifa mobs. You know, the ones who actually commit arson.