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The president may be basing policies on a worst-case, “increasingly implausible” climate change model.

Gary Baise, Attorney at Law

April 20, 2021

3 Min Read
U.S. President Joe Biden signs executive orders after speaking about climate change issues in the State Dining Room of the Wh
President Joe Biden signs executive orders after speaking about climate change issues in the State Dining Room of the White House on January 27, 2021, in Washington, DC. Also pictured, left to right, U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris and White House Science Advisor Eric Lander. Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images News

President Biden issued an Executive Order on January 27, 2021, putting the climate crisis at the center of the United States’ national security.

His order says, “The United States and the world face a profound climate crisis.” He further states, “Domestic action must go hand in hand with the United States international leadership, aimed at significantly enhancing global action.”  I do not see China or India doing their part.

Section 214 in the EO empowers workers in conservation and agriculture. President Biden claims, “America’s farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners have an important role to play in combatting the climate crisis and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, by sequestering carbon in soils, grasses, trees, and other vegetation and sourcing sustainable bioproducts and fuels.”  

Another section in the EO, 216, states that “…at least 30% of our lands and waters by 2030” must be conserved.” The Secretary of the Interior must set forth guidelines, not regulations, on how to measure progress towards the 30% goal. The Secretary of Agriculture, within 60 days of January 27, must figure out how we can adopt “…climate-smart agricultural and forestry practices that decrease wildfire risks fueled by climate change…” (The Secretary of Agriculture and the Forest Service might consider cleaning up the forest floor in the public forests for a start.)

Worst case scenarios?

The President seems to have not read the June, 2020 article in the journal Nature titled, “Emissions - the ‘business as usual’ story is misleading,” by Zeke Hausfather and Glen Peters. The article debunks part of what Mr. Biden is requesting. The article explains how researchers came up with four “Representative Concentration Pathway” models to determine how climate change may impact the planet by 2100. Apparently, Mr. Biden and his team are using RCP 8.5, an unlikely high risk scenario that is the most extreme threat to the climate and earth.

This last week in the Wall Street Journal, columnist Holman W. Jenkins, Jr. wrote a column titled, “Climate Media vs. Climate Science.”  He suggests even Al Gore has dropped his support for climate catastrophism. He says a new book, Unsettled: What Climate Science Tells Us, What It Doesn’t, and Why It Matters, claims that climate change will not be catastrophic. The book is written by Steve Koonin, former chief scientist of President Obama’s Energy Department.

Mr. Jenkins believes that it is climate journalism and fantasies in science which led to President Biden’s Executive Order, and “…blather about the end of the world.”

One of the steps President Biden requests of all his appointees is that they identify all subsidies for any fossil fuel. President Biden wants to ensure “…Federal funding is not directly subsidizing fossil fuels.”

The President states in his Executive Order that “…Federal funding [must be] used to spur innovation, commercialization, and deployment of clean energy technologies and infrastructure.”  

The Executive Order issued by President Biden clearly follows the projections adopted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). All of this would be laughable, but it is very serious. Even Wikipedia indicates that the RCP 8.5 emissions model is “…very unlikely.” One report claims that RCP 8.5 becomes “…increasingly implausible with each passing year.” Yet, it appears, from the Executive Order issued on January 27, the President has swallowed the RCP 8.5 model hook, line and sinker.

The opinions of the author are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or Farm Progress. 

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About the Author(s)

Gary Baise

Attorney at Law, Gary H. Baise

Gary Baise is an Illinois farmer and attorney. He also serves as outside General Counsel for several national agriculture organizations, including Agricultural Retailers Association and National Sorghum Producers. Baise organized President Trump’s agricultural team of advisers. He was the first Chief of Staff to the first U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator. He owns a family farm in Jacksonville, Ill.

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