Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Obama's FEMA to Halt Funding for States Led by Climate Realists

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After releasing a new set of “guidelines” aimed at pushing skeptical state governments to deal with the supposed risks of a “changing climate” in exchange for federal funding, the Obama administration and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are facing a barrage of criticism. Among other concerns, critics contend that the White House is playing politics with disaster funds and overstepping its constitutional authority in a bid to force reluctant governors and state officials to join the anthropogenic (man-made) global-warming bandwagon — or at least pretend that it has legitimacy.   
In a 57-page policy document released this month entitled “State Mitigation Plan Review Guide,” FEMA made clear that it would stop providing funding to states that do not incorporate hypothetical dangers of alleged global warming into their emergency planning by next year. On the other hand, if states do take the funds, the agency also said it would help states weave global-warming theories into their official policies. The agency said it “will work with states to identify tools and approaches that enable decision-making to reduce risks and increase resilience from a changing climate.” In other words, FEMA wants more control over decisions made by the elected representatives of each state.

FEMA is pushing the idea of man-made climate change despite its own admission that it “recognizes there exists inherent uncertainty about future conditions.”

Of course, policies ostensibly aimed at reducing the alleged risks of global-warming and increasing “resilience” to a “changing climate” always happen to involve bigger and more expensive government. Invariably, those policies also mean less freedom and more attacks on free markets and private property rights. As senior editor William Jasper of The New American pointed out in an article last year about an executive order by Obama purportedly aimed at making foreign countries more “resilient” to “climate change” through U.S. foreign aid, such “resilience” policies actually do the exact opposite of their stated objectives. Abundant energy, Jasper noted, is among the most important factors in advanced economies' ability to withstand natural disasters. “But President Obama’s 'Clean Energy' agenda is a prescription for global energy poverty,” he said.

Wasting scarce resources on hypothetical dangers — especially when the predictions of warming and cooling alarmists have been consistently wrong for decades — can only further jeopardize the public. FEMA, though, disagrees, suggesting instead that bribing states with tax dollars to accept increasingly discredited global-warming theories is what is really needed — even as other arms of the administration wage a war on economically viable energy so essential to true resilience and prosperity. “An understanding of vulnerabilities will assist with prioritizing mitigation actions and policies that reduce risk from future events,” the agency claimed in its new regulations for funding state governments.

Under the controversial new rules, states' risk assessments and plans must feature “consideration of changing environmental or climate conditions that may affect and influence the long-term vulnerability from hazards in the state,” the document continued. In essence, states are being told they have to plan for disasters that probably won't happen. Ironically, a 2003 Pentagon study purporting to consider the effects of “climate change” 10 years down the line was proven so spectacularly wrong that, after squandering plenty of tax dollars, the warnings became a global laughingstock and a prime example of untenable government alarmism. A more recent climate doom-and-gloom report by Obama was debunked by experts in a matter of weeks.   

Among other requirements for receiving disaster preparedness funding under the new rules, FEMA said, will be reporting on how “challenges” posed by supposed man-made global warming — widely criticized by scientists and experts as a hoax or scam — might affect a state. Examples of the effects the agency wants reported include “more intense storms, frequent heavy precipitation, heat waves, drought, extreme flooding, and higher sea levels,” FEMA said, ignoring mountains of research and observable evidence contradicting its theory. Countless experts and even the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (UN IPCC) — touted by alarmists as the supreme authority on the “settled science” of all things climate — have exposed many of those alleged climate effects as a fantasy.  

The climate-alarmism industry, though, still celebrated the FEMA plan as a great way to harm Republican governors skeptical of AGW theories — either they play along with the Obama administration's climate antics, or forego billions of dollars extracted from their constituents by the federal government. “If a state has a climate denier governor that doesn't want to accept a plan, that would risk mitigation work not getting done because of politics,” attorney Becky Hammer with the Natural Resources Defense Council, which supports the scheme, was quoted as boasting by Inside Climate News. “The governor would be increasing the risk to citizens in that state.” The report cited Republican Governors Rick Scott of Florida, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Chris Christie of New Jersey, Greg Abbott of Texas, and Pat McCrory of North Carolina as targets for having “denied” the validity of man-made global-warming theories or refused to take action against man-made warming.  

However, in addition to being at odds with the evidence and the Constitution — the Consitution does not allow the federal government to operate an agency such as FEMA or use bribes to dictate state policy — the new FEMA plan would put those governors at odds with the views of their own constituents. According to a recent Pew poll, for example, despite the non-stop barrage of AGW propaganda in the media and by politicians, just two in five Americans believe in man-made global-warming theories. Even among those who still believe in the AGW theories — widely ridiculed as a “cult” by climate experts such as MIT meteorologist Richard Lindzen for refusing to adjust their beliefs in line with the observable evidence   — climate change consistently ranks dead last among public policy priorities. For the Obama administration, though, what Obama calls his “Climate Agenda” remains a top priority.    

The latest administration effort to bring skeptic states on board the warming bandwagon follows a deluge of executive actions and decrees purportedly dealing with “climate change.” From unconstitutional Environmental Protection Agency rules restricting emissions of the essential-to-life gas carbon dioxide and executive orders on “climate” to decrees about U.S. foreign climate aid and even an unconstitutional pseudo-treaty signed between Obama and the communist dictator ruling mainland China, the avalanche of White House climate schemes shows no signs of letting up. With a UN “climate” summit coming up in Paris later this year as AGW theories crumble, though, the heat is on. Indeed, the new FEMA plan was viewed by analysts as an underhanded way to try to force skeptical governors into submission on the issue in a desperate bid to crush opposition.   

Over the last five years, FEMA has handed out close to $5 billion in U.S taxpayer funds to state governments under the “disaster mitigation” programs. The new rules on state eligibility for the FEMA funding will go into effect in March of 2016. Other FEMA funding schemes, such as post-disaster relief funds, will not be affected by whether or not states have prostrated themselves before the Obama administration's global-warming theory — at least not yet. For years, establishment pseudo-environmentalist groups, which a Senate report recently confirmed were being funded and largely controlled by what it called the “Billionaire's Club,” have been pressing for the policy changes. Now they have apparently succeeded, and so far, no real plan to stop the scheme has emerged publicly.      

Still, virtually every analyst, including climate alarmists, saw through the scheme. In fact, a FEMA spokeswoman essentially confirmed that the purpose of the new funding rules was actually political — a bid to increase public support for Obama's costly climate machinations. The clause about approval from governors for climate-change mitigation schemes was included in the latest policy to “raise awareness and support for implementing the actions in the mitigation strategy and increasing statewide resilience to natural hazards,” FEMA's Susan Hendrick told Inside Climate News, a non-profit outfit dedicated to promoting climate alarmism while masquerading as an objective “news organization.”  

So far, Congress and state governments have been fairly vocal in complaining about the usurpations of power, but little of substance has been done to actually stop it all. A number of lawsuits have been filed against the administration's schemes, and lawmakers have discussed de-funding the power grabs, but Congress has continued to fund them nonetheless. A far simpler solution would be for the American people's elected representatives to obey their oath of office to the Constitution. The federal government has no legitimate constitutional authority to operate agencies such as FEMA or the EPA. It also has no delegated power to bribe states into submission using federal funding on AGW or anything else. As such, obeying the Constitution would mean abolishing those agencies and all of the mechanisms they are using to, as Obama put it, “fundamentally transform” America. For that to happen, though, Americans will have to get educated, organized, and active.    


Alex Newman is a correspondent for The New American, covering economics, education, politics, and more. Follow him on Twitter @ALEXNEWMAN_JOU. He can be reached at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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