Top California Officials Blame Everything on Climate Change

Top California Officials Blame Everything on Climate Change

California Governor Gavin Newsom speaks during the U.N. Climate Action: Race to Zero and Resilience Forum Supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies, in New York City, on Sept. 21, 2022. (Monica Schipper/Getty Images for Bloomberg Philanthropies)

John Seiler

John Seiler

3/15/2024

Updated: 3/15/2024

Commentary
It’s like listening to a broken record in California as practically every issue is attributed to climate change. Even with the $73 billion budget deficit, elected and appointed officials are fighting to keep spending billions of dollars on their questionable agenda. Mentioning “climate” is like a magic word advancing legislation or regulations.
A search of California Legislative Information, the Legislature’s official website, found 361 bills with the word “climate” in the title or text introduced in the 2023–24 legislative session.
Then there’s Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Jan. 10 budget proposal for fiscal year 2024–25, which begins on July 1 and projected a deficit of “only” $38 billion. It mentioned “climate” 77 times.
Here are just a few of those climate bills:

Financial Risk Reporting

Senate Bill 261 was by state Sen. Henry Stern (D-Calabasas). According to a Senate analysis, “This bill requires companies that do business in California and have gross revenues exceeding $500 million annually, excluding insurance companies, to report on their climate-related financial risk, and requires the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to contract with a qualified climate reporting organization to review and publish an analysis of those reports, as specified.”
This would be pointless meddling in companies’ financial matters, which already are regulated by numerous state and federal laws, and the federal Securities and Exchange Commission. It would be another prod for companies to leave this state. Mr. Newsom signed it into law last October.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks as he attends the Climate Ambition Summit at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City on Sept. 20, 2023. (Kena Betancur/Getty Images)

California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks as he attends the Climate Ambition Summit at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City on Sept. 20, 2023. (Kena Betancur/Getty Images)

Advising the UN on a Greenhouse Gas Treaty

Senate Resolution 34 was by state Sen. Dave Cortese (D-San Jose). An advisory measure, part of it read, “Resolved, that the Senate calls on the State Air Resources Board to engage necessary federal entities as appropriate to urge the United States Ambassador to the United Nations to propose a climate treaty that would restore and stabilize GHG [greenhouse gas] levels as our common climate goal.” It passed 29 to 0 in the Senate.
This was just posturing. While California politicians like to boast the state has the “fourth largest world economy,” it’s really just a subsection of the much larger U.S. economy. And the U.S. Constitution assigns all foreign relations, including treaties, to the federal government.

Fossil-Fuel Nonproliferation Treaty

Senate Joint Resolution 2 is by state Sen. Lena Gonzalez (D-Long Beach). An Assembly Floor Analysis stated it “Formally endorses the call for a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty (Treaty), states California’s agreement with the principle of nonproliferation of fossil fuels, and urges the United States government to join in formally developing a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty.” It passed 28 to 7 in the Senate and 50 to 14 in the Assembly.
The treaty came about in 2021 and “coordinated a letter signed by 100 Nobel laureates, including scientists, peace makers, writers, and the Dalai Lama, urging world leaders ‘to take concrete steps to phase out fossil fuels in order to prevent catastrophic climate change.’ … The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty was used as a model.”
This is so naïve. The Nuclear NPT is supposed to prevent countries with nuclear weapons helping other countries develop them. But according to the Arms Control Association’s “Arms Control and Proliferation Profile: China”: “China, one of the five nuclear weapons states under the NPT, is estimated, as of January 2024, to possess roughly 500 nuclear warheads, an arsenal that has increased significantly in recent years. It has simultaneously sought to modernize and expand its nuclear delivery systems in pursuit of a robust nuclear triad.”
As to proliferation: “China has aided Pakistan’s nuclear and missile programs among other states. Iran, Libya, North Korea, and Saudi Arabia have also been identified as recipients of sensitive technologies and materials from China.”
On the Fossil Fuel NPT, again communist China isn’t going to go along. I’ve written several articles in The Epoch Times on how it’s increasing its use of fossil-fuels to boost factory production. Here’s a short update from CNBC:
“China and India’s growing economies will continue to fuel demand for coal even as they set ambitious renewable energy targets, according to experts.
Waste coal is unloaded near an unauthorized steel factory in Inner Mongolia, China, on Nov. 3, 2016. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

Waste coal is unloaded near an unauthorized steel factory in Inner Mongolia, China, on Nov. 3, 2016. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

“While China is the world’s largest energy consumer, India is ranked third globally, and both countries are the top consumers of coal as they strive to fuel economic growth.
“China’s share of global electricity consumption, 60% of which is generated by coal, is set to jump to one-third by 2025, compared with a quarter in 2015, according to projections by energy watchdog International Energy Agency.”
All California’s attack on fossil fuels has done is slow our own ability to develop the technologies of the future, giving China an edge.

Climate-Resilient Schools

Senate Bill 1182 also is by Ms. Gonzalez, who has authored a number of the climate bills. It would require the State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission “to develop a Master Plan for Healthy, Sustainable, and Climate-Resilient Schools on or before March 31, 2026.” The Master Plan would include “assessments of a representative sample of the state’s public elementary and secondary school buildings and grounds, as provided, and a set of priorities, benchmarks, and milestones for health, resilience, and decarbonization of public school campuses and support facilities.”
This is what concerns legislators instead of improving the low test scores of the state’s students. According to the Nation’s Report Card, in the 2022 National Assessment of Educational Progress, for 4th graders in math, just 30 percent scored at or above the proficient level. Similar low scores were recorded for other grades and for English language skills.
The bill is set for a hearing on March 19 in the Committee on Energy, Utilities and Communications.

Controlling Childcare

Assembly Bill 2732 is by Assemblymember Diane Papan (D-San Mateo). It would “would state the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation to ensure the state’s climate change and resiliency actions include and prioritize the childcare sector.”
This is more meddling in families, which are better equipped than government bureaucrats to take care of their own children. But it shows how “climate change” is used as a catch-all excuse to control more of our lives. The bill may be heard in an unspecified committee on March 17.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks at the Hong Kong University on climate issues in Hong Kong on Oct. 23, 2023. (Anthony Kwan/AP Photo)

California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks at the Hong Kong University on climate issues in Hong Kong on Oct. 23, 2023. (Anthony Kwan/AP Photo)

California Not Meeting Climate Goals

Despite the past and coming hyper-regulation, the state still isn’t meeting its unrealistic climate goals. The California Green Innovation Index for 2023 by the nonprofit organization Next 10, just released, found “total greenhouse gas emissions rebounded between 2020 and 2021, jumping by 3.4 percent to 381.3 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MMTCO2e) in 2021. This increase followed an 8.8 percent drop in emissions in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. ...
“To meet the 2030 target of nearly 260 MMTCO2e, California would need to triple the rate at which it has been cutting emissions since 2010—going from the actual average annual reduction of about 1.5 percent a year to about 4.4 percent a year. This is up from the 3.6 percent needed in 2020 (due to the large drop in emissions due to COVID) and the 4.2 percent needed in 2019. Even in more recent years, California’s emissions decreased by only 1.6 percent on average per year from 2016 to 2021—much less than the rate needed to meet the 2030 goal. Using the trajectory in emissions since 2010, California won’t meet the 2030 goal until 2047.”
Beginning with Mr. Newsom, most of the current state politicians will be out of office in 2030, and almost all of them by 2047. So there will be no consequences for the failure to meet unrealistic climate goals.

Conclusion: The Legislature Isn’t Serious

The large number of pointless climate bills show the California Legislature just isn’t serious about the real dangers to this state, the country, and the world.
It ought to be finding ways to cut operating costs, especially energy costs, to the state’s high-tech companies to keep us ahead of communist China’s rapidly advancing tech industries. And how about a big push for more nuclear-power plants? Or cutting taxes so companies that have moved to states such as Texas with laxer environmental laws, return here?
Nothing. Instead, just more posturing about climate this and climate that.
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John Seiler

John Seiler

Author

John Seiler is a veteran California opinion writer. Mr. Seiler has written editorials for The Orange County Register for almost 30 years. He is a U.S. Army veteran and former press secretary for California state Sen. John Moorlach. He blogs at JohnSeiler.Substack.com and his email is writejohnseiler@gmail.com

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