This article originally appeared on watchdog.org.
As Watchdog.org reporter Bruce Parker vividly reported Sunday from inside the environmentalist carnival that was the People???s Climate March through midtown Manhattan, this pre-game show to Tuesday???s going-green confab in New York City showcased an array of left-loving characters.
His greenness himself, former Vice President Al Gore was in attendance. So was Hollywood heartthrob Leonardo DiCaprio. The vegans, the shamans, the commies, big labor, the socialists, and probably more than a few sociopaths all were on hand at what was billed as the largest climate-related protest in history.
Along the parade route, from Central Park West to West 34th Street, the Big Apple was filled with an estimated 400,000 (by organizers??? estimates) trumpet blasting, drum-circle gathering, holistic medicine-ingesting participants.
Welcome here was the Party for Socialism and Liberation and their sign that declared:
Climate change is the symptom
Capitalism is the disease
Socialism is the cure
The People???s Climate March was not a U.S. Chamber of Commerce kind of crowd.
But besides promises of inclusiveness by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who invited world leaders from the public and private sectors to Tuesday???sClimate Summit 2014, you probably won???t find much sympathy or support here for the chamber???s point of view. Or the manufacturing sector. And certainly not the fossil-fuels industry.
That???s because President Barack Obama and the climate-change crowd seem only interested in dire predictions when it comes to their environmental agenda. They???re not all that into the disastrous consequences extreme environmental regulations on business could have on the U.S. and global economy.
???It???s one way to ramp up the messaging and frankly ramp up the sort of extreme positioning around this issue from that standpoint that they???re not going to recognize the economic impacts,??? Betsy Monseu ,chief executive officer of the American Coal Council said of the People???s March.
While critics have labeled the Obama administration???s proposed stiff regulations on coal-fired power plants part of a ???War on Coal,??? Monseau said the issue is much bigger, and potentially much more economically damaging to the U.S. economy.
???It???s a movement against the use of fossil fuels,??? she said. ???And I think there is some lack of recognition of the benefits of coal and coal-fired generation and what that means to economic development in the United States and what that could mean in other countries, especially emerging economies that will continue to develop coal because it is abundant, affordable and readily available.???
Those nations count for one-third of the world???s population and China ranks No. 1 and India No. 3 on the list of carbon dioxide emitters.
???We look at this from the lens of how competitive is this going to make us,??? said Ross Eisenberg, vice president of energy and resources policy for the National Association of Manufacturers. ???If this is going to make us less competitive and we can???t get the international piece right (on emission standards) than why are we doing it????
Eisenberg said the manufacturers association will be watching closely what is going on in New York City this week, noting that the EPA???s proposed regulations on power plants in particular are causing U.S. manufacturers ???a lot of heartburn right now.???
Coal is vital to these mammoth economies, yet the Obama administration in particular is much more interested in subsidizing solar and wind energy than engaging clean-coal technology, Monseu said.
???We are building some first-generation carbon capture and storage facilities, but we will need to get to second- and third-generation technology for them to be cost-effective and to be widely deployed,??? she said. ???The U.S. has the opportunity to lead through continued technological development and deployment that will be far more effective in reducing emissions around the world than simply creating artificial mechanisms (regulation) that are burdensome and costly from an administrative standpoint.???
In short, there???s the world that environmentalists envision and then there is the real world, where economies are sustained or destroyed by regulatory actions that governments take.
Solar and wind can???t be developed to the scale necessary to meet the electric needs of the United States. While there may be a role for alternative forms of energy, so far those portions of the nation???s energy portfolio have been heavily subsidized by U.S. taxpayers.
While its total footprint has declined, coal still fulfills approximately 40 percent of America???s electricity generation needs, according to a study by the Heritage Foundation.
The Environmental Protection Agency???s proposal to significantly limit carbon dioxide emissions would stall new construction of coal-fired power plants and could shut down existing facilities.
The Heritage Foundation???s analysis found that by the end of 2023, nearly 600,000 jobs will be lost, a family of four???s income will drop by $1,200 per year, and aggregate gross domestic product will drop by $2.23 trillion during the period should the EPA proposal go into effect.
America???s manufacturing sector would be particularly harmed, accounting for 330,000 of the jobs lost, according to the analysis.
In 2012, the cost of federal regulations cost U.S. companies more than $2 trillion, according to a NAM study. The analysis estimates environmental regulatory burden at $330 billion, but that only includes EPA rules that have cost-benefit analyses, which is not every rule. Overall, EPA accounts for more than half of the regulatory cost burden on manufacturers, Eisenberg said.
The UN Secretary General website asserts the price will become much steeper for the global economy if the world???s nations don???t act now on climate change.
???Climate change is disrupting national economies, costing us dearly today and even more tomorrow. But there is a growing recognition that affordable, scalable solutions are available now that will enable us all to leapfrog to cleaner, more resilient economies,??? the site insists.
America???s manufacturing sector has led the way on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, Eisenberg said. Between 2005 and 2013, U.S. industry cut CO2 by 13 percent. Advances in clean coal technologies and more efficient combustion systems have enabled U.S. power plants to reduce their regulated emissions by more than 60 percent since 1970, while increasing electric power output over the same period by 140 percent, according to the National Mining Association.
???Manufacturers are committed to sustainability and energy efficiency and eliminating greenhouse gases, but we need to do it in a balanced way,??? Eisenberg said.