The Prez recently stated that allowing everybody a car, air conditioning and a big house will result in our planet “boiling over.” He proceeded from there to describe programs he intends that, he claims, will prevent said planetary boiling.
I will allow Investors’ Business Daily to describe perceived weaknesses in the Presidents’ plan; just follow the link. Whether or not one believes in a global warming threat to our planet, the highly politicized public debate is well known enough we won’t spend time on it here. A popular opponent of human-caused climate change publishes ‘debunking’ here; a technical overview of CO2 in our atmosphere is available here. We aren’t rehashing such today, we’re looking at announced government policy, not the involved science or lack of same.
Our President said we can’t all have a car, air conditioning and a big house. He must then, plan to limit those things and any similar energy users, limit population or expect to boil. He reprises Thomas Malthus, who predicted starvation as human population outran its food supply. Both Malthus and Obama have overlooked the likelihood that technological improvement will resolve their respective calamities. But Malthus at least, wasn’t making U.S. government policy at the expense of over 300 million people.
We have been watching American industry divest itself of workers, famously dropping Detroit out of the top ten from its place as the 4th largest city. Detroit is a poster child; cities from Gary, Indiana to Buffalo, New York have the same symptoms. Now, we can also consider some 12 million unemployed. Add those to a decline in the American standard of living visible since the 1970’s, when stay-at-home moms began to go out of style and the current, inflation-adjusted median family income decline. Is this a picture of the right time for government to reduce the living standards further? Because policies that diminish cars, air conditioning and house sizes must diminish living standards by definition.
But we must save the planet! Leaving the reality of the of the planetary threat alone, where is the assurance that the intended policies will in fact, save the planet? Investor’s Business Daily says there is no science behind the President’s plan, so far as its actual benefits are concerned. Part of his program, forcing reduced carbon emissions from power plants, is being called a “War on Coal” by Republicans. Assuming some spin, it still fits: Coal is the dirtiest CO2 emitter (as well as the least expensive and most plentiful). Increased regulation has already driven its cost up to a rough equivalency with natural gas. So if regulation is to reduce emissions, it must first attack coal, a guarantee that it will cost more or be replaced by cleaner, more expensive fuels. Worldwide, some 41% of electricity is produced from coal. Since reducing CO2 in the U.S. is a political game unless the rest of the world joins in, that’s a number to consider. What is the point of reducing U.S. industrial power generation or alternatively, increasing its cost to cut emissions, if the rest of the world will replace the pollution removed from the U.S? This becomes even more arresting when there is no guarantee that the U.S. sacrifice will actually reduce the targeted CO2 as seems to be the case here.
It seems to me, that our President resembles those well-known photos of top predators that used to be sold to tourists over the caption: “Trust Me.” We are to take him at his word, never mind any evidence. And this is the same President who has just announced that his signature Obamacare will proceed as planned, but without the employer mandate taking effect until 2015. Right. Just what we should expect when science gets mixed up with politics, isn’t it?
You may rest assured an it please you; I’m going to count my change. Twice!