CHURCHVILLE, VA—President Obama didn’t mention carbon constraints in his State of the Union message. Such carbon constraints would force the nation to give up most of the energy that currently keeps us warm and productive. Instead, the President proposed a new “clean energy” program—which would force the nation to give up most of the energy that currently keeps us warm and productive. A study by the Beacon Hill Institute in Boston estimates the President’s “clean energy” proposal might well cost the economy $4 trillion over 20 years, and force huge numbers of U.S. jobs overseas.
Mr. Obama’s “new” proposal is obviously being offered as Plan B, since his cap-and-trade proposal failed in the Congress. He obviously hopes to lure some befuddled House Republican votes to pass it. The President is not “moving to the middle.” Instead he is playing bait-and switch. Either cap-and-trade or “clean energy” would cause chaos in the American economy. Remember his desperate efforts to pass Obama-care, complete with the payoffs to key Senators? He is rigidly persistent!
Now it gets even worse. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon just announced that he will quit pushing for an international agreement to ban fossil fuels. Guess what now rates as worthy of his efforts instead: a “clean energy initiative”! Ban says this is necessary to reduce climate risks, cut poverty, and improve global health. Does anybody think he means substituting kerosene stoves in Bangladeshi huts to prevent the lung diseases women get from burning wood and dung in open cook-fires?
The left has decided that global warming is no longer an effective rallying cry. The Pacific Ocean shifted into its cooling phase in 2007—predicting another 25 years of moderate cooling. So the left would like to “clean up” our energy instead. What about stack scrubbers on our coal-fired power plants? What about catalytic converters in the exhaust systems on our cars? What about a 95 percent improvement in U.S. air quality since the passage of the Clean Air Act in 1972—though the EPA keeps moving the goal posts so they don’t have to admit this!
If Mr. Obama and the UN Secretary-General aren’t really worried about global warming, and aren’t really planning to make a billion women and children safer in their huts, what could possibly be triggering this “clean energy” focus?
They think we are all idiots. They hornswoggled the affluent world into fearing the finest weather the earth has enjoyed in the last million years, and they think they can now switch their alarmist campaign to a new target without breaking stride. The same cadre of green activists, unelected bureaucrats and willing dupes in the media will be just as happy to push “clean energy” as “global warming.”
The UN would love to be the energy rationing board for the world. The extra UN jobs and graft would make Saddam Hussein’s oil-for-food pay-offs look like small change. Does anyone remember gasoline rationing during World War II? The Rationing Board controlled the economy. They radically reduced “non-essential” gasoline use to make more gas available for the war effort.
But now we have no “war effort.” We have only a Green wish-dream that we humans will give up our abundant food supply, shift from autos to bicycles, and exist as 500 million hunter-gatherers using our cell phones to locate the nearest berry-patch.
Well, what reason have we given these people to believe we are not a bunch of idiots?
DENNIS T. AVERY, a senior fellow for the Hudson Institute in Washington, DC, is an environmental economist. He was formerly a senior analyst for the Department of State. He is co-author, with S. Fred Singer, of Unstoppable Global Warming Every 1500 Hundred Years, Readers may write him at PO Box 202, Churchville, VA 24421 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org