Thomas Friedman, an Op-Ed columnist for the New York Times, is pushing for the passage of what he admits is a bad climate change bill – the Waxman-Markey Cap and Trade bill. Like other climate change “believers” Friedman seems to think that it is a good and helpful idea to tax carbon and kill the economy in the name of the rain forests or something. Unbeknown to him, climate change is nothing more than a hoax or a bad joke with a worse punchline… Kind of like Friedman.
That being said, UR does what it does best and delivers an uncanned response to a canned diatribe.
There is much in the House cap-and-trade energy bill that just passed that I absolutely hate. It is too weak in key areas and way too complicated in others. A simple, straightforward carbon tax would have made much more sense than this Rube Goldberg contraption. It is pathetic that we couldn’t do better. It is appalling that so much had to be given away to polluters. It stinks. It’s a mess. I detest it.
Now let’s get it passed in the Senate and make it law.
Let’s put this to the common sense test. It is an admittedly horrendous bill… So we should pass it? The common sense meter is pegging on “stupid.” The common sense answer would be to not pass it. Makes sense, no? Well not to Friedman, who admits that the Cap and Trade bill is a convoluted craptacular bill. Yet he still wants to make it law. His reasoning?
Rejecting this bill would have been read in the world as America voting against the reality and urgency of climate change and would have undermined clean energy initiatives everywhere.
Wow, what a great reason to pass bad legislation… because it would mean that the American Congress actually has a lick of sense. That sure would be a bad thing, wouldn’t it? Apparently for a true believer it is. Note the use of “reality” and “urgency.” As if climate change, a.k.a. global warming, were either real or urgent – which it is neither, as has been stated, and the effects of this type of legislation, discussed here many times.
But rather than listening to hundreds of actual scientists that have raised serious questions about the myth of global warming and the legions of economists who have sounded countless alarms about the pit falls of cap and trade… Friedman thinks that we should listen to his gut instead – as if Al Gore’s wasn’t big enough.
More important, my gut tells me that if the U.S. government puts a price on carbon, even a weak one, it will usher in a new mind-set among consumers, investors, farmers, innovators and entrepreneurs that in time will make a big difference — much like the first warnings that cigarettes could cause cancer. The morning after that warning no one ever looked at smoking the same again.
So the idea is that if we pass a cap and trade bill everyone will suddenly believe in Al Gore’s junk “science?” Not likely. The only mindset that will be ushered in will be “how am I going to afford getting to work in the morning?” Innovators and entrepreneurs will be forced to close shop… especially right now. With our current economic woes the innovators, entrepreneurs, investors, consumers and especially farmers are already struggling to keep their doors open and keep their people employed. Throw a hefty energy tax on them and the small firms and businesses will close shop. Farmers will shut down. And the large firms – with deeper pockets – will mass exodus to other, more affordable shores. How’s that for a “new” mindset? But, Friedman did get one thing right, no one will ever look at “global warming” alarmism the same again.
Nonetheless, Friedman prattles on…
Ditto if this bill passes. Henceforth, every investment decision made in America — about how homes are built, products manufactured or electricity generated — will look for the least-cost low-carbon option. And weaving carbon emissions into every business decision will drive innovation and deployment of clean technologies to a whole new level and make energy efficiency much more affordable. That ain’t beanbag.
Once again the common sense meter pegs on “stupid.” Investment goes where the money is, period. That is the way that it works. Time and again the markets have shown that “green technology” is not a money maker, but instead, a money pit. That is going to change with cap and trade? Not likely. How many times must the market reject intervention and bad business before people like Friedman catch on? If people want “green technology” they will buy it and more investments will be made towards it. Taking all other options off of the table won’t make the technology more affordable. What it will do, however, is strip the market of competition and further bankrupt our economy.
What Friedman seems to ignore is that while the market does move towards cost efficiency, it does not care where that efficiency comes from. Like that massive carbon pumping country called, China. Giving China’s factories more work doesn’t help American investment and innovation… nor does it help the environment.
But common sense eludes Mr. Friedman, who goes on to lament coal state Democrats watering down the bill and questions why Republicans reject this admittedly atrocious bill.
What are Republicans thinking? It is not as if they put forward a different strategy, like a carbon tax. Does the G.O.P. want to be the party of sex scandals and polluters or does it want to be a partner in helping America dominate the next great global industry: E.T. — energy technology? How could Republicans become so anti-environment, just when the country is going green?
To state the obvious, how is a carbon tax a different strategy from… a carbon tax? But to answer Friedman’s question – Republicans are thinking about actually having a future for this country and not killing the economy. Our different strategy is to actually promote the free market and prevent economic catastrophe as opposed to actually causing one. The Republican plan revolves around an “all of the above” approach to energy which relies on maximizing our potential – though all technologies including nuclear – instead of minimizing it. Friedman would know this if he wasn’t living under a tree stump in the Amazon. But what does one expect from the party of sex scandals and climate change?
Yes, this bill’s goal of reducing U.S. carbon emissions to 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 is nowhere near what science tells us we need to mitigate climate change.
Friedman strikes out again. That’s another “stupid” on the common sense meter. The admittedly bad bill doesn’t fix what climate change junk science says is a problem… but will harm our economy and crush the tax payer, and yet, we should make it law anyway? Friedman’s reasoning is about as solid as carbon dioxide – it forces Kalifornia’s regulations on every other state. Because those regulations haven’t helped bankrupt that state or anything.
We need Republicans who believe in fiscal conservatism and conservation joining this legislation in the Senate. We want a bill that transforms the whole country not one that just threads a political needle. I hope they start listening to green Republicans like Dick Lugar, George Shultz and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Friedman is dreaming. Fiscal Conservatives will not join the bandwagon… because this bill is antithetical to fiscal conservatism. Meaning that anyone who joins the cap and trade nuts is not a fiscal conservative. As the for green Republicans mentioned: California is beyond bankrupt and anyone who listens to a proponent of cap and trade is either uneducated or willfully stupid. And the last thing that we need is to “transform” the United States based on easily disputed junk science.