Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Sleep Talking

The POTUS came out with a climate change speech today that laid out his new plan. Well, it's not really a plan, it just fluff and floozy to keep him from looking like he is. But simply setting a goal was enough to make the conservatives at National Review Online get all cranky.

Bush & Global Warming: Still A Mistake
Iain Murray

The President, as I mentioned below, stepped back from calling for a ruinous cap and trade scheme, but his speech still lays out a blueprint for slow motion economic decline. It legitimizes global warming alarmism and undermines opposition in Congress to disastrous energy-rationing policies, such as the Lieberman-Warner bill.

President Bush's global warming proposals could have been worse. Bereft of the cap and trade call, however, it became a stunningly pointless speech that was unnecessary. While the President said that the global warming debate was intensifying, the fact is that global warming alarmism is on the verge of collapse all around the world thanks to the stark lessons of reality. If anything, by delivering this speech the President has only helped to intensify the alarmist agenda.

Thanks to strong and quick conservative opposition, the President did indeed step back from some of the most damaging proposals being considered in the White House—for instance, supporting a cap-and-trade for utilities. Yet it's not clear what exactly is left. His emphasis on new technologies is encouraging, although it opens the door to massive government subsidies.

The vague principles relating to the incentives he outlined could support sensible policies, or, more likely, damaging policies.

President Bush has unfortunately moved the debate toward energy rationing policies that will raise the electricity and gasoline prices paid by consumers. But, perhaps we should be grateful that he hasn't moved the debate far enough to please the global warming alarmists. Grist, Joe Romm and the Center for American Progress are all incensed.

The best point in the speech was the strong opposition to carbon tariffs and trade wars, as favored by the French. That needed to be said. He also said raising taxes was no way to deal with the problem—meaning his "incentives" probably can't be interpreted as a carbon tax, and, in fact, expensing might meet the strictures. (But so would cap and trade.)

He also rightly outlined the regulatory nightmare caused by activist litigation; however, he has had ample warning of that—Chris Horner's paper five years ago warned exactly how this would happen.

The upshot: an unnecessary and unhelpful intervention in a debate that for all the hype, was actually progressing satisfactorily on its own."

As you might imagine, I rather like the French proposal for carbon fees and feel it is at least moving us in the right direction. Allowing carbon to be placed into the biosphere without any kind of premium for doing so, when we are 99% sure that it is dangerous to do so, is a recipe for for a calamity of species ending proportions. However, I would not characterize myself as a global alarmist, I would rather characterize the folks who have coined that phrase to be somnabulists.
They are sleep talkers.

I do agree with the Review that the Cap and Trade plans will fail to do the job, and I further agree that if we don't get to developing the kind of advanced photon to electron solid state economy we are capable of, we will be seeing all kinds of gasoline allotments, and other carbon constraints. And our freedoms will equally be constrained.

When I was young, I used to sleep walk. Now that I'm older, the idea that I might get up in the middle of the night and walk around without knowing what I am doing, where I am going, or why I'm doing it, kind of horrifies me.

I wonder when the conservatives will awake from their somnabulist state,

and realize that their words and writings on climate change

is the neural equivalent of sleep talking.

And the time to wake up

and to come together

is now.


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"sleep walking well" courtesy of mihai criste

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Massive government subsidies," I wonder what Iain Murray thinks the past 100 years of government subsidies to oil companies have been? Nothing in the way of tax credits or other incentives for renewable technologies could even come close to the present value of 100 years of oil subsidies continuing even to this day, (despite Pilosi's attempts to block payment.)

You just have to wonder about the thinking of these "wing-nuts." A global economy in shambles from US war-mongering and corporate cronyism, the start of food wars. And they object to technology and policy progress that could actually benefit the world's economies and environment.

Maybe Iain and his friends should stick around planet earth for another Billion years. According to a report on BBC Radio this morning, Planet Earth will be so hot as to be completely uninhabitable to any form of life in 1 Billion years.


1:26 PM  

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