Cool heads needed on global warming

Published 10:16 pm Saturday, June 27, 2009

Fresh on the heels of another legislative victory that could prove burdensomely expensive for American taxpayers and businesses, President Barack Obama used his weekly radio address on Saturday to call for the U.S. Senate to move quickly to ratify the House of Representatives’ climate change legislation.

“We cannot be afraid of the future,” Obama said. “And we must not be prisoners of the past. Don’t believe the misinformation out there that suggests there is somehow a contradiction between investing in clean energy and economic growth.”

Ironically, though, Obama and the Earth First movement have forced this legislation on America through fearmongering about the future — or at least the future as predicted by former Vice President Al Gore and the woefully inadequate simulation programs that portend apocalyptic climate change in the face of contrary data and an unclear estimation of the actual cause of global warming.

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Opponents of the legislation have their own fears, to be sure, but they’re significantly more tangible than those of the environmental left wing, which would have us believe that Americans’ use of air conditioners and motor vehicles dooms the planet to an Atlantean fate in tens — or maybe hundreds — of years.

Opponents charge that the legislation will result in higher energy costs, which will hurt families and small businesses and ultimately cost millions of U.S. jobs, as manufacturing companies move their processes overseas, where they will not have to worry about draconian energy taxes or the shell-game of carbon cap-and-trade, which favors large, wealthy companies over small, undercapitalized ones.

And even if Americans can adjust to Obama’s goals of cutting the nation’s carbon emissions 17 percent by 2020 and 83 percent by 2050, there’s no evidence there will be much effect on global warming, since the American standards will have no effect on the emissions coming from developing countries like China.

In fact, according to the U.S. government’s Energy Information Administration, the total increase in China’s carbon emissions since 2000 is 50 percent higher than that of the rest of the world combined. With Chinese citizens trading in their bicycles for cars at an every increasing rate — and with that nation steadfastly refusing to join any international efforts to reduce carbon emissions — the effects of its pollution are likely to negate any efforts made at a reduction on the part of America.

The Senate, long considered as our nation’s more deliberative legislative body, now has the opportunity to perform as James Madison envisioned it, “proceeding with more coolness, with more system, and with more wisdom, than the (House of Representatives).”

With Americans on the hook for trillions of dollars worth of new programs and bailouts since Obama took office in January — and more to come if the president gets his way on health care reform — current and future taxpayers can only hope their senators fulfill that historic role.