Posts Tagged ‘Greenhouse gas’

Let Them Die and Decrease the Surplus Population

February 21, 2013

If there is anyone today who would echo Scrooge’s callous dismissal of the poor who wanted better lives, it might be the contemporary Green movement. I have long believed that the more radical environmentalists are motivated more by misanthropy than by any abstract desire to save the planet. You really don’t have to read too much of their literature before you encounter their anti-American, anti-capitalist, anti-technological, and ultimately anti-human ideology.

Robert Zubrin knows this better than most. Last year he wrote a book titled Merchants of Despair, which tells of the excesses of the environmental movement. Yesterday, he had a column in National Review Online, rebutting an editorial in the Denver Post, written by Phillip Cafaro. Cafaro writes of the link between illegal immigration and climate change. Robert Zubrin’s answer is worth reading but I want to examine how Cafaro’s editorial shows the anti-human bias of the Greens. Here are some excerpts.

According to U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet’s website, reforming immigration policy and combatting climate change are two of his key legislative goals.

But there is no evidence that the senator sees any connection between them, despite the fact that the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has identified population growth as one of the two key drivers of global warming, and that most of the increase in U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in the past two decades has occurred due to population growth, while per capita emissions have remained relatively flat.

As can readily be seen, even at present immigration rates, the U.S. is on track for huge population increases during the 21st century, from a current population of 315 million to 524 million people by 2100. It is not clear how such increases can be accommodated in an ecologically sustainable manner.

Further increasing America’s already generous immigration rates, as proposed by Sen. Bennet, could add another 145 million people to our population. That increase itself is equal to almost half our current population. It would ensure that the U.S. more than doubles its total population by 2100, to 669 million people.

And make no mistake: Immigrants are not coming to the United States to remain poor. Those hundreds of millions of new citizens will want to live as well and consume energy at the same rates as other Americans.

All this suggests some obvious questions: What climate change mitigation measures does Sen. Bennet plan to put forward that could possibly equal the increased greenhouse gas emissions we would lock in by adding 145 million more new citizens to our population?

Now, my major concerns regarding immigration are assimilation and legality. I oppose illegal immigration simply because it is illegal. I bear no particular ill will for the immigrants but they are in violation of our immigration laws. I do not think it is wise to simply not enforce these laws. If there is a need for more immigrants in this country, than the laws should be changed. I oppose any sort of amnesty simply because I feel that it would be essentially rewarding people for breaking the law.

Having said all that, I have no problem at all with legal immigrants coming here and making a better life for themselves. It is my sincere desire that they do live as well and consume energy as much as other Americans. In fact, I wish that for higher standards of living all over the world. It shouldn’t be necessary to leave your home in the hope of having a decent life.

Cafaro feels otherwise. He wants the immigrants to stay home and stay poor. It’s necessary for them to stay poor and hungry in order to save the Earth. In fact, since there are really too many people, it might be best if they were to starve.

 

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The Washington Post and the Carbon Tax

February 10, 2013

The Washington Post has published an opinion piece in favor of wrecking the economy. Well, not really of course, but they do want President Obama to address climate change by putting into place a slowly rising carbon tax.

PRESIDENT OBAMA will deliver his 2013 State of the Union address on Tuesday, and expectations are high that he will devote significant time to climate change. We hope that he adopts a different approach to explaining the need for action than he did in much of his first term.

In past addresses, talking about green jobs didn’t work, nor did talking about energy independence. The credible way to justify fighting climate change is to discuss the science, the real reason to cut carbon emissions. There is overwhelming evidence that the planet is warming. The widespread burning of fossil fuels, meanwhile, pumps heat-trapping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere every second. There is still uncertainty about exactly how sensitive the climate system is to a given increase in carbon dioxide concentrations — but not enough uncertainty to justify ignoring the risks of rising temperatures.

Well, the evidence that the planet is warming may not be so overwhelming as they contend. I would say that there is not enough certainty to justify levying a tax that would permanently slow down the economy and put the US at a competitive disadvantage with China and India.

Here is their proposal.

Putting a slowly rising, significant price on carbon emissions would encourage people to burn less fossil fuel without micromanaging by Congress or the Energy Department. This approach would enlist market forces to green the energy sector. It would also allow for similar policies in other nations to connect with America’s, creating a bigger, global market for carbon.

Anything like carbon pricing must get lawmakers’ approval, though, which is the first reason Mr. Obama should make reaching out to them on climate policy a priority. True, a coalition of anti-regulation Republicans and coal-state Democrats killed the last major effort to price emissions, a 2010 cap-and-trade bill. But, in the big budget reform politicians have been promising, they will need new revenue from somewhere. A carbon tax would be an ideal source.

Even second- and third-best alternatives would need Congress’s say-so. These include establishing a national clean energy standard requiring that a defined and rising amount of electricity come from sources cleaner than coal, the top climate villain. Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, the Energy Committee’s lead Republican and a voice of reason within her party, just released a 121-page plan with other ideas that could serve as a basis for some congressional action, such as paying for energy technology research, reforming subsidies for green power, advancing hydropower and promoting energy efficiency.

Since almost every industrial process emits some carbon dioxide, especially in energy and transportation, a tax on carbon dioxide emissions would be a tax on just about every industry and business in America. These costs will be passed on to consumers and the cost of living will increase. It is true that a new tax would be a bonanza of the federal government, at least until they squander the increased revenues on subsidies for green power.

It’s nice that they refer to coal as the top climate villain. How an inanimate substance could be a villain is not clear to me, but at this time, coal is also our cheapest source of energy and the one that is most abundant in North America. Requiring that a defined and rising amount of energy come from cleaner than coal would raise the cost of energy over time and again raise the cost of living. I begin to think that the editors of the Washington Post don’t like the poor and middle class very much, or perhaps they love the poor so much, they want to make more people poor.

And, they finish with a threat.

The president should also remind Congress that, without ambitious action from lawmakers, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) can and will act on its own. The EPA has already established or is in the process of establishing a range of new air pollution rules. These rules will ensure than no new conventional coal plants are built in the United States, and they will force the closure of some particularly awful, ancient coal-fired facilities. More regulations are likely in store in Mr. Obama’s second term. The EPA, for example, has not yet set rules regulating the carbon emissions of major, existing sources of greenhouse gases. Using the EPA’s top-down approach, though, is not the best way to reduce carbon emissions. Mr. Obama should invite Congress to work with him on a better alternative.

So, do what the president wants, or he’ll have the EPA do it anyway. Why bother with a Congress at all, if that is the way we are going to do things? It seems to me that this is the best argument ever for reining in, or even abolishing the EPA. They have clearly become a rogue agency, seeing themselves as above the law and even common sense. Maybe, Congress should abolish the agency and replace it with something more responsible.


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