In an April Pajamas Media exclusive, conceding that doing so in 2007 or 2008 would have paid off handsomely, Ira Stoll wondered whether it might still be a good time to short carbon credits. His fear was that, despite the mountain of inconvenient facts in the way, Congress will still “impose a vast new regulatory regime on energy consumption.”
It has become clear that the current Congress isn’t willing to do that. If the House were to get its way, dumb ideas like the ban on incandescent bulbs would be repealed. But the House probably won’t get its way — because Harry “coal makes us sick, oil makes us sick” Reid still runs the Senate, and Barack “Green Jobs, Clean Jobs” Obama is still the president.
In the face of clear congressional opposition to going any further with regulating and taxing energy consumption, the administration has decisively shifted to a posture of “We don’t need Congress to impose our ‘green’ will on America.” Readers will see why shortly.
What’s amazing is that the scientific justification for doing so, never really there in the first place, has virtually evaporated. Meanwhile, the frightening economic costs of “going green” have never been clearer. All one has to do is visit the website of The Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), home of the indefatigable Dr. Benny Peiser, to see how true these assertions really are.
On the science side, here are just a few items which appeared in the week preceding the writing of this column:
- On July 9, GWPF excerpted a post by climate scientist Dr. Roy Spencer, principal research scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, noting that the global average sea surface temperature is a tad lower than it was in 2002.
- A July 6 article reported that British scientists who study the sun, which sane people realize has the predominant impact on our planet’s temperature, are concerned that it might be “coming to the end of a ‘grand solar maximum,'” meaning that we could be heading towards colder winters, not warmer ones. What they found essentially corroborates sun-related concerns raised by American scientists that the earth “may be headed into a mini Ice Age within a decade.” What was that about the supposedly “settled science” that the earth is warming?
- On July 4, Dr. David Whitehouse of the foundation’s academic advisory council observed that even global warming true believers have been forced to admit that “there has been no global temperature increase since 1998,” but that they’re making up the most bizarre of excuses — Chinese coal dust! — to assure cultists that the earth is still fundamentally warming, but we somehow aren’t seeing it.
Even though the bogus science of global warming is on the retreat, its effects on citizens’ pocketbooks are being felt around the world — and politicians are beginning to feel serious electoral heat as a result:
- A July 11 post on UK carbon taxation linking to the UK Daily Mail reveals that the government is establishing “minimum price guarantees, higher than the normal market price, for the electricity generated by new wind farms and nuclear power stations.” This will cost UK households as much as £1,000 (about $1,600 U.S.) per year. President Barack “Energy bills will necessarily skyrocket” Obama will be likely be pleased to know that this is described as “send[ing] bills rocketing.”
- A related entry which links to a two-weeks-earlier Daily Mail item predicts that the heavy overpayments for “green” energy sources “could push tens of thousands of households into fuel poverty but do nothing to reduce emissions.” As a result, “30,000 to 60,000 more households will be […] spending more than 10 per cent of […] disposable income on heat and light.” It’s reasonable to believe that this estimate is low.
- GWPF links to a July 11 Australia Herald-Sun report on that country’s Labor Party’s “Suicide Sunday,” which describes the blowback from Labor Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s $24.5 billion (about $26 billion U.S.) carbon tax announcement. Specifically, “More than 70% of voters” in a plebiscite “said they now planned to vote for the Coalition (the opposition party) at the next election while just 8.51 per cent said they would support a Labor government.”
What’s happening in Australia, along with the well-deserved opprobrium the United Nations is receiving for telling the world it will “only” need $76 trillion to enable the world to comprehensively “go green,” explains why the Obama administration is trying to do all it can to impose its green will under the radar.
Even at that, Devon Swezey, a dedicated lefty with the Breakthrough Institute (their mission is “to modernize liberal-progressive-green politics”) agrees that “[t]he global clean energy industry is set for a major crash.” You might think that this is good news for free-market advocates, but Swezey believes the opposite, and is more than likely working towards it. Swezey expects “a comprehensive energy innovation strategy to develop, manufacture, and deploy riskier but more promising clean energy technologies that may eventually compete with fossil energy at scale” to rise out of the ashes. Unspoken but obvious: Only the federal government can (try to) run this, and pretty much only by force. Welcome to the world of five-year plans and “comprehensive” de facto control over energy resources.
If you think facts are going to matter in Swezey’s world, think again. As Ben-Peter Terpstra wrote at American Thinker in November 2009: “When green Leftists try to shut down a democracy it isn’t because they can defend their arguments, it’s because they can’t.” Soon, it may become as dangerous to tell the truth about globaloney as certain Argentine economists have recently found telling the truth about inflation to be.
In this fearsome context, going short on carbon credits is far from a surefire winner.