The Rosett Report

Putting the EPA in Charge of Every Breath You Take?

Even the control freaks who ran the Soviet Union never got around to trying to regulate every breath exhaled by their fellow citizens. But that’s where America seems to be heading, as one set of would-be regulators after another gloms on to the tax-and-dictate potential of controlling carbon dioxide emissions (that’s what we all exhale in order to stay alive). Scarcely has cap-and-trade died in the Senate than we start seeing reports that the Environmental Protection Agency wants to produce a blueprint for, in effect, regulating every act of combustion in the United States. In the MSM, this is playing right now as a case of — shock! horror! — the White House trying to squelch the EPA (here, with important correction at the top, noting the EPA rules would apply not just to cars, but to “all sources of greenhouse gases,” is a Washington Post story on this).

Before the EPA gets its hooks into regulating not simply crud, but the air itself, it’s time to dust off the 1984 movie, “Ghostbusters,” in which the EPA (set up in 1970 under President Nixon) had already become such an intrusive, officious, bureaucratic joke that even Hollywood was willing to ridicule it.

Climate madness goes well beyond the EPA, of course. The same UN bureaucracy that brought us Oil-for-Food is now twitching to supervise Carbon-for-Cash. As ever, the chief beneficiaries are not likely to be the poor, the polluted, or the taxpayers and fee-payers who foot the bills, but UN and government officials and their cronies, who get to set up entire new domains of patronage and power.   

And what’s it all for, anyway? UN claims to the contrary, there is no scientific “consensus” on global warming.  Even among the scientists consulted by the Nobel-prize festooned IPCC, there is dissent (although the UN and the carbon-credit vendors prefer not to advertise that inconvenient fact). On the matter of which way the world’s ever-changing climate might now be heading, and why, there is still mystery enough so that trying to meter and regulate every carbon dioxide emission on earth is, ultimately, likely to go down in history as the most expensive, wasteful, dictatorial and  pseudo-scientific experiment since the Marx-Lenin-Stalin crusade to re-make human nature. (For some background on the climate front, scroll through the compilation on Senator James Inhofe’s environmental blog; and for a sample of the hypocrisy of the IPCC’s co-Nobelist, Al Gore, see this entry from my fellow Pajamas blogger Roger Kimball).