Monday, December 7, 2009
How to Destroy the U.S. Economy: Regulate Carbon Dioxide
By Alan Caruba
In the course of the first year of the Obama administration, it has become clear to many close observers that it is intent on destroying the U.S. economy and, with it, the Republic.
It has virtually shut down all exploration for energy resources such as oil and natural gas despite the bonus of thousands of jobs and billions in tax revenue that this would generate.
It has declared war on the mining and use of coal even though coal provides just over half of all the electricity generated nationwide.
Its “Stimulus” bill, at this point, has largely distributed funds to state governments to help them pay for Medicare and other entitlement programs. The program has claimed new jobs in congressional districts that don’t even exist.
All the while unemployment has risen and there is no evidence of any actual new jobs because, sensibly, large businesses and small are waiting to see if Obamacare will take over one-sixth of the nation’s economy, slashing billions from Medicare, and raising the cost of health insurance. The other major legislative initiative, Cap-and-Trade is a huge tax on energy use, raising the cost of doing business in America.
“Business Fumes Over Dioxide Rule” was a headline in the December 7 edition of The Wall Street Journal. Considering that one major corporation after another has gone out of its way to demonstrate how “Green” they are, it is a little late in the day for corporate America to wake up to discover that the entire agenda of Green organizations has been to strangle the economy in general and their ability to operate in particular.
Two Obama appointments signaled the Obama administration’s intent. One was the appointment of Carol Browner, a former EPA director in the Clinton years and an avowed socialist, as its climate czar, and the appointment of Lisa Jackson as the new Director of the Environmental Protection Agency. Others include the Secretary of the Interior and of Energy, all global warming scare mongers.
Monday,December 7,the EPA has announced an “endangerment” finding that carbon dioxide (CO2) is a “pollutant” and thereby subject to EPA regulation under the Clean Air Act. If that is true than everyone exhaling in the nation is, by definition, a polluter. Humans exhale about six pounds of CO2 every day.
In January, I wrote a commentary, “Glorious Carbon Dioxide”, that was a look at the science of CO2. It can be found at http://www.acuf.org/issues/issue124/090126cul.asp.
One simple fact invalidates the EPA’s claim. All life on Earth is dependent on two gases, oxygen and carbon dioxide. A reduction of CO2 would be a reduction of the gas that all vegetation relies upon for its existence, but the EPA claims that a rise in CO2 is responsible for a rise in the overall temperature of the Earth.
The EPA is doing this as a completely natural cooling cycle has been occurring since 1998. It is doing this despite ample scientific data that demonstrates that CO2 does not play any role in the increase of the Earth’s average temperature, but in fact increases many decades, even centuries, after such an increase.
It is the Sun that determines the climate of the Earth, not CO2, and the Sun is in a natural cycle called a solar minimum, producing less radiation to warm the Earth.
At times in the Earth’s 4.5 billion year history, the amount of CO2 has been much higher than its present concentration of a mere 0.038% of the atmosphere. Estimates of how much man-made CO2 contributes to this tiny amount are set at 0.117%.
Despite this, the EPA is intent on regulating man-made CO2 emissions as if this would make any difference in light of the fact that many other nations also emit CO2 in the process of developing their economies. China and India come to mind and it is no accident that both were exempted from the UN Kyoto Protocols to limit CO2 emissions.
The entire purpose of the current Climate Change Conference taking place is Copenhagen is a treaty to limit CO2 emissions that the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change asserts is necessary to avoid a “global warming” that is NOT happening.
The conference, however, must ignore revelations that one of its primary providers of climate data, the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, has been deliberately fudging the data, falsifying it to justify the treaty. Another major source of such data has been NASA’s climate program, both of which have fought efforts under the Freedom of Information Acts of both the UK and the USA, to require them to make their data available for scientific peer review.
As the Wall Street Journal article points out, “An ‘endangerment’ finding by the Environmental Protection Agency could pave the way for the government to require businesses that emit carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases to make costly changes in machinery to reduce emissions—even if Congress doesn’t pass pending climate-change legislation.”
If either the EPA or the climate change legislation called Cap-and-Trade are put in place or enacted, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is on record warning that it would “choke off growth by adding new mandates to virtually every major construction and renovation project.” It would add to the cost of all electricity by industry, business, and all consumers.
As the Wall Street Journal article notes, “Electricity generation, transportation and industry represent the three largest sources of U.S. greenhouse-gas emission.” What it doesn’t say is that such emissions play no role in climate change.
Other nations, however, would not be subject to such costs and the result would be a mad rush to move as many U.S. industries as possible to foreign shores. Other businesses would have to shut down or raise the price of everything they produce.
The current Recession would escalate into a full-blown Depression as millions of jobs would disappear or never return.
If that isn’t a plan to destroy the economy of the nation, I don’t know what is.