“Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad.”
Longfellow’s oft-repeated classic line has never been so true as now. The country is going crazy over climate change effects that might (or might not) happen in 100 years. Throngs of fools are pushing wholesale changes in our life, culture and standard of living to “save the planet,” while scientists and politicians argue over: whether the climate is actually changing; what is causing it, if it is changing; and whether the change (if any) will be good or bad for us.
Al Gore claims the polar ice caps will melt, New York and Los Angeles will be flooded (would that really be so bad?), and we’ll all roast because we won’t stop driving SUVs and burning hydro-carbon fuels. Al has a financial stake in this story, and a lot of politicians, businessmen and scientists do also. (Will they be around in 2100 to explain to Congress, if they were mistaken?)
A recent global warming “messiah” on the national publicity-scene was Sheryl Crow, a pop-singer with too much money and waaay too much time on her hands. To “reduce our carbon footprints” she toured the country with a fleet of three tractor-trailers, four buses and six cars – plus a band of disciples – to preach the Green Gospel she believes will save us. Her really big “idea” – fortunately not yet implemented – is to limit everyone to one sheet of toilet paper per, ah, sitting. She admits that one might need a few extra sheets for those “pesky occasions” when… well, you get the idea. (Will Rogers would agree that nobody could make up stuff this good.)
Saving the planet via reduced TP-use is bound to catch on quickly. Service stations, restaurants, hotels, and myriad other establishments will rush to save fortunes on lavatory costs – all in the name of green, planet-saving purity. The new restroom protocol will also spur an employment boom, as attendants will be stationed in every public toilet to hand each patron one sheet. (The honor system probably won’t work.) Millions of immigrants will flock in to fill these jobs, and users will pay them by remitting a small fee – perhaps 50¢, the going rate in Europe where most of the over-60 population sits at lavatory entrances collecting coins.
Miss Crowe’s brother – egad! a whole family of visionaries! – says conservation can be maximized if we all use one sheet per day and wash it out after each use. This beats my own proposal to place a Sears Catalogue at every potté (as in my grandma’s outhouse, ca. 1948).
As race-track announcers say, “we’re rounding the clubhouse turn” on climate change. The frenzy to act “before it’s too late” is growing. Hopefully, it’s just a fad, or even a joke. If not, new laws will mandate all kinds of changes in how we live and work. Toilet-paper? Maybe. But if more serious changes are ordered, TP-washing will be the least of our worries. A few biggies:
Reducing Carbon Emissions. Actual scientists not on the climate-scare bandwagon assure us that carbon dioxide helps plant-growth. Human beings have burned fuels for millennia without destroying the planet, but green activists now insist that carbon dioxide from combustion must be curtailed because it is changing the climate. (Warming or cooling isn’t clear, but many non-scientists think it’s changing because they confuse weather with climate.) The change-theory is unproven, but pols want CO2 emissions heavily taxed to compensate for climate “damage.”
Others want government to give companies and individuals carbon “allowances” for specified amounts of combustion. Those who want to burn more (or use more electric power) would purchase additional allowances (at a “market price”) from companies or individuals that have some to spare. Wall Street traders warmly embrace the idea, foreseeing vast fortunes from a brokered market in carbon allowances. President Barack Obama failed to get his plan on this passed into law, but the idea is still out there, waiting for a compliant Congress to come along.
For government, brokers, and net sellers of carbon allowances, this would be as good as printing money. It would also end American life as we know it. Fuel and electricity costs might become unaffordable for millions. (We’re seeing things moving in that direction already.) This would leave politicians with the choice of either subsidizing combustion for poor people – thereby exceeding the emissions objectives – or else denying them heat, power, or personal mobility.
We started a revolution over a few cents tax on tea. What will happen if millions can’t drive cars, can’t buy cars, can’t heat their homes, have to cook over wood-burning stoves, and lose jobs because needless emissions caps have crashed the economy? The idea redefines insanity.
Electricity is the modern world’s foundational technology. Economies of developed nations would suffer disastrously from limitations on electric power needed for industry and the uncountable aspects of modern life. Undeveloped countries can’t develop without electricity. Its generation requires reliable, uninterrupted power sources like hydroelectric dams, fuel-burning generators, or nuclear reactors. Solar- and wind-powered electricity-generation are unsuccessful because these power-sources cannot be continuous. Hydroelectric dams have the disadvantage of requiring vast topology-altering lakes locatable only in remote, rural locations.
Arrested Development. Radical environmentalists’ global warming campaign is really a war on industrial development. They believe industry is the planet’s mortal enemy, and they dream of a retro-primitive earth. In that new Eden, only a few hundred million people (down from 7 billion today) would be hunting, gathering, farming, freezing their butts off in dirt-floored grass huts, and cooking over fires of dried buffalo shit – presumably in a far more stable climate – whilst the infernal engines of industry remain forever banished. Electricity would be passé, unless generated in ways that could never support an industrial society. Nations like China would roll onward to global dominance, while we shivered our way to global irrelevance.
As British Channel 4’s “The Great Global Warming Swindle” points out, a key goal of climate activists is to keep the developing world from developing. Primitivism will keep third-world people poor, disease-prone, short-lived, and bereft of vocational options. They won’t be able to power cities or build an industrial base with wind- or solar-generated electricity. Africa has vast resources of oil and coal, which its leaders are eager to develop. But climate radicals – including most of the Western nations – are fighting to keep them from being used.
Defeat of the Great Satan. Marxists – who have merely changed their flag from red to green – still hope to defeat the great international capitalist pariah and satanic despoiler of the Planet. (That’s the USA, in case you snoozed through 20th Century History class.) Today’s warriors for Karl Marx’s utopian dream have failed militarily – although they’re still working to weaken our military capabilities, in case it comes to that. But they still might succeed by convincing us to witlessly self-limit our own access to energy.
Good Old “Lunch bucket” Joe Biden – that tireless champion of the little guy – has thrown in with the would-be wreckers of our industrial economy and comfortable lifestyles. Under the expectation that he’ll be regarded as the new FDR, who is changing the country’s direction, he has undone the petroleum independence that President Donald Trump achieved, and is “ordering” a massive conversion of the nation’s 300 million private vehicles to an all-electrical fleet.
At this writing Biden also seems close to issuing a ban on the use of natural gas cook-stoves and furnaces in new home-construction. Political observers and analysts who wonder how he has the authority to issue such orders are essentially shouting into the wind, as the campaign to “save the planet” (by wrecking the country) romps on.
Media organs and reporters, always on the scout for the newest “conflict,” are cheering the revolutionary Biden energy-doctrine onward. The savviest among them fully realize that depriving people of affordable, reliable transportation will produce the Mother of All Political Battles – and possibly an actual revolution – once the reality of these radical changes hits home.
All this will ruin our economy, impoverish our way of life, and wreck our world influence. Without our Excalibur of industry and technology, a swarm of midgets will slay us. We shall be the greatest national suicide in history.
Saving the Planet – the Future