A common media trope is that anti-taxation has become a secular religion for Republicans, with heretics condemned to political hell if they cross Grover Norquist. When will the media get around to realizing that green lunacy has become a similar secular religion for Democrats, resulting in profoundly dumb energy policies? Consider two new essays — one from Brookings Institution official Charles K. Ebinger and one from former Microsoft whiz kid/CTO Nathan Myhrvold — outlining how loopy Dems have gotten in recent years.
Neither is a “drill, baby, drill” type. Neither is conservative. Instead, they’re pragmatic voices on the left who declined the Green Kool-Aid when it was passed around.
Ebinger notes the bipartisan record on energy policy and development in the 20th century and decries what he now sees:
Today’s Democratic leadership has reached a nadir in rational energy policymaking. In the last several years, congressional party leaders have squandered opportunities for a nuclear waste management storage program and have shown opposition to shale gas production. This month, the party reached a new low: The Obama administration’s delay of the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada, in spite of its promise of an additional 750,000 barrels of oil per day and the thousands of new jobs it would create, was an inexcusable political decision unbecoming of a pragmatic leader.
Myhrvold is even more persuasive in demolishing what he depicts as the U.S. pursuit of a crazy goal:
Some people fret that China will reap the green jobs of the future, but no economically viable green-energy product exists. It makes no sense for the U.S. to try to dominate a money-losing industry, especially by guaranteeing profits to inefficient power plants for 30 years.
That is a wonderful way of framing the issue given that The New York Times, of all sources, put out a special section last month that pulverized old assumptions and claims about “peak oil” and national security requiring a shift to renewable energy, even if it cost gazillions in taxpayer subsidies.
In truth, however, the prime driver of this movement is a religious conviction that fossil fuels are evil. As Myhrvold himself has established, there are far smarter, cheaper ways of dealing with climate change.
But climate change is really a proxy issue for the greens’ larger conviction that humans have been bad for the plant and that we must repent somehow and someway — preferably by requiring other people to make sacrifices, tp give up their cars and single-family homes, and to move to a smart-growth community next to a light-rail depot.
The good news is that the public will revolt with a vengeance against the policies that stem from this conviction once it begins to diminish their lives and lifestyles. The bad news is that many laws will lock us into this folly at the cost of trillions of dollars even after this public revolt, and the green green industrial complex (the people who profit off government greenery) will use its lawyers and media influence to slow the revolt.
But it is coming. And it can’t come too soon.
In the meantime, when will the broad media catch up to the reality as laid out by the N.Y. Times’ energy reporters, Ebinger and Myhrvold?
Don’t count on it happening any time soon. Consider the fact that most coverage of AB 32 in California takes seriously the claim that unilaterally raising the price of energy on all industries, companies and individuals in the Golden State will have a net overall economic benefit. Oh, yeah, that’s how the free market works, make goods and the cost of living costlier while helping niche industries thrive with subsidies — that’s the path to economic nirvana.
The greens have had a good ride on the energy issue for years by pointing out the evidence for climate change that is ignored or downplayed by the right. If only they were held to the same standard in evaluating their crazy-quilt of discredited energy theories.
If so, it wouldn’t take long to realize the Green Kool-Aid has been laced with PCP. Unfortunately, we’re all going to be dragged along on their bad trip.