Tuesday, February 13, 2007

McCain and Lieberman: the Smoot & Hawley of our generation

In the post below, I presented the remarks of Czech President Václav Klaus on the alleged threat of global warming. In stark contrast, let's examine John McCain and Joe Lieberman's op-ed today in The Boston Globe. According to McCain and Lieberman (discussing the same report Klaus eviscerates):

There is now a broad consensus in this country, and indeed in the world, that global warming is happening, that it is a serious problem, and that humans are causing it. The recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded there is a greater than 90 percent chance that greenhouse gases released by human activities like burning oil in cars and coal in power plants are causing most of the observed global warming. This report puts the final nail in denial's coffin about the problem of global warming.
Pretty good ROI for what Václav Klaus notes is an oversimplified summary for pro-green politicians. That said, McCain and Lieberman note that others have helped with the "final nail" too:

In addition, the US Fish and Wildlife Service has identified a warming climate, and the resulting melting of sea ice, as the reason polar bears may now be threatened as a species. The US Center for Disease Control's National Center for Environmental Health has cited global warming as the largest looming public health challenge we face. And President Bush has himself called global warming a serious challenge that we need to confront.
And how ought we confront this threat? The senators have reintroduced their Climate Stewardship and Innovation Act. According to them:

The bill, which has growing bipartisan support, would harness the power of the free market and the engine of American innovation to reduce the nation's greenhouse gas emissions substantially enough and quickly enough to forestall catastrophic global warming.
OK, let me get this straight: McCain and Lieberman want to pass a law to let the free market forestall the alleged threat of global warming. Sounds great to me, but that not what their bill actually does. McCain and Lieberman's bill arbitrarily caps off American CO2 emissions at 2000 levels, forces companies to buy and sell the right to emit CO2 gasses into the atmosphere, and treble fines those that exceed their emissions caps. This isn’t the "free market;" it is the antithesis of the free market .

At root, McCain and Lieberman are announcing that they seek to be the Smoot & Hawley of our generation. They seek to choke the life out of the American economy in the name of a sill highly-specious theory—and a theory that's more green dogma than science.

And odds are, they will get their way if we don't begin to act now.


Anonymous said...

I makes me want to cry.

I just read this from the WSJ:

"The cost of government intervention is always underestimated in the midst of political battles, while the benefits are always overestimated. Impeding the free market alters the course of economic activity in ways that cannot fully be understood in advance. For example, tax subsidies for using existing solar technology diminish incentives for research and development, just like welfare payments undermine the willingness of many recipients to work or go to school. Why give up a sure thing for a future that is uncertain?

The U.S. is subsidizing ethanol, which pulls billions of dollars of investment capital away from other areas of the economy. When government picks what it thinks should be the winner, it saps resources from other ideas and potential advancements. In the 1960s, the U.K. picked coal and steel, while Japan picked consumer electronics, motor vehicles and exports. The U.K. was wrong. The Japanese got it right. But the odds of any government picking the right strategy, industry or technology are no greater than that of a single company or individual.

The power of a free market is that the odds of success are increased. With tens, or hundreds, of thousands of different entities researching, inventing, producing and distributing, successes not only multiply, but their profits generate resources that allow the economy to absorb the cost of mistakes and failure. It's called diversification. When one company fails, those closely involved are hurt, but not the entire economy. When government is wrong, millions suffer." -http://users2.wsj.com/lmda/do/checkLogin?mg=wsj-users2&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB117142605260108183.html%3Fmod%3Dopinion_main_commentaries

Anonymous said...

Also worth noting:

"But, had America and Australia signed on to Kyoto, and had Canada and Europe complied with it instead of just pretending to, by 2050 the treaty would have reduced global warming by 0.07C -- a figure that would be statistically undetectable within annual climate variation. And, in return for this meaningless gesture, American GDP in 2010 would be lower by between $97 billion and $397 billion -- and those are the U.S. Energy Information Administration's somewhat optimistic models.
And now Jerry Mahlman of the National Center for Atmospheric Research says "it might take another 30 Kyotos" to halt global warming. Thirty times $397 billion is... er, too many zeroes for my calculator.
So, faced with a degree rise in temperature, we could destroy the planet's economy, technology, communications and prosperity. And ruin the lives of millions of people.
Or we could do what man does best: adapt. You do the math." http://www.washtimes.com/commentary/20070211-102909-1378r_page2.htm

Shutter said...

EU Don't Agree on Global Warming Targets - but do agree on Biofuels.

Carbon Black Hole gets bigger and better - Financial PR gets into top gear

Recent Posts that might be of interest.

For a handle on how Wall Street is getting excited follow Climate Exchange who own the Chicago CCX exhange which Goldman Sachs has bought into.

Especially compare their share price . NEV, and they have never traded or made a profit.... and are based in the Isle of Man.