global warming climate change oh-god-we’re-all-going-to-die-unless-you-move-into-a-yurt-right-NOW activists breathing their last in their attempt to save civilization by destroying it? Shika Dalmia seems to think so:
Future historians will pinpoint Democratic Sen. Harry Reid’s energy legislation, released last Tuesday, as the moment that the political movement of global warming entered an irreversible death spiral. It is kaput! Finito! Done!
This is not just my read of the situation; it is also that of Paul Krugman, the Nobel laureate-turned-Democratic-apparatchik. In his latest column for The New York Times, Krugman laments that “all hope for action to limit climate change died” in 2010. Democrats had a brief window of opportunity before the politics of global warming changed forever in November to ram something through Congress. But the Reid bill chose not to do so for the excellent reason that Democrats want to avoid an even bigger beating than the one they already face at the polls.
Unsurprisingly the Dems’ political mortality is the primary reason for backing off from any significant global warming legislation, as opposed to the very logical conclusion that you can’t regulate people’s demand for energy by taxing its production any more than you can regulate their demand for meth by hiding the Sudafed behind the pharmacy counter.
Dalmia goes on to point out that, contra Paul Krugman’s condemnation of the greedy energy companies, they are just as hosed by the demise of global warming initiatives as the greenies:
The truth is that there never has been an environmental issue that has enjoyed greater corporate support. Early in the global warming crusade, a coalition of corporations called United States Climate Action Partnership was formed with the express purpose of lobbying Congress to cut greenhouse gas emissions. It included major utilities (Duke Energy) and gas companies (BP) that stood to gain by hobbling the coal industry through a cap-and-trade scheme. Meanwhile, the Breakthrough Institute, a highly respected liberal outfit whose mission is to rejuvenate the progressive movement in this country, points out that environmental groups spent at least $100 million over the past two years executing what was arguably the best mobilization campaign in history. Despite all of this, notes Breakthrough, there is little evidence to suggest that cap-and-trade would have mustered more than 43 votes in the Senate.
Not only are Democrats and Republicans unwilling to touch cap-and-trade legislation, but they’re finally waking up to the fact that related boondoggles such as the ethanol subsidy, which has fattened the coffers of Big Ag for years, ain’t worth it either.
As more doubts are raised about the integrity of the science behind global warming (hint: it’s not just about Climategate), the less it seems likely that the global warming alarmists will gain the political leverage to put their disastrous economic plans into action. But there’s always another IPCC report just around the corner, ready to stoke the flames of climate change fear once more. Perhaps the planet would cool off for a bit, were it not for all the gas escaping from climate scientists and politicians.