When an individual embraces a belief that is controverted by logic or facts and then acts on that belief, we call it superstition.
When an entire government does the same, we call it environmentalism.
Despite plentiful arguments against it, California last week adopted the country’s toughest “clean-air” regulations in the country.
Among other things, the regulations require that one out of every seven cars sold in the state be partially or fully electric by 2025.
The left-wing Union of Concerned Scientists and other supporters of the decision by California’s unelected Air Resources Board loudly proclaim that the rules will be a boon for public health, lower electric car prices and give the “clean transportation industry” an economic shot in the arm.
If the history of environmental policies holds true, it’s far more likely that the rules will result in higher taxes and fees for most drivers, fewer jobs as manufacturers and car dealers flee the state, decreased state revenues, and a whole lot of unsold electric cars filling up dealership showrooms.
It may not be easy being green, but it’s even harder living under a green dictatorship.
Logic never applies to the environmental movement in general, but in California, residents live in a Wonderland where sense is turned on its head. While the state’s green legislators shout “callooh! callay!” at the slaying of the global warming Jabberwock, their economic policies are more like a vorpal sword flying snicker-snack through what remains of the job market.
After all, this is the state where they once shut off a third of the water to the San Joaquin Valley, one of the world’s premier agricultural areas, to “save” a sardine called the Delta smelt from being sucked into water pumps.
What had been thousands of square miles of green and golden farm and ranch lands is these days mostly a bank-owned dust bowl.
It’s typical of the environmental movement’s record that people are allowed to suffer for little or no real gain.
Pesticide bans that let millions of people die of malaria, fluorescent lights that cause headaches and contain poisonous mercury, mandatory catalytic converters that turn car exhaust into carbon dioxide — it’s all par for the course while “greening” consumer lifestyles.
A recent CBS news story told of a Los Angeles condo complex where a homeowner had installed thermal windows. They did such a good job of reflecting the sun’s heat that they focused the rays like a laser beam on the carports next door, melting the sideview mirrors of several cars. Darn!
Then there’s the granddaddy of environmental power plays, man-made global warming caused supposedly by rising carbon dioxide levels. Since being cooked up by the United Nations and Clinton Administration, the global warming scheme has wormed its way through government plans large and small.
Despite decades of having the Earth-is-frying mantra hammered into our heads by politicians and media, and despite indoctrination efforts in schools throughout the land, more than half of Americans understand or at least sense that man-made global warming is a bunch of hooey.
A group of 16 scientists recently published a message to public officials in the Wall Street Journal pointing out the folly of taking drastic actions to try to stop global warming.
Such action is unnecessary, the scientists pointed out, because there has been no global warming recorded for more than 10 years. They went on to say that the International Panel for Climate Change’s predictions of the effects of increased CO2 in the atmosphere are greatly exaggerated.
Yale economist William Nordhaus in a recent study showed that the highest benefit to cost would be derived from a policy of allowing economic growth without greenhouse gas regulations for the next 50 years. By raising the standard of living around the globe, advancing education, economic growth and the resulting technology would do a better job of taking care of pollution than mere legislation could.
You’d think our so-called leaders would catch on, but they have a lot of incentive not to. Passing useless environmental laws gives bureaucracies a chance to grow, provides opportunities for government research funding, opens the way for higher taxes and gives big opportunities to corporate contributors that know how to game the rules.
Think about that the next time you’re recycling cans because your work hours have been cut back.
Tad Cronn is editor in chief of The Patriots Almanac, a nonprofit educational quarterly.