Federal Control of Greenhouse Gases? Two Opposing Views

Vigorously expressed opposing views.

The Nation, “The Case for EPA Action“:

Wonkish at first glance, the fight over EPA rulemaking may be the most important environmental battle in a generation. The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says rich countries like the United States must cut emissions 25 to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2020–only ten years away–and thereafter make precipitous cuts to almost zero emissions. If we don’t act now, average global temperatures will likely increase by more than 2 degrees Celsius and trigger self-compounding runaway climate change, resulting in a massive rise in sea levels, devastated agriculture and attendant social chaos. Not one of the climate change bills up for discussion meets this threshold, and it is looking increasingly unlikely that Congress will be able to pass any comprehensive climate change legislation this session. The failures of Congress and the harrowing facts of climate science mean that aggressive and immediate EPA action is essential.

In other words, the failure of the policymaking branch to enact policies desired by The Nation means that the executive branch must now enact, through regulation, the unpopular policies to expand federal control of the economy. How …progressive.

The article also captures the left’s view of political power and the First Amendment. When business groups organize to express opinions and petition the government, it’s powerful and corrupt special interests pulling the strings of government. When environmental groups do the same, it’s “fighting back,” democracy in action.

Another perspective comes from Conrad Black, newspaper magnate, picaresque journalist, ept historian, now in federal prison for fraud and obstruction. From National Review, “Signs of Hope“:

History is replete with strange, swiftly passing political preoccupations, such as Nelson Rockefeller’s bomb shelters and Jerry Brown’s Medflies. But President Obama should be aware that he will be spending the rest of his time in office trying to amass credits that will cause historians to overlook his signing on to the inconvenient untruth of Al Gore’s self-enriching magic carpet of eco-bunk. The Himalayan glaciers are not melting; world water levels are not rising; nor is the world’s temperature; and there is no evidence, none, that human-generated carbon emissions have any impact on the world’s temperature at all, whatever other problems they create….

The last time so prominent an American championed such a mad enterprise was Douglas MacArthur’s advocacy of nuclear side arms for American forces in Korea (the subject of television commentator Chris Matthews’s university thesis); if not Eleanor Roosevelt’s proposal to her husband to drop swarms of hornets and wasps over German troop emplacements. And they weren’t the president.

Black is such a spirited writer.

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