Monday, June 08, 2009
Vincent Carroll wrote an op-ed piece in the Denver Post yesterday: Carbon cutting pipe dreams. Someone's smoking a pipe, but it isn't Waxman or Markey, who are pushing ACES (the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009). One thing the legislation would do is set up carbon emissions targets and a market for carbon emissions allowances. The targets would get gradually more strict, which would force changes in the carbon market. Carroll tries to prove in a few short paragraphs that reducing our carbon emissions to 80% below 2005 levels by 2050 isn't possible without harming the economy and restricting personal freedoms ... somehow.
Using tortured logic and forming an argument around industry-approved talking points has long been a mainstay of the way Cons approach any number of policy topics. Climate change, with its potential to affect every person on this planet, is unfortunately no different. I take on Carroll's propaganda below.
At least people like Carroll have moved away from arguing against the science. It was a losing proposition to begin with and became more so as time went on. Now, they're trying to distract from the issues that are relevant about dealing with our climate forcing habits. Carroll attacks ACES with two talking points: economic pain and a radical change in lifestyle are inevitable. It's actually pretty easy to see that they aren't.
Carroll bases his economic pain argument on citing countries who currently emit less than 3 tons of carbon annually per capita. In order for U.S. citizens' to emit that little carbon, we would have to become as poor as those nations are today (he mentions African nations first - stay classy, Carroll). Say what?! Unbelievably, he also cites other industrial nations whose carbon footprints come much, much closer to 3 tons than ours, which is approximately 20.4 tons. Those nations include France and Switzerland. Does anyone else around here remember reading headlines about France and Switzerland's collapse into third-world status? No, because it hasn't happened. It won't happen just because they have smaller carbon footprints than we do. It won't happen here as we decrease ours, either. We certainly won't reduce our economy to anything like the level of African nations. Carroll's quiet use of racism is no less disgusting and immoral than Limbaugh's or Gingrich's regarding Sonia Sotomayor....(Click for remainder.)