good luck with that

This guy Alec Dubro (never heard of him before either) writes in The Progressive that we won’t make any significant progress toward addressing climate change until we get rid of all the cars.

He says:

Without divine intervention – which seems to be the basis for most energy reduction schemes – there is simply no way to maintain both the atmosphere and personal transportation. Even if the population were frozen at its present level, even if economic growth stopped the sheer number of people wanting – and under the present regime, need – personal transportation makes any plan to reduce car pollution by increasing efficiency is futile. The personal automobile must be abandoned, and quickly.

It would be better to do this in a measured and humane way, easing both automobile workers and users into a post-car world. It needs a societal consensus, requiring major shifts of goals and expectations, and few of us will take these steps on our own. But this change will eventually happen to us whether we like it or not, perhaps in time to stave off climactic disaster.

That’s some kind of fantasy world.  Maybe the Europeans will calmly surrender their cars and use public transportation, but Americans aren’t so easily persuaded.  Getting rid of our cars would be much more of a sacrifice than recycling or using cloth bags at the grocery store.  I seriously doubt that there will ever be a “societal consensus” to ditch our cars for government transports, but there’s something quite refreshing about a liberal who is honest about his desires / intentions for public policy.

free-market myth

John McCain says that his lovely new cap-and-trade proposal is a free market solution. 

Skeptics like Lawrence Kudlow disagree.

He says:

Sen. McCain weighed in with a cap-and-trade program that he alleges will solve our global climate and energy problem. It’s a bad idea. It’s really a cap-and-kill-the-economy plan, as well as an unlimited spend-and-tax-and-regulate plan. It’s a huge government command-and-control operation that would make any old Soviet Gosplan bureaucrat smile.

Ironically, the U.S. has virtually the cleanest air of any country in the world. And market forces over the past thirty years have increased all manner of energy efficiency per unit of GDP by more than 50 percent. In fact, according the editorial page of Investor’s Business Daily, U.S. carbon emissions grew by only 6.6 percent between 1997 and 2004, compared with 18 percent for the world and 21 percent for the nations that signed the Kyoto protocol on greenhouse gasses. (Think Europe.)

Guess Kyoto’s not working.  I’m shocked.  The reasons Kudlow mentions for opposing this cap-and-trade deal are the same reasons the Kyoto Protocol was a bad idea. It’s an economy killer, and a promotion of massive new government bureaucracy and more stifling regulation to private enterprise.  This solution to the myth of climate change isn’t the right one.  We will do everything we can to solve the supposed problem except what would actually work to decrease our dependence of foreign oil — drilling and building more refineries.  The answer is obvious, if Republicans would be bold enough to make that case.  But they won’t.  They are too interested in being popular with their fellow Washington insiders than they are in doing the right thing for the American people.