For more than a decade we’ve regarded the global warming issue as a race against time. Not in the sense of “doing something” before there’s catastrophic overheating, but in the sense of what happens first: the never-ending variation of Earth’s climate making obvious nonsense of alarmist theory, or the aspiring green totalitarians panicking society into desperate taxation and regulatory schemes, then slamming the cell door shut behind us.
The week before last Australia illuminated a ray of hope, repealing a two year-old tax on carbon dioxide emissions. As significant as the repeal is the anger over the tax itself: Last September the tax brought down the Labor Party government that enacted it.
In 2008, candidate Barack Obama felt free to tell the San Francisco Chronicle his plans to regulate carbon dioxide would cause electricity prices to “necessarily skyrocket,” knowing his adoring media fans would keep it out of their stories. He’s still trying to accomplish with EPA regulation what a solidly Democrat-controlled Senate wouldn’t touch, but Australia’s lefties passed the tax and paid the price.
On the day of repeal, business leaders were talking about lower prices for electricity, natural gas, and groceries—things voters tend to care about.
No doubt it’s just coincidence that the next day, South Korea’s finance minister asked to postpone a carbon dioxide emissions trading plan over concerns about—you guessed it—the impact on his country’s economy.
We think it prudent to pay attention when the Aussies and the South Koreans, some of America’s better friends internationally, decide it’s wise to take a second look at the consequences of climate alarmism.
You can learn a lot by listening to your friends. You might even learn that when you’re doing something stupid, there’s always the option to stop.