June 8, 2009
By Humphrey Stevenson
The Obama administration has recently announced new Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFĂ‰) and automobile emissions standards. These new standards are intended to save us from man-made "climate change" or "global warming." The leftists in power like to declare that the science of global warming is indisputable and there is a "scientific consensus" as to the reality of global warming. What they are really saying is that they don't want it disputed.
A little over 500 years ago the scientific consensus was that the earth was flat. There were sailors, dockworkers and scientists who knew the earth spherical, but they didn't dare say anything. "Legitimate" science, at that time, was highly influenced by the church and the church taught that the earth was flat. Anyone who disputed this teaching was branded a heretic.
It's almost that bad now. Today, "legitimate" (i.e. academic) science is to a large extent controlled by governments, either national or world governments like the UN. You see, academic scientists (to keep from getting a real job) compete for grants and these grants largely come from governments. These governments are not interested in scientific facts; they want conclusions that buttress their political positions. Call global warming "political" science.
There are some fanatics that have drunk the global warming Kool-Aid and truly believe that we're going to set the Earth on fire with a car. These people happen to be the constituents of Obama and those in Congress who are behind the cap and trade legislation. However, those proposing this ridiculous regulation and legislation see it as a means to an end. They use the global warming hysteria to destroy the engine of capitalism so as to usher in their socialist utopia.
The President is fond of saying that we are five percent of the world's population, but we consume twenty-five percent of the world's resources. This implies that we waste all these resources. We absolutely do not. We use these resources to feed, clothe, shelter, defend and provide all manner of goods and services for not only ourselves but a great deal of the world's population. In addition, it's not as though we forcibly take resources from others; we buy them. Moreover, we wouldn't have to buy so much of them if we were allowed to produce our own.
Now that the federal government owns a majority interest in GM, President Obama says that he is going to help GM build the cars the American people want. However, the top two selling makes of cars in 2008 were the Ford F-Series and the Chevy Silverado. It seems that the people have spoken, but I do not believe that Obama is going to have GM produce fleets of full-size pick-ups. Unlike the President, I don't wish to tell anyone what type of car they should drive. If you want to drive a Prius then go ahead and drive a Prius. Just don't get the idea in your head that you're saving the planet. Any more than the person who pulls up beside you at the stoplight in a Suburban is destroying the planet.
Don't get the idea that this is about clean energy. If it were, the Obama administration would be pushing for nuclear power as the rest of the world is doing. A May 20th AP article reports that President Obama has agreed to "transfer sensitive nuclear items" to the United Arab Emirates to help that nation build its nuclear power industry to supply the UAE's "growing demand for electricity." It seems the United Arab Emirates can produce electricity from clean, inexpensive nuclear power and the Obama administration will help them, but the United States will have to make do with windmills and solar panels. To add insult to injury, the article points out that as part of this agreement the UAE will buy the nuclear fuel from the US. So, we can ship nuclear fuel halfway around the world to produce electricity; we just can't do that here. Notice that the UAE desires our nuclear technology and not our windmill technology.
This has nothing to do with gas mileage or tailpipe emissions. The automobile is one of the greatest expressions of personal liberty ever. And that is the point, curtailing our personal freedom. That is why the President is going full speed ahead with this agenda based on ideology using junk science to support it. Now that he owns two major automobile manufacturers, he has the tools to get what he wants.