David Harsanyi

This incremental destruction of prosperity is probably going to have to be modified as soon as citizens get a taste of reality. But how could any reasonable or responsible legislator suggest an 83 percent cut in emissions without any practical or wide-scale alternative to replace it or any plan to pay for it all?

When people are on a crusade, I guess, logic rarely plays a part. And when Waxman and friends hold climate change hearings this week, it will feature more than 50 witnesses, the majority, no doubt, prepared to spin some exceedingly (non) chilling tale to the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the Energy and Environment Subcommittee.

I suspect that few of them will mention the recent report from the nonpartisan Tax Foundation on cap and trade policy that illustrates all American households would face an annual cost of nearly $144.8 billion per year -- "disproportionately borne by low-income households, those under age 25 and over 75 years … and single parents with dependent children."

Even fewer will mention the new Rasmussen poll that shows that only 1 in 3 voters now believes global warming is caused by human activity -- the lowest number ever. Forty-four percent of likely voters attribute climate change to long-term planetary trends, while 7 percent blame some other reason.

This shift in public opinion may be a blip, or it may be a trend. But if we're ever to enact energy policy that is both environmentally responsible and economically reasonable, we're going to need a rational discussion. We haven't come close yet.


David Harsanyi

David Harsanyi is a senior editor at The Federalist and the author of "The People Have Spoken (and They Are Wrong): The Case Against Democracy." Follow him on Twitter @davidharsanyi.


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