David Harsanyi

Facts. Costs. Consequences.

Who cares?

We're in the middle of pretending to save the planet, baby.

If it's about helping "the environment," suspend reason and salvation is yours. As I'm sure you've heard a lot of smart and compassionate folks tell you lately, doing something -- anything! -- is better than doing nothing.

So the House did something. It passed a "cap and trade" bill that would ration energy, destroy productive jobs, levy the largest tax increase in United States history and, for kicks, penalize foreign trade partners who fail to engage in comparable economic suicide.

Now, assuming there are no speed-reading clairvoyants in the House, no one who voted for the 1,200-page bill -- plus the 300-page amendment dropped the morning of the vote -- possibly could have read it.

And any scum-sucking scoundrel who points out that "doing nothing" already includes spending billions on renewable energies and living under thousands of regulations is, as New York Times columnist Paul Krugman shrewdly noted, a traitor to humankind.

Speaking of doing nothing: Though it has the potential to stagnate the economy, the American Clean Energy and Security Act, according to the Environmental Protection Agency itself, would not create any reductions in emissions by 2020. The piddling impact of the bill is documented across the ideological spectrum.

So after the House passed the bill, I, curious about the particulars, sent a query to Rep. Betsy Markey, D-Colo., because hers was one of the votes that put the bill over the top. Markey had been on the fence regarding cap and trade, so surely, she gave the bill a thorough once-over before voting. Not surprisingly, I received no reply.

When I later caught Markey swinging at softballs on television, I realized that she probably had been too busy boning up on her talking points to take the time to slog through 1,500 pages of a radical and generational shift in energy policy.

As terrible as this bill is -- and America's only hope is that a more reasonable Senate will kill it -- Markey and others have mastered the art of passing environmental legislation. Throw in "green jobs" or a "new energy economy" and you are golden. What kind of insensitive monster is going to stand in the way of a windmill?