In their rush to impose their enviro-statist agenda on India – a nation where 600 million live without electricity – they forgot about one thing: The polluting effect of burning kerosene for light. But the statist rarely stays around long enough to determine whether his “solution” may have caused another problem.
The statist Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards of the 1970s were intended to cut gasoline use, which would reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Of course, the more fuel-efficient cars have allowed drivers to pay less and, well, drive more. The statist rarely mentions that in 1970 we imported twenty percent of our oil. The “solution” did not work. Today, we import sixty percent of our oil.
And what about trade-offs? In order to meet standards imposed by Congress, we began to build smaller and lighter vehicles. The evidence indicates that thousands die annually in these smaller, lighter cars. But, remember the mantra: Earth first!
Indeed, urban planners are talking more and more about the concept of “smart growth.” The goal of these planners is to establish a closer balance with the ecosystem by forcing man into increasingly dense areas where cars are not needed. Instead, people rely on public transportation and bicycle paths. The statist may insist he is not a communist. But, clearly, he wants to bring people closer together and establish a communal existence.
What appears, at times, to be a lack of continuity in the statist’s message can best be explained by the statist’s insatiable appetite for problems, which provide opportunities for statist solutions.
For example, in 1975, Newsweek ran an article called “The Cooling World.” In it, they concluded that “The central fact is that after these three-quarters of a century of extraordinarily mild conditions, the earth’s climate seems to be cooling down.” In 2008, Newsweek ran a piece called “Global Warming Is a Cause of This Year’s Extreme Weather.”
But the statist is not merely satisfied with monitoring the weather affecting everyone who ventures out-of-doors. In California, statists are currently considering “programmable communicating thermostats” for all new homes in the Golden State. These devices will allow power authorities to set air conditioning and heat levels in private homes in accordance with what they deem to be the public good.
Don’t think for a moment that the statist will fail in his attempt to control every inch of our private property in search of “solutions” to environmental “problems.” The federal government has already (in 1992) outlawed the 3.5-gallon toilet and replaced it with the 1.6-gallon toilet.
A government that can control the inner workings of a bathroom is, indeed, a statist’s dream. But we will flush these and other issues out in a third, and final, installment tomorrow.
In the meantime, pick up a copy of Liberty and Tyranny, by Mark Levin.