As for global warming, well, like Captain Smith’s coffeemaker, it’s the sort of issue we worry about when things are going well, but have little need to be concerned with if things are going poorly. The sinking of the Titanic was going to eliminate any damage a melting coffee pot might cause. And the sinking of our economy is doing the same thing with the supposed causes of global warming.
Look no further than gas prices. Over the summer fuel cost $4.50 per gallon, and it looked as if prices would never stop soaring. Today you can fill up for $1.85. That’s because gas prices are driven by the law of supply and demand. Today’s recession has slashed consumption and, thus, prices.
Of course, as consumption of gasoline has dropped, so has the emission of the CO2 that supposedly warms our atmosphere. So if global warming is indeed a problem, a recession should be just what the doctor ordered. And the longer and deeper the recession is, the better. That would be a Bacevich-style solution, a lifestyle change that would end up improving conditions in the U.S.
Obama may have read the book, but apparently failed to digest the message. “With old friends and former foes, we will work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the specter of a warming planet,” he announced in his inaugural. Still, (wisely) he backed away from the bigger message. “We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense,” Obama added.
That’s what the economic “stimulus” package is about: Getting our economy growing again. No, the stimulus plan that lawmakers are considering certainly isn’t the best way to do that. But politicians of all stripes agree that getting the economy growing again is critical.
Our country has a serious problem, and it’s time to set the pieties of environmental activists aside. That’s why our new president favors economic growth -- even it that ends up generating more CO2.