Walter E. Williams

Then there are governmental wacko teachings. In 1914, the U.S. Bureau of Mines predicted our oil reserves would last 10 years. In 1939, the U.S. Department of the Interior revised the estimate, saying that American oil would last 13 years. In 1972, the Club of Rome's report "Limits to Growth" said total world oil reserves totaled 550 billion barrels. With that report in hand, then-President Jimmy Carter said, "We could use up all proven reserves of oil in the entire world by the end of the next decade." He added, "The oil and natural gas we rely on for 75 percent of our energy are running out." As for Carter's running-out-of-oil prediction, a recent report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office and private industry experts estimate that if even half of the oil bound up in the Green River formation in Utah, Wyoming and Colorado is recovered, it would be "equal to the entire world's proven oil reserves." That's an estimated 3 trillion barrels, more than what OPEC has in reserve. Fret not. Carter, like Ehrlich, is still brought before the media for his opinion.

Our continued acceptance of environmentalist manipulation, lies and fear-mongering has led Congress to establish deadly public policies in the name of saving energy -- such as Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards, which downsize autos and cause unnecessary highway fatalities. That's on top of the stupid 1970s 55 mph laws. The next time an environmentalist warns us of a pending disaster or that we are running out of something, we ought to ask: When was the last time a prediction of yours was right? Some people are inclined to call these people idiots. That's wrong. They have been successful in their agenda. It's we who are the idiots for listening to them and allowing Congress to let them have their way.


Walter E. Williams

Dr. Williams serves on the faculty of George Mason University as John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics and is the author of 'Race and Economics: How Much Can Be Blamed on Discrimination?' and 'Up from the Projects: An Autobiography.'
 
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