Thursday, August 09, 2007

Global Scamming

An editorial in the Detroit News, "Put up or shut up on global warming" nails the issue.
Fighting global warming isn't so much fun now, is it? When the battle targeted almost exclusively Detroit's auto industry, volunteers were falling all over themselves to sign up.
But now it's about to hit closer to home for most Americans. U.S. Rep. John Dingell, the Dearborn Democrat who chairs the Energy and Commerce Committee, is proposing a 50-cent tax on a gallon of gasoline and suspension of mortgage deductions for what he calls McMansions -- homes over 3,000 square feet.

Dingell continues to press the point that if we believe global warming is so serious a threat that it's worth destroying the automobile industry, then it's also worth spreading the pain to as many other places as possible.

His proposal is aimed at the Hollywood hypocrites who testify before Congress about the evils of the auto industry and then fly private jets back to their 30,000-square-foot hillside palaces. If the smug global warming warriors who park their Priuses in four-car garages want to cram everyone else into wheeled shoe boxes, then they should be willing to bed down in cracker boxes.

Heating and cooling giant houses produces as much carbon as driving a sport utility vehicle.
And Dingell is right in reminding consumers that they can't keep crying for Detroit to develop more fuel-efficient cars while demanding cheap gasoline and vehicles large enough to haul a soccer team.

If Americans are serious about combating global warming, then they must be made to understand it will require sacrifice. Smaller cars won't be enough to get the job done. Smaller houses will be part of the equation, too, as will be much larger energy bills.

We aren't so thrilled with the idea of penalizing those who own big homes, or about raising the cost of gasoline, heating fuel and electricity. But neither are we crazy about driving automakers into bankruptcy in the name of fighting a phenomenon we don't yet fully understand or are certain we can control.

But we do like Dingell's idea of putting a clear price tag on the global warming war and making consumers understand they'll be the ones to pay it.

The largest worry is what the politicos intend to do with all that money they will raise in the interest of fighting global warming. The nearly unlimited funding of schools has shown what money can't buy. Trusting the United Nations or France to lead the effort is laughable considering their track record of accountability and concepts of democracy.

If long-term weather trends result in warming, I can't see any politician - who is more likely to own a 3,000+-square foot home than most citizens - giving up their comfort, SUVs, air conditioners or 200,000 miles a year airplane travel to help the planet.

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