Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Green Team

Here we go.

Obama announced his green team, a group of politicians dedicated to saving us from global warming. These appointments "should send a signal to all that my administration will value science," Obama added. "We will make decisions based on facts, and we understand that the facts demand bold action."

While I certainly applaud scientifically-based decisions over the anti-intellectual political climate of the past eight years, I am forced to ask: What science are you basing these decisions on?

I've already talked about the global cooling of 2007 that wiped out almost the entire 1C warming reported over the last century. That's a documented fact which is almost universally ignored by the AGW crowd. Obama's also clearly glossing over the recent group of 650 scientists who have joined together to dispute the scientific "consensus" that is claimed by Al Gore and the IPCC. (You should really read the quotes at the bottom of that article.)

He also couldn't pick a worse time for action, with tax revenues expected to plummet and deficit spending on the rise, the last thing we need is another pricey government program. And his proposed cap-and-trade system will make it more expensive to produce energy, which gets passed on to the consumer with higher bills. Obama thinks he can pay for his new green program by taxing corporations, but basic economic evaluation tells us this taxation will lead to higher prices in two ways: 1) Costs directly passed on to the consumer, and 2) A scarcity of goods as business production is deterred from higher production. Which of course means that Obama is taxing us to pay for his scientifically unsupported green agenda. But wait, didn't he promise to cut my middle-class taxes?

I've also discussed before how government subsidies create artificial demand, which leads to market inefficiencies (ie: higher prices.) This isn't just theoretical rambling, because this exact situation has created higher energy prices in Germany. Subsidies for solar panels have both increased taxes (to pay the subsidy) and increased energy prices, a lose-lose situation for the middle class. The country, which receives on average about as much sunlight as London, which is to say, not very much (about 1/3 less than the rest of Europe, or 1/2 less than San Diego), is now awash with solar panels and a business that would go belly-up if it wasn't supported by government payouts. Merkel wants to cut the program, which is supporting over 40,000 that the marketplace has no demand for. To use the words of John Maynard Keynes, the government is "paying people to dig holes and fill them back up again."

With a global economy that is cooling faster than the climate, record deficits, and $40/barrel oil, the Green Team is exactly what we don't need.


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