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Majority Leader Wile E. Coyote Puts the Senate Hot on the Trail of Global Warming.

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Senate Boondoggling on Global Warming

Majority Leader Wile E. Coyote Puts the Senate Hot on the Trail of Global Warming.

Saturday’s follies were a fitting prelude for this week in the US Senate.  As the Democratic Party’s “Rules and Bylaws” committee met to decide how best to keep two sets of books on their presidential primary results, the space shuttle Discovery blasted off on its urgent mission to repair the toilets on the International Space Station.  

To set these events in proper context, Google these terms together:   International, Space Station and boondoggle.  You’ll get over 92,000 hits.  (Houston, they have a problem.  And it ain’t just the plumbing.)  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has a similar problem.  Thanks to Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky), who plays the Road Runner to Reid’s Wile E. Coyote, Reid has failed to pass pretty much everything the Dems wanted, achieving a record of ineffectiveness that will likely stand for decades.  Now he’s on to global warming, the new cult religion of the liberal elites.

Americans aren’t buying it.  A new Gallup Poll — released on “Earth Day”, April 22 — showed that there has been no significant increase in Americans’ concern about global warming since 1989.  

American voters are, as usual, smarter than the politicians they elect.  As the Financial Times reported on May 30, the slight increase in global temperatures in the 1980s and 1990s apparently ended in the last ten years and a cooling trend may be upon us.  

Right now, today, the Senate has a great number of urgent priorities it should be attending to.  If the government is to function, the Senate needs to pass the war supplemental, Defense Department and Homeland Security appropriations bills.  If the courts are to work, judicial nominations held up — in some cases for years — need to be confirmed.  And there’s the matter of gasoline prices, which may soon hit $5 a gallon.  But instead of attending to the job the Senate is elected to do, Reid has dedicated this week to the Warner-Lieberman global warming “cap and trade” boondoggle.

The Dems will almost certainly win today’s cloture vote to proceed with debate on the bill because Republicans foresee a field day of exposing the fallacies of the highly complex 494-page measure.  The rest of the week will probably be spent on amendments to it, including measures by Republican Sens. Jim Inhofe (R-Ok), the bill’s leading opponent, and Bob Corker (R-Tenn).  In the end, the bill will almost certainly not pass for one big reason:  it will significantly increase the price Americans pay for gasoline and electricity.  “Cap and trade” is an economy-killer.  

“Cap and trade” is the EUnuch’s formula for containing carbon emissions.  It puts the government in charge of a cap on emissions, and in business to sell (or give) companies that pollute licenses for pollution measured in tons.  The theory is that the companies can buy and sell the licenses among them.  And as the EU preens about its efforts to stop global warming, the “cap and trade” system is yet another boondoggle that is rife with corruption.  (To understand how crazy the EUnuch elitists are on the subject, the UK’s Bishop of Stafford, The Very Rev. Gordon Mursell, compared those who ignore global warming to Austrian child molester Josef Fritzl, who kept his daughter locked in a basement as a sex slave. It is not reported whether Mursell is going to the planned operatic performance of Al Gore’s “Inconvenient Truths” at the La Scala in Milan.)

Cooler heads — such as Czech President Vaclav Klaus and Sen. Inhofe — are comprehensively skeptical about global warming and opposed to putting the government in charge of regulating it.  Klaus — in a Washington Times interview — notably condemned the “global warming” theory saying, "I understand that global warming is a religion conceived to suppress human freedom…It is used to justify an enormous scope for government intervention vis-a-vis the markets and personal freedom."
 
Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Republican spokesman Marc Morano told HUMAN EVENTS yesterday, “It seems unlikely that as American families face harsh economic times that any Senator would dare stand on the Senate floor and vote in favor of significantly increasing the price of gas at the pump and cost millions of American jobs — all for no environmental gain.”

Proponents of Warner-Lieberman realize this; their support for the bill is cooling quickly.   They’re looking for feel-good fallbacks, and are thinking about remaking old mistakes such as re-imposing the 55 mph speed limit.  

They’ll be studying the EUnuchs’ fall-back from cap-and-trade:  a “carbon tax.”  Lord Turner, head of the UK government’s “climate change” committee said recently that, “…’everyone accepts that putting a price on carbon is a crucial instrument" to cut emissions. ‘That will put up the price of energy and there is no way round that. We should not deny that is what these policies do’."  Instead of Warner-Lieberman, Senate Democrats might want to consider another British proposal, that each person carry a “carbon” card.

Under this plan, each citizen would be given an annual “carbon allowance” against which gasoline purchases and any other activity — presumably including breathing — would be charged.  Once you reach your annual allotment, you can’t buy any more carbon-emitting products unless you buy unused credits from friends, neighbors or — presumably — the local mafia family.  

During Prohibition, Americans didn’t stop drinking.  They bought their booze illegally, and the Al Capones of the land made millions from it.  When I lived in a college dorm, one of my enterprising neighbors made rum in a still he built in his room.  Refining oil is a much more complicated exercise, but American innovation will surely overcome.  

Similar innovation might benefit the Senate.  Our government is dysfunctional because people such as Harry Reid don’t keep their word and refuse to tackle the job they were elected to do.  Maybe some enterprising Senate conservatives could form a “Howard Beale Caucus.”  

In the 1976 movie “Network”, Beale — a crazed newscaster — asked his listeners to shout, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take this any more.”  The job of the Howard Beale Caucus would be simple:  the Senate would be obstructed from getting any business done until all the urgent tasks — judicial confirmations, reducing the price of gas, passing the bills needed to fund the armed services and keep the government running — are accomplished.   Notice, please:  global warming isn’t on that list.

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Written By

Mr. Babbin is the former editor of Human Events and HumanEvents.com (Jan 2007-Mar 2010) and served as a deputy undersecretary of defense in President George H.W. Bush's administration. He is the author of "In the Words of our Enemies"(Regnery,2007) and (with Edward Timperlake) of "Showdown: Why China Wants War with the United States" (Regnery, 2006) and "Inside the Asylum: Why the UN and Old Europe are Worse than You Think" (Regnery, 2004).

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