The Finest Joke is Upon Us

So the slow boil indignation over the possibility of cap-and-trade legislation has moved into high dudgeon mode. Love how the CEO of Chevron threatens that C-n-T means a return to a ‘pre-industrial economy.’

The answer to environmental problems—natch, and echoing John Tierney—is more growth, which is powered by the fuels that are in the crosshairs of policymakers right now:

To the extent that oil and gas fuel economic growth, they can actually serve the great goal of getting us beyond a carbon-based energy economy.

Because the market will decide when we’ve had enough of what and when to change and how to get us over and past the E on the fossil energy gauge when… I honestly can’t follow this reasoning. Of course, it’s not meant to be followed, so that’s my mistake. Concern for the environment can’t even break into the 20 top concerns of Americans, so see? It can’t be that important, anyway! They don’t already think it is.


Given a choice of three options, just 24 percent of voters can correctly identify the cap-and-trade proposal as something that deals with environmental issues. A slightly higher number (29 percent) believe the proposal has something to do with regulating Wall Street while 17 percent think the term applies to health care reform. A plurality (30 percent) have no idea.

No wonder, as Weigel says, republicans are trying to define the legislation as an ‘energy tax.’

We can’t do anything about our energy consumption because we use too much? The options on change are all too expensive and too disruptive to our way of life so… thanks but no thanks. Really? Did Darwin mention hubris in his Origin? I can’t imagine a discussion over the arrogance not to change in the face of threats to one’s survival making it into anything but a comic book send-up of the reasons societies collapse. But others, fortunately, aren’t so limited.