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Erroneous Environmental Policy

Original post made by Nathaniel Davidson on Jun 26, 2011

because getting these wrong will have dire effects for the country. One of them is the environment. Conservatives point out that the free market is the best protector of the environment—Thomas Sowell explained in Knowledge and Decisions:

It is precisely those things which belong to 'the people' which have historically been despoiled—wild creatures, the air, and waterways being notable examples. This goes to the heart of why property rights are socially important in the first place. Property rights mean self-interested monitors. No owned creatures are in danger of extinction. No owned forests are in danger of being leveled. No one kills the goose that lays the golden egg when it is his goose.

But the Left for a long time has used environmentalism to justify bloating the government so that its tentacles are everywhere: restricting our freedom and confiscating even more of our earnings.

Maybe president Nixon was well meaning when he signed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) into law. But not surprisingly—as this is the fate of most government departments— this has been taken over by leftists who love the power (compare it with the TSA, founded under another Republican president, now fighting tooth and nail for the right to grope innocent airline passengers). They even want to tax, literally, the air we breathe with their "carbon tax", penalizing plant food, CO2. (Shh: don't tell the EPA that water vapor is by far the most important greenhouse gas, or they might tax kettles). And their bullying regulations will cost hundreds of thousands of jobs in the coal industry and cause electricity prices to skyrocket—just as Obama wants.

A leading climate modeler, Australian scientist David Evans spills the beans on what it's really about: control, not science:

The whole idea that carbon dioxide is the main cause of the recent global warming is based on a guess that was proved false by empirical evidence during the 1990s. But the gravy train was too big, with too many jobs, industries, trading profits, political careers, and the possibility of world government and total control riding on the outcome. So rather than admit they were wrong, the governments, and their tame climate scientists, now outrageously maintain the fiction that carbon dioxide is a dangerous pollutant.

Here are a few examples:

∑ Earth day: remember how environmentalists switched of their electric lights and lit candles "to save Mother Earth"? Well, the candle emitted much more CO2 than was emitted by the generator that ultimately powered the bulb!

∑ Speaking of light bulbs, don't even get me started on the Congressional ban on the great Edison invention: incandescent light bulbs. Instead, we are forced to buy dimmer bulbs that don't last as long and don't work with dimmer switches, and are a likely mercury hazard.

∑ Electric cars: leftists love these so much that they force taxpayers to subsidize them. But a recent study from Britain showed that are not so green after all: "Electric cars could produce higher emissions over their lifetimes than petrol equivalents because of the energy consumed in making their batteries."

∑ Wind power: this is most popular with liberals (as long as it doesn't spoil their own view, as with the late unlamented Teddy Kennedy). But it turns out that their huge blades are devastating the rare golden eagle And in the UK, which is far more liberal than America, wind turbines have slaughtered thousands of bats, which keep down insect pests. Now these pests have cost farmers millions of pounds.

∑ Toilets: the EPA limited the amount of water that could be used—even in areas with no need to conserve. Of course, this means that they must be flushed more than once now, with more water used overall, not less.

∑ The EPA has also banned trisodium phosphate from dishwashing detergents, so dishes have been streakier and dirtier. Once again, it was counterproductive, because people ran their dishwasher more than once. Fortunately this can be remedied (for now) by buying the pure material and adding a tablespoon to the load.

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