Sunday, January 18, 2009

So, it looks like the Federal Government is about to dump out a load of recently-printed currency in order to stimulate an economy that's already had more stimulation than John Holmes ever had, in all the movies he ever made, taken all together. And that, as they say down here, is a mess o' stimulation.

Much of this recently-printed currency (I say "currency" rather than "money" because paper is intrinsically worth about $100 per ton, no matter how many zeroes are printed on it) is to be spent to fight global warming/climate change/(tomorrow’s new term), though the criteria for success are ill-defined.

What I’ve heard about global warming/climate change/(tomorrow’s new term) convinces me it’s a new apocalyptic cult, nothing more.

Take the case of Bjorn Lomborg. All he did was to write a book declaring himself to be skeptical about environmentalist claims and presenting a number of cogent, well-reasoned arguments. For that he received the full Galileo treatment. And that, I’m sure, only because the hysterics have not yet been able to make burning at the stake the legal response to doubt, or skepticism, about their claims.

That sort of behavior does nothing but red-line my bullshit detector, and make it impossible for me to take global warming/climate change/(tomorrow’s new term) in any way seriously. Except for when they get legislators to point a gun at my head and demand funding for global warming/climate change/(tomorrow’s new term) programs, that is.

This is just me, observing the players, and drawing conclusions about who’s more scientifically serious.

Now, that’s not to say I’m against things like higher energy efficiency in buildings and cars, in the consumption of various scarce resources, as examples, but let the market provide, rather than the government prescribe. To those who object to a market-based approach, because it won’t provide the “proper” solutions, let me just point to the recent rise in gasoline prices in America. People did respond by limiting driving and by looking for more-efficient cars. People will respond to pricing signals. That the pricing signals don’t occur on your schedule, well, pity, that.

And if you really, really must have a government bureaucrat pick up a gun, point it at my head, and demand of me I execute your agenda, well, payback can be a bitch. If you give government more power to accomplish your “good” goals of today, don’t be surprised when the party in power changes, and starts using those powers for the “bad” goals of tomorrow.

I don’t know why, but this comes to mind: local governments around Atlanta have been demanding people conserve water, to the point of threatening to cut off those who violate various water use bans. The result? Water consumption in Atlanta has dropped. Yet, the actual price of water has gone up. Local governments, receiving less revenue from lower usage, have boosted the unit price, in order to make up losses. In the real world, price and demand tend to move in sync. Only government gets to raise the price on a commodity people use less of.

So now, we’re increasingly controlled over the use of a resource, and, responding to the gun at our head, we use less and less, only to be charged more and more by the people holding the gun. If we use more - if only to reduce prices - they’ll cut us off completely. If we use less, they raise the price. That’s fucked up. Sorry for the language, but that’s the truth.

Bottom line for me is that the anti-global warming/climate change/(tomorrow’s new term) movement is an occasion for massive ass-clownery on the part of government, so I see it as a threat to me and mine, and therefore something to be mocked, questioned, and generally kicked-about.

Circling back to the start of this, $825 billion provides a lot of room for ass-clownery. I expect to be provided with much to mock, question, and kick around in the next few years.

Unless someone hands me a teat, that is.

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