Free Markets, Free People

Sen. Lindsey Graham


Why Lindsey Graham needs a new job

In an interview with Thomas Friedman, Sen. Lindsey Graham (Alarmist – SC) says that the GOP needs to embrace the suck that is AGW.  He says 3 things brought him around to the alarmist point of view – politics, jobs and legacy.  We’ve covered “green jobs” before.  Ask Spain how well that’s working out.  That leaves politics (there’s a surprise) and legacy (he wants to be remembered for saving the earth – no hubris there).

Lets deal with politics first.

The Republican Party today has a major outreach problem with two important constituencies, “Hispanics and young people,” Graham explains:

“I have been to enough college campuses to know if you are 30 or younger this climate issue is not a debate. It’s a value. These young people grew up with recycling and a sensitivity to the environment — and the world will be better off for it. They are not brainwashed. … From a Republican point of view, we should buy into it and embrace it and not belittle them. You can have a genuine debate about the science of climate change, but when you say that those who believe it are buying a hoax and are wacky people you are putting at risk your party’s future with younger people

Just “wow”. Let me ask the Republicans out there – are you against recycling and are you insensitive to the environment? Do you find unacceptable the notion that we should be good stewards? Are you for dirty water and dirty air?

Of course not. That’s what the Lindsey Graham’s of the world ought to be out there making clear. Not allowing the implication that if people, and especially the GOP, don’t buy into this nonsense of global warming they’re against everything to do with the environment. It’s a false premise!

So the fact that those who are 30 or younger consider the climate issue a “value”, he should be asking “what does that mean”? A “value” in which bad and/or unproven science is acceptable as “proof” that man has more of a role than nature? That’s not a value, sir – that’s a religion. The fact that this nonsense has been pumped into their brains for years and years doesn’t make it a fact or a “value”. And Graham can claim those who believe all of that aren’t brainwashed but I’d beg to differ. If they’ve bought into AlGorism, the only reason a thinking person would still believe it, given the recent revelations, would be due to something akin to “brainwashing”.

The solution? Oh, you’ll love this:

So Graham’s approach to bringing around his conservative state has been simple: avoid talking about “climate change,” which many on the right don’t believe.

Yeah, that’s brilliant – cede the field to unproven nonsense. And by the way Mr. Graham – it isn’t that the right doesn’t believe in “climate change”, of course they believe in that. It is a constant of life on earth.  What they’re having trouble believing is the cause is man. Ceding the field to the alarmists is a sure way to see bad legislation based on bad science become a reality.

And sure enough, Graham is right in the middle of trying to accomplish just that:

Instead, frame our energy challenge as a need to “clean up carbon pollution,” to “become energy independent” and to “create more good jobs and new industries for South Carolinians.” He proposes “putting a price on carbon,” starting with a very focused carbon tax, as opposed to an economywide cap-and-trade system, so as to spur both consumers and industries to invest in and buy new clean energy products. He includes nuclear energy, and insists on permitting more offshore drilling for oil and gas to give us more domestic sources, as we bridge to a new clean energy economy.

Of course despite his opposition to cap-and-trade, he buys into the key concept “carbon is pollution” which, once established in law, is but a short run to establishing a future need for full blown cap-and-trade. Those are the politics Mr. I Buy Into The Alarmist Nonsense is backing.

Once the “carbon should be taxed” genie is out of the bottle, it won’t be put back in.  All it can do is get bigger and more powerful.  And that’s precisely what Mr. Graham’s “putting a price on carbon” promises.

“Cap-and-trade as we know it is dead, but the issue of cleaning up the air and energy independence should not die — and you will never have energy independence without pricing carbon,” Graham argues. “The technology doesn’t make sense until you price carbon. Nuclear power is a bet on cleaner air. Wind and solar is a bet on cleaner air. You make those bets assuming that cleaning the air will become more profitable than leaving the air dirty, and the only way it will be so is if the government puts some sticks on the table — not just carrots.

So, despite his claim, putting a price on carbon means zombie cap-and-trade is not only not dead, but lurking in the wings. How Graham doesn’t understand that is mind boggling. Oh, wait, I know why – legacy:

This isn’t just for the next generation, says Graham: “As you talk about the future, if you forget the people who live in the present, you will have no future politically. You have to get the people in the present to buy into the future. I tell my voters: ‘If we try to clean up the air and become energy independent, we will create more jobs than anything I can do as a senator.’

It is visions such as this that usually end up driving thriving economies right off the cliff. We’ll tax what fuels the economy and we’ll hope that the vision comes to be just as we’ve imagined it. Unicorns and rainbows quickly meet real people without jobs because idiots like Graham want to use government’s power to build their legacy.  And how pathetic is this?

“What is our view of carbon as a party? Are we the party of carbon pollution forever in unlimited amounts? Pricing carbon is the key to energy independence, and the byproduct is that young people look at you differently.” Look at how he is received in colleges today. “Instead of being just one more short, white Republican over 50,” says Graham, “I am now semicool. There is an awareness by young people that I am doing something different.”

Thomas Friedman says:

Sure, Graham’s strategy will give many greens heartburn. I don’t agree with every point. But if there is going to be a clean energy bill, greens and Democrats will have to recruit some Republicans. Graham says he’s ready to meet them in the middle. “We’ve got to get started,” he says, “because once we do, every C.E.O. will adopt a carbon strategy, no matter what the law actually requires.”

Bad premise, bad science, hubris and an inclination to use the coercive power of government to change the world.

What in the world could go wrong with that?

~McQ