Camelot meets the New Deal

by Julie Walsh on February 12, 2008

Reuters wrote a piece the other day making a statement that struck me as odd. Specifically, “Global warming has become a key issue in the race for the White House.” I had missed that, and Reuters’ evidence also betrayed the theory: it is an issue because “…the top candidates in both political parties seek[] to put a cap on greenhouse gases blamed for rising global temperatures.”

Back in the day, political issues arose when candidates disagreed.

The piece also contained another great-debate-that-isn’t line. “‘The debate is between the carbon tax and cap and trade,’ [Sen. John McCain] said. ‘I will do whatever I can to get consensus on cap and trade legislation.’” I confess that I am unaware of any cognizable political movement to impose a carbon tax, with politicians instead huddling safely around the fire of the less menacing “cap-and-trade” scheme…which of course the Congressional Budget Office calls an (inefficient) energy tax, giving McCain’s whole effort to construct a me-vs.-them strawman scenario an even stranger patina.

In short, candidates are trying to make global warming an issue where it isn’t, even if it should be. This was affirmed in a speech by McCain’s fellow and presidential candidate Barack Obama at a rally in College Park, MD, yesterday. In the course of this address Obama seized the mantle of “hopemonger,” in contrast to those other “mongers” out there. He then proceeded, however, through three separate stanzas about global warming, to reveal he is also a warmmonger, offering a fairly routine routine about impending disaster unless we demand the government assume various interventions in the economy.

A key line is plush for political cynics like me: “we are going to spend billions of dollars on solar, wind and biodiesel.”

Yes, it's criminal we haven't done that yet. Can’t you just smell the debate this will prompt?

Not so amusing was the end of that paragraph: “We will hire young people who don't have a trade and give them a trade making homes more energy efficient, insulating homes, changing light bulbs, reducing our dependence on dirty power plants.” So, the idealistic, modern-day version of the ask-not-what-your-country-can-do-for-you president stakes out the turf of telling slackers who only get exercised about “global warming” not to worry, the government will provide (the somehow romanticized) windmill and light-bulb-changing jobs after graduation.

That’s not Camelot, it’s the New Deal, which oddly hadn’t seized on global warming alarmism as a hook even though it was warmer in the 1930s.

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