10.01.2008 0

Seeing in Shades of Green

  • On: 10/21/2008 21:33:25
  • In: Energy Crisis, Global Warming Fraud, and the Environment

  • California is fast becoming a green-first society—whether Californians want it to or not.

    According to a Los Angeles Times article yesterday, the California state legislature is poised to pass a law to cut down on urban sprawl. Their reasoning? To reduce harmful carbon emissions and fight global warming.

    As the article describes:

    “The legislation, SB 375, would offer incentives to steer public funds away from sprawled development. The state spends about $20 billion a year on transportation, and under the new law, projects that meet climate goals would get priority.”

    The legislation goes hand in hand with the state’s 2006 global warming law, which aims to achieve 1990 greenhouse gas emissions levels by 2020. One way to achieve these ends, the government argues, is to encourage people to live and work closer together and drive less. And what better way to encourage people than to force them?

    As the SB 375’s sponsor, Darrell Steinberg, says:

    “Our communities must change the way they grow.”

    The problem is not the fact that the government wants its citizens to live closer to their places of work. Any sensible development company would understand that as gas prices continue to rise, demand for housing closer to work will simultaneously rise and sprawled development will fall in demand. Therefore, it makes economic sense for developers to do just what SB 375 proposes. Likewise, California residents will have an economic incentive to live closer to work as well.

    The danger, however, is to be found in the reasoning behind this legislation and what the state legislators see as their top priority.

    Helping commuters cut down on their fuel bills is not their priority. Neither is it an efficient transportation system. Rather, these California legislators answer to a higher authority—environmentalism.

    The California legislature already has a lengthy record of prioritizing their agenda around global warming causes. Consider the mandated “Global Warming Score” car stickers, for example. Just as their noble leader Nancy Pelosi says, they are just trying to save the world, one restricting law at a time.

    That being said, is California’s transportation debacle and fuel crisis best viewed through this environmentalist lens? What other critical projects and issues will be shelved or sidelined to make room for these so-called “urgent environmentalist priorities”? Or, more importantly, how many other issues will be falsely exploited as a vehicle for more Big Government regulation?

    It is not entirely clear just how far California plans to take its eco-crusade. Notwithstanding the fact that global warming “science” is dubious at best, California politicians have already forfeited the mantle of leadership as the recent plastic bag ban and Big Mac regulation fiasco so aptly conveys. What other areas of leadership will they bungle while trying to “save the planet”?

    Government clearly has enough problems to deal with already. Adding a hyper-prioritized global warming initiative based on unproven scientific assumptions into the mix will only worsen our leaders’ already waning effectiveness to deal with real and pressing problems

    The graceful invisible hand of the free market is a much better director of policy than the all-encompassing, clumsy, distracted, and inefficient hand of Big Government.

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