Accuracy in Media

The late Sam Francis defined bipartisanship as Evil and Stupid
parties getting together to do something that is both evil and stupid.
Efforts by both college administrators and the U. S. Commander in Chief to “fight global warming” seem to fall in this category.

With President George Bush targeting global climate change as a key
policy issue in his final State of the Union Address, initiatives to
combat global warming will likely soon be propelled to the front of the
legislative checklist. President Bush called for a “an international
agreement that has the potential to slow, stop, and eventually reverse
the growth of greenhouse gases” and emphasized the role that new
technologies would play in helping both industrialized and developing
countries such as China boost their energy efficiency. “The United
States is committed to strengthening our energy security and
confronting global climate change. And the best way to meet these goals
is for America to continue leading the way toward the development of
cleaner and more energy-efficient technology,” said President Bush.

However, groups such as the Organization for Economic
Co-operation and Development (OECD) view such technology-promoting
initiatives quite differently. OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría told the United Nations Bali Climate Conference this December that
while “cutting emissions and fostering low-carbon activities will
require investments in research and development of new technologies,”
the best solution to combat global warming is to raise taxes.

“A number of countries have focused their climate change
policies on subsidizing the ‘good’ solutions rather than on taxing the
‘bad’ ones. This is an inefficient choice, because this tends to
increase the costs of reducing [greenhouse gas] emissions,” Gurría
argued. He added that “Subsidizing good behavior also risks locking in
technologies that may later be considered inefficient.” Conversely,
“taxing bad behavior…provides a consistent incentive for increased
efficiency and innovation,” argued the Secretary-General.

The
ongoing concern that climate change initiatives mask a concerted
attempt to initiate global economic redistribution was bolstered by the
Bali Conference. The U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works quoted Emma Brindal, a “climate justice campaigner” for Friends of the Earth, as stating that “A climate change response must have at its heart a redistribution of wealth and resources.”

OECD Secretary-General Gurría also confirmed these fears by encouraging
developed OECD countries to engage in an “emission trading permit
system” (read, cap-and-trade) in which industrialized countries would
purchase carbon credits from under-developed nations. Although the
system would effectively subsidize countries for not producing goods as
well as reward energy efficiency, Gurría argues that “those countries
who [sic] provoked climate change have a greater capacity to pay than
those who joined the group of large emitters more recently.” In other
words, America and other industrialized nations have the responsibility
to pay for a higher proportion of climate change costs because they
provoked the crisis in the first place. “By agreeing [to] more
ambitious caps, in the context of a global trading system, developed
countries could carry a relatively greater financial responsibility
than developing countries,” said Gurría.

The OECD also lobbies for a “harmonized global carbon tax” which the
organization argues would decrease the gross domestic product (GDP) of
OECD member-nations by “only .2% in 2030 and 1.1% in 2050.” “But in
Brazil, Russia, India and China,” a December press release states, “GDP
would decline five times as much—1.4% of GDP in 2030 and 5.5% in 2050.”
Gurría asserts that the best solution is for industrialized nations to
engage in “socially responsible” and “fair” burden-sharing
environmental policies.

The suggested global carbon tax would be
instituted on an ever-increasing scale, which Gurría said would rise
from .5 U.S. cents per liter of gasoline in 2010 to 1.5 cents in 2020
increasing to 12 cents in 2030 and, finally, 37 cents in 2050. “Doing
nothing is not only not an option. It is inexcusable,” declared Gurría,
“And stalling now will only increase the challenge in the future.”




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