December 5, 2009

On Cap and Trade/Climategate

Whew boy. Cap & Trade sure is going to get passed. Okay, so the GOP has a chance, but I'm going to be honest with myself; the Dems have the majority in Congress, if not the American people.

It seems that although Congress is 60 senators and 258 representatives Democratic, only
30% of people in the USA see global warming as a top priority. In fact only 57% now feel that there is solid scientific evidence of global warming, as opposed to 77% in 2006 and 2007.

Cap and trade taxes aim to discourage the use of high-carbon fossil fuel usage by taxing carbon dioxide emissions, and thus attacking coal, oil and gas as energy and fuel. The tax will have to be high in order to work as the Left wants it to work, which is what worries me. This could really destroy our economy while giving growing giants, like China, a free pass on their emissions.

One thing about this though, is that it's going to most harshly affect those who are truly the people who can't afford to lose much more.

Who am I talking about? Well, I'm talking about all of America, but I guess I could list an example. We'll say farmers.

Farmers? That's right, farmers. Rural people, growers, ranchers, land-workers, and agrarians. "Wait a sec, Patrick. These people are self-sufficient masters of the land. What do they care?"

Farmers need fertilizer, fuel, and pesticides - all are oil-derived products. They need oil for their tractors, feeders, crops, trucks, and cars. Work that used to be completed by farmhands must be done by machines. They can't take the bus to work or to town. There are no BART stations. They can't bicycle their crops around.

Even those who aren't necessarily farmers must drive miles merely to get to another homestead. When oil prices skyrocketed earlier this year and last, average expenses for farmers nearly tripled. Farmland has been on a steady decline in value since the Industrial Revolution.

I'm not saying global warming, or climate change, or whatever is a complete falsehood, but I am saying this: I've seen the science and I still have my doubts. People talk about how science is on their side and they're just looking at the facts. Well, see the thing is, since science is one of my two major passions, I know that science is not definite. Scientists know that data an be interpreted every which way by anyone who wants to see something that isn't or to deny something that is.

This is an important issue, this debate on global climate change. It can have severe consequences on the way we live in and think about our world. That's why those who hold skepticism about such phenomenon shouldn't be criticized and ostracized. Science is a search for truth, and what kind of truth completely shuts down any opposing voices?

One thing Mark Twain once said is that "A lie is halfway around the world before the truth can put it's shoes on". If we truly want this resolved, we shouldn't be blindly rushing into treaties and taxes that could easily stunt our economy and destroy incentive for business. This could have serious repercussions and isn't nearly as cut and dry as some would pressure you to believe.

We need alternative energy and we need to protect the environment, but not at the expense of careers and lives of American citizens. Our country is deeply entrenched in oil, gas, and coal. Taxing it won't help. Providing alternatives will.

Farmers, families, businesses, medicine, transportation, and will all be affected by the choices that will be discussed at the Copenhagen event soon. I don't have high hopes that it's results will either be effective at reducing the threat of climate change or reducing the threat of nut jobs who want to capitalize on pompous, yuppie "Gone Greens". However, it's always good to observe.

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