That was the day Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson issued the carbon endangerment finding, a rule defining carbon dioxide, a gas necessary for the existence of life itself, as a harmful pollutant under the terms of the Clean Air Act.
While Earth Day marks the April 22 celebration worldwide of the radical environmentalist agenda, Dec. 7, 2009, was the day the greens scored their most significant victory to date over free markets and, indeed, over liberty itself. As a result, it would only be fitting if Earth Day were moved to Dec. 7.
The nation has to hope a future Congress and president will undo this rule, because the alarmist decision greatly understates the impact of restricting CO2 emissions on global population sustainability and economic growth.
The fact is, the modern world depends on petroleum, gasoline, diesel, coal and natural gas to do just about everything, including getting to work, delivering goods and services, heating and cooling homes, and providing hot water.
But it goes deeper than that.
The population explosion over the past 200 years has been entirely predicated on the Industrial Revolution that was fueled in large part by increased energy output. The necessary consequence of dramatically reducing energy consumption — and the food production, medical advancement and economic expansion that depends on it — will be a commensurate, significant decrease in the human population.
Really, it all depends on just how draconian the agency’s restrictions of carbon emissions are. How much of a price will be placed on CO2 emissions? If it’s too high, the impact could be devastating, resulting in the means of sustaining the world’s population being suddenly restricted or gradually reduced. Either way, people will die.
Ironically, in its finding, the agency claimed that it was the increased concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and not government regulation, that “threaten(s) the public health and welfare of current and future generations” if carbon emissions were not reduced.
It promised increased heat waves, more intense hurricanes, floods, storm surges, rising sea levels, erosion, wildfires, drought and even allergens and pathogens. The EPA also predicts the displacement of indigenous populations, the eventual decrease of food production and agriculture, and the reduction of forest productivity if we do not commit to their economic suicide pact.
With predictions that dire, one expects that the finding will soon become the foundation for the EPA to incrementally regulate, restrict, and eventually prohibit every aspect of modern life. Emissions of carbon dioxide by motor vehicles and industry will just be the beginning.
Perhaps, if the people are very lucky, the air we all exhale shall remain unregulated, although given the broad nature of the finding, unless things change in Washington, D.C., there certainly would be nothing to stop regulation in that arena.
Making matters worse, in its finding the EPA disregarded the downward trend in global temperatures over the past decade despite higher CO2 emissions, as documented by APS Physics’ Christopher Monckton of Brenchley.
It ignored the failed projections of increased temperatures by the International Panel on Climate Change and other proponents of the man-made global warming hypothesis. It suppressed internal dissent at the agency, as when Dr. Alan Carlin submitted comments against the EPA’s finding.
The EPA even overlooked the impact of the Climategate scandal where it was revealed that global temperature data were manipulated and exaggerated by climatologists.
That alone should be cause for Congress to rescind the EPA’s endangerment finding, but Congress won’t act unless the people demand it.
In the end, the finding — and whatever tyrannical restrictions on energy use result from it — will ultimately prove more dangerous than man-made global warming ever could have been. As Lord Monckton wrote, “The correct policy approach to a non-problem is to have the courage to do nothing.”
But that does not mean the country should sit by idly now. That is why Americans for Limited Government is launching FreeMarketAmerica.org on the 42nd anniversary of Earth Day to combat this and other incursions by the radical environmentalist agenda.
The EPA and its environmental extremist cohorts are serious in their attack on our capitalist system. The question is will they be allowed to hide their agenda behind green eyeshades? For the sake of our nation, let’s hope not.
Bill Wilson is the president of Americans for Limited Government. You can follow Bill on Twitter at @BillWilsonALG.