Cheat-Seeking Missles

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Quote Of The Day: Hot Air Edition

"We can save our planet and boost our economy at the same time." -- Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger

California's going to do it's part to slow global warming. It's going to cool its economy.

The Gov. said it ain't so at a bill-signing ceremony for a new law that makes California the first state in the nation to cap greenhouse gasses. It was such a blue-ribbon event that NY Gov. George Pataki blew any chance of carbon neutrality by flying in for the occasion. (Tony Blair, on the video screen, only burned electrons.)

The new law imposes emissions caps on utilities, refineries and manufacturing plants in a bid to curb the gases that scientists blame for warming the Earth

In a SacBee story that relegated all voices of sanity to paragraphs 21-23 of a 25-paragraph story, the bill was heralded as the greatest thing since the Little Ice Age:

"It will begin a bold new era of environmental protection in California that will change the course of history," [the Gov.] said.

He expected other states, the federal government and even other nations to follow.

"I'm convinced of that ... because nothing is more important than protecting our planet," he said.

I'm not convinced. California already has the strictest emissions standards in the nation. That means states have not been racing to make themseves as business-unfriendly as California so far -- why would they start now?

Schwarzy says the economy in the Golden State will stay golden because (quoting the Bee), "the law will lead to a new business sector in California devoted to developing the technologies industries can use to meet the tougher emission requirements."

But if businesses are leaving the state because they can't compete and meet the new standards, why would any business devote itselve to developing technologies for industries that are no longer here? And could those enlightened new businesses manufacture their friendly new products here, under the tougher emission requirements -- or would they have to manufacture them elsewhere?

Even if California meets the ridiculous goals Schwarzy has set for us, Pepperdine econ professor emeritus George Reisman shows just how great it will be:
California accounts for about 2.5 percent of the world's man-made carbon-dioxide emissions. Thus, if the new law achieves its objective, then, other things being equal, those emissions will be reduced by slightly more than six-tenths of 1 percent. This would scarcely be noticeable in any case and will be utterly lost alongside the vastly greater increases in emissions that are almost certain to take place in China, India, and elsewhere. (source)
I'd say something about all this, but I've heard the debate on global warming is over. Sigh.

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