Monday, November 25, 2013
By Alan Caruba
In 2007 Dr. Nils-Axel Mörner was interviewed on the subject of sea levels. He is the head of the Paleogeophysics and Geodynamics department at Stockholm University in Sweden. He is past president (1999-2003) of the INQUA Commission on Sea Level Changes and Coastal Evolution, and leader of the Maldives Sea Level Project. Dr. Mörner has been studying the sea level and its effects on coastal areas for some 35 years.
“You have Vanuatu, and also in the Pacific, north of New Zealand and Fiji— there is the island Tegua. They said they had to evacuate it, because the sea level was rising. But again, you look at the tide-gauge record: There is absolutely no signal that the sea level is rising. If anything, you could say that maybe the tide is lowering a little bit, but absolutely no rising.”
The most recent edition of Bloomberg Businessweek features a cover that says “This entire country is about to be wiped out by climate change. It won’t be the last.” It is devoted to Kribati, a Pacific island chain, and it is a total lie.
The media has been a co-conspirator to the global warming hoax and I take this latest example as one that reveals its utter desperation to maintain the greatest hoax of the modern era. The facts mean nothing to them. Real science means nothing to them. But reality is intruding on theirs and the United Nations environmental program just wrapped up Conference of Parties-19 in Warsaw, where more nations are now in open revolt.
Writing from the conference was Craig Rucker, the Executive Director of the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT), a think tank that has helped organize the Poles to protest this travesty. “Poland has been bullied for decades and they are not about to cede their energy independence to Russia, the UN or anyone. Nor should they.”
On November 21, Rucker reported that “COP-19 was shocked when China led a block of 132 nations in a walkout over ‘loss and damage.’ Loss and damage is a completely bogus concept that developed nations should be legally liable when natural disasters strike developing nations. There is of course no meaningful scientific or historical link that Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda was abnormal and with no global warming link.”
We owe a debt of gratitude as well to The Heartland Institute, a Chicago-based free market think tank, that has sponsored eight international conferences on global warming since 2008 and recently released a report,“Global Warming Reconsidered II.” Like CFACT it has been on the forefront of those seeking to educate the public regarding the phony science claims put forth.
COP-19 was one more UN conference leading up to a new version of the Kyoto Protocol that required nations that signed onto it to reduce their so-called greenhouse gas emissions. The final push will come in 2015 in Paris.
Nations that did sign on—the U.S. Senate unanimously refused to ratify the treaty when the Protocol was initially introduced in 1997—are realizing the economic harm that it imposed on them. The same afternoon of the China-led walkout, Poland announced that it had fired its environmental minister who is also the president of the UN conference, two days before the conference was supposed to end!
The Protocol, as is the entire global warming aka climate change hoax, is based on the lie that carbon dioxide (CO2) in the Earth’s atmosphere is causing it to warm. In recent years CO2 has increased in the atmosphere and the Earth, some fifteen or more years ago, entered a cooling cycle. It is getting colder.
“Never underestimate what a gathering of bureaucrats and carbon profiteers might accomplish when after your money”, warned Rucker.
A November 20 article in The Daily Caller reported that “It’s worth noting that U.S. diplomats were specifically instructed by the Obama administration to oppose any attempts to create an independent fund for climate reparations from rich countries to poor countries.” Three days later the administration announced that it now supports all nations declaring their targets for reducing CO2 emissions before 2015. Rucker warns that this now clears “the path for the UN to adopt a full climate treaty and successor to the Kyoto Protocol in 2015.” If the Senate is not controlled by Republicans at that point, it would permit the administration to sign onto a treaty. The harm to the economy would be incalculable.
Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott, elected recently to undo the damage of a carbon tax, told the Washington Post “Despite a carbon tax of $37 a ton by 2020, Australia’s domestic emissions were going up, not down. The carbon tax was basically socialism masquerading as environmentalism and that’s why it’s going to get abolished.” Australia did not send a representative to COP-19. Canada dropped out of the Protocol in recent years. Japan is abandoning the UN’s greenhouse gas emission reduction levels by allowing them to grow by three percent.
Nation by nation the UN global warming hoax is being abandoned for the obvious reason that it is a lie perpetrated to transfer wealth from the developed nations to those less developed. It was never about saving the Earth from a global warming; that was a lie from start to finish.
Some journalists are trying to tell the truth, but magazines like BusinessWeek and newspapers like The New York Times continue to keep the hoax alive. An informed population, not just in the United States, but increasingly worldwide, will ensure that it dies a long overdue death.
© Alan Caruba, 2013
Thursday, November 14, 2013
By Alan Caruba
When you consider that a bunch of global warming propagandists, the 19th Conference of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, to reduce “greenhouse gas” emissions has been meeting in Warsaw this month are still claiming that we are in the midst of global warming, you have a demonstration of how great a hoax has been perpetrated on the peoples of the world. These people and the scientists who supplied the falsified and inaccurate climate models to support the global warming claims have committed a criminal fraud.
Bit by bit, the truth in the form of increasingly cold weather is causing people to wonder whether they are being duped. The media has either buried the stories of extraordinary cold events or continues to tip-toe around the truth.
An example is a recent Wall Street Journal article by Robert Lee Hotz,“Strange Doings on the Sun”, Hotz reported that “Researchers are puzzled. They can’t tell if the lull is temporary or the onset of a decades-long decline, which might ease global warming a bit by altering the sun’s brightness or the wavelengths of its light.”
After describing the fact that the Sun has entered a period of reduced sunspot activity, always a precursor to a cooling cycle and even an ice age, Dr. David Hathaway, head of the solar physics group at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, is quoted as saying “It may give us a brief respite from global warming, but it is not going to stop it.”
Plainly said, you cannot trust what government scientists have to say about global warming. The government’s policy since the late 1980s has been that global warming is real and poses a great threat to the Earth. What Dr. Hathaway and other “warmists” are desperately trying to ignore is the fact that the Earth entered a natural and predictable cooling cycle around 1997 or 1998. It has been cooling ever since!
One post on Felix’s website is about Victor Emanuel Velasco Herrera, a geophysicist at the University of Mexico, who predicts that the “Earth will enter a ‘Little Ice Age’ which will last from 60 to 80 years and may be caused by the decrease in solar activity.” You don’t have to be a geophysicist to figure out that less solar activity adds up to a colder Earth.
2014 is the year many scientists believe an ice age, “mini” or full-scale will begin. Herrera hedged his prediction saying that “with the mass production of current carbon dioxide (CO2) it is unlikely that we will see a major ice age like the one experienced 12,000 years ago.” Carbon Dioxide plays no role in warming the Earth. It is a very minor element of the Earth’s atmosphere.
The implications of an ice age, no matter how long or short, is its impact on the growing of crops to feed everyone. Dr. Tim Patterson of Canada’s Carleton University’s Department of Earth Sciences, in a May 18, 2007 article in the Calgary Times, wrote that satellite data “shows that by the year 2020 the next solar cycle is going to be solar cycle 25—the weakest one since the Little Ice Age (that started in the 13th century and ended around 1860)…should be a great strategic concern in Canada because nobody is farming north of us. In other words, Canada—the great breadbasket of the world—might not be able to grow grains in much of the prairies.” This prediction applies as well, of course, to the U.S. production of grains.
Other scientists have been sounding the alarm, predicting dramatic cooling to begin in the current decade. Dr. Oleg Sorokhtin, a Fellow of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, has noted that “Earth has passed the peak of its warmer period and a fairly cold spell will set in quite soon, by 2012, real cold will come when solar activity reaches its minimum, by 2041, and will last for 50-60 years or even longer.” While the years cited by scientists may differ, they are in agreement that we are looking at decades of cold.
In the years since the late 1980s when “global warming” was unleashed on the world as the greatest hoax of the modern era, billions have come to believe the Earth was threatened by greater warming cause by man-made “greenhouse gases” resulting from industrial and all other uses of fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas. While carbon dioxide has, indeed, increased in the atmosphere, the truth is that the Earth has entered a cooling cycle and that it is on the cusp of very cold weather for decades. We could even cross over into a full-fledged Ice Age because one is overdue at this point in time.
You cannot depend on what the mass media tells you. They are hardwired to continue the global warming hoax. You can, however, educate yourself with books such as Robert Felix’s. You can use Google to find out more about ice ages. You can and should prepare yourself for changes in the Earth’s climate that will have vast impacts on the global economy and on the ability to grow enough crops to feed the world’s population.
© Alan Caruba, 2013
Monday, November 11, 2013
By Alan Caruba
Back in 1997, the United Nations held a convention in Kyoto, Japan, that put together the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. It was a treaty that required the nations that agreed to it to reduce “greenhouse gas” emissions, principally carbon dioxide (CO2) in order to save Earth from the perils of “global warming.” There were 192 parties to the convention and, although the U.S. “signed” the treaty, the U.S. Senate unanimously defeated participation. By 2011, our neighbor, Canada, withdrew from it.
In Warsaw, Poland, for two weeks starting on November 11, the usual group of climate change charlatans have gathered for the 19th Conference of the Parties (COP-19) to try to breathe life into this greatest of all hoaxes. In 2009, COP-15, they had gathered in Copenhagen, but failed to come to any agreement on a successor to Kyoto whose mandatory reductions were initially applied to 37 developed nations,
Suffice to say that, as the years went along, the nations that signed have grown increasingly disenchanted with the deal.
First, there’s the little, itty-bitty problem of the actual climate.
It began to cool around the same time the alarmists were shouting that we were all doomed if we didn’t stop using coal, oil, and natural gas because energy was the enemy. The Earth entered a perfectly natural and predictable cooling cycle as the sun grew less active. In Copenhagen, the delegates had to beat it out of town to avoid being stuck there by a huge snowstorm. When Obama’s plane arrived in Washington, D.C., it was just as a blizzard hit the city.
Obama is credited with “saving” the Copenhagen conference by coming up with an agreement to create an annual fund of $100 billion that would begin in 2020 to help poor countries deal with climate change. Since the “Warmists” attribute every kind of climate disturbance to climate change and Obama loves spending U.S. billion we do not have, it seemed like a good idea at the time.
Why none of these numbskulls ever asks themselves why they think nations can actually do anything about the climate other than to undermine and make more costly their own energy needs defies an answer. Meanwhile, part of the climate change hoax includes having the developed nations throw billions at undeveloped nations. Indeed, that may be the main reason.
Happily, there are observers at the Warsaw conference who make it their business to expose the global warming lies and monitor the climate change movement at home and abroad. As this is being written, former Apollo VII astronaut, Walter Cunningham, is leading a delegation from CFACT—the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow—a think tank that maintains the award-winning website, ClimateDepot.com. Its editor, Marc Morano, is among the group watching the machinations of COP-19.
CFACT’s Executive Director, Craig Rucker, has joined with Poland’s Globalization Institute, Instytut Piotra Skargi, the European Institute for Climate and Energy, and others to produce three climate forums for Polish citizens and policy makers.
This all may seem a bit esoteric. What does a conference in Warsaw have to do with the many other problems facing Americans these days? As Rucker points out, President Obama is looking to shift the public debate from Obamacare to climate change, announcing “a huge new emphasis on global warming at Georgetown (University) in June. In early November, he unleashed an executive order “directly federal bureaucrats to dramatically expand his global warming agenda.” Obama is moving on from health care to “the next legacy of his radical administration—namely, climate alarmism.”
We have been living with climate alarmism since the late 1980s and the years that led up to the Kyoto Protocol. Presently, the result has been an Environmental Protection Agency that has been unleashed on the coal industry and all others, the waste of billions in loans to so-called clean energy companies that promptly went bankrupt, and the scare-mongering that passes for education in the nation’s schools.
The failure of recent COPs to come to any agreement is likely a good sign, suggesting that the climate change hoax is running out of steam, even among the nations that initially supported it.
As Andrew Restuccia reported in Politico, shortly before the Warsaw conference began, “The two-week talks are a key step toward reaching a new global pact by 2015 that would take five years later. No groundbreaking agreements are likely in Warsaw, where, experts say, the main focus will be laying the groundwork for next year’s negotiations in Lima, Peru, and final talks in Paris in 2015.”
Ah! To be in Paris in 2015!
© Alan Caruba, 2013
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
By Alan Caruba
On the surface, it might seem to make sense for the President to want to “do something” about climate events such as hurricanes, but there have always been hurricanes and blaming them and everything from droughts to wildfires on “climate change” is not just absurd, it is a deliberate lie that blames a rise in the amount of carbon dioxide, a so-called but incorrectly named “greenhouse gas”, as the cause of these natural events.
The President has issued an Executive Order to ramp up efforts to address "climate change."
At the heart of the global warming hoax has been this carbon dioxide lie, but there has been no warming for over 17 years and the many computer models that predicted it were wrong; many were deliberately false.
When one looks at the actual facts about climate related events, we find that in recent years there have been fewer tornados with a decline of severe tornadoes over the past forty years. There has been more than eight years without a major hurricane strike in the U.S. and the nation has had the fewest number of forest fires for the past three decades.
President Obama has made it known that one of his goals—other than the destruction of the U.S. economy—has been to reduce “greenhouse gas” emissions by 17% by 2020. His Environmental Protection Agency has been feverishly producing regulations that reflect his “war on coal”, imposing rules on coal-fired plants that have already forced many to close. All this is based on a lie. Even the Supreme Court has taken notice and will hear a case that challenges the EPA. (It previously ruled carbon dioxide was a “pollutant”, a baseless error.)
In general, Congress has refused to take up most of Obama’s “climate change” agenda, especially his wish for a carbon tax. So it comes as no surprise that he has issued an executive order on November 1st allegedly to get states and local communities to prepare for “the impact of global warming.”
Perhaps the most curious aspect of this is that states have long had emergency response protocols and other laws in effect that are intended to respond to various climate-related problems. Many communities have plans in place. About the only thing the executive order would achieve would be to layer on more rules that would doubtless come with a higher cost.
In a recent edition of Human Events, three prominent climate scientists, experts on forecasting Dr. Kesten C. Green, on the faculty of the University of South Australia; Prof. J. Scott Armstrong of the University of Pennsylvania, and Dr. Willie Soon, got together to write “The Science Fiction of IPCC Climate Change”, reviewing the latest announcement by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
“Global warming alarmists nevertheless claim that the ‘nearly all’ climate scientists believe dangerous global warming will occur. This is a strange claim in view of the fact more than 30,000 American scientists signed the Oregon Petition, stating that there is no basis for dangerous manmade global warming forecasts, and ‘no convincing evidence’ that carbon dioxide is dangerously warming the planet or disrupting the climate.”
Forgive me if I ask you who you believe; three experts on climate forecasting or Barack Obama?
The forecast experts debunked the IPCC assertion (and by extension Obama’s) noting that carbon dioxide is “a colorless, odorless, non-toxic gas that is a byproduct of growing prosperity. It is also a product of all animal respiration and is also essential for most life on Earth, yet in total it makes up only 0.0004 of the atmosphere.”
In May 2012, The Economist took note of The Heartland Institute, calling it “the most prominent think tank promoting skepticism about man-made climate change.” The Economist has long been an advocate of global warming so this represents significant recognition of the Chicago-based, free market think tank that has sponsored several international conferences on the subject over the years.
Anyone who wants to get the facts about the IPCC’s continued and relentless promotion of the greatest hoax of the modern era can visit http://climatechangereconsidered.org/ and read “Climate Change Reconsidered II”, a Heartland Institute project whose latest edition is a thorough review that debunks the IPCC’s misleading “science.”
As the Human Events article notes, “Other scientists contest the IPCC assumptions on the grounds that the climatological effect of increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide is trivial—and that the climate is so complex and insufficiently understood that the net effect of human emissions on global temperatures cannot be forecasted.”
Obama’s latest executive order, however, is not trivial. It continues the UN’s effort to deny access to the benefits of the use of energy worldwide to increase development, provide employment, and enhance the lives of the Earth’s population.
Obama is gearing up “climate change” as an issue to divert our attention from the many scandals and failures of his administration.
© Alan Caruba, 2013
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
By Alan Caruba
While Americans grapple with the Obamacare debacle and 90 million are officially unemployed according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is another threat to our future as environmental groups like the Sierra Club and Friends of the Earth continue their assault on the provision of electrical energy, the lifeblood of the nation’s economy and our ability to function at home and on the job.
Recently, Sierra Club members were told that they, “supporters, partners, and allies have worked tirelessly to retire 150 coal-fired power plants since January 2010—a significant number in the campaign to move the country beyond dirty and outdated fossil fuels.”
Coal, oil and natural gas are labeled “dirty” for propaganda purposes, but what the Sierra Club and others do not tell you and will never tell you is that they account for most of the electricity generated in America, along with nuclear and hydropower. Wind and solar power provide approximately 3% of the electricity and require government subsidies and mandates to exist. Their required use drives up the cost of electricity to consumers.
Among the many ongoing lawsuits that the Sierra Club is pursuing is one against Navajo coal mining, the Keystone XL pipeline, one seeking penalties for “ongoing violations” at Montana’s Colstrip power plant. They filed a suit against the power rate increase for Mississippi’s Kemper County coal plant.
In early October, The Wall Street Journal published an article, “Mississippi Plant Shows the Cost of ‘Clean Coal’.” It is testimony to the nonsense about “clean coal.” The plant, the reporters note, was meant to demonstrate that Mississippi Power Company’s Kemper County plant was “meant to showcase technology for generating clean energy from low-quality coal” but it “ranks as one of the most expensive U.S. fossil fuel projects ever—at $4.7 billion and rising.”
“Mississippi Power’s 186,000 customers, who live in one of the poorest region of the country, are reeling from double-digit rate increases,” adding that “the plant hasn’t generated a single kilowatt for customers…”
Seven power plants in Pennsylvania are under attack by the Sierra Club and EarthJustice which have filed a federal lawsuit. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has exposed this common practice by environmental groups to “sue and settle.”
“It works like this. Environmental and consumer advocacy groups file a lawsuit claiming that the federal government has failed to meet a deadline or has not satisfied some regulatory requirement. The agency can then either choose to defend itself against the lawsuit or settle it. Often times, it settles by putting in place a ‘court-ordered’ regulation desired by the advocacy group, thus circumventing the proper rulemaking channels and basic transparency and accountability standards.”
High on the list of government agencies that engage in this is the Environmental Protection Agency, but others include Transportation, Agriculture, and Defense, along with the Fish & Wildlife Service, and the Army Corps of Engineers. One recent victory touted by Friends of the Earth is an EPA air pollution regulation is one that affects ships navigating along the coasts of the United States and Canada, out to 200 nautical miles, to “significantly reduce their emissions.”
Like the touted benefits of wind and solar power, “clean coal” is another environmental myth that is costing billions. Recently, the Global Warming Foundation reported that “The world invested almost a billion dollars a day in limiting global warming last year, but the total figure--$359 billion—was slightly down on last year, and barely half the $700 billion per year that the World Economic Forum has said is needed to tackle climate change.” The report cited was generated by the Climate Policy Initiative.
The problem with this is that there is NO global warming. The Earth is in a perfectly natural cooling cycle and has been for 15 to 16 years at this point. The notion of spending any money on “climate change” is insanity. The climate is largely determined by the Sun and other natural factors over which mankind has no control. The claim that carbon dioxide is a contributing factor to climate has been decisively debunked despite the years of lies emanating from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Indeed, during the current cooling cycle, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has risen!
For all their caterwauling about fossil fuels, environmental groups have resisted the expansion of the use of nuclear power that emits no so-called “greenhouse gas” emissions. The Friends of the Earth recently declared that “The quickest way to end our costly fossil fuel dependency is through energy efficiency and renewable power, not new (nuclear) reactors that will suck up precious investment and take years to complete.”
The Obama administration’s record of bad loans to companies providing renewable power—wind and solar—is testimony to the waste of billions of taxpayer dollars. In September, the Department of Energy made $66 million in green-energy subsidies to 33 companies, half of it to companies by a single venture capital firm with close ties to the White House.
The continued loss of coal-fired plants has reduced their provision of electricity from over 50% to around 47%. The resistance to the construction of nuclear facilities slows the replacement of their loss, but plants utilizing natural gas have benefitted greatly from the discovery of billions of cubic feet through the use of hydraulic fracking technology holds the promise of maintaining the nation’s needs. Need it be said that “fracking” has become a target of environmental organizations?
Environmental organizations are the enemies of energy in America and worldwide. Without its provision third world nations cannot develop and the ability to provide the energy America needs is put in jeopardy.
© Alan Caruba, 2013
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
By Alan Caruba
In July the Fairhaven, Massachusetts Board of Health voted to shut down the town’s two wind turbines at night between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. after dozens of residents had filed more than 400 complaints. Testing had demonstrated that the turbines exceeded state noise regulations and those specified in their operating permits.
In July the Heartland Institute’s Environmental & Climate News reported on the announcement by Nordex USA, a manufacturer of wind turbines that had accepted millions of dollars in subsidies while promising to create 750 jobs that it had shut down its Jonesboro facility. In 2008, Gov. Mike Beebe (D) had given Nordex $8 million from the Governor’s Quick-Action Closing Fund and the Arkansas Development Finance Authority had given Nordex another $11 million. The decision, said the company, was its uncertainty about receiving federal subsidies. At the time, only fifty people were employed there.
In early October, the House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Energy Policy, Healthcare, and Entitlements held a hearing on the Wind Production Tax Credit (PTC). The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) was there to argue for an extension of the subsidy. According to lobbying disclosures, in 2012 the AWEA had spent more than $2.4 million to protect the subsidy which was set to expire, but which received a one-year extension as part of the deal struck to avoid the “fiscal cliff.”
Arguing that wind energy is an important element of the mix of energy provided by coal, natural gas, nuclear and hydroelectric facilities, the facts are that in 2012 coal accounted for 37 percent of total generation, natural gas represented 30 percent, and nuclear contributed 19 percent. Wind power accounted for just 1.4 percent of U.S. energy consumption in 2012 and only 3.5 percent of the nation’s electricity generation.
Since the PTC was first enacted two decades ago, it has cost taxpayers $20 billion dollars.
One of the primary arguments for wind energy is that it is “renewable” and does not contribute to the so-called "greenhouse gas emissions" that are the cause of a “global warming.” However, the latest warming cycle ended some fifteen years ago. Not one student in our nation’s schools has ever experienced “global warming.”
Wind energy is “green” say its supporters, but it is hardly “green” to kill an estimated 573,000 birds every year, including 83,000 birds of prey according to a study published in the March edition of the Wildlife Society Bulletin. It also kills countless bats, a species that reduces the vast number of insect pests that prey on crops and transmit diseases.
A permit is being sought by the Shiloh IV Wind Project in Solano County, California, that would grant it the right to kill up to five golden eagles over a five-year period despite their protected status under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.
So wind energy is justified as reducing greenhouse gases that are not causing global warming which does not exist, is receiving millions in subsidies, and wants to kill protected species, an environmental objective. This is hypocrisy on a galactic scale.
Testifying before the congressional committee, Dr. Robert Michaels, a senior fellow of the Institute for Energy Research, noted that the subsidy which was supposed to end by now has been renewed five times. The wind industry is essentially non-competitive when it comes to energy generation from traditional sources and has also been around long enough to amply demonstrate that. In a market economy, such industries are allowed to fail.
The wind industry, however, doesn’t even need to be competitive because utilities in some thirty states are required by law to include it in their “renewable portfolio standards” that set quotes for its use. This mandate is expected to see the installation of more than 100,000 renewable megawatts over the next twenty years and wind, said Dr. Michaels, and “seems certain to get the lion’s share.”
Adding to the idiocy of wind energy is the need for such production facilities to have a back-up from traditional coal, natural gas, and nuclear facilities because wind is not available with any predictability. The consumer not only pays for the electricity these facilities provide to ensure that they will always have electricity, but pays in the form of the subsidies the wind industry continues to receive.
There is no need for renewable energy mandates. Both wind and solar are unreliable sources of energy and produce so little as to lack any justification for their existence.
The wind industry exists because it spends millions annually to convince legislators that it should not only be subsidized and because many states require its use. Take away the interference of government entities and the industry would have no real basis to exist. It is a fraud.
© Alan Caruba, 2013
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
By Alan Caruba
One of the great parlor games of pundits, politicians, journalists, and just about everyone else is predicting the future.
There’s a wonderful book, “The Experts Speak”, that is filled, page after page, with predictions and pronouncements by people of presumed wisdom and knowledge, all of which turned out to be often hilariously wrong. In 1913, regarding Einstein’s theory of relativity, Ernst Mach, a professor of physics at the University of Vienna, said, “I can accept the theory of relativity as little as I can accept the existence of atoms and other such dogmas.”
I prefer optimists to pessimists and the co-authors of “America 3.0: Rebooting American Prosperity in the 21st Century—why America’s Greatest Days Are Yet to Come”, James C. Bennett and Michael J. Lotus, are optimists.
In his foreword to the book, Glenn Harlan Reynolds, better known as the “Instapundit”, cites the late economist, Herbert Stein, who said “Something that can’t go on forever, won’t”, noting that “The American 2.0 approach, which delivered stability and prosperity to many for decades, is now more problem than solution, as banks fail, bureaucrats flounder, and the economy fails to deliver the jobs—or the tax revenues—need to keep the whole enterprise going.” Reynolds, however, agrees that “The Jeffersonian individualism that was embodied in in America 1.0 never really went away.” And that’s the good news.
Bennett and Lotus begin by saying, “We are optimistic about the long-term prospects for American freedom and prosperity. You should be, too.” They do not believe the nation is “on an inevitable road to tyranny and poverty. Predictions of the end of America are deeply mistaken,” but they do say that “The current politico-economic regime is falling apart.”
I think most people will agree with that as a deeply divided America struggles to deal with slow economic growth, a Marxist President, and the final gasp of a government that has expanded to a point of demonstrating the wisdom of the Constitution’s limits on its size and role. The Tea Party movement and the founding principles of the Republican Party are all about those limitations.
As Obamacare fails dramatically, Americans across the political spectrum will want to return to a more manageable, less intrusive government. They did that when they elected Ronald Reagan. America needs a leader to emerge who will bring the two factions together and, if history is a guide, they will find one. It will not be easy because two generations have passed through the liberal indoctrination of its schools and because the nation’s media, composed of those graduates, is dominated by liberals.
Another factor is demography, the study of populations. Americans are living longer and the effects of that are undermining the future of progressive programs such as Social Security and Medicare. At some point they will have to be reformed, along with the rising costs of medical care.
Americans, since the early years of the last century have gone back and forth between progressive programs and a yearning for less control from centralized government. The income tax, the government’s “safety net” introduced following the Great Depression, the growth and decline of unions, and even Prohibition demonstrate this ambivalence. Obamacare is likely to be repealed just as Prohibition was.
America 1.0 stretched from the century the preceded the Revolution and extended to the Civil War. It was a largely agrarian society of farmers with the emphasis on individual responsibility. It was, as well, a society based on the nuclear family, a structure that remains today, though is under attack by liberals. America 2.0 saw the rise of industrialization and, following World War Two, the nation as a superpower in the world.
America 2.0 is crumbling, say the authors, and that “we are in the midst of slow but wrenching transition to an emerging America 3.0.” It will be “an even bigger transition, from industrial to an individualized-and-networked economy that we are undergoing now.”
One of the elements of the transition that the authors recommend is the abolishment of the federal income tax and replacing it with a national consumption tax, saying that “The required disclosure of personal economic information required in filing tax forms constitutes perhaps the largest single invasion of civil liberties in America, violating the spirit of the Fourth Amendment’s guarantee against search and seizure of personal information without a judicial warrant.”
Here again, putting the Internal Revenue in change of enforcing Obamacare will likely trigger a backlash against it, the income tax system, and generate a return to the individual rights enumerated in the Constitution.
Then, too, the world is also changing as Islamism seeks to drag its population back to a dark age of feudalism and slavery. The wave of terrorism is generating a backlash, even in nations where Islam is the dominant faith. America, in the process, has learned it cannot export its unique democratic system and engage in “nation building.” The original faith in the United Nations to deter wars has faded and the growth of various regional organizations will likely replace it.
The co-authors of “America 3.0” say “We can sketch only the bare outlines of what an America 3.0 defense and foreign policy might be like in reality. But those policies must be consistent with what can actually be achieved by American power, with a renewed focus on securing the global commons for trade, maintaining our alliances, and defending the American free and prosperous way of life.”
We are living in times of both rapid and slow change, and America has the mechanism—the Constitution—to make the changes needed to adjust and the strength to protect itself from enemies, domestic and foreign, in a global economy. It won’t be easy and it will not be fast enough for most, but America will remain a dominant agent for change.
© Alan Caruba, 2013