Gore has revamped the mansion he’s gotten so much flak about and has reduced his power consumption a whopping 11 percent. Is it just me or does that number seem rather insubstantial? But aside from that, this merely gives me a segue into addressing an issue I’ve been wanting to say something about for years, and now that I have your attention, dear reader, here it is–why do environmentalists and those politicians who pander to them seem to focus more on politics than on actually getting things done?
Bear in mind, when I say “environmentalists” I’m not talking about those of us who enjoy nature. Contrary to what of you who believe what Al Gore says, Republicans and conservatives are not interested in destroying the environment, and most, if not all of them, actually love nature and probably enjoy it for the same reasons you do. There’s more that unites us on this issue than divides us. Nay, when I say “environmentalists” I mean the professional environmentalists. Those who make money off of making the environment a political issue, and who, without it as a political issue, would have to find another way to make money or accumulate power. I don’t believe these people (I’m looking at you, Greenpeace) really care about the environment. I think they care about money and power, and they act like they care about the environment because if they didn’t put forth that facade, then who would take them seriously?
As you know, one of the primary targets of these professional environmentalists is big business. Oil companies, auto companies, coal, etc. Why target these companies? Because they’ve got a lot of money and they’re easy to hate. After all, they’re a bunch of stinkin’ rich people who are gouging the working poor with high gas prices while they give themselves record bonuses and drink champagne.
If these environmentalists and politicians really cared about the environment then why don’t they work with businesses instead of against them? Here’s the thing, I’m a conservative, and I like the business world. I wouldn’t mind working for an Exxon. But at the same time I think it would be great to see the oil companies go out of business. But I don’t want to see them go under because the government legislates it, I want to see them go out of business (or morph) because they can’t compete. I’d love to see a cheaper source of energy than oil, and I’d love for it to be cleaner. And I’m 100% positive that cleaner, cheaper energy is out there. I’m not sure what it is, but I’m positive it exists and that we could figure it out.
But instead we’ve got Hillary Clinton saying she’s going to stick it to oil companies and that she’d love to get her hands on those tens of billions of dollars of profits they’re producing. What kind of agenda is that? Rather than punishing businesses that currently provide the lifeblood of our country, why don’t we stimulate innovation in the private sector and provide incentives to businesses that can invent new technologies to produce cleaner, cheaper energy? Why not focus on what we can all agree on instead of controversial, hot button topics that have little chance of going anywhere at best, and at worst could do serious damage to our country’s economy?
I grew up in Los Angeles, so I know something about smog. I remember summer days when I couldn’t see down to the end of my street because there was so much smog in the air, and if I ran around outside for a half hour then my lungs hurt the rest of the day. That’s how bad it was 25 years ago in LA. I would absolutely love for the air in LA to be clean. Why wouldn’t I? But carbon credits and Kyoto aren’t going to get us there. I’ll admit that penalties and punishment have produced startlingly creative solutions at times, but a lot of that creativity gets focus on how to escape the penalties and punishments, and rarely is the creativity focused in ways those who created the penalties desire. If somebody really wanted to cut pollution in LA by cutting something or stopping something, it’s not that hard. Just outlaw automobiles. Done. But no politician, no matter how liberal and green, is ever going to propose that, and if they did, they’d never get away with it.
However, increase the incentive to invent cleaner automobiles and you might get there quicker, and without so much fuss. It’s not as though this isn’t already happening. Yes, the electrical car was killed, but it keeps coming back, and eventually somebody will invent an electrical car that gets the job done that most Americans need it to do and that costs as little as a combustion engine auto to purchase, maintain, and power. And whichever company gets there first is going to make a bundle, especially if they can make an electric car with some decent aesthetics. But government could be doing more, and it wouldn’t cost anybody a dime. It’s called cutting taxes. Specifically taxes on the richest individuals. And then slap a huge consumption tax on gasoline, raising the price to $4 or $5 per gallon.
Why lower taxes on the rich? Because those are the people who create companies, or fund those who do. Cutting corporate taxes rewards success in business. The more a business has an incentive to succeed, the more creative it will get, and we’ll new ideas come about.
Why tax gasoline? Because it makes other sources of energy more attractive and stimulates investment in those areas. Because it would wake up Americans to the reality of the situation in the world, which is that we get most of our energy from people who hate us and would just as soon see us all dead. Because it would give the government a way to promote funding for research into alternative energy sources. Because at $4 per gallon the American behavior would actually change and they would use less gas, and making the price go down. But even if it goes down, the government shouldn’t lower the price. They should keep the price fixed at $4-5 per gallon. Why? Right now, the Saudi’s control the price of gas. When they limit supply, the price goes up, and who gets the extra money? They do. But if the US controls demand and limits it, the price will fall, and the money stays in our country instead of going overseas where it either disappears, or is used to fund hatred against us. Ultimately, because it would work.
Certainly there would be kinks to work out. Certainly it would be difficult to get the American people on board. But a great leader who gets it and cares could do it. What worries me about almost all Democrats and most Republicans is that while they claim to care, I don’t buy it. I think most of them care about power, and they’re willing to say anything and do anything to get it. They won’t propose real solutions because they’re not looking for solutions. A country that has a lot of problems is a country that will look to government for solutions. A government that gives them solutions will find itself out of a job, and I think that scares politicians more than anything, and removes much of their incentive to actually fix anything.
Who’s smart enough to get government and business to work together to overcome real problems? Who really cares about making things better? Who can speak common sense to Americans and get them on board so that they’re willing to sacrifice today by receiving less from the government in order to have a better future tomorrow? Who can focus on the issues that unite us like getting rid of smog in LA, rather than on issues that divide us like global warming? That’s who I’ll be voting for, or at least who I would be voting for if anyone like that were running.