Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Friedman Consults Duodenum on Climate Change, Economics, Human Behavior

We offer gentle readers the range of views on the cap-and-trade bill, recently passed by the feckless Pelosi House of Representatives to prove the Founders' wisdom in making the Senate a very difficult place to make laws in our bicameral legislature.

First up is the storied, celebrated Thomas Friedman, he of the arresting metaphors without empirical evidence. Complaining that the cap-and-trade bill is too confusing (we note: 1500 pages) and too weak (!), he nevertheless begs that it be made law quickly.

His reasoning: (1) the world is watching! (2) "my gut tells me."

Mr. Friedman's clairvoyant alimentary canal, apparently able to speed-read legislation of such Proustian proportions, specifically tells him that this legislation will change Americans' behavior for the good forever, like the first declaration that smoking was bad for you.

Of course, part of this judgment comes not from the nether regions of Mr. Friedman's anatomy but the higher ones, like the brain:

Henceforth, every investment decision made in America — about how homes are built, products manufactured or electricity generated — will look for the least-cost low-carbon option.

True enough, Tom! Investment decision-makers will note that the costs associated with the bill are not to be found among various trade competitors. Economic activity will naturally move to lower-tax countries, as it always does. That includes oil drilling, oil refining, electricity generation, and manufacturing. America will be "green" indeed, as a wilderness emptied of humans. Meanwhile, the deadly CO2 will simply churn out in other places.

Moving inland from our nation's Paper of Record, we find the contrasting opinion from the Denver Post's David Harsanyi. His opener is enough to satisfy our discerning gut:

Facts. Costs.Consequences.

Who cares?

We're in the middle of pretending to save the planet, baby.

One more gut lesson: beware of politicians and pundits in a hurry, especially in vacation season.

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