The Corner

Another Obama/Carter Connection

I was interested in Barack Obama’s statement that “We can’t drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times … and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK.” Roger Kimball has a good post up comparing this to President Carter’s equation of accepting limits with patriotism. The statement does seem to echo the Club of Rome, neo-Malthusian mentality of the 1970s. I remember seeing an unclassified CIA briefing from the time that predicted the world would be close to being out of petroleum by now. Clearly that has not taken place; new discoveries are made on a regular basis. And even as Obama states we need to develop new technologies to deal with our energy conundrum, what role the government could or should have in that process is debatable. Getting out of the way of private sector innovation would be a good start. What I found most noteworthy though was the implication that we need the OK of the international community to drive our gas guzzlers, eat to our hearts’ content and keep our homes at a comfortable temperature. Since when do other countries have a say in the matter? If they do it is something that requires correction, not acquiescence. Energy independence should be the first priority of the next administration, not asking the international community to set limits on American living standards.


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