Planet Gore

Another Question of Qualifications

So, now that the Burris Affair has reminded the media — and some in the Senate — of the Constitution (Motto: “It ain’t perfect, but it sure beats what we have now”), specifically the Article I, Sec. 5 assertion that “Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members,” the following from E&E News (subscription required) begs further question:

“Climate change is hugely important and in the end if we don’t do something about it, it’s a killer,” [Democrat Delaware Sen. Tom] Carper said, adding that it was also important to move forward to curb other major pollutants from power plants, which contribute to thousands of deaths each year. “I’m not sure how many people died last year from climate change,” he said.

Mmm. At least, it appears from the second remark, someone asked him about the body count. Did I mention that this man chairs the relevant Senate Environment and Public Works subcommittee?

This reminds me of Carol Browner’s EPA, which eschewed emergency rulemaking in favor of the protracted, minimum 18-month standard notice-and-comment process when proposing the then-most expensive regulation ever in the history of the U.S., the 1996 “PM/ozone,” on the grounds that 40,000 people per year were dying in their absence — indicating “acceptable losses” of around 60,000 to avoid having the burden of proof, as it were, shifted from us to them.

That’s a lot of bodies, and since someone licensed to profit from the suffering of others might see an opportunity to invoke the Federal Tort Claims Act, Bivens Act claims, and the like on behalf of the deceaseds’ estates, I asked them to provides names of, oh, 1 percent, of the enormous death toll that year. I was hoping to speak with some of the heirs, er, grieving survivors.

Well, no, they couldn’t and no, EPA replied, it had not considered emergency rulemaking available to it under either of two statutes. In this instance, isn’t it the responsibility of any responsible policymaker who, like Carper, believes that a) “global warming” is killing people, b) Man is behind it and c) we can legislate it away, to actually stop pussyfooting around? How many must die before you people “do ’something’”?
Further, is it not time to cry foul with Barbara Boxer and Nancy Pelosi and President-elect Obama for their reckless talk of meaningless if still economically harmful cap-and-trade rationing schemes — which Europe has proven is a only a vehicle to pay off certain pals in industry, but not reduce GHG emissions? Maybe by demanding a steep tax, and now? (Oh, right, they’ll leave that to others, confident that such calls will issue from the proper quarters, giving the cap-and-traders a real bogeyman to say they’re protecting you from and, ironically, making their otherwise stillborn scheme far more likely. Sigh.)

See, this is the problem with absurd rhetoric. It does tend to paint one into a corner, in the event the media or voting public — or clever legislative counterparts — manage to stir from the policy-pabulum induced slumber and demand that one put one’s actions where one’s hysteria is, or else disown it.

In no other context, to my memory, has this opportunity been more glaring than the global-warming panic. Even Browner’s EPA then quietly if massively reduced their statistical (read: fictitious) body count, as happens whenever you ask these people for names. Heck, these folks can’t even locate that overwhelming majority of scientists they keep insisting exist. Somewhere. Possibly they’re with the evidence to support their claims that they refused to present to the UK High Court in Dimmock?

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