Greenwire reports (password required, but it’s copied here) with palpable excitement that “Governors from 18 states representing more than half of both the country’s population and its greenhouse gas emissions signed a statement Friday asserting their desire to partner with the federal government in capping emissions.” So if they get their wish, and the federal government adopts the strict standards they want, the other 32 states can take their affordable, reliable energy supplies (and resulting superior economic competitiveness compared to the interventionist 18) and pound sand — they’re mostly in flyover country, anyway. Different states prefer a different approach? Well, too bad; the 18 governors represent more population and more economic activity.
Does this sound familiar, and at the same time revolutionary? On a global level, in the face of 155 or so refuseniks, a group of 35 countries has claimed that the way forward is the same cap-and-trade rationing scheme now being promoted by our 18 states. Of course, most of the 35 “Kyoto” countries get a free ride due to a cleverly chosen 1990 baseline combined with subsequent economic collapse. Moreover, all the countries have refused to make any commitments beyond 2012, since that would require actual reductions.
But as the Washington Post seems to believe (most recently in Monday’s editorial, about how mean it is for Bush to have ensured the legislature won’t legislate by choosing not to encourage them, which makes Congress the latest to be infantilized in the name of the cause), what really matters is that you make a spectacular promise — not what you do about it, or would have done without it.
At the same time, there’s another approach claiming the majority of the world’s present and future population and economic activity, the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development & Climate. Greens dismiss APPCDC on the grounds that it doesn’t include every possible party, only most of the ones whose emissions might possibly matter (this being a coalition of the willing, it is Europe’s choice to sit out a plan that includes top emitters the U.S., China, India, South Korea, Japan, Canada and Australia). That’s because APPCDC does not impose mandatory emissions limits, without which greens believe there can be no progress.
I for one have no doubt that the warmists are untroubled by their lack of consistency, and that they believe they are precisely the great minds that Emerson had in mind. Heck, they might even be the ones they have been waiting for.