- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 3, 2007

Green distortions

It is, of course, political ritual for ideological factions to flog their own issue as one for which an elected majority was granted a mandate, even when that issue was demonstrably eschewed during the campaign by the victors.

The case of global warming or climate change in the 2006 elections is no different, as revealed in the remark attributed to Sen. Joe Lieberman, Connecticut independent, that “the politics of global warming has changed and a new consensus for action is emerging” (“Senators sound alarm on climate,” Page 1, Wednesday).

Indeed, each of the numerous presidential hopefuls who spoke at Tuesday’s Senate hearing trumpeted that it is clear now that we must “do something.” Yet, what is actually clear is that no such consensus or mandate is found in the 2006 election results, with Democrats actually having downplayed talk of such legislation during the campaign. Further, this first in a series of grandstanding hearings proves that the public is not yet onboard with proposals to charge them a lot for absolutely no environmental benefit, which is to say that by “doing something,” upon scrutiny, these senators really mean, instead, to do a very expensive nothing.

Consider the financial cost of the Iraq war, whose expense these same senators (and many others) decry, which equals 0.8 percent of our gross domestic product (GDP). The Clinton administration’s Energy Information Administration projected that the Kyoto greenhouse gas reduction treaty would cost up to 4 percent of GDP annually, or five times the tab the Iraq war is running, and that assumed that only $2 gasoline was required to curb auto emissions. (Europe’s experience to date, with $6 to $7 gas no less, proves that this was quite optimistic.) For what in return? Amid the green rhetoric it is important to recall that not one of these rationing schemes, as even their most breathless champions admit, would have any detectable influence upon climate under any scenario of assumptions.

No, our presidential aspirants do not seek to “do something” that would impact the climate; they seek to do something to burnish their green credentials on an issue so laden with potential cheap virtue that is bound to play a significant role in the upcoming election. But it is incumbent upon the voters to remind each and every posturing candidate, and every elected official striking the global warming pose, that this presumably cheap virtue is not cost-free at all.

CHRISTOPHER C. HORNER

Senior fellow

Competitive Enterprise Institute

Washington

The Boston bomb scare

The bomb-scare in Boston (“Bomb-scare duo go free,” Nation, Friday), may prove very instructive to home-grown terrorists.

They now know that they can plant dozens of bombs, disguised to look like advertising, in different cities, secure in the knowledge that enough will be ignored to cause major chaos when all are set off simultaneously.

How can we ever thank the people involved?

DARREL SALISBURY

Lorton

Failed containment

It sounds as if the Brookings report is pursuing the EU strategy of containment (“The dubious ‘civil war’ option,” Editorial, Friday).

One must refer to the terms “technological compression” and “assymetrical warfare” in order to understand why containment is an obsolete and therefore delusional strategy. After the original bombing of the World Trade Center, the Clinton administration assumed that the violence of the Middle East would be limited to that region.

Therefore, President Clinton compartmentalized the bombings of the Khobar Towers, the African embassies and the USS Cole as containment without assuming these were just testing environments for September 11.

Post-September 11 we have seen attacks in Spain, Indonesia and the United Kingdom, to mention only a few. This is not containment; the war in Iraq is simply one of the symptoms of terrorism. If we withdraw, it will turn into the source.

Terrorism has already broke the boundaries of containment. All withdrawing from Iraq will do is allow the disease to begin to destroy the various antibodies fighting it.

LARRY STONE

Agate, Colo.

Keep the death penalty

The current initiative by Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and the General Assemblyto abolish the death penalty in Maryland is one of the worst decisions that has occurred here in Maryland in decades (“Maryland considers repeal of death penalty,” Page 1, Jan. 26).

With the violent crime rate on rise, such flawed legislation and laws would only encourage those who commit violent capital crimes to continue committing violent crimes that, under normal circumstances, warrant and deserve the death penalty.

As a taxpayer in the state of Maryland I resent paying taxes to support the life of a criminal in a Maryland penitentiary who would have otherwise deserved the death penalty.

The General Assembly in Annapolis should not pass such bad and flawed legislation and should keep the death penalty on the books to discourage violent crime in Maryland.

I say keep the death penalty; it is a deterrent to violent crime and violent criminals

AL EISNER

Wheaton

Real immigration reform

Sen. Mel Martinez needs to clean up the Senate’s thrust for “comprehensive immigration reform,” as laid down in last summer’s legislation, S.2611 (“New RNC chief backs bill with guest-worker plan,” Page 1, Friday). This bill contained a biological time bomb that doubles our population to 600 million Americans by 2110. Sens. Ted Kennedy and John McCain’s legislation buried massive increases in legal immigration in their bill, and this provision was only uncovered by an outside source. If enacted, our population will increase by 100 million every 34 years. Just think about a Sunday drive around the Beltway 100 years from now.

S.2611 failed to empirically prove the economic necessity for “guest workers.” There’s scant evidence of the economic need for such a workforce — something that Messrs. Kennedy and McCain have totally ignored. There’s only evidence of the demand by seedy American companies to hire at the lowest possible wage rates, regardless of the consequences to unskilled American workers or taxpayers.

The solution to all of this is called “fiduciary focus” — placing the welfare of our nation above the welfare of illegal immigrants. Every time someone like Messrs. Kennedy or McCain mutters “nation of Immigrants,” red flags must be hoisted throughout our land to determine the biological time bombs and sundry ideological schemes they may have buried, just like they did with their “comprehensive immigration reform” bill of last summer.

There’s got to be a limit to our elected officials ignoring the welfare and security of this great nation.

MICHAEL SCOTT

Glendora, Calif.

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