- NYC’s de Blasio seeks to ban wood-burning fireplaces
- Residents angry Obama mispronounced town’s name during mudslide visit
- Israel halts peace talks with Palestinians
- Netanyahu’s driver accused of raping girls under age 12
- Putin calls Internet ‘CIA project’ that must be controlled
- Muslims offended that 9/11 museum movie speaks of jihad
- Obama marks Armenian massacre, avoids using the word ‘genocide’
- Gov. Rick Perry: ‘It’s not a dare, it’s a promise’; Texas will fight BLM
- Howard Dean cheers Obama’s approach to Russian aggression
- Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s childhood nickname? ‘The Surprise’
EDITORIAL: Global warming catches fire
Crusade against carbon dioxide threatens the environment
Technologies advanced as the solution to the purported global warming problem are catching fire -- just not in the way intended. Bureaucrats are quickly learning that their regulatory offerings designed to entreat Mother Nature into bestowing cooler temperatures upon the planet have created environmental hazards of their own.
It's well-known that the fluorescent light bulbs being foisted on a reluctant public spread deadly mercury when dropped. In March, the administration will be free to enforce a federally imposed ban on the manufacturing of warm, pleasing and affordable 100-watt light bulbs. This will force more highly toxic substances into millions of American homes.
Another hazard is being created for automobiles sold in Europe -- and eventually in the United States.
Several German automakers, including BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen, have expressed skepticism toward a European Union mandate telling the firms that their in-car air-conditioning systems must be more environmentally friendly. In particular, they are being pushed into deploying a more politically correct refrigerant known as R-1234yf, which regulators insist is perfectly safe.
Daimler, maker of Mercedes-Benz sedans, raised the alarm when the firm's own testing revealed the substance increases the risk of vehicle fires. "In the new real-life test scenario, the refrigerant is dynamically dispersed at high pressure near to hot components of the test vehicle's exhaust system," the company explained in a statement last year. "This corresponds to a serious head-on collision, in which the refrigerant line is severed and the reproducible results demonstrate that refrigerant, which is otherwise difficult to ignite under laboratory conditions can indeed prove to be flammable in a hot engine compartment."
A dramatic video of the test procedure shows the underside of a car using the new coolant bursting into flames under conditions that do not ignite the refrigerant in use today. The danger of combustible air-conditioning systems won't be limited to the Continent. Our own Environmental Protection Agency is offering automakers substantial credit toward their Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) obligations, which can save big money for companies in the midst of a weak economy, if they convert to more flammable systems.
Government loves nothing more than tossing taxpayer money onto bonfires. In 2009, the administration offered a half-billion-dollar loan to Fisker Automotive to underwrite the production of the $100,000 hybrid-electric luxury automobiles that are beloved in Hollywood. Sixteen of these politically correct vehicles happened to be waiting at Port Newark, N.J., in October when Hurricane Sandy hit. After floodwaters receded, the waterlogged Fisker Karmas burst into flame and burned to the ground. The tendency toward self-immolation was significant enough that it sparked a series of recalls last year.
Instead of worrying about imaginary future cataclysms, regulators ought to consider the real environmental and economic damage their policies create. The left's favorite trendy technologies, from squiggly light bulbs to electric cars, simply aren't ready for prime time. The government needs to extinguish its desire to meddle before more harm is done.
The Washington Times
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
- Former CIA head Gen. Michael Hayden to pen Times column
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Orlando well-suited for DNC
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: President 'mom jeans' vs. Putin
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: House has the power it needs
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Misunderstanding the Second Amendment
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
By Andrew P. Napolitano
Obama's veil of secrecy is pierced
Get Breaking Alerts
- In its hunt for Senate, Republican candidates campaign against Harry Reid
- Obamacare class-action suit opens a new legal front
- 'Top Gun' for drones: Squadrons of carrier-based killers have Navy's approval
- Obama avoids 'red line' for China, prepared to impose tougher sanctions on Russia
- Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy hailed as patriot, ripped as lawless deadbeat
- 'Conservatives' should feel exposed by Bundy's racist comments: Scarborough
- Sold out: Ukraine's leadership swapped best military weapons for cash
- America is an oligarchy, not a democracy or republic, university study finds
- Texas is next! AG warns BLM wants 90,000 acres after Bundy ranch standoff
- Rand Paul: Bundy's racist remarks are 'offensive'