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EDITORIAL: Kerry’s global warming crusade

Secretary of state forgets what his new job is about

- The Washington Times - Friday, March 1, 2013

The paint hadn't dried on Secretary of State John F. Kerry's new Foggy Bottom digs before he laid out his agenda for higher taxes and job-killing regulations that would put the United States at a disadvantage with the rest of the world. This was the pressing foreign-policy issue he chose to address in his first major speech as America's chief diplomat.

He ignored strained relations with Israel, nuclear proliferation in Iran and North Korea, and the general instability in the Middle East. We presume he has heard about all that, but you wouldn't know it from the boilerplate posing as something original: "We as a nation must have the foresight and courage to make the investments necessary to safeguard the most sacred trust we keep for our children and grandchildren."

"Courage" is a Washington euphemism for rolling over and accepting higher taxes, bigger government and an all-powerful regulatory state -- policies at the core of President Obama's push for "climate change" legislation. Mr. Kerry insists climate change would have a "catastrophic" impact on future generations, leaving an environment "ravaged by rising seas, deadly superstorms, devastating droughts and the other hallmarks of a dramatically changing climate." Chicken Little, step aside. John F. Kerry is here.

Climate alarmists latch on to every passing hurricane, tornado, rainstorm, drought, heat wave, snowstorm, drizzle and passing cloud as evidence of the need for legislation to bring weather under control. The blame game has become so ludicrous that CNN anchor Deb Feyerick recently asked, with a straight face, whether an asteroid passing through our galaxy was "an example of, perhaps, global warming?" (Relax, Debbie; it wasn't.)

Once upon a time, doomsayers who promised "the end is near" were ridiculed, especially when their apocalyptic forecasts failed to pan out. Now they are celebrated, receiving government grants, Nobel Prizes, jobs as news anchors or even impressive titles such as secretary of state.

There's plenty of room for a legitimate scientific debate over the evidence for global warming, but there's no debating the devastating economic impact of the carbon tax and cap-and-trade tax schemes proposed. The economic data are settled. Enactment of global-warming taxes would do nothing to lower the earth's temperature, but would do immense damage to American jobs and competitiveness.

A carbon tax would obliterate a million jobs and raise prices on nearly every product and service. The poor would be hit the hardest, as they always are, paying big money just to stay warm or to drive to work. Most of America's energy needs are met through fuels such as coal, gas and home heating oil. The Heritage Foundation estimates that a tax on these fuels would cut the income of a family of four by $1,900 per year. The price of a gallon of gasoline would rise by 50 cents. Cap-and-trade would add another $1,200 to a family's annual energy bill.

That's money taken out of the pockets of hard-working Americans and handed over to Washington bureaucrats who have figured out alarmism is a great way to raise a lot of money. For all the heated rhetoric about global warming, it's nothing but a snow job.

The Washington Times

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