There’s nothing so profitable as being among the concerned climate experts who preach austerity. These enlightened few hector ordinary Americans into sacrificing their functional light bulbs, toilets and sport utility vehicles so the planet can be preserved. According to them, failure to give up these luxuries will overheat the globe and provoke devastating floods and hurricanes.
The peddlers of such apocalyptic tales rarely practice austerity themselves. Earlier this month, Rep. Darrell E. Issa, California Republican, asked Michael J. Ahearn, chairman of the board for First Solar Inc., to come and testify before a congressional oversight panel about his solar-panel business. Sun power is hailed by the left as the solution to the world’s energy needs. That’s why the Obama administration showered First Solar with $1.5 billion in taxpayer-backed gifts, recognizing the firm’s unquestioned eco-correctness.
An impious Mr. Issa, however, couldn’t help but inquire about how Mr. Ahearn made the journey from Tempe, Ariz., to Washington. According to liberals, carbon dioxide - the odorless gas that makes respiration possible - is destroying the Earth itself. So instead of driving an SUV, we’re all supposed to take the bus, ride a bicycle or even walk. Mr. Ahearn did none of these. “I flew in yesterday on a Challenger,” he explained. “A 300,” referring to the model.
According to data from Bombardier, the manufacturer of the $20 million luxury jet, the round trip would have produced about 21.5 metric tons of carbon dioxide. That’s equal to five years’ worth of per-person emissions from the average household, by the Environmental Protection Agency’s reckoning. There’s no telling how many thousands of households would have to turn down the thermostat to offset the emissions from the annual travel of just one green-energy CEO.
Many more need to forgo modern technology to offset the impact of a global-warming strategy session. At the 2009 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Copenhagen, for example, about 1,200 limousines and 140 private jets were used to ferry the international bigshots looking “to save the world,” the London Telegraph reported. These posh conferences are always held in exotic locales such as Cancun, Mexico, and Durban, South Africa, subjecting the popular resort destinations to critical shortages of organic champagne and sustainable caviar.
Bureaucrats from around the world suddenly forget about planet-saving travel options such as wind-powered ships (otherwise known as sailboats) when booking reservations. Those who aren’t of the level to qualify for a private jet can attend the next U.N. conference in Doha, Qatar, in November on Qatar Airways, the event’s official airline. “Doha is home to world-class hotels and restaurants, where you can enjoy 5-star service and renowned Qatari hospitality,” the airline bragged in its advertisement to attendees. “You can also indulge in some fine shopping at luxurious shopping malls or a variety of water and beach sports available at various hotels and resorts throughout Doha.” Now that’s austerity.
It’s hard to avoid the obvious conclusion that government envoys and renewable-energy hucksters don’t really credit their own claims. The global-warming myth is simply an excuse to pillage public coffers to enhance their personal lifestyle.
The Washington Times