- - Monday, April 21, 2014


If only Al Gore had won the presidency, he wouldn’t have to take out his frustrations on those of us who just want to enjoy the bounty God bequeathed to us. Instead, the former vice president is making Tuesday’s 44th observance of Earth Day about shaming folks who live life to the full. Like Mr. Gore does.

Mr. Gore took off to the tropical paradise of Hawaii last week, his jet fattening his “carbon footprint,” to urge participants at a “sustainability” seminar to shrink theirs. He told the audience that people skeptical of man-made global warming are “immoral, unethical and despicable.” Worst of all, he said, are businesses burning affordable fossil fuels, which provide the “dirty energy that causes dirty weather.”

This isn’t just the usual hot air of a common scold looking for headlines in a crowded news cycle. The campaign against carbon dioxide has inspired federal regulations with very real consequences.

Hundreds of millions of Americans have watched the price of gasoline climb over the past five months to an average of $3.64 a gallon. In California, sin taxes are added that send the average price of gasoline beyond the $4 a gallon barrier. Since working people are more concerned with feeding their families than listening to the apocalyptic tales told by the mongers of climate fear, the greenies make certain they pay appropriate penance at the pump. Every penny per gallon drains $1 billion or so from the pockets of Americans.

Some dutiful observers of Earth Day 2014 applaud President Obama’s efforts to choke the flow of crude oil from wells on federal lands. As our Stephen Dinan reported Friday, the Congres- sional Research Service finds that oil production on federal lands has fallen by 6 percent since 2009. Production on private lands has risen by 60 percent.

Natural-gas production has similarly escalated on private property and declined on federal land. The president touts an “all of the above” energy policy, but for the vast reserves of fossil fuel waiting underground, not so much.

The Earth Day Network urges website visitors to support its initiative to plant 1 billion trees. Planting trees is always a good idea. Those who don’t want to get their hands dirty can instead add to a billion “acts of green” by clicking a bright green button and pledging to do such things as “eat less meat,” “support environmental education” and “reduce energy consumption.”

In the cyberworld, it’s easy to go green, but those websites and laptops are ultimately powered by oil and coal. Those not blinded by naive idealism understand that fossil fuels power the world. Ukrainians would gladly trade a billion “acts of green” for a million barrels of black crude. Vladimir Putin has them over one, speaking of barrels, since Ukraine is dependent on Russia for most of the fuel that powers its economy. Such is the fate of nations that fail to provide for their citizens’ energy needs.

On Earth Day (or any other day), Americans hardly need Mr. Gore to remind them to use the planet’s bounty conservatively. A simple reminder to “waste not, want not” would be far more effective than another blast of hot air.

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