Issue: The Earth is said to be in danger, or at least its status as a living environment for most of its inhabitants. Pollution and dangerous levels of animal CO2 emissions will eventually make the planet uninhabitable. These pollutants and “green house gases” could be reduced to safe levels by joint actions taken by humans, all around the world. WE have done the damage and now we must fix the problem. The United States, one of the worst “offenders,” should lead the world in its air recovery. Otherwise mankind is doomed...
Politicians in the United States have begun to offer up a comprehensive, even grandiose plan which would assume world leadership by revolutionizing, and to a large degree limiting the travel, diet, and freedom of its citizens. This would be accomplished by drastic reduction of petroleum powered automobiles, domestic air travel, energy-inefficient buildings, and even cattle. The “Green New Deal” would not only completely (ideally) eradicate domestic air travel and energy-inefficient structures but the petrochemical industry and the medical insurance industry, while providing free health care, and free income for those who do not work, and free college educations for all and other marvelous benefits of a liberal society. Some of these things have little to do with the planetary emergency being discussed here, but are part of a grand plan for our government to meet all U. S. citizen's needs by confiscating 70% - 90% of the “excess” income of the wealthiest class.
Response: We know from responsible observers like NASA that carbon emissions on the planet have doubled since 1900, (when they were far less than historical highs) to over 380 parts per Million today. When seen on a graph it is a straight up rocket, spiraling into dangerous levels in the relatively near future. When illustrated on a fourteen-year time lapse movie, the earth grows from a foreboding but habitable place in 2002 to a choking wasteland 2016. And that is where we are. Anyone who has ever visited a Third World country, or even Mexico City, has seen and smelled and felt the ominous results of man's abuse of our most necessary natural resource.
Yale University has invented a dipstick they call the EPI; Environmental Performance Index. The U. S. does not make it into their top 20 performers. Finland, Iceland, Sweden and Denmark head the list. I wonder if it would be fair to ask what and how much these winners produce? Jobs, social mobility, International exports, or GNP apparently do not enter into the EPI.
We Americans are good at one thing, and that is beating up on ourselves. We have plenty of input from college instructors and Liberal politicians, who gain a devoted shadow of hand wringers as they spread their bad news gospel. According to the “Kyoto Protocol,” which took force in 2005, America does not lead the world in pollution control. On the “ecosystem vitality scale,” the U. S. ranked 39th, (out of 149) below other developed countries, showing poorly in clean environment or pollution progress compared to our European counterparts. This low score and other subjective measures have brought on a growing wave of outrage among Globalists and Environmentalists. They fail to appreciate what America does in the world, while it produces those lackluster scores... and still finishes in the top quarter of the planet's organized nations.
Before we get into solutions, let's consider the role the United States actually plays in this world environmental crisis. The facts presented here are readily available to anyone on the Internet.
The U. S. is a leader in the world in the control of industrial pollution and preservation of “clean” air. In fact it ranks in the top twelve among all countries in the world, balancing our immense industrial productivity with environmental protection, having done a better job with our dangerous emissions than most of our peers, including the United Kingdom, France, Japan, Russia, and Israel. Only fairly NON-INDUSTRIALIZED countries like Finland, Sweden and Canada, or much less productive ones like Australia or New Zealand have better air.
Our (U. S.) carbon emissions are not even close to competing with the real violators or Earth's oxygen, such as the Arab countries, led by Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Egypt, Kuwait and others. India and China have a long way to go to match our level of air quality or its protection.
The numbers are very confusing, depending on how a reporter slices the onion. But every American should know and be proud that his country, for all its productivity, only makes about 1/6 of the carbon emissions on the planet- about half of the emissions of China, who produces nearly a third of the world's pollution.
The reason American politicians are creating drastic reforms for the U. S. is that we are an easy target, and a conspicuously messy population, and we don't score well. Although we lead the world in quality of life and production in agriculture, in the process we make more pollution per person than other countries. For instance the next worst nation in per-capita carbon emissions is India, with its growing industrialization and approximately 280 Million cows... (Compared to our 100 Million)
Which brings up a controversial source of the world's greenhouse gases- Livestock. American politicians have suggested that a massive reduction in consumption of beef, thus erasing cows from the landscape, would be a big benefit to solving the oxygen crisis. This is a very overstated claim. While Americans do enjoy their beef, it only makes up a small fraction of the poundage of animal flesh we consume. While we are eating 32 Million pounds annually, a fairly conservative amount of cow meat, we are putting away 42 BILLION pounds of chicken. If cows have got to go, chickens should have already been banished.
The Chick-filet cows have won the public-relations battle in convincing Americans to “Eat more Chiken.” And we are. So much that outlawing cows would barely put a dent in the production of nasty air. It is estimated that there are between 90 and 100 Million cows from sea to shining sea. And a quarter of those are dairy cows, who provide us with milk, cheese, butter, ice cream and latex paint. The abolition of the dairy industry is out of the question. And beef is more and more becoming a minor player in the “Greenhouse Affect.” When you think about having to invent satisfactory substitutes for leather, glue, gelatin, fertilizer and all the jobs related to all these products, it seems like the Green New Deal is far-fetched and unnecessarily sacrificial. To most rural Texans, it is just plain political grandstanding.
Perhaps it would be smart to look back... and compare our animal population to 500 years ago. When you imagine the pristine American landscape, before the invasion of White people, it sported upwards of 25 Million bison, and huge numbers of elk, deer and antelope, (now greatly reduced) and vast populations of passenger pigeons, (extinct) and other game birds, not to mention a huge amount of feral horses, pigs and longhorn cows... (greatly reduced) whose aggregate greenhouse gas production could easily have been half or even two thirds of the present number. Meanwhile the great herds in Africa and Asia have been reduced to alarming numbers. It is somewhat inconsistent for Liberals to pitch the eradication of livestock, whose production of greenhouse gases could not be much more than the emissions of the wildlife they replaced, suggesting that former wildlife populations would have been unacceptable today, intimating that humans and animals cannot coexist, thus delegitimizing pet ownership and wildlife preservation.
Animals are not our enemies. They have been our sustenance and allies for centuries. The Greenhouse gases which result from agriculture in our country are a necessary bi-product of food production which is a major benefit to the whole world. While some individuals may choose vegetarianism, we have no alternative method to produce enough protein to sustain our larger population, especially children, much less others, without meat and eggs and dairy products.
Remember that we are talking about the planet here, so even IF the emissions in the U. S. were at alarming levels, there has been a compensating loss of the various wild herds around the planet. Wildlife experts anticipate that there will be a 67% depletion of the world's wildlife by next year. Human populations are squeezing them out until there is insufficient wild space for them to exist. These usurpers will need food. And America feeds the world.
True we are messy, when it comes to air, but if you want to see a nice, neat country, with no air quality challenges, visit an unproductive one. And even though Americans foul up more than their “share” of the earth's air, they also in their busyness provide a lot of food and goods for the whole world to utilize. Much more than their share. The U.S. is and has always been the world leader in food exports.
Punishing U.S. Citizens, by restricting their travel and diet, would be beating the goose that lays the golden egg. The Democratic proposals designed to address our carbon excesses would result in the retardation and decline in health and productivity of the very country which has become the breadbasket of the world.
Even though the U. S. does more than most countries about its pollution challenges, it is still number two in the world, after China, in production of “nasty air.” There is no empirical data on the impact which carbon emissions have on the earth's atmosphere and thus our lives, only the “scientific” assumption that it is bad and getting worse. Since the U. S. is evaluated as a major offender, some politicians have been quick to point to American excess, abuse and even malignance.
But the number ONE cause of our “Greenhouse gases” is not cows, or the cattle industry, it is simple human beings, trying to make a living... You and me. Our carbon emissions, our cars, our use of energy... which is exacerbated by the steady deforestation going on all over the world, especially in Third World countries outside of our reach. TRUE, America is a prime greenhouse gas producer, and thus considered a “major violator,” because we have so many areas of great prosperity and productivity, which create and grow one another. We make more, do more, travel more, and thus use more. More than the world's average. The only answer to this conundrum, for America to match the planetary average is for Americans to do less. Work less, travel less, eat less. A lot less.
And that would mean for every family to make less income. To enjoy less. Have less. It would mean the end of our culture as we know it. Suffering all of that while the rest of the world is doing little to solve the pervasive problem of the earth's air quality. THAT would be social injustice. But dumbing down America is the only Democrat solution to our maintaining environmental leadership in the world. Their solution is that we have to invent the future so all the other countries will have a pattern, when they are ready for it. It is a lofty demand in a hand-to-mouth world.
This is why in the past decade Democratic leaders have quietly overseen the depletion of American industries, neglected our highway and aeronautic infrastructure, promoted a future with socialized medicine, vegetarianism, late-term abortions, high speed rail everywhere, limited air and auto use, and proposed subsidized income for those who do not work, because it is the only way for the U. S. to reduce its carbon production so that we might compare well with world CO2 levels, which would be necessary for leading by example. And they have ginned up the climate arguments to justify these quantum changes in our country and our lifestyle. In the '70's it was an immanent ice age... in the '90's it was Global Warming, now because weather statistics do not support that, they have morphed the semantics to “Climate Change.” That just about covers anything that might happen, so that the U. S. population stays alarmed and (hopefully) patriotically cooperative with these monumental adjustments being imposed on it. But a growing number are counting the cost and questioning Democratic strategies.
Too many of these Democrat social constructions depend on assumptions that, following our lead, someday the straggling nations will catch up, modernize and provide for themselves. But even Russia, after all its modernization, cannot feed itself. The Arab and African countries will continue to prosper and their populations grow in a desert land with scant agriculture, and will never be able to feed themselves. Populations which have traditionally been checked by famine and disease will benefit from modern medical advances and as they celebrate life and longevity, increase the demand for places like America to feed them. They short-sightedly decimate or abuse their natural resources even as we consider our own inconvenience and restriction, to set some kind of example.
It seems obvious that if America has already failed to meet the environmental expectations of our Democrat brethren, in spite of decades of government regulation and corporate striving, and the only answer (for them) is a nationwide shake-up of our lifestyles and the subsequent wholesale loss of jobs and family incomes, then this country, The United States of America, cannot stand one more immigrant. New people will only make worse the impossible task of feeding ourselves and the world, while drastically reducing our carbon emissions. More immigrants means more cars, more cows, more carnivores, as our immigrants are very much beef eaters, and thus more nasty air. Sorry immigrants, we have already used up our oxygen.
Of course, we can do better for our environment and we will, and this assertion is as absurd as the Green New Deal. Neither is going to happen. And America will continue to lead the world... and most importantly, it must lead with common sense.
It is not time to dumb-down America's productivity, it is time to anticipate the coming starvation in that half of the world that has an admirably small CO2 impact but insufficient industry and agriculture to survive. It will be a very amicable trade off. It is also time to attack pollution where it multiplies unchecked, to begin enforcement, through the United Nations, or International trade, rewarding developing countries who care as much as we do about the environment, and educating those who don't.
The “Green New Deal” has nothing to do with solving the world's problems. It only turns our world upside down, as it proposes to vastly centralize our government by Federalizing our transportation, agriculture, health care and education; A bizarre but misguided compensation for the environmental abuses in two-thirds of the world, where the carbon emissions are growing every day. And democrats know that few promises are being made in these countries to do otherwise. The Green New Deal may be the most presumptuous, the most ambitious, the least feasible, the worst proposal ever submitted to the American public by a national party.
No disrespect to our wonderful Statue of Liberty, and what it represents, but we really can no longer accommodate all the unhappy and oppressed people in the world. And we cannot bear the burden of their sins. American magnanimity was wonderful and noble while it lasted. But we are running out of oxygen- so to speak. It is time to stop bashing ourselves, to meet our global crisis where it is, and to meet and train, and if need be indoctrinate those huddled masses where they are.