MARY REICHARD, HOST: Today is Tuesday, January 8th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from member-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.
MEGAN BASHAM, HOST: And I’m Megan Basham. Next up, Cal Thomas on forcing people to live so-called “low-carbon lifestyles.”
CAL THOMAS, COMMENTATOR: The Irish government is proposing rebates to its recently imposed carbon tax. It would make the rebate available to households that comply with what it considers “low-carbon lifestyles.” The rebate, according to Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, might be in the form of a check, an increase in welfare benefits, or a tax credit for people who live the way the government thinks they should.
Some believe that if implemented, the rebate could reduce tensions seen in many parts of Europe. Those tensions are especially evident in France, where President Emmanuel Macron’s big tax increase on gasoline, since rescinded, made a gallon of petrol among the most expensive in Europe. Macron’s tax accounted for more than half the cost!
Despite optimism over Ireland’s carbon tax rebate, I’m doubtful it will work. People don’t like their governments forcing them to accept a lesser lifestyle because of an ideology described by many as “settled science.”
Never mind the many legitimate scientists with knowledge and experience in climate who disagree.
Meteorologist Roy Spencer is a research scientist for the University of Alabama in Huntsville and a team leader for a project involving NASA’s Aqua satellite. Writing for the Global Warming Policy Forum, a London-based think tank, Spencer says, quote—“2018 marked the second straight year when global temperatures declined and that last year was the sixth warmest year globally since El Nino peaked in February, 2016.”
But climate change could soon be eclipsed by plastics as the latest “crisis” only government can solve. In Ireland, as well as in other parts of Europe and the U-S, there’s a war on plastic straws. Starbucks plans to stop using them in all its restaurants by 2020. The company will continue using plastic lids, though, because they are widely recyclable … supposedly.
This illustrates the contradictions inherent in the climate change debate. It’s all about feeling good and “making a difference,” not about truth.
And if you think such draconian measures are confined to Europe, think again. In the U.S., 40 House Democrats and at least three prominent Senate Democrats are backing a “Green New Deal” touted by freshman Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. It would eliminate virtually all fossil fuels from the electric grid and force people to buy from power companies selling only renewable energy.
Back in Ireland, recent projections by the Economic and Social Justice Institute found the annual carbon tax would have to increase substantially—from 100 euros per person to 1,500 euros—for the country to meet legally binding targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.
Let’s see how well that goes down with the Irish, who have only recently begun to emerge from a long economic recession.
For WORLD Radio, I’m Cal Thomas in Dublin.