As more than a few of us have been pointing out, the destructive effects of global warming are already upon us. That is to say, the destructive effects of global warming policies are already upon us. Alex Epstein makes the point again at the Voices for Reason blog:
What is the biggest danger to Americans’ health and welfare? No, it’s not global warming — but it may well be global warming policy. In the name of fighting off hypothetical rises in average global temperature, our government has given itself draconian power to throttle energy sources that emits CO2 — which means, well over 80% of American production. . . The power that this decision gives the EPA is enormous. . . [And] the Obama EPA has announced that it plans to use its newfound power to the fullest.
This is not grounds for excitement. Quite the reverse. In a purported “press release release from the future” that is hard to tell from the real thing, George Reisman points out that now carbon dioxide has been declared a pollutant, numerous local jurisdictions around the US, whose finances have been badly hammered by the current recession, are considering the imposition of “Exhalation Taxes.”
New York’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg and California’s Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger are reportedly preparing a joint statement citing the legitimacy and inevitability of taxes on CO2 emissions in general and on human exhalations of CO2 in particular. . .
Support for . . . exhalation taxes and/or more stringent cap-and-trade limitations is indicated by the reported brisk sale of bumper stickers urging “polluters” to stop exhaling altogether. The stickers say, “Stop Exhaling, You God-Damned Polluting Bastards.” It is unclear whether the drivers of the vehicles which carry the stickers count themselves as polluters too.
In contrast to the extremist position expressed in such bumper stickers, key Obama Administration officials and Congressional leaders are reportedly prepared to guarantee that “no American will ever be allowed to be in a position in which he cannot afford to pay for all of his reasonably necessary exhalations.” The Federal Government, they say, will provide whatever financial subsidies as may be necessary to assure everyone’s right to exhale on terms that he can afford.
I’d hate to think Professor Reisman would be giving anyone ideas . . . the existing political reactions to a non-problem are already bad enough.