Saturday, December 08, 2007

Boxer's Day: Senate Committee on Not-Energy Votes 11-8 to reduce greenhouse gases by 70% by 2050


Not eighty percent? Or ninety?

Is Barbara Boxer telling us the greatest country on earth cannot reduce its greenhouse gases by a hundred percent?

The fine points of the bill (which is more than an inch thick, though printed on both sides of the paper--who says it's not easy being green?) are meaningless here.

This bill is one of a piece with all those education bills passed in the ninety-nineties: you remember, the ones that promised that American eighth graders would be first in the world in math and science by 2005 or so--a logistical impossibility, given the sprawling, heterogeneous nature of our country compared to, say, Japan or Iceland?

These Jean-Luc Picard "Make it so" bills seemed inspired by one of the great lines in movie history, one spoken by Tim Matheson's Otter in Animal House:

"What this situation absolutely requires is a really stupid and futile gesture be done on somebody's part."

In this instance, Sen. Boxer stands in for John Belushi's Bluto, rejoining, "And we're just the guys to do it."

I mean, what does it mean being a Senator in times like these, voting for a bill that would destroy the greatest economy (hence producer of wealth, hence best apt to deal with whatever the environment dishes out) in the world; a bill that, if passed, would never be taken seriously, a bill that specifies targets that are a joke?

I'm gearing up for my annual viewing of The Homecoming, the TV-movie that essentially served as the pilot for the TV show "The Waltons." Take as good look at "The Waltons," if you ever catch it in re-runs. No air conditioning in the home. No heating, save for a wood stove and a wood fire. One car (also no heat, no air, factory or otherwise) serving as transportation for 11 people.

And a single phone, the one down at Ike's.

That is a life, writ large over an entire continent, that would be required under a 70-percent reduction is fossil fuels or greenhouse gases or whatever, in 2050 or thereafter.

Seventy percent. Getting back to my original point--why stop there? Why not mandate that by, 2050, all cars will fly through the air, powered only by sunbeams, cotton candy and the smiles of pretty girls?

And why do this at all?

In an unguarded moment, Senator Boxer gives the game away, conceding that this bill is to be distinguished from an actual energy bill.

Of course is it.

You see, this is something much bigger than us all. A moral imperative.

Ladies and gentlemen: the Religious Left.

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