Thursday, September 21, 2006

Global Warming Grandstanding . . .

Yesterday California's Attorney General, Bill Lockyer, announced that the state has filed suit against 6 US and Japanese car makers for contributing to global warming.

"Vehicle emissions are the single most rapidly growing source of the carbon emissions contributing to global warming, yet the federal government and automakers have refused to act.

"It is time to hold these companies responsible for their contribution to this crisis," he said."

The questionable science (and questionable law) behind this aside, isn't California employing a double standard? What state is more emblematic of America's love affair with the internal combustion engine than California? What state other than California is synonymous with the word "freeway?" Indeed, would California have grown to its present population were it not for the automobile?

California could have opted for a vast European style of public transportation so people would not have to rely upon automobiles, but, as a matter of state public policy, it opted for a vast highway network instead. [As a side note York Staters had an interesting piece over the summer comparing public transportation in Syracuse with Bilbao.] California has an ability to control where urban development takes place and the density of that development. It could have adopted regulations requiring a more European pattern of land use, but it instead opted for sprawl, either intentionally or laissez-faire, which pretty much requires people to have their own vehicles.

Given all the opportunities California has to directly and indirectly control the use of automobiles, given all the policy choices California has made to encourage and practically mandate the use of automobiles, California is far more responsible for its global warming predicament than the automakers it is suing.

California is deflecting from its own culpability for global warming.*

*[assuming, of course, that human contribution is real and significant.]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great post! You've made some excellent points, not that the gov'mt will do anything aright...

I agree that human-initiated global warming is a myth, comparable to the flat-earth and earth-centered galaxy theories. Seems more like another pop-science scare tactic as with the Dark Ages control patrol, if you ask me.

Of course, that doesn't mean that we should be wasteful polluters... but, yes, let's stick with the facts!