Columnist Charles Krauthammer, in his column this week, examines the socialist origins of AGW, their dual goals of accreting power and (our) wealth, and the end run around the Constitution that was the Obama EPA's decision to label carbon dioxide a pollutant dangerous to humans under the Clean Air Act.
If there is anyone who has forgotten how intertwined AGW is with socialism, Mr. Krauthammer reminds us by looking at the movements history.
In the 1970s and early '80s, having seized control of the U.N. apparatus (by power of numbers), Third World countries decided to cash in. OPEC was pulling off the greatest wealth transfer from rich to poor in history. Why not them? So in grand U.N. declarations and conferences, they began calling for a "New International Economic Order." The NIEO's essential demand was simple: to transfer fantastic chunks of wealth from the industrialized West to the Third World.
On what grounds? In the name of equality -- wealth redistribution via global socialism -- with a dose of post-colonial reparations thrown in.
The idea of essentially taxing hardworking citizens of the democracies to fill the treasuries of Third World kleptocracies went nowhere, thanks mainly to Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher (and the debt crisis of the early '80s). They put a stake through the enterprise.
But such dreams never die. The raid on the Western treasuries is on again, but today with a new rationale to fit current ideological fashion. With socialism dead, the gigantic heist is now proposed as a sacred service of the newest religion: environmentalism.
One of the major goals of the Copenhagen climate summit is another NIEO shakedown: the transfer of hundreds of billions from the industrial West to the Third World to save the planet by, for example, planting green industries in the tristes tropiques.
Politically it's an idea of genius, engaging at once every left-wing erogenous zone: rich man's guilt, post-colonial guilt, environmental guilt. But the idea of shaking down the industrial democracies in the name of the environment thrives not just in the refined internationalist precincts of Copenhagen. It thrives on the national scale, too.
And indeed, according to Gary North at Specific Answers, you can trace one of the first calls for socialists to move over to the green movement to socialist economist, Robert Heilbroner, who who made the call in the Sep. 10, 1990 issue of the New Yorker, describing it as "the best political means for promoting central planning." And to quote from Dr. George Reisman, writing in his book, Capitalism: A Treatise on Economics:
. . . It should not be surprising to see hordes of former Reds, or of those who otherwise would have become Reds, turning from Marxism and becoming the Greens of the ecology movement. It is the same fundamental philosophy in a different guise, ready as ever to wage war on the freedom and well-being of the individual.
What it appears that we are seeing, with the surreal juxtaposition of Climategate and Copenhagen and with the AGW crowd doing their best to wholly delegitimize Climategate, is that climate science is not about the search for the truth. It is, first and foremost, a search for power and money on a grand scale. To continue with Mr. Krauthammer:
On the day Copenhagen opened, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency claimed jurisdiction over the regulation of carbon emissions by declaring them an "endangerment" to human health.
Since we operate an overwhelmingly carbon-based economy, the EPA will be regulating practically everything . . . Not since the creation of the Internal Revenue Service has a federal agency been given more intrusive power over every aspect of economic life.
This naked assertion of vast executive power in the name of the environment is the perfect fulfillment of the prediction of Czech President (and economist) Vaclav Klaus that environmentalism is becoming the new socialism, i.e., the totemic ideal in the name of which government seizes the commanding heights of the economy and society.
. . . With the Senate blocking President Obama's cap-and-trade carbon legislation, the EPA [executed a] coup d'etat . . . Either the Senate passes cap-and-trade, or the EPA will impose even more draconian measures: all cap, no trade.
Forget for a moment the economic effects of severe carbon chastity. There's the matter of constitutional decency. If you want to revolutionize society -- as will drastic carbon regulation and taxation in an energy economy that is 85 percent carbon-based -- you do it through Congress reflecting popular will. Not by administrative fiat of EPA bureaucrats.
Congress should not just resist this executive overreaching, but trump it: Amend clean-air laws and restore their original intent by excluding CO2 from EPA control and reserving that power for Congress and future legislation.
Do it now. Do it soon. Because Big Brother isn't lurking in CIA cloak. He's knocking on your door, smiling under an EPA cap.