The Climate Alarmist Manifesto
By Marc Sheppard
Just as class struggle forms the nucleus of Marxism, so does it sit at the very core of the Left’s climate alarmism. At a glance, the regressive nature of fiscal Carbon control schemes, be they taxation or cap-and-trade, would appear to be antithetical to liberal thinking. But beneath the veneer of both the domestic and international green agenda lies a devious wealth-redistribution plan compared to which all predecessors pale.
Take, for instance, the recently tabled Lieberman-Warner Bill. The Act would have empowered government to control key aspects of — while extracting trillions of dollars from — our economy by forcing the auction of greenhouse gas (GHG) credits upon industry and power companies. And, while the left lauds penalizing bourgeois “big business” success, advocates for the poor were quick to point out that the inescapable consequent increase in energy costs across the board (electricity, home heating, gasoline, etc) would have placed a disproportionate burden upon proletarian lower wage-earners.
Ah, but the Democrats — champions of the downtrodden that they are — were just as quick to respond. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works chair Barbara Boxer (D-CA) offered a substitute amendment bearing her name, Subtitle I of which provided “Financial Relief for Consumers” as follows:
“The bill sets aside a nearly $800 billion tax relief fund through 2050, which will help consumers in need of assistance related to energy costs. The precise details of the relief will be developed by the Finance committee.”
And if Senator Boxer’s plan of doling out $800 billion in industry profits to the “needy” sounds like class warfare to you, just wait until you hear what’s brewing down the hall.
Late last month, chairman of the Special House Committee On Global Warming, Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-MA), unveiled even harsher climate change legislation. Unlike Lieberman-Warner, which would have at least eased industry and power companies into compliance over time, Markey’s bill would require permits for virtually all emissions right from day one, in a crazy effort to roll atmospheric CO2 back to levels 85 percent below 2005 by 2050 (that’s 15% more than even the doomed Senate bill).
Also unlike its Senate counterpart, Markey’s Investing in Climate Action and Protection Act (ICAP) requires no amendments to begin redistributing the profits of domestic commerce. Actually, Subtitle A: Climate Trust Tax Credits and Rebates is quite clear in describing how $4.3 trillion (which represents an estimated 55 to 58.5% of auction proceeds) will:
“be used for refundable tax credits and rebates for middle- and low-income households, to compensate for any increase in energy costs resulting from the bill. Tax credits will be used to reach middle-income wage earners and senior citizens, and cash rebates — distributed through the Electronic Benefits Transfer systems used for food stamps — will be used to reach low-income households. All households earning under $110,000 will be eligible. Virtually all costs from climate regulation will be covered for households earning under $70,000, with benefit levels phasing out gradually for households earning $70,000 to $110,000.”
Of course, under the cloak of a “market-based” solution, cap-and-trade’s government command-and-control system is, as George Will
so brilliantly describes it, already nothing more than “a huge tax hidden in a bureaucratic labyrinth of opaque permit transactions.” Adding unabashedly obvious wealth-redistribution to the formula merely strips any façade of capitalism’s skeleton beneath.
It seems that giddy anticipation of further power gains next year — combined with hope of the most liberal among them living in the White House — has caused many Dems to lower their guard with respect to their aims. Just last month, before a House Judiciary Committee, Maxine Waters apparently cared little for Shell Oil President John Hofmeister’s response to her questions about guaranteeing a drop in oil prices were he allowed to drill off US shores. Visibly flustered, the California Democrat let slip to an astonished audience:
“And guess what this liberal would be all about? This liberal would be all about socialize — uh, uh, would be about basically taking over and the government running all of your companies.”
What still escapes me is just why anyone might be surprised by her faux-pas. Such is precisely the Left’s rationale for jumping aboard the bogus GHG bandwagon in such earnest almost to the very man and woman.
In the section Das Klima Kapital
of my recent piece
celebrating the death of Lieberman-Warner
for its lack of scientific merit,
I also pointed out why cap-and-trade is the perfect liberal synergy of environmentalism and socialism:
“In 1867, Karl Marx argued that capitalism’s cycle of labor exploitation could not endlessly sustain itself and would ultimately be its doom. Modern greenies insist that capitalism’s cycle of environmental exploitation will not endlessly sustain itself and will ultimately be not only its doom — but the entire planet’s.”
But, indeed, the reach of this ecosocialism extends far beyond our borders.
Internationally, the Left has always accused capitalist western nations of growing fat through the exploitation of poorer countries. And they now argue that those same fat-cat nations have exploited the planet to the brink of doom, also to the simultaneous exclusion and detriment of those less fortunate.
And for their imaginary sins of both economic and ecological abuse at both the national and global level, liberal-elitists have decreed that now is the time for the successful to atone. Translation: “developed” nations must not only clean up their own mess, but also pay to help “undeveloped” nations clean up theirs.
Much as Vladmir Lenin promised
in 1920 that centralized electrification and “advanced technology” would abolish “the division between town and country” and “conquer completely and decisively the backwardness of the countryside, its scattered economy and its ignorance,” so do the ecosocialists plan to uplift “developing nations.” But unlike the first soviet leader’s GOELRO project, which coalesced Russian scientists and peasant cooperatives to bring modernizing power to their own country, contemporary ecosocialists would simply play Robin Hood with the wealth and patented technology of “prosperous” nations under the false pretense of “saving the planet.”
Through Carbon trading, taxes, mandatory “clean energy” technology transfers, and other austere regulations, proposed UN-controlled international climate treaties to succeed Kyoto would penalize wealthy, innovative, capitalist countries while subsidizing poorer nations with waivers and foreign aid. And with most “good governance” requirements for beneficiary nations lifted, this equates to coerced underwriting of military regimes, dictatorships and, of course, socialists.
In his 1875 Critique of the Gotha Program, Marx defined the basis for a communist society with the words “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need.” What a marvelous creed for today’s climate alarmists, who would steal from flourishing countries, enterprises and citizens in order to give to those they deem chronically underprivileged. And, by spreading their woefully unproven yet widely accepted GHG horror stories, would do so on a global level that Marx and Lenin themselves dared only dream of. And would wield more centralized control of international economies than either ever dared envision.
In his book, Blue Planet in Green Shackles, Vaclav Klaus wrote:
“The largest threat to freedom, democracy, the market economy and prosperity at the beginning of the 21st century is no longer socialism. It is, instead, the ambitious, arrogant, unscrupulous ideology of environmentalism.”
With all due respect to the wise Czech President, they are indeed one in the same.
Marc Sheppard is a frequent contributor to American Thinker and welcomes your feedback.