December 29, 2009


Letters to the Editor and other People Speak

FROM-Austin Statesman

Edwards: Global warming isn't about science

As the president and other world leaders packed their coats and waited for planes to be de-iced en route to the climate change conference in Copenhagen to "make progress" on global warming, I couldn't help but wonder if they could appreciate the irony of the situation. What "progress" was in fact made at the conference remains to be seen, but it is clear that global warming has been accepted as gospel truth in this country. Or, at least, it has become the cause of the day for every policymaker from Washington, D.C., on down.

In fact, every level of policy making, local, state, and national, has already used its political sway to openly encourage private industries to all but ignore reliable sources of energy in favor of unproven, unreliable, and expensive sources. After all, as the recent flap over tampered emails from cause-driven scientists at the University of East Anglia have revealed, the cause must be promoted even at the expense of truth. The truth is, global warming is the latest vehicle used by liberals to promote their agenda. And is it just me or do you remember the chants about the coming ice age from 25 years ago?

Here in Austin, we are seeing the costly effects of an energy plan based upon unproven results. The city boasts of the GreenChoice program. Run by Austin Energy, Austin residents can subscribe to the GreenChoice program for electricity produced from renewable sources. The program is costly, so it doesn't have enough subscribers to sustain itself. The solution? Most might think it wise to scale the program back, revise it, or scrap it altogether. Instead, Austin Energy general manager Roger Duncan proposes a rate increase on businesses and residents in order to fund the program.

Across the nation we're seeing a new crop of majors and minors in "green studies" at colleges and universities. Why? Because the students are requesting it and businesses want students who have been trained in it. There is a demand and higher education institutions are responding.

Here in Austin, we have no shortage of environmental supporters. Yet when it comes to forking over more of your paycheck for the cause of the day, the demand dwindles.

Green studies are growing because there is a demand for environmental science in the free market. There is a demand for better and more reliable energy sources. When engaged, the free market works and produces sustainable, profitable results. It isn't beholden to a philosophy or agenda based upon faulty science or emotion-driven causes.

Global warming has never been about science. Rather, it has always been about raising taxes and constricting liberties. It has always been about supporting a philosophy which causes you and me to spend exorbitant sums of money on ineffective products rather than products which actually work, on power that actually keeps the lights on.

At best, it is time to order the propagators of climate change science to start over. Responsible environmental policies are reasonable goals, and when such policies put the free market to work, we will all benefit. When government provides incentives and science supports it, environmental successes will be seen. Unfortunately, we continue to see GreenChoice programs and worse being pushed upon us that are not based upon science. The sad fact is, most of the environmental policies being considered are based upon a fictional crisis aimed at justifying centralized control over men and women's ability worldwide to live freely and prosper themselves.

Policy leaders the world over should take a good hard look at their local policies and determine whether laws and policies were enacted under the pretense that they would save the planet. Austin's GreenChoice program is a fine example. If the answer is yes, then our governments, our own City Council even, have new reason to question the necessity of such programs that require confiscatory rate hikes on energy consumers and restrict their freedom of choice.

It's time to move on from climate change.

Edwards is chairwoman of the Travis County Republican Party


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