In his article “No to Keystone, Yes to Crazy,” New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman damns the Keystone oil pipeline but says he’s willing to accept its existence in exchange for “systemic responses to climate change.”
How might environmentalists facilitate such a deal? Friedman encourages the likes of “Bill McKibben and his 350.org coalition [to] go crazy” by chaining themselves to the White House fence, stopping traffic at the Capitol, and the like—that is, by breaking the law, squandering tax dollars spent on law enforcement, and interfering with people’s lawful use of tax-funded roadways.
Why does Friedman advise this? What problem will it solve? The main problem, Friedman says, is that “carbon-free energy” hasn’t taken off because American energy producers have developed hydraulic fracturing to radically expand the supply of inexpensive, less-polluting natural gas.
What sort of “systemic responses” does Friedman have in mind? He proposes a carbon tax, a presidential demand that coal plants reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 25 percent, a federal policy to “foster” (by what means he does not specify) less energy use in homes and businesses, and more tax spending on nature preserves.
In other words, Friedman wants the federal government to expand violations of the rights of business owners to control their property and run their businesses as they judge best, to extend control of vast tracts of land and land use per the environmentalist agenda, to confiscate more wealth from the American people, to further discourage energy use, and to expand the already bloated welfare state.
The alternative to Friedman’s self-professed craziness and his rights-violating “responses to climate change” is to restore the government to the function of protecting individual rights—and thus to free energy producers so that they can do what they do so well: take raw materials from the earth and convert them into the energy that fuels, advances, and improves human life.
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