There's a conversation that needs to take place at Ricochet between social conservatives and, well, everybody else. That latter designation includes people like myself, somewhat of a libertarian/futurist nerd who dreams wistfully of staring at the stars from Newt Gingrich's theoretical moon base. The nerd vote, I believe, is one of those that ought to sought after more aggressively, and is already well represented among the Libertarians.
I have a bias for science. I learned how to work as an electrician, paying to go to trade school and choosing to leave an office job to work as an apprentice while I also studied and passed certifications to work in IT. I love computers, Futurama jokes, Mythbusters, and LED lighting. I also love to see the natural world covered in as much green as possible. I find that most people who align with these traits are trending liberal/Democrat with a disturbingly consistent drift. I don't think it should necessarily be so.
If I had to cite the best example of the madness of our age, I would say it is the rent-seeking renewable energy industry. This has to be the largest con ever perpetrated on a society in the history of human civilization.
It's not that there hasn't been global warming. The issue is how much of it is man-made and how much of that can be tied to carbon emissions -- something that has never been established. Even an amateur can see that the scaremongering of the environmentalists fades against the complexity of trying to find a signal amongst the noise of global temperature averages. Tying that variation to human CO2 emissions can’t establish anything but a trivial input to the global greenhouse effect. You can only extrapolate out to climate catastrophes with highly questionable computer modeling.
The innumerate, theological belief that we must cut CO2 has allowed the left to run wild with fantasies of regulating every level of human existence. If there is any issue that must be addressed, it is the one involving telling the truth about the carbon scams and Anthropogenic Global Warming. The people we must resist are the squishy, Frummy types who say we ought to roll over on accepting AGW and get on board with the New Corporatism of Enron Windmills and Solyndra Solar Panels.
If I thought that carbon dioxide were an immediate threat to the environment, I would be furious that the political/educational/activist community has not pushed thorium reactors on the public as the most obviously necessary solution to the problem. Environmentalists like Al Gore have become enamored with gaming the financial industry and tax system with carbon credits. These regulation caps for carbon dioxide create a false market, thereby redistributing wealth from (from all classes) into weighted markets for modern indulgences to the Leviathan state and its corporate friends.
There is no reason to believe, for instance, that wind turbines were ever a good way to generate electricity or mitigate carbon. They were merely useful in that they would provide write-offs for companies who wished to buy in to carbon credit schemes. In other words, this was a cock-up from the beginning, brought to us by the likes of Enron and other schemers who created these false markets. This has been sitting there as a political target for more than a decade, but, even while the corruption tars all political sides in this case, only the left has used Enron corruption to rally their base, while conservatives have only issued apologies for American energy consumption and tried to play "me too" games while getting on board the gravy train.
Regardless of the CO2 scares, I began reading about nuclear power years ago, and have been endlessly frustrated that conservatives were not willing to fight hard enough for it. George W. Bush did not use 9/11 as an excuse to build more thorium reactors. Instead, his reaction was to get us more involved in the Middle East, which played into the hands of the left, who painted our involvement with Islamism as really being about oil.
I would like to say that the left was totally incorrect, but Bush turned around in a State Of The Union address and said that we were, in fact, addicted to foreign oil. After feeling free to insult the population of the country he represented by comparing us all to drug addicts, he briefly mentioned a future where automobiles would be run on hydrogen fuel cells, but didn't follow through on articulating the why/where/how of that vision. After leaving the left feeling that their premises were confirmed, Bush stayed quiet and rode out the rest of his administration.
While I've long been a geek who wanted to see electric cars, I am among the millions who will not be purchasing one any time soon. The real world is proving that the engineers who warned that the energy density of liquid fuel is a redundancy in a mechanical engine -- and one that modern battery technology simply is not up to the task of improving upon -- were correct. I'm all for fuel-efficient short trips -- but that's why I often walk or ride a bicycle. There are reasons to believe that fuel cells still are the future, but they're not the present -- which is a grim realization after a decade of hype about battery cars.
Hydrogen fuel cells for cars could have been expedited by thorium reactors along our coastlines -- which also would have provided abundant, cheap electricity for the grid, while also desalinating sea water and irrigating California deserts without hurting the darter snail. This could have been a grand proposal articulated by the Right.
Bush-era conservatives set themselves up to be portrayed as serving Big Oil and Middle Eastern interests, while the left got away with telling us that the Prius would solve all our problems. Conservatives compromised, and agreed that solar and wind were actually feasible energy supplies. We conceded to the left and settled for the battery and hybrid hype instead of fuel cells, doing nothing while companies fell over one another to hype up their meaningless "green" initiatives to cut CO2. The left is feasting at the trough and they're getting away with it.
It's no wonder the Republicans have lost so much credibility as a party that can actually run things. If conservatives cannot expose the wretched corporatism and chicanery involved in the Renewable Energy and CO2 scare – what on Earth is an opposition party for?