Today’s Washington Post editorial on global warming (“Climate Insurance”) is especially ridiculous. You can certainly read it for yourself, but I’m going to do you the favor of translating it into plain English here for you now. I’ve put a few bits of the editorial’s language in italics for you.
Climate science is complex, and there is much that we still do not understand. On top of that, there have been some really embarrassing screw-ups and misdeeds (and, frankly, if we were forced to admit it, maybe some outright lies) on the part of key global warming scientists. First, there was Climategate, and now there’s the snafu surrounding how and when the Himalayan glaciers might melt away. All that – it’s not helped the cause.
It’s true that we don’t know for sure how many degrees warmer the Earth will be, on average, by 2050 or what effect this will have on the ferocity of storms or coastal flooding or starvation-inducing drought. It’s also true that we, the opinionated writers here at the elitist Washington Post, are troubled by the cogent argument suggesting that government action aimed at stopping this possible bad stuff from happening is hopeless. That wrenching the economy away from its dependence on oil and coal would be expensive, and the resulting benefit so minimal, that it’s not worth trying.
However…come on, people!! We still want to use the strong arm of government to force a bunch of taxes on you. A gradually rising carbon tax made sense even before “global warming” entered most people’s vocabulary. The global warming scare just gave us some added ammo to make the case for a carbon tax. We’re not going to spend time in this brief editorial explaining to you people why we want to tax you. But we thought you’d find it convincing if we just say that taxing you *might* (really, who’s to say?!) prevent a bunch of the aforementioned storms, flooding, and starvation. And, for good measure, we will merely suggest that imposing a carbon tax or a cap-and-rebate tax system that requires industry (i.e. consumers) to pay for greenhouse gas emissions would reduce American dependence on dictators in Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. How’s that? We couldn’t be bothered to say right now. But, if politicians can’t bear to stand behind an increased tax, the revenue from either proposal could all be returned in a fair and progressive way. In other words, we want to force you to give money you earned to people we like better than you. We’re the Washington (freakin’) Post, for Pete’s sake, and we know best.