Obama’s Climate Challenge. Do Business Leaders Dare To Take It?

Nobody should profit over global warming hype.

By William M Briggs Published on February 8, 2016

President Obama is bruiting the idea of a $10 per barrel oil tax, which will of course ride on top of existing oil taxes, and which naturally you would end up paying for in increased gasoline taxes as well as higher food and goods costs.

Besides employing a whole swath of new government bureaucrats tasked to write regulations, Mr. Obama would “invest,” i.e. spend, your money on “clean-energy technologies that will power our future.” Politico reports that he has already “doled out unprecedented green energy subsidies” to friends (like Solyndra) of his administration.

So with these new taxes we can move from “unprecedented” to, what, astronomical?

Anyway, everybody knows the reason the government gives to explain its largess, and that is global-warming-of-doom. We’re long past the point of taking this subject seriously, since every forecast of tragedy over the last thirty years has failed to come to pass. But let’s here assume what isn’t true, that global-warming-of-doom really will kill us all unless we spend your money on so-called clean energy, clean transportation, and clean whatever.

Now this is going to cost a bundle. It would take hundreds of billions of dollars, maybe even trillions or multiple tens of trillions, to switch out all fossil-fuel electricity generation and swap all gasoline- and diesel-propelled vehicles, which includes your car. That means somebody has to sell new power plants and new methods of transportation.

Who gets the money?

Obviously, those who are manufacturing the so-called green and clean products, and the ex-government officials who will happen to invest in and perhaps even sit on the boards of these companies.

But these folks aren’t in the green energy business for the profit. No, sir. They’re doing it to save the future of the human race — to Save The Planet! — from the destructive forces of global-warming-of-doom. Well, these acts are both noble and moral and so should be applauded.

There’s just one thing holding back my enthusiasm. I, and maybe even you, don’t believe these green-energy folks are as altruistic as they tell us they are. Take billionaire Tom Steyer. He funds a not-for-profit called NextGen Climate which spends Steyer’s money telling citizens that global-warming-of-doom is bad and the sort of green and clean energy Kilowatt Financial and others advocate is good. Kilowatt Financial? Coincidentally a company Steyer has financial ties to.

Look, the fault is wholly mine. I admit my failing. I’m too cynical to believe without tangible proof that these friends-of-government only have our best interests at heart and aren’t seeking to make obscene profits off my back. Next time I’m in the confessional, I’ll come clean.

But then so should people like Steyer. If global-warming-of-doom really is the threat it’s been painted, then we really are in deep kimchi as a nation. A fiery death surely awaits us! And that means we all must pull together and make the big switch.

Since we’d all suffer together, and everybody must pay his share to solve the problem, it would be grossly immoral for anybody to profit. Somebody selling at a premium a solar panel in this crisis is like a man selling life preservers on a sinking ship.

That brings us to Obama’s Climate Challenge, which is this. I hereby challenge all and every seller of any clean or green technology who accepts any money or consideration whatsoever from government to vow to not profit from any sale of these technologies.

This includes money made directly from the sales, but also capital gains from any stock or bond holdings, or through having any ties to these companies in the form of board seats and the like.

This Challenge ensures these life-saving products will be minimally priced, a necessity in our emergency. And it ensures that the public only pays once, in the form of tax dollars for the subsidies.

Of course, even environmental altruists have to eat, so every seller in this Challenge will be allowed a fair salary. Let’s say a hundred grand, which is way above what most people get. Plenty of money to live and to eat at top restaurants!

Who can possibly say no to the Challenge? We’re in this together, right? It’s the only way to answer the cynicism of a skeptical public.

On the other hand, those companies who would go out on their own, with absolutely no help from government, which is to say, from your money and mine, and who spend their own money on research and development, who are willing to take all risks upon themselves, can take anything they can get from their labor.

Fair?

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