I grew up when TV was first introduced and one of the few shows on was the Micky Mouse Club. The fans were called Mouseketeers. Their uniform included the same Micky Mouse ears you can buy in Disney stores today.
I guess you can decide whether this is a good or bad label for those who champion energy and environmental causes. The Wall Street Journal coined this label to describe the recent push to ban safe and reliable tires in the State of Washington in favor of lower carbon footprint, less safe tires:
You can’t make this stuff up. We now have people making laws that ban the safer alternatives in favor of some arbitrary determination that they are better for us all in the long run.
Perhaps this is just the latest move by increasingly desperate climate alarmists knowing they don’t have a lot of time left in their drunken sailor spending on climate saving measures. But, once again all this seemingly altruistic movement to save the planet fails to ask and answer the right questions:
1. If we are worried about tires, we should be thinking more creatively about the fact that they are very hard to recycle and we shouldn’t be driving long distances in the first place. Cluster work/play/live areas make more sense today than ever before. Mixed use eliminates the need for transportation, and when needed, we should be using mass transit with buses and trains.
2. Ruling about incentives or taxes should be based upon proven societal costs and benefits and not about some arbitrary scoring of idealistic objectives that puts the government in the position of picking winners and losers in society.
Haven’t we seen enough of the problems all of this creates already? Objectives tend to change over time and the idea of what is good or bad changes as a result. To prove my point, let me summarize my life in the energy business to see this clearly.
The oil embargoes of 1973 and 1978 taught us all that we were too dependent on foreign oil. We were on a path to use nuclear power until the Three Mile Island accident stopped almost all new nuclear power plant construction. The result was government incentives to switch to natural gas and coal from fuel oil. We then banned natural gas in baseload electric generation to be sure we had plenty for other domestic uses, which further encouraged coal power plants. Then, ten years later, our government removed the ban on natural gas in baseload generation. Now we have banned all fossil fuels and yet have no affordable nuclear options in sight.
Enter wind and solar fueled by low interest rates and government subsidies with no ability to produce reliable electricity without batteries or some other form of electricity storage believing that will scale up to the modern world standards of an advanced economy at the same time we laud cryptocurrency miners who gobble electricity and produce no essential good or service.
All along the way we still ship goods around the world, fill the skies with frivolous travelers, and clog our roads with both. Climateers tune in and cheer as their favorite characters parade on stage.
Most of us have grown up and understand mouse ears are a costume … fun for a day but not real. And, unlike Annette Funicello, these climateers are just not wholesome or cute.