Widgerson is bemoaning the recent report, Wisconsin's Strategy for Reducing Global Warming, and its apparently audacious assumption that global climate change is a real threat and that we ought to take steps to combat it.
Among the litany of already disproved allegations and assertions that Widgerson makes, we have the old "global cooling" bit, the "you can't tell me what to do!" line, the "they'll force us all to live in teepees and ride the bloody trains" hysteria, plus much, much more!
They’re not even acknowledging that global temperatures have leveled off, and that we may actually be entering a period of global cooling.Eh, not so much. Global surface temperatures are increasing, and the global cooling idea has long since been debunked, even by one of the scientists who originally proposed it. Clearly someone forgot to read much of any of the current research on the subject, including the exhaustive IPCC study from 2007.
They want us out of our cars and riding trains. If we don’t abandon our cars, we are going to have to buy more expensive cars with higher emission standards. We are going to have to buy ethanol to fuel our cars. We are going to have to drive slower because they are going to lower the speed limits. Meanwhile, drivers will have the privilege of paying for new trains (like the ones keeping Waukesha residents up at night with their horns).When did trains suddenly become the great bogeyman of Wisconsin? While certainly not the end-all-be-all of our transportation woes, trains and mass transit in general do serve the public quite well, both here and abroad. They help cut congestion on our costly highways, and reduce the amount of pollutants being spewed by taking cars off the roads. And ridership is up across the country, showing a growing demand for the service now that gas prices are so high (and don't look to be comin' down any time soon). The real question here should be, why not trains?
While I'm not an ardent supporter of ethanol (at least not the corn-based kind), I do believe higher emissions standards are important. They don't have to mean more expensive cars, either. That's the beauty of demand and innovation. The more people--with more cash--that put their minds to the problem, the more efficient and less expensive for the end-user things tend to become. And who doesn't want to get more mileage for their buck?
They even want to reduce the amount of miles we drive through "improved land use." You want to build that house in the country? Your dream will soon clash with the priority of reducing greenhouse gas omissions.Heaven forbid we work to create more walkable communities, so you don't have to drive miles just to buy groceries or see a movie or go to the park. And take away those sprawling luxury homes on hundreds of acres of otherwise perfectly good land from the few people remaining wealthy enough to build them? Apparently that, too, leaves an awful taste in his mouth.
What's especially strange about this column is Widgerson's assertion that the people who want to implement these allegedly Draconian changes are just a bunch of "elitist" snobs. I guess those dream-house-in-the-country building, SUV driving, public transit abhoring people are just salt of the earth folk with barely two private yachts to rub together. And those elitist snobs? They want to build a more sustainable, healthier, more affordable and pleasant place to live for everyone. If that's elitism, then by gum, hand me a snifter of brandy and take me out to the Skull and Bones meetings because I want in!