Symbolic Politics of Global Warming

Council member Roger Berliner is “committed to ensuring that Montgomery County is at the forefront of the fight against Global Warming.” As if anything Montgomery County did – compared to one or two new power plants in China – had any contribution at all to global warming.

At his behest, the council has passed legislation this month, committing the county to a passel of activities that, at best, will be harmless. Some of the features:

– Commits the county to developing a Climate Protection Plan, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in MoCo by 80%.

Does the council realize what that means? Or is it just pretty talk? An 80% reduction would mean that all roads in the county would become Lexus lanes – because only the wealthy would be able to afford to drive a car. Air conditioning would be a thing of the past, as the cost of electricity would skyrocket.

– Directs Montgomery County government to develop a “renewable energy action plan”. Part of the plan is examining the feasibility of creating a “Sustainable Energy Fund – “a non-profit organization which develops end-user markets for products and services relating to energy efficiency and renewable energy.”

Oh, good. It’s not dumb enough that the county is in the liquor business and the nightclub business and the music entertainment business and the summer camp business. Now the county is going into the electric utility business. I’m sure that will be a real productive exercise.

And for what? As a result of these edicts, the total greenhouse gases in the world – which is the only measurement that counts – would be virtually unaffected by the privations of one stupid county, directed by one thoughtless council member.

Best yet, this meaningless and damaging bill was declared an emergency, giving it expedited consideration and enforcement. “The Council declares that this legislation is necessary for the immediate protection of the public interest” (italics mine).

I don’t know which of those terms – “necessary”, “immediate”, or “protection” is more untrue. All together, though, they add up to one big farce.

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