In an especially bold, must-read editorial today, the Wall Street Journal took aim at what it calls “the West’s climate policy debacle,” adding that “utopian energy dreams are doing great economic and security damage.”
After it quoted the final word from the famed movie “The Bridge on the River Kwai,” “madness,” it concluded by quoting historian Arnold Toynbee, who said “civilizations die by suicide, not murder.”
It was embarrassing enough to America watching President Biden fist-bumping the Saudi ruler, MbS. That kind of casual gesture is usually reserved for good friends, not American presidents interacting with foreign leaders. The real problem, though, is that Mr. Biden had to beg the Saudis for more oil production and, indeed, has also gone to the dictators in Venezuela and Iran because of his “utopian dream to punish fossil fuels, and sprint to a world driven solely by renewable energy,” to quote the Journal.
The editorial goes on to say, “It’s time for political leaders to recognize this manifest debacle and admit that, short of a technological breakthrough, the world will need an ample supply of carbon fuel for decades to remain prosperous and free.”
Readers of this column will recognize the same themes yours truly has been arguing for the duration of Mr. Biden’s collapsing presidency.
Shrinking baseload power, such as natural gas and nuclear, has been replaced by unreliable renewables that have driven energy prices sky-high — including gasoline and electricity prices paid by typical American families. Crazy goals such as carbon-free electricity by 2035 and a 32 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 highlight the insanity of Mr. Biden’s radical climate activism.
Renewables have proven unreliable and unsustainable.
The war against fossil fuels — including extremist environmental restrictions that have ended permitting for drilling, pipelining, and refining — have taken a huge toll on the economy, and delivered a massive inflation tax on the middle class.
A new TIPP poll on climate change shows that 32 percent of Americans approve, while many more, 57 percent, disapprove. Incidentally, it’s not only here in the U.S. A recent U.N. report, for which 10 million people worldwide were asked to rank 16 issues in order of importance, found that climate change finished dead last.
I want to add to all this the important theme that the radical climate change agenda equals big-government socialism. It’s an attempt to transform American society into a centrally planned regulatory state of the sort that the late Nobel Prize winner Friedrich Hayek wrote about in his famous book, “The Road to Serfdom.”
I would also note that the war against free-market capitalism is deeply embedded in the war against fossil fuels that comprises the radical climate activism of the Biden administration. Across the board, through a regulatory octopus of agencies as far-reaching and unrelated as the EPA, the FTC, the SEC, and the Federal Reserve, the Bidens have attempted to employ what Steve Forbes calls modern regulatory socialism.
Hopefully, the recent Supreme Court decision ruling against the EPA will slow down this regulatory socialism, or even stop it altogether. Let us hope.
Mr. Biden doesn’t understand that either. While in Saudi Arabia, the fist-bumper-in-chief threw a temper tantrum at Senator Manchin for ending the high-tax and renewable energy spending rampage. He then promised to counter Mr. Manchin with an onslaught of yet more executive branch regulations.
The Supremes just said you can’t do that, Uncle Joe, or hadn’t you heard?
Finally, Mr. Biden proudly said many times during his Middle East trip that he has a new Iran nuclear deal on the negotiating table, and it’s just up to Iran now to take that deal. This is utter insanity. Part of that deal would end President Trump’s stern economic sanctions and allow Iran to reopen their oil spigots — and better finance their terrorism in the region and around the world.
That’s another place where this radical climate activism has taken the Biden administration. Thank heavens the cavalry’s coming, but will it get here soon enough?
Larry Kudlow was the Director of the National Economic Council under President Trump 2018-2021. His Fox Business show "Kudlow" airs at 4 p.m &. radio show airs on 770 ABC from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.