The Locker Room

Jonah Goldberg drills down to the problem

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 06:49 AM

The latest cover story in National Review features Jonah Goldberg’s explanation of why American policy should include more domestic oil drilling. Goldberg outlines the “futility” of Democrats and environmentalists fighting that option:

We are constantly told that America must “take the lead” on global warming in order to persuad the rest of the world to cut their own emissions. But America has restricted domestic drilling for decades. Has anyone — anywhere — followed our example? No. Everywhere in the world, governments jump for joy when they discover new oild fields to exploit. Tell a Brazilian official that he should stop drilling because drilling is just wrong, and, once he realizes you’re not joking, he’ll throw his caipirinha in your face.

No serious student of energy and development economics thinks that oil will become less important in at least the next several decades. Every forecast shows demand — domestic and worldwide — going up steadily, or even sharply. Perhaps more importantly, this is also true of coal. China, which is building a new coal-fired power plant every 10 days, has surpassed the U.S. to become the biggest CO2 emitter in the world, and very soon India and Brazil will overtake America as well. They have not intention of abandoning cheap, reliable, and powerful fossil fuels — that they own — in favor of incredibly inefficient, unproven, and expensive “alternative” energy that they’d have to buy from America or Europe. This is true not only because fossil-fuel energy is cost-effective in its own right, but also because they’ve already paid for the infrastructure.

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