Or Why We Should Starve the Beast
By Steven J. Grisafi, PhD.
News media has made much of Senator Elizabeth Warren’s mocking of the personal responsibility narrative that she argues is where energy corporations hope to direct the people’s focus. I would tend to agree with the Senator that corporations seeking to hinder transformation of their core business are likely to employ such public relations tactics so as to garner support from the public that would tend to stifle any new initiatives. However, I see the Senator’s posturing as disingenuous because the problem lay solely within the performance of the government. It is precisely because the people cannot rely upon their government to oppose those who provide the funds politicians need, in order to become elected, that I seek to constrain the domain of things upon which the government can act. In short, I take issue with Elizabeth Warren’s characterization of free enterprise as the problem, when rather, it is the government that is the enemy of the people.
I assert that all blame for our current dilemma regarding climate change lay solely with the performance of our government. In support of this contention, I present the United States Interstate Highway system. Senator Warren chooses to cast energy corporations as the primary malefactors for climate change. Undoubtedly she does so because of the significant source of carbon dioxide that transportation vehicles contribute to the atmosphere. But one needs to understand that it is the motor vehicles that burn petroleum products. While petroleum itself is a valuable commodity for many other uses besides fuel. The younger generations today take apparent glee castigating the older generation wielding current authority while assigning all blame upon them. However, most such persons in positions of authority today were not yet born when the cause of our climate change mistakes were made. Prior to the 1950’s all long distance travel undertaken by the citizenry was enacted via train or ship. But during the administrations of Presidents Truman and Eisenhower, both of whom were born in the 1880’s, it was the automobile manufacturers, General Motors, Ford Motors, Chrysler, who prevailed upon the federal government to develop the Interstate Highway system. It is this development that caused the demise of the railroad industry. Trains and their tracks fell into disrepair and the railroad industry withered away. Today we recognize this loss as significant because train and ship travel would need to be reinstated in order to halt any further climate change. Unless, of course, we seek the alternative, which is population control.
Population control will not happen, and its remedial effects, would take too long to occur. So we are left with the imperative to reform the transportation sector of modern society. This is where our government has failed the people. Take note that it was during the administration of President Obama that the federal government of the United States chose to prevent the bankruptcy of the American automobile industry. Why did the federal government choose to drive the railroad industry into ruin but rescue the automobile industry? Twentieth century politicians never anticipated the exponential population growth the world now endures. But why could not twentieth-first century politicians recognize the dilemma and do the right thing? The urgency with which climate change activists, such as Elizabeth Warren, demand action to reconfigure modern society in its entirety, ought to cause at least some of the more thoughtful persons to recognize that the automobile industry must vanish. When the time came to act the United States Federal Government failed. So I say starve the beast and do not pin your hopes on government.