Once upon a time, Bob Hope and Bing Crosby went off on the road to Bali. Fifty-five years later, politicians are heading to Bali for sun, sand and socialism – and they want us to pay for it to the tune of trillions of dollars.
The Financial Times reported November 28 that the United Nations expects “rich industrialized countries shouldering a cut of 80 percent” of emissions. In effect, eco-extremists want the U.S. to spend hundreds of billions of dollars each year. The U.N. position makes us pay and lets China and India almost off the hook, despite their growing economies and growing pollution.
That view will be center stage as 130 Environment Ministers are joined by other VIPs at the island resort for the December 3-14 conference of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change. Counting their families, friends, handlers, aides, assistants and toadies, that will probably equal thousands of people lining up at the public trough for a tropical vacation.
Paying for that little excursion is minor, even though they will more than max out the local airports with plane after plane of smug globalists. The big payday comes at the meeting, when the U.N. tries to determine a replacement for the foolish and futile Kyoto treaty on climate change.
Kyoto never caught on here. In the United States – under both Presidents Clinton and Bush – it never got Senate approval, though the media consistently blame only Bush for having “rejected the Kyoto Treaty.” The treaty is ending its lifespan, but Australia just signed on. That makes ours the last major nation to oppose the pact.
Now the questions are what next and how much that will cost the American taxpayer. The answers to both questions will be bad. The hypocritical do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do crowd wants to intrude into every aspect of our lives – from the energy we are allowed to use to the bulbs that light our homes.
Al Gore said as much on Capitol Hill in March. Hillary Clinton joined in that little bit of uber-government early in November. “We will phase out the incandescent light bulb,” she told an Iowa audience.
All that costs money. The latest U.N. report estimates “the world must spend 1.6 percent of Gross Domestic Product each year” to fend off global warming. That’s a subtle way of saying great gobs of money.
According to the CIA World Factbook, global GDP in 2006 was $66 trillion. The U.N. wants $1 trillion per year – at least. The West’s share (much of which the U.N. wants us to pay) is $800 billion every year.
Those numbers are rising – just a few months ago, a previous estimate had put the global total closer to $800 billion, but it has now risen to $1 trillion.
And a bit of bipartisan insanity introduced in the Senate by Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and John Warner (R-Va.) would require companies to scale back greenhouse-gas emissions, costing the United States $4 trillion to $6 trillion over the next 40 years.
While those estimates are billions of dollars higher than many previous predictions of Kyoto’s economic impact, they are only the beginning. Once the U.N. has its claws into the American taxpayer, anything goes. As the famous Washington quote goes: “A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you're talking real money.”
How are they getting away with it? Partly because of ridiculously one-sided reporting from the American press. From August to November, the big three broadcast networks did 170 stories on climate change. Few stories questioned prophecies of actual danger or pointed out the debate within the scientific community.
NBC was the worst with 94 climate stories – more than one per day. The network also threw its considerable corporate weight behind Al Gore’s Live Earth concert, providing more than 75 hours of air time. Then, to top it off, NBC Universal launched a “Green Is Universal” week filled with eco-propaganda. The highlight, or lack thereof, was the football preview show where they turned out the lights on the set to claim they were saving energy.
It hasn’t stopped since. On November 27, NBC’s Kerry Sanders told a heartwarming tale of the nearly extinct Key Deer population surviving. But disaster was just around the corner for the dear deer. “Wildlife experts say while the Key Deer population has rebounded, there are still long-term threats – like global warming,” said Sanders.
That is precisely the issue the Bali conference will address: the threat posed by an evil mankind to an innocent earth. But where is the other side of the issue? The media bombard us with constant economic concerns, yet ignore the devastation a multibillion- dollar hit to the economy – annually – would cause.
When Crosby went to Bali, at least he had Hope. All we have to watch out for us is the media – and that’s no hope at all.
Dan Gainor is The Boone Pickens Free Market Fellow and director of the Media Research Center’s Business & Media Institute. He can be seen Thursday afternoon each week on the new Fox Business Network.