Here's an interesting graph from the latest issue of the Economist. Republican states, as of the 2004 elections, consumed more electricity then Democratic states. And California consumed the least per person.
Speaking of the environment, one of the many encouraging, throw up your hands and dare to hope again phenomenons to happen when the Senate shifted to the Dems favor was Barbara Boxer taking over the chairmanship of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works from James Inhofe. Inhofe, as you probably already know, believes global warming to be "the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people." So-called environmentalists, according to Inhofe, are nothing but a bunch of extremists who eschew science in favor of a kind of religious fervor and fear mongering. Unfortunately, evidence accumulated by "serious scientists committed to the principles of sound science," according to Inhofe, is being suppressed or ignored due to the considerable racket being made by the extremists and their radical Hollywood agenda. Just look, for example, at how Dr. Michael Crichton's pulpy book, State of Fear, a work of fiction with copious non-fiction footnotes that sought to prove the scientific delusion behind global warming, was treated. Had it garnered more positive reviews and had our liberal media gatekeepers permitted it a seat at the table of our national debate on global warming, well, you better believe we'd have been stunned by how "environmental organizations are more focused on raising money, principally by scaring potential contributors with bogus scientific claims and predictions of global apocalypse than with 'saving the environment.'" Indeed. But is Michael Crichton really the best he can offer? It's like making Erik Estrada a police officer in Muncie, Indiana based on his experience on CHIP's.
This is the (Imhofe, not Estrada!) man who promises to filibuster any attempt by the Senate to pass a bill involving mandatory caps on greenhouse-gas emissions. And he will do it. Just today his office posted the following press release: New ACNielsen Poll: 50% of Those Polled Don't Believe Global Warming Caused by Human Activity. But Nielsen also reveals that over 30 million of us tune in to watch American Idol each Tuesday and Wednesday night.
The subtext to all of this, as Inhofe's opening statement to the Committee's hearing today titled "Senator's Perspectives on Global Warming" is unfettered capitalism and an ideological aversion to regulating industry.
While I look forward to a vigorous debate this Congress I also look forward to vigorously pointing out the lack of scientific consensus, the real economic impact, and the effects of unilateral disarmament of our economy if we enact mandatory carbon reductions in the U.S., while the rest of the world is failing to meet their goals.
Lastly, how long are folks like Inhofe going to get away with the "lack of scientific consensus" argument? I know about the folks out there who decry this idea that there's consensus on the human cause of global warming, but you usually only find them on the opinion pages of the Wall Street Journal or on the payroll of Exxon or BP.