Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Coastal oil drilling

Krauthammer, the psychiatrist, is better at economics than the economist, Krugman. Dr. Charles Krauthammer remains the clearest thinker in the punditocracy. Former Enron advisor Paul Krugman, not so much. The two squared off today on Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco's statement that by shutting down new oil production in the USA, she is saving the world. Krugman in the New York Times:
"In themselves, limits on offshore drilling are only a modest-sized issue. But the skirmish over drilling is the opening stage of a much bigger fight over environmental policy. What's at stake in that fight, above all, is the question of whether we'll take action against climate change before it's utterly too late.

"It's true that scientists don't know exactly how much world temperatures will rise if we persist with business as usual. But that uncertainty is actually what makes action so urgent. While there's a chance that we'll act against global warming only to find that the danger was overstated, there's also a chance that we'll fail to act only to find that the results of inaction were catastrophic. Which risk would you rather run?"

OK, so the economist gives the political and pseudo-climatologist response. We won't drill here and therefore we will be on the road to saving the planet from this generation's apocalyptic fear. The last one was global cooling. Before that it was a nuclear holocaust.

Krauthammer in the Washington Post pointed out the obvious; by not drilling here, we buy oil from Third World venues, where it is drilled under less pristine conditions. That is the economist's response. Wrote Krauthammer:
"There are a dizzying number of economic and national security arguments for drilling at home: a $700 billion oil balance-of-payments deficit, a gas tax (equivalent) levied on the paychecks of American workers and poured into the treasuries of enemy and terror-supporting regimes, growing dependence on unstable states of the Persian Gulf and Caspian basin. Pelosi and the Democrats stand athwart, shouting: We don't care. We come to save the planet! "They seem blissfully unaware that the argument for their drill-there-not-here policy collapses on its own environmental terms."

In summation, not drilling offshore does not "save the planet." It spends it.


Posted by John Ray. For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. For a daily survey of Australian politics, see AUSTRALIAN POLITICS Also, don't forget your roundup of Obama news and commentary at OBAMA WATCH

No comments: