TCS Daily

Gray's Dream, My Nightmare

By Brock Yates - August 14, 2002 12:00 AM

I am haunted by this recurring nightmare about California Governor Green (oops, Gray) Davis. There he is, in the middle of the San Diego Freeway, wearing Carry Nation's black dress and steel-rimmed glasses, flailing a fire-ax at the passing traffic. The carnage in shredded sheet metal, shattered glass and rendered bodies is frightful and I am contemplating professional help to get the dream excised from my fevered brain.

Perhaps the legislators, members of the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and the Savaranolas from the environmental movement ought to join me in the counseling. After all, it is from their troubled minds that the most demented law since the Volstead Act has issued, surely to cause a classic example of unintended consequences. You thought the rise of the Mafia was an unexpected backfire from Prohibition? Wait until the entire California economy collapses if and when Davis' anti-Carbon Dioxide law takes effect.

Surely you've heard the news: In a fit of legislative chicanery involving a cute game called "gut and amend" (the substitution of wording in an old bill before opponents can react to the new one) and "ghost voting" by absent members, CO2 will be banned from automotive exhausts by 2009.

Never mind that practical technology simply does not exist to achieve this goal, despite the claims of the resident geniuses at CARB, who have never designed, built or sold so much as a golf cart.

Never mind that such a law would wipe California roads clear of all SUV's and light trucks, thereby wrecking not only commercial traffic but also the State's booming recreational industry. (Want a ski boat? Plan to live on it at the Marina, because there won't be a vehicle within 500 miles that will tow it.)

Never mind that the reversion to smaller, flimsier vehicles will have a devastating effect on the constantly falling death rate (that, coincidentally, has plunged since SUV's became popular two decades ago.)

Never mind that 17,000 scientists belonging to the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine have stated, "There is no scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane or other greenhouse gases is causing, or will cause, catastrophic heating to the earth's atmosphere and disruption of the earth's climate."

Never mind that no one can prove one way or another if clouds - simple formations of Cumulus and Sirius vapors - either warm or cool the earth. If that elemental Earth Science 101 lesson defies an answer, who among the Goreista Greenies has discovered the truth about global warming?

Never mind that we learned in grade school that CO2 promotes plant growth. So while Gray and his pals cleanse the air in the LA basin, what about the ranchers and farmers in the vast San Joaquin Valley who have established California as the greatest source of food on the planet?

Never mind that California produces only 6.5 percent of the nation's man-made CO2 emissions (while the Untied State produces 25%, worldwide). Of that 6.5% about 59% of that total comes from private motor vehicles. As "Car and Driver" Editor Csaba Csere (an MIT graduate who does real math) observes, "If all 27 million private automobiles were completely banned in California, global reduction of the CO2 would be about one-percent."

So what to do? Not being blessed with the vision of our friends on the Looney Left, I seek more practical solutions. For example, we know that the human body releases CO2 through a complex conversion of oxygen in the lungs. Considering that California has a population of 35 million people - including an estimated 1.5 million illegal immigrants - perhaps Governor Davis ought to consider Chinese-style abortion measures to limit family size and slash CO2 output. If that doesn't work he might consider sending all the border-jumpers back home, which would not only clean up the Golden State's allegedly fetid atmosphere but a myriad of other threats to the social and economic fabric.

Now if he would only get out of that black dress and drop the fire ax.



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