Saturday, November 12, 2011

Altar Man

It is, truly, amazing how completely hobbled by ideology the current administration seems to be and how much political capital is being sacrificed on the altar of climate change activism. The lastest example is the admin's decision to kick the decision on the Keystone pipeline project down the road past next year's election. Actually in this case being a slave to climate change ideology is the most charitable thing one can say about the decision. The least charitable interpretation is that the O is a craven calculating politically partisan hack of stupendous proportions.

Since the second choice is so hideously ugly let us assume that first choice of environmentalist ideology drives the decision. Wait a sec. I just realized that the decision really services both imperatives at once. The environmental left, and whatever slice of the Democratic base cheers the decision, will be at least somewhat mollified and perhaps will rouse themselves in numbers sufficient to aid Obama's re-election bid. The rest of the base will at least not strongly disapprove of the decision enough to convince anyone to switch parties, a very low probability in any case.

So even if the decision is largely political calculation it serendipitously accords very nicely with the administration's steel reinforced rock-ribbed refusal to do anything in its power that can be seen as encouraging the use of any fossil fuel, anywhere anytime. The environmental left and the Progressive political class have at last entirely and indistinguishably melded into one. Progressivism therefore is intractable reflexive environmentalism at least as much as it is anything else. It is exceedingly hard to imagine anyone with spotless Progressive political credentials as having even a neutral, let alone positive, attitude on the subject of increased or continued use of hydrocarbon based fuels. My guess is that the total number of such individuals in this country couldn't decide the election of a schoolboard member in Flyspeck, Alabama Pop. 28.

It has become far past obvious that the environmental left simply does not in the least care, at all, if the economies of the industrialized world are permanently savaged in the relentless push toward a Valhalla of renewable green fabulosity. The fringe of this fringe insanely views this destruction as a sterling feature of the push and not a lamentable bug in the program. Man is a plague upon the Earth don't 'cha know and the fewer of us, with consequent lowered stress on the biosphere, is only to be appauded regardless of the casualties, economic or human.

The increasingly obvious deleterious economic effects of heedless green spending appear to matter not one teeny-weeny bit to climate-change nabobs. They are undoubtedly livid that pushback against this hoped for impoverishment is increasing in the largest chunk of the body politic which can best be described as the Non-Insane Community. The plan of the eviro-left to willy-nilly convert the world into a a leaky ship of their foolishness is beginning to run aground on the reefs of economic viability. It's much to early to say that the enviro-left is running out of, er, gas but this just might mean that the likelihood of fierce rear-guard actions will increase. Such a characterization fits perfectly with the Keystone decision. With the decision to make no decision the administration may be hoping that either one of two scenarios will play out.

The first scenario is that if Obama is re-elected then the decision can safely languish and the can kicked further on down the road past 2016. The second scenario is that if Obama is not re-elected, and the new White House occupant approves the pipeline project, then the environmental left will be presented with a perfect opportunity to do what it does best which is to ululate in turbocharged high dudgeon about the grotesque irresponsibility of conservatives who "want" to kill the planet. Also the opportunities for mediagenic activist protests against the pipline will increase to very satisfying, and money raising, levels. So win-win on this one but either contemplated scenario only reinforces the impression that economic heedlessness is endemic in the "movement".

Something else, which is an irony of supernova proportions, is the fact that the headlong pursuit of stunningly expensive "renewable" energy will most adversely affect those alleged darlings of the Progressive political class--the working stiff. Now though those stiffs, who make up most of the trade unions, are starting to get a clue so one might think that consideration for lower income workers would help ameliorate a consequences be damned rise in energy prices. Please to think again. Presumably unions are so deep in the bag of the Democratic party that they can be flayed economically without serious consequence. This fact may well be why the administration's quasi and extra-legal attempts to strengthen unions are taking place. Give with one hand and take with the other. Situation neutralized.

Now though, with the cronyism and financial ineptitude of the greens as exemplified by such as, but certainly not limited to, Solyndra becoming too blatant even for many stalwart unionists, it should be possible for the GOP to cut a goodly number of disenchanted steers out the union herd. The possibility of fracturing the union vote should terrify Progressives but bound hands and feet to the environmental left as they have become they simply may just not care.

The Keystone decision delay is therefore a political high wire act requiring a very specific set of dominoes to obediently topple in the correct direction. Worthy of insertion at this point is the hoary cliched response of UK PM Harold MacMillan who, when asked what he most feared most, replied, "Events dear boy, events." Progressives seem not to be able to seriously understand that for their grand plans a worldwide financial meltdown could accurately be characterized as an "event" that might spectacularly explode those plans.