Seattle Times columnist: ‘High gas prices? They’re just what we need’ – ‘This is essential to preventing global catastrophe’
Jon Talton, columnist for the Seattle Times: "The biggest paradox of the moment is Americans complaining about high gasoline prices while climate change is growing worse." ... "Yet carbon — of which Happy Motoring is among the worst offenders — needs to be priced high enough to keep it in the ground instead of burning it into the atmosphere. This is essential to preventing global catastrophe." ... "Meanwhile, most Americans will keep driving, complaining about gasoline prices and acting as bystanders to the growing costs of climate change."
The biggest paradox of the moment is Americans complaining about high gasoline prices while climate change is growing worse.
The average of more than $4 a gallon nationally, and even higher in parts of Seattle, may be enough to cost the Democrats control of Congress this year and even the White House in 2024.
Yet carbon — of which Happy Motoring is among the worst offenders — needs to be priced high enough to keep it in the ground instead of burning it into the atmosphere. This is essential to preventing global catastrophe.
Nobody is going to lose an election because of failure to curb greenhouse-gas emissions.
The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is preparing to release a landmark report warning that without immediate action, the planet could see a rise in temperatures of nearly 5.76 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century. That’s more than twice the goal nations committed to holding with the Paris accords.
Yet as I write, chief executives of major oil companies are testifying before the House Energy and Commerce Committee about high gas prices, not their companies’ role in carbon emissions. Democrats accuse Big Oil of “war profiteering” at the expense of American consumers. They also say the companies have increased dividends and stock buybacks to reward shareholders, instead of lowering prices at the pump.
Republicans blame President Joe Biden for canceling a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, a temporary pause to new drilling leases and the Green New Deal (little of which has been enacted, especially thanks to blocking by Sen. Joe Manchin, D-Coal). In fact, oil companies aren’t drilling on half of the 13.5 million acres of public land they already have leased.
The biggest culprit in rising gas prices is the economy’s rapid rebound from the pandemic and the resulting strain on supply. Second is sanctions cutting off oil from Russia because of its brutal invasion of Ukraine.
Even though the United States gets a tiny portion of its imported oil from Russia, crude is traded on world markets and big producers such as Saudi Arabia have declined to make up the difference and lower prices.
Costs are coming down for solar and wind energy, although these require large fossil-fuel input to make. And progress on this front will be fighting against continued rising emissions, with transportation being the largest contributor.
Meanwhile, most Americans will keep driving, complaining about gasoline prices and acting as bystanders to the growing costs of climate change.
Climate Depot’s Marc Morano, author of Green Fraud: Why The Green New Deal is Even Worse Than You Think, comments: “Skyrocketing energy prices are exactly what the climate and environmental agenda demands and has demanded for the past 50 plus years. From President Obama to President Biden, higher energy costs have been the plan to soften up Americans and the economy to prepare them for accepting less in order to impose the progressive vision on society. High energy prices and shortages will condition Americans to accept a ‘new normal’ in energy that is entirely due to following the climate agenda.”
Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm made a cameo in a music video produced by environmentalist group Coltura for their anti-fossil fuels song “Gasoline, Gasoline (The World’s Aflame).” The video shows Granholm singing the group’s song, the lyrics of which call for leaving fossil fuels — dubbed “fossil fools” in the song — “in the ground.”
Granholm’s participation in the video, as well as Coltura playing a part in crafting legislation, were first revealed in a Monday reportby NPR. The report came shortly after Granholm laughed off a question about increasing domestic oil production, calling it “hilarious.”
The Video features climate activist Bill McKibben and others. The lyrics include:
“Gasoline, gasoline, you are driving me insane. Gasoline, gasoline, the world’s aflame…We had a good run, but now were done….We gotta leave you in the ground.”