We are looking for Europeans of different nationalities that can speak about the refugee invasion in your country and how this REALLY is affecting you. Are you in Hungary, Greece, Germany, France, Italy, Austria or another country being heavily invaded? Please reach out: views@redicecreations.com or @rediceradio We want to speak with you!

Taxing Us for Breathing
2007-03-14 0:00

By Robert Tracinski | realclearpolitics.com

Last week, the New York Times published an extraordinary editorial complaining that "Right now, everyone is using the atmosphere like a municipal dump, depositing carbon dioxide free." The Times editors suggested that the government "start charging for the privilege" by imposing a "carbon tax."

We all knew it would eventually come to this: the New York Times thinks the government should tax us for breathing.

Of course, the editorial was supposed to be aimed at big corporations who build coal-fired power plants--but why should the logic stop there? Right now, eight million people are walking around on the streets of New York City heedlessly inhaling precious oxygen and exhaling carbon dioxide, treating the skies over their fair city "like a municipal dump, depositing carbon dioxide free." Shouldn't they be forced to pay for the "privilege," too?

And the connection is a logical one, because the generation of power by industrial-scale power plants is as much a vital activity as breathing.

I mean this in a literal, biological sense. In biology, "respiration" doesn't just refer to the act of breathing; it refers to the chemical reactions made possible by breathing. My dictionary defines this sense of "respiration" as "the processes by which a living organism or cell takes in oxygen from the air or water, distributes and utilizes it in oxidation, and gives off the products of oxidation, especially carbon dioxide." (Wikipedia has all the biochemical details.)

Sound familiar? That's right: there is no difference in principle between your cellular mitochondria and a coal-fired power plant. Our lungs take in oxygen and emit carbon dioxide so that they can provide the energy our cells use to keep us alive and to allow us to move, to grow, to thrive. Ditto for the power plants. They augment the biological process of respiration with a process you might call "industrial respiration," which we can define as follows: the processes by which a living civilization takes in fuel, distributes and utilizes it in oxidation, and gives off the products of oxidation, especially carbon dioxide.

There is an old, tired slogan used by environmentalists: that the Amazon jungle is the "lungs of the earth," because its mass of overgrown vegetation works the opposite way our lungs work: plants take in carbon dioxide and give off oxygen, so that the Amazon allegedly produces something like 20% of the world's oxygen. It turns out this isn't true. An old-growth forest like the Amazon releases more carbon dioxide, from rotting vegetation, than it absorbs. But the problem with that slogan is much deeper. It denies the fact that the real lungs of the earth--or at least, the lungs of global human civilization--are power plants. They take in fuel and turn it into the energy we use to live.

For all of their "green" pose, environmentalists don't have a genuine biological perspective on the world. They regard mankind as if we were non-biological. They talk endlessly about the "ecosystem" required for the survival of every creature on earth--but they never ask what is mankind's means of survival.

Man's primary organ of survival is his brain. We use our minds to understand the world around us, to derive scientific principles, and then to put science to work for us by rebuilding our surroundings to better suit our needs. The inscription that rings the rotunda of the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago--built in an age that had a better appreciation for progress--sums it up perfectly: "Science discerns the laws of nature. Industry applies them to the needs of man." That is the real biological imperative of human existence.

Industry is not "unnatural," not in any fundamental sense. It is the product of our biological means of survival, our minds, and it is the means by which we secure our survival and extend the reach of our action. And central to all of this is the development of "industrial respiration," the process by which we turn oil, natural gas, coal, or uranium into energy we can use.

That's why it is absurd to complain that America is "addicted" to oil. An addiction is an unhealthy dependence. So would you say that you are "addicted" to breathing, because you feel like you will die if you stop doing it? Of course not. The only difference between industrial respiration and the kind that we do with our lungs is that a human body can only use a limited quantity of energy, while the power made available to us by industrial respiration is unlimited. That's not a problem. In fact, it's the whole secret by which we rose from the cave to the skyscraper--and from the campfire to the power plant--with the result that we can now reliably stretch our lives into their eighth decades and beyond. It is the added power from industrial respiration that makes the modern human animal a healthy, vigorous, thriving organism.

That is why the environmentalist crusade against industrial power plants is so dangerous. In attempting to construct a phantom threat to our survival, the dubious theory of anthropogenic global warming, they are attempting to suppress the central source of human vitality.

What would you say if someone told you that he was concerned you might get sick because it's hot and humid out--and then told you that his "cure" was to constrict your supply of oxygen by 80%? Would you believe that he was sincerely concerned with your health? Well, you had better start asking the same question of Al Gore and the rest of the global warming fanatics, because that's exactly what they're trying to do. In denouncing fossil fuels, they are seeking to tax, reduce, and ultimately to eliminate the fuels that provide our civilization with 80% of its energy. Their goal is a fatal constriction of the process of industrial respiration.

That is the deepest, fullest reason why a "carbon tax" is just as dangerous as a tax on breathing.

If we really care about the biological health of human civilization, we need to guard it against the environmentalist charlatans who are seeking to suffocate the real lungs of the earth.

Robert Tracinski writes daily commentary at TIADaily.com. He is the editor of The Intellectual Activist and TIADaily.com.

Article from: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/

Related Articles
SUV's On Jupiter? - Solar System Warming
The truth about global warming - it's the Sun that's to blame
An experiment that hints we are wrong on climate change
Cow 'emissions' more damaging to planet than CO2 from cars
The Environment vs. Humanity

Latest News from our Front Page

Muslim Rape Gang in Rhode Island
2015-10-10 2:47
2 Mohammeds, a Yazeed, & a Tareq accused of raping two 18 year old female Johnson & Wales students: By Amanda Milkovits, Lynn Arditi, Providence Journal, Oct 7, 2015 (thanks to Andy Bostom) PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Four male Johnson & Wales University students have been arrested in connection with a reported sexual assault and alleged drugging of two female students at the university. The ...
South Carolina city to pay $6.5 million over police shooting of black man
2015-10-10 1:18
The family of an unarmed black man shot in the back by a white police officer will get a $6.5 million settlement from North Charleston in South Carolina, city officials said on Thursday. The man, Walter Scott, 50, was shot after fleeing a traffic stop in April. The shooting was caught on a bystander's video and reignited a national outcry over ...
Finally, The CIA Admits Covering Up JFK Assassination
2015-10-09 23:56
Suspicions that the CIA covered up JFK’s murder have finally been confirmed, according to an explosive Politico report out this week.  Fifty-two years after the President’s death, declassified documents show that the CIA were in communication with alleged assassin Lee Harvey Oswald before JFK’s murder in 1963, and they were monitoring his mail since 1959. Not only that but John McCone, who was Chief of the ...
More Great Media Moments in Muslim Achievement: Headscarf Lady Wins Bakeoff In Britain
2015-10-09 23:18
Last month, America rejoiced when a 14-year-old Muslim lad in Irving, Texas discovered time, thus solving the universe’s ongoing problem that everything happens at once. This month, Britain is exulting that a Muslim lady can cook better than most Brits. From the New York Times: Muslim Winner of Baking Contest Defies Prejudice in Britain By Dan Bilefsky, OCT. 8, 2015 LONDON — Prime Minister ...
Israelis Declare Carrying Firearms Helpful in Preventing 'Lone Wolf' Attacks
2015-10-09 22:39
In the wake of several “lone wolf” attacks, the Israeli government is encouraging citizens to carry personal firearms with them at all times while in public. The attacks have been conducted by Palestinians wielding nothing more than knives, but have struck terror into the heart of Israel. During the attacks, which are being conducted in reprisal for a long series of ...
More News »