Policy: Environment & Energy

How to avoid the nine most terrifying words in the English language

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Op-Eds,Climate Change,Big Government,EPA,Ronald Reagan,Energy and Environment,Sally Jewell

“I'm from the government and I'm here to help” are the "nine most terrifying words in the English language," according to President Reagan.

The words are also the perennial joke among those who have to deal with government “helpers.” These days the saying is truly laughable.

Not only is the government not here to help, the government increasingly appears to be here to harm.

At the federal level, that has become obvious with the new health care law. And now the results from presidential executive orders on the prevention of global natural climate change by controlling some local man-made “carbon pollution” is doomed to follow suit.

It seems that politicians at the highest levels and their political appointees have hitched their own arrogance and sense of superiority to that of arrogant scientists who "know" the future of the globe's climate.

The scientists know that the addition of paltry carbon dioxide to the atmosphere from the continued use of fossil fuels will cause the globe to swelter, while the politicians know a fast-track to power when they see it.

Together, they have built a band wagon that rolls over any opposition to a politics-science conflation. Resistance is futile.

The wheels of the wagon go 'round and 'round with a political agenda that supports the "science," while such science supports the political agenda.

About the worst thing to happen to science is its control by politics. Yet such control rolls on in particular with respect to fossil fuel use and climate-change science.

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell impudently stated in August that she didn't want any "climate-change deniers in my department."

The regional administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency's office in Dallas said in 2010 that his way of taking care of noncompliant oil and gas companies was “like when the Romans conquered the villages in the Mediterranean. They'd go into little villages in Turkish towns and they'd find the first five guys they saw and crucify them.”

Gina McCarthy, head of the EPA, speaking at Harvard Law School in July made it clear that, regarding the president's climate-rule edict to state and local air agencies and its imposition on industry, “we have no choice. That's what the president said. He's my boss and you're going to have to live with it.”

As John Hayward recently observed in Human Events, “The imperial bureaucracy serves the King alone."

It doesn't have to be this way. Much of my 35 years in the atmospheric science and education profession has been as a public servant.

I have worked with, and continue to work with, many at the local, state, and even federal level who have an attitude of true public service.

But with the impetus from on high to follow the leader rather than serve the public, more enslavement and impoverishment can be expected as demonized cheap energy falls to bureaucratic necessity.

In his first inaugural address, Reagan said, "it is not my intention to do away with government. It is rather to make it work — work with us, not over us; stand by our side, not ride on our back. Government can and must provide opportunity, not smother it; further productivity, not stifle it."

Good perspective. Good solution.

Anthony J. Sadar, a certified consulting meteorologist, is author of "In Global Warming We Trust: A Heretic's Guide to Climate Science," from Telescope Books, 2012.
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