Sunday, July 08, 2012

Heat Wave Musings

While driving through Kentucky on Friday I saw the exterior temperature soar to 103 degrees.  I hadn't been in that kind of heat since leaving Texas in 1994.  So, I cranked up the a/c another notch and comfortably stepped on the gas.  This is what a good dose of relative wealth will buy you--the ability to sidestep problems that are so destructive to those people and societies that are unable to purchase their way out of it.

The media have been alarmed for some time about what to do with climate change.  Their deity, Al Gore, has helpfully suggested a return to the stone age, not literally mind you, but by advocating economic strategies that can lead to no other station.  We must include within these musings the shutting down of integral portions of our power grid, mandated cost increases that force consumers to choose smaller and less effective electric and gas powered machines, huge amounts of borrowed and taxpayer monies redistributed to crony agricultural capitalists who dine greedily at the public trough (see the latest agriculture bill), and mass transit initiatives designed to entice Grandma out of her Beemer and into a money losing and heavily subsidized bus sitting next to a guy with no deodorant.

You'd think that the whole world has reached a boiling point.

Yet, while the US suffers this year from triple digit heat, Europe is struggling with the flip side of that coin.  Many European watchers are concerned with the unseasonably cold and wet weather that might prove near ruin to the London Olympics starting up later this month.  

Power failures have plagued the Midwest and East during this latest heat.  Storms last week knocked many electric customers offline while huge demands on the still operating portions of the power grid have industry analysts concerned.    Several dozen people have died in the US as a result of this blasted heat and with only moderate relief coming in the next day or two the number of deaths is likely to grow. 

Many Americans, including Mr. Gore, yearn for a more European like style of control over its citizenry.  While many good Americans are willing to voluntarily cut back on loathsome energy using devices, too many of the rest of us demand a car bigger than a refrigerator, a refrigerator bigger than a microwave, and a microwave bigger than a cellphone. All of which causes the former VP to gnash his well worn teeth inside his 15,000 square foot Tennessee home, that is, at least while he isn't gnashing them while jetting off to a climate change conference in the belly of a private jet. 

Heat waves come and go.  In the mid 90s those Europeans to whom our elitists are so enamored suffered through a little heat spell of their own.  When the dust had finally settled an estimated 60,000 people had succumbed to the blistering thermometer with an estimated 20,000 dying in French nursing homes alone.  (Hey America--does that make you quiver in anticipation of government controlled healthcare?) Air conditioning, it would seem, was not such a priority to those on our idol continent who, to this day, strain themselves attempting to control the temperature on the outside while they deny themselves the comfort of setting the thermostat just a little bit lower in the living room.

Wealth is what makes America more easily able to sidestep widespread disaster. I can say this because I drive a wonderfully new 1998 Buick that possesses a kick-butt a/c unit. 

America's elites want to destroy the wealth producing capabilities of our free market economy in order to combat climate change.  I would rather we allow the wealth generated by the free market to purchase more effective and market driven solutions to our energy needs that will in turn generate more wealth and the benefits it can unlock. 

This would be a tough pill to swallow for self-proclaimed geniuses like Al Gore and Barack Obama.
They believe they have all the answers, and they believe the market driven solutions arrived at by billions of producers and consumers are a huge portion of the problem and not a solution to it. 

Sixty thousand dead Europeans could not be reached for comment.

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