In his celebrated novel "1984," George Orwell wrote about Emmanuel Goldstein, a despicable and fictional enemy of the people created by the state to justify the perpetual war against an imaginary enemy being waged as a device to justify its Draconian dictatorship.
There's a new Emmanuel Goldstein in the process of being created by congressional Democrats and the Obama administration to frighten Americans into accepting a measure that would impose crippling economic costs on the American people. It's called CO2, and unlike Goldstein, it's real and omnipresent.
We are told that this invisible gas is a dangerous pollutant largely responsible for alleged global warming.
Moreover, it is wreaking its havoc on the planet because evil humanity is producing dangerous amounts of CO2 and lofting it into the atmosphere.
We are warned that unless it is controlled by governmental fiat we're all doomed to be parboiled sometime in the future.
Now pending in the House of Representatives is a bill — the 648-page American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 co-authored by Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., and Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass. — known as the cap-and-trade bill. If enacted, it would impose crippling restrictions and substantial costs on the American people.
It is estimated to increase the typical family's energy costs by a minimum of $3,100 a year and over a span of 20 years, result in $7 trillion in reduced economic output and vast unemployment according to the Orange County Register.
Even the Environmental Protection Agency has warned that U.S. regulation of so-called greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide "is likely to have serious economic consequences."
All of this economic disruption in an effort to reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere and thus halt global warming.
So just what is this atmospheric pollutant we call carbon dioxide? Is it a deadly greenhouse gas much of which we should get rid of?
Without it we'd all be dead. Plant life would vanish, and with it all of humanity.
Simply put, plants inhale CO2, convert it into sugars that enable them to grow and thrive, and exhale oxygen — the stuff that keeps us alive.
According to Dr. Tim Ball, a renowned environmental consultant and retired professor of climatology at the University of Winnipeg, plants require CO2 to exist as we require oxygen to exist.
As the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere increases the plants grow more vigorously. Current levels of atmospheric CO2 is 385 ppm (parts per million) but research shows that plants grow most vigorously at 1,000 to 1,200 ppm, which is why commercial greenhouse pump that much into their atmospheres.
Dr. Ball warns that if we reduce CO2 levels down to about 250 ppm from the current level of 385 ppm, plants will start to die, and at 150 ppm, they will all be dead — and so will we.
Says Dr. Ball, "One could cynically argue that this is the goal of extreme environmentalists and the streak of anti-humanism that pervades their thinking."
Aside from CO2 being vital to our very existence, what is happening now is disproving the false allegation that rising levels of CO2 increase global temperatures.
Those levels have been shooting up over the past decade, yet temperature levels have been falling for the past 10 years. Some climatologists are now warning that the world may well be heading into an elongated period of cooling or perhaps the advent of a new little ice age, or even a big one.
Those are the facts, but facts don't seem to matter to the global warming alarmists now pushing the ruinous cap-and-trade legislation. They remain bound and determined to grind down the economy in pursuit of an agenda that demonizes a substance vital to our very existence and imposes crippling economic damage to the average American family's budget.
Be warned: The House of Representatives is about to pass the ruinous cap-and-trade bill and impose a new tax on us.
Welcome to the 21st century, Emmanuel Goldstein.
Phil Brennan writes for Newsmax.com. He is editor and publisher of Wednesday on the Web (www.pvbr.com) and was Washington columnist (Cato) for National Review magazine in the 1960s. He is a trustee of the Lincoln Heritage Institute and a member of the Association For Intelligence Officers. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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