by Mel Griffith
The earth regularly undergoes warming and cooling cycles. It has been doing it for millions of years. At the moment we happen to be in one of the earth's periodic warming cycles. As it always has in the past, this will help some areas and hurt others. Changes in temperature frequently affect rainfall, so some crops may have to shift locations. Some low area near the ocean may go underwater as ice melts and raises the sea level. Some cold areas may become more useful.
Some control freaks, especially Al Gore, noticed this natural trend and had a brilliant idea. If the public can somehow be convinced that this natural occurrence is due to human activity, it can be used as an excuse for all sorts of government power grabs and regulations. They just needed a good angle to confuse the public and convince them that this was all their fault. Then the government could save them by regulating all their activities. Then they hit on a wonderful idea. This is a correlation between global warming and the levels of carbon dioxide in the air. Most science shows that carbon dioxide goes up only after things have warmed up, so it couldn't be causing the warming. Most people don't pay attention to details like that and, anyway, folks tend to think that if two things occur together, one must cause the other, though this is frequently not true. Since most everything we do has a little effect on carbon dioxide, there is a golden opportunity for government to regulate just about everything as long as the public can be made to believe that carbon dioxide is a danger.
If government is so worried about carbon dioxide, why do so many government policies and actions cause unnecessary travel, burning up fuel and releasing carbon dioxide? Take zoning, for example. There used to be stores and other businesses scattered around our neighborhoods. Now we have zoning dedicated to seeing that businesses are kept as far as possible from their customers.
And why do government buildings always seem to be put miles away from where anybody lives? The formula for locating a government building seems to be to find the biggest traffic jam possible and then put the building in the middle of it. Employees then commute 20 or 30 miles to work in it. Why does EPA regional headquarters where my daughter works need to be right in the center of Atlanta instead of a suburb? It's a relatively new building, so it's not that Atlanta grew large around it.
Why does Walter Reed Army Hospital where my son works need to be in the middle of a Washington ghetto? At least it is slated to eventually move, but only to Bethesda, Md. Which is already in the center of its own traffic jam with the Navy hospital and department of Defense medical school there. Many federal buildings are put in the center of cities as a favor to mayors who have done such a poor job of running the city that private enterprise will not locate there. Large facilities do need to be near big cities in order to have enough labor force, but why put them in the center of town instead of on the edge? That would save lots of resources, as well as cut down on pollution. As usual, government tells us what to do, but doesn't do it itself.