Conservative think tanks remain oblivious and impervious to the facts. They cling to global warming denial and delay even in the face of the remarkable advances both in scientific understanding about global warming and in clean technology solutions. They provide the foundational misanalysis (disanalysis?) for the entire conservative movement — although “movement” must be the wrong word for immovable ideologues who oppose any motion whatsoever on the central problems facing the nation and the planet.
We have seen that the Cato Institute remains intellectually bankrupt on both the urgency of the climate problem and the availability of cost-effective solutions. The Competitive Enterprise Institute actually runs ad campaigns aimed at destroying the climate for centuries. Kenneth Green, resident scholar of the American Enterprise Institute, gave a recent speech betraying a willful ignorance of climate science and energy technology.
Now the grand-daddy of them all, the Heritage Foundation, reveals it is not aging gracefully. It launched an absurd website and an even more ridiculous video in a bizarre effort to fight the Supreme-Court mandated effort to reduce global warming pollution.
Not content to merely oppose vital greenhouse gas regulation, Heritage recently published a rant and an analytical screed against even the idea of investing in clean technology as a dual strategy to help get us out of this economic mess while jumpstarting the national effort to avoid catastrophic global warming. First, Heritage blogger Nick Loris responded to the UN’s Green Economy Initiative and the Center for American Progress’s Green Recovery program with this absurd rant comparing those strategies to what the Nazis and Soviets did:
The United Nations is proposing an environmental ‘New Deal’ that would “be similar to Franklin D Roosevelt’s New Deal which helped the US recover from the Great Depression of the 1930s.”
First, the reality is that FDR’s New Deal did not help the U.S. recover from the Great Depression but simply made things worse. Second, the only thing a green ‘New Deal’ will do is lead us down a Green Road to Serfdom. (Nobel Laureate Friedrich Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom is a telling portrayal of what collectivism in the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany can lead to: impoverishment and oppression of freedom.)
The Wonk Room debunked this hysterical and ahistorical nonsense, then went on to note:
Loris’s charge of Nazi-Soviet “collectivism” is utterly bizarre. The U.N.’s Green Economic Initative is a mainstream capitalist effort, with research overseen by Pavan Sukdhev, a top investment banker and self-described “total capitalist.” Its press release celebrates venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins, public-private partnerships, and growth of international markets. CAP’s Green Recovery program primarily uses tax credits and federal loans to spur private investment, as well as investment in a 21st-century public infrastructure.
Finally, David Kreutzer, Senior Policy Analyst in Energy Economics and Climate Change, published a truly bizarre disanalysis that conflates greenhouse gas regulations with a green recovery or green economic stimulus, “Impact of CO2 Restrictions on Employment and Income: Green Jobs or Gone Jobs?” Let me review it in detail. He begins: