Wednesday night, State Reps. Sue Allen (R-92), Andrew Koenig (R-88), and Cole McNary (R-86) presided over a gathering of about 50 mostly true believers at a presentation of the film Not Evil Just Wrong. The showing, at Maryville University in West County, was clearly meant to set the stage for an attack on the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES) now pending in Congress.
Cole McNary effectively established the evening’s tenor, declaring in his opening remarks there is no need to be misled by claims of a scientific consensus that confirms anthropogenic global warming, because, after all, the scientific method is not consensus, but the process of verification and duplication of results. (He also, shades of Todd Akin, offered up the rather obvious fact that he is no scientist – though he has studied science – which leaves one wondering how he thinks all those scientists reach a consensus.)
Not Evil Just Wrong was, as one might expect, just more of the same, although somewhat more sophisticated in its presentation. In an interview on Fox with Neil Cavuto, one of the film’s creators, Irish filmmaker Phelim McAleer, speaks of the movie as the emergence of “the cinematic wing of the tea party movement,” so you would be correct if you expected lots of high dudgeon and little substance. A fuller account of its contents and methods can be found here.
The real evil that this film does, though, was only fully on display when the three state lawmakers lined up at the conclusion and attempted to use the misrepresentations and fuzzy equivalencies presented by the filmmakers to trash ACES. The gist: cap-and-trade (which Koenig seemed to think equivalent to a carbon tax), will hurt working families, result in lost jobs, higher taxes, all to no purpose, and alternative energy sources, with the possible exception of nuclear, are non-starters.
Of course none of these contentions can be accepted at face value – although most of those present seemed prepared to do just that. Comments ranged from references to the Heritage Foundation’s flawed analysis of ACES costs, to libertarian contentions that, while anthropogenic global warming may or may not be real, it is not proper for the government to play a role in mitigating its effects. Doubtless, many of those present will respond to the request to phone and write their congresspersons to express their opposition ACES.
Too bad that the audience did not get to hear their representatives discuss the actual content of ACES, explain to them that the cap-and-trade provisions are designed take effect gradually, that there are provisions for alternative energy research and development, and funds to soften the transition to clean energy for coal-dependent states like Missouri.
Too bad that their representatives, who are so concerned about the hypothetical evils of environmental extremism, don’t see fit to inform themselves and their constituents about those third world citizens who actually will suffer if global warming continues on its current trajectory. Why weren’t our lawmakers, on whom we rely for intelligent policy, talking about the effect of global warming on the Maldives, for instance? Or, to really bring it home, why no discussion of Missouri’s future in a warmer world? Why was there no mention of the security implications of global warming that our military have identified?
Perhaps it is because they were too busy trying to help energy industries paint a false picture of what is entailed in clean energy policy? Can we perhaps agree that such irresponsibility is both wrong and just pure evil?