What’s at stake in the campaign against carbon?

James Kellogg
Right Angles
James Kellogg
Staff Photo |

In a speech at Georgetown University on June 25, President Obama unveiled his “plan to lead the world in a coordinated assault on a changing climate.” The liberal-minded audience applauded his promise to treat carbon dioxide (CO2) like toxic mercury, sulfur and arsenic. Mr. Obama declared, “the laughter of children, a quiet sunset, all the hopes and dreams of posterity — that’s what’s at stake.”

For critical-thinking Americans, the demonization of carbon confirms the president’s true agenda is not sheltering future generations from the ravages of global warming. The real goal is to put government in control of the U.S. economy and the lives of citizens.

Unmasking the progressive agenda starts with the fact that carbon is not a pollutant. It is the building block of every living organism on the planet. Carbon dioxide gas comprises less than 0.04 percent of the atmosphere, yet it’s critical for life.

The vast majority of atmospheric CO2 originates from the oceans, carbonate rock weathering and volcanic eruptions. Human activity is responsible for less than 3 percent. All mankind produces about 1 molecule of CO2 in every 90,000 air molecules.

Human-induced carbon levels in the atmosphere have negligible effect on global temperature compared to the dynamic behavior of our sun. In fact, science indicates that atmospheric warming causes increased CO2 levels. It’s not the other way around.

Truth is, carbon is an inroad to attack fossil fuels, the engine of the American free-market economy. Abundant and affordable energy is vital to profitable businesses and prosperous people. It fosters entrepreneurialism and the individual liberty that makes the American dream attainable.

In the minds of liberals, private sector strength and freedom of choice for citizens are at the expense of government power. Scientific consensus says “decarbonization” is the means to assert central control.

So President Obama avowed that decades of carbon pollution has pushed us to the brink. The world is warming, rising seas are lapping at our cities, and storms and wildfires are rampant. Mr. Obama affirmed, “Farmers see crops wilted one year and washed away the next” because the world is warming.

Though our planet, like the sun and entire universe, are in a constant state of flux, the president proclaimed his plan will halt further change here on Earth. We can’t just drill our way out of the so-called, climate challenge. To meet this challenge, we need fundamental change.

As part of Mr. Obama’s plan, the Department of the Interior will commandeer vast tracks of public land for solar panels and wind farms. The stated goal is to use taxpayer dollars to install the green infrastructure to power 6 million households by 2020. Government will confiscate oil and gas industry profits to further subsidize this job-creating endeavor.

The Department of Defense is going to switch to renewable energy, too. Solar and wind systems will be installed on military bases around the globe. A top priority for America’s men and women in uniform will be a smaller carbon footprint.

Mr. Obama also cited energy waste as a contributor to carbon pollution. Because Washington, D.C. understands efficiency, stricter energy efficiency regulations will see to it that American industrial products stop contributing to climate change. Furthermore, the Obama administration will ensure that assembly lines themselves “hum with high-tech, zero carbon components” as they crank out energy-smart cars and refrigerators.

Americans will be pushed to scrap their vehicles and appliances and purchase expensive government-mandated versions that “save money” while reducing global warming. According to the president, “Private capital needs to get off the sidelines and get into these energy-saving investments.”

The Obama plan also stipulates that infrastructure such as highways, bridges, water treatment plants and power grids will henceforth be planned and constructed to withstand the coming ravages of global warming. The federal government will use taxpayer dollars to “partner” with communities to prepare for floods, droughts, and fires.

Reluctant to give up freedom and prosperity to stop further changes in Earth’s weather? The world is watching. The president professed, “We have to all shoulder the responsibility for keeping the planet habitable.” He insisted, “Other nations don’t have to repeat the same mistakes that we made.”

Here’s a reality check. The unalienable rights of citizens and the principle of limited government — that’s what’s at stake.

James D. Kellogg is a professional engineer, the author of the thriller Radical Action: A Colt Kelley Thriller, and a freelance writer. Visit or email

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