In the Dec. 12 edition, newly appointed state Senator Scott Boulanger is quoted as being “passionate for less government, lower taxes, capitalism and free market.” On the Tea Party Patriots website they promote “fiscal responsibility and free markets” as well. Even President Obama, who some claim is a raving Red, gets in on the act, telling the NY Times that “the market is the best mechanism ever invented for efficiently allocating resources to maximize production.”
The big problem with this fundamentalist theory is climate change, which we now know to be the greatest market failure in history. Because the price of fossil fuel energy has no relationship to the true cost (in terms of greenhouse gas emissions or other pollutants), the market sends irrational signals and creates perverse incentives, such as investment in coal or Alberta Tar Sands. In other words, because it creates more jobs and economic growth, destroying the earth’s life support system is “cheaper” than leaving fossil fuels in the ground! This is why Bob Lake, our newest member of the Public Service Commission, can say he won’t promote renewables because he has “the obligation for the cheapest power.” But how “cheap” will it be to our grandchildren, Bob?
Of course, you can always deny that anthropogenic climate change is real, a strategy favored by many addicts. Or you can join in the fight to stop Dirty Energy by going to www.coalexportaction.org.