Image: Ultraliberal comedian and Leader of Arrogance Bill Maher wants government to control your life with respect to just about everything (except his ability to smoke pot.)
Conroe and Los Angeles, November 26 – When ultraliberal comedian Bill Maher argues for strict economic regulation to stop climate change and ultraliberal Precinct 1 County Commissioner Mike Meador urges additional spending on the failed Montgomery County Airport, which seems to change its name about once a year, they’re making the same nonsensical argument: somehow government can force economic change if only we wreck the economy enough through regulation and taxation to accomplish the goals.
Maher has consistently argued for drastic regulation of fossil fuel production and usage in order to save the world from climate change. Meador has forced Montgomery County taxpayers to lose tens of millions of dollars on the money-losing Montgomery County Airport in order to spur economic development which has never occurred.
Just like Meador won’t hear of any argument against his beloved airport money pit, Maher won’t have a rational discussion about climate change. Instead, Maher’s position on climate change is not to discuss it at all. “Debating climate change is like arguing about whether the Earth is flat,” the comedian has said.
Climate change and liberals’ efforts to regulate the economy to limit greenhouse gases
In a way, Maher and the pro-business-regulation climate change extremists have a point. There is absolutely no question that climate change is occurring. In 2003, the United States Department of Defense’s think tank, with the official name of the Office of Net Assessment (ONA), issued a report An Abrupt Climate Change Scenario and Its Implications for United States National Security, which predicted significant global warming is likely to occur during the twenty-first century and will lead to harsher winter weather conditions, reduced soil moisture year-round, and intense winds that could harm food production. Related temperature drops and increases, drought, and stronger winter storms could destabilize the geopolitical environment and lead to global fighting over scarcer resources, particularly food and clean water. The study posed several major scenarios, which both ONA and the study’s authors deemed credible and likely as a result of global warming and climate change.
This past week, the United States Environmental Protection Agency issued its Fourth National Climate Assessment, a 1,656-page report warning of the same harmful impacts the Pentagon predicted fifteen years ago. Interestingly, the Climate Assessment report was nothing short of flimsy on the actual causes of climate change. The entirety of the report’s discussion on the causes of global warming follows:
“Global climate is also influenced by natural factors that determine how much of the sun’s energy enters and leaves Earth’s atmosphere and by natural climate cycles that affect temperatures and weather patterns in the short term, especially regionally. However, the unambiguous long-term warming trend in global average temperature over the last century cannot be explained by natural factors alone. Greenhouse gas emissions from human activities are the only factors that can account for the observed warming over the last century; there are no credible alternative human or natural explanations supported by the observational evidence.”
There is an illogical leap contained both within the latest Climate Assessment and the argument of liberals who want to use climate change as a pretext to justify spending trillions of dollars on economic regulation of fossil fuel production and deep government management of economic activity.
The illogical leap is at least two-fold. First, while anthropogenic (man-made) factors do cause minimal impacts on the surface temperature of the Earth, scientists have known that climate change occurs on our planet regularly and has done so for a long, long time. A 2017 study from Denmark’s Aarhus University’s Department of Geosciences shows that the long-term trend of Earth’s temperature is actually cooling. A chart from the Aarhus Department of Geosciences study follows.
There’s a second illogical leap, however, which is arguably more frightening within the government policy context. There have been no studies whatsoever which have predicted the positive impact, quantitatively, of any regulatory measures to reduce greenhouse gases from fossil fuels or other industrial activities. Last week’s Climate Assessment contains dire warnings of the impacts of climate change. Those impacts are likely a reality. There are, however, no studies that have gone so far as to assess the actual quantifiable benefit, if any, from fossil fuel regulatory schemes, such as the carbon tax or other proposals under the Paris Climate Accord, or that have analyzed whether the massive cost to the world economy – as well as to political freedom is worth those efforts.
Extreme liberals have used climate change as a fear tactic to convince people that we need extreme economic regulation by government with their promises of saving us from dire calamities. In actuality, they aren’t promising to save us at all. They’re stopping short of that point. Instead, they’re merely using fear as a means to gain government control of the economy.
Similar undocumented promises have been the pretext for the Montgomery County government’s wasteful spending of tax dollars on a money-losing County Airport which has brought nothing but a few convenience stores to its geographic vicinity.
Montgomery County Airport
The Montgomery County Airport has failed to support itself and continues to cost Montgomery County taxpayers approximately a million dollars per year. In the Fiscal Year 2019 Budget for the County government, the taxpayers are spending $748,278 on Airport operations with no budgeted revenue projections at all. The airport has provided no benefit whatsoever to economic development. In fact, most people don’t even know that there is an airport in the inconvenient location north of Conroe next to almost nothing.
In fact, one of the few impacts of the Montgomery County Airport, on which Meador consistently argues to spend more and more tax dollars, is that it has created some noise to prevent development of residential properties in the vicinity. In all fairness, since the airport has minimal activity, there’s really not that much noise from it.
There’s hardly any economic activity near the Montgomery County Airport. The Airport itself has failed to break even. Other than a few convenience stores and gas stations, there are few private businesses in the vicinity of the waste of tax dollars.
The Mickey Deison Technology Park, which the City of Conroe constructed near the Airport, to attract high-tech businesses and take advantage of the proximity to the runways for cargo purposes, has been almost a complete failure.
As the aerial photograph reveals, almost all of the construction activity around the Airport has been government-financed. The Montgomery County Fairgrounds, the County Extension Office, and the money-losing Lone Star Convention Center (also a County government money-loser) surround the airport monstrosity.
The Golden Hammer asked a number of business owners in The Woodlands and Magnolia whether they utilize the County Airport. While some said they have tried to use the airport, several people said its location is very inconvenient and that the Airport can’t compete with ease of use of Hooks Airport in nearby Tomball.
All in all, Meador’s and the Commissioners Court’s attempt to spur economic development around a multimillion dollar airport has been an abject failure. Rather than developing an airport in response to economic necessity, the Commissioners Court and Meador tried to play “Sim City” by constructing an airport and hoping it would bring economic development as a result. It hasn’t.
This newspaper has sought from several offices and individuals inside the Montgomery County government a cost-benefit analysis of the County’s investment in the Airport. The Golden Hammer has confirmed that no such study ever occurred.
Meador and the County Commissioners Court are just spending tax dollars on the airport with the general hope that it will lead to economic activity. It hasn’t.
Greenhouse gas regulation and the Montgomery County Airport emanate from the same source: arrogant decision-making from liberal elitists who believe that command-and-control economic activity will somehow grow the economy. The lesson of the economic collapse of the Soviet Union is one they’d prefer we forget.