Wednesday, July 01, 2009

We're Not Traitors, But Is Paul Krugman?

Many readers will be aware that New York Times opinion writer Paul Krugman wrote in his Monday column that individuals who did not support the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill when it came up in the House for a vote last Friday are guilty of "a form of treason" against the planet.

A thought experiment: If two doctors were to disagree on a patient's diagnosis, and Krugman agreed with one of them, would the one Krugman disagrees with be guilty of a form of treason?

Even that analogy is too generous to Krugman, as doctors take an oath to (essentially) be loyal to their patients' welfare, but it is not at all common for people with opinions (of any kind) on cap-and-trade or even global warming to first take an oath of loyalty to the planet.

What many of us have done is take oaths of loyalty to the United States. The Waxman-Markey bill would ship American jobs overseas, raise energy prices, shovel money to special interests corruptly, drag down economic growth and impose regressive regulatory taxes on consumers. It would not have a measurable effect on temperature. As it does bad without doing good, the Waxman-Markey bill is bad for the United States of America.

Thus, by Paul Krugman's definition, anyone who supports Waxman-Markey is guilty of "a form of treason" against the United States.

Fortunately for Krugman, his definition of treason is even more silly than it is offensive, which is saying a great deal.

P.S. Climate Skeptic has very good commentary about Krugman's treason charge, going into different areas than I did. (I read it after seeing a link on Coyote Blog.) Interesting that neither Krugman nor his editors knew that you can't write "degrees" with meaning without specifying the temperature scale being used.

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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 5:55 AM

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