Paul A. Ibbetson
Why you should love your carbon footprint
By Paul A. Ibbetson
July 24, 2009

America, with all its imperfections, is still truly the land of opportunity. This has been the unique component that has brought people from around the world, in every way imaginable, and even some ways not. This opportunity to succeed and, yes, to also fail, is a product brought about by individual freedom that has been unique to America since our founding fathers placed their lives on the line to create a better future for themselves and their families. If we are to hold worthy the struggle of those who fought to give us a free nation, should we not also observe those who wish to take away both our freedom and the opportunity that living in a free country brings?

The Obama administration is truly a ravenous hydra, in which there are many deadly heads, that must be addressed one set of fangs at a time. This time, the head most near in striking distance is that of the Cap and Trade bill, H.R. 2454, which has passed the House of Representatives and currently is being deliberated on by the Senate.

The case against Cap and Trade is all but overwhelming. The bill runs on the faulty, if not dubious, premise that by the government making it so expensive for the U.S. manufacturing and industrial complex to emit CO2, businesses will turn to "green" alternatives on their own accord. This is to happen while, at the same time, the government selectively sells CO2 permits to industries of its choosing. Beyond creating what Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma described as the largest tax increase in American history, this will inevitably force viable industry outside the U.S. during a recession period — when economic growth is an absolute must for the country's future survival. Also, as painfully obvious, those industries that are privileged enough by whatever system of measure the Obama administration sets forth to be able to buy their emission permits, will then, by the nature of simple economics, charge higher prices to the average American for electricity and other products to recoup their costs. Yes, you and I, the American people, will pay the bill for Cap and Trade.

If that last statement hurts, this next statement will be excruciating. The Cap and Trade program will have no measurable effect on carbon emission reduction. That's none, zero, zilch, nada. Other than creating extreme debt, reducing economic growth and American freedom, Cap and Trade is the equivalent of a dead turtle in what has been promoted as a jackrabbit race. My conversation with Dr. Calvin Beisner, national spokesman for the Cornwall Alliance on my radio program, Conscience of Kansas, only strengthens previous statements made this month by the Environmental Protection Agency that U.S. action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will have no impact on the climate. In effect, our government will spend trillions of American dollars for absolutely nothing.

If there is no upside (and there isn't) to the Cap and Trade bill, then why are liberals throughout the Obama administration trying to push the bill through without proper inspection? Why does the Obama administration give this issue the full court press to include wheeling out Al Gore (who becomes more Bela Lugosi-esque by the second) to sound the "Earth alarm" by way of nothing short of eerie organ music.

The truth is that Cap and Trade is but a symptom of the liberal environmental psychosis, of which capitalism and the free market (and the prosperity both bring), are seen as dangerous and destructive. It is through this derangement that CO2, a naturally occurring substance — crucial for life on this planet, can be seen as a poison and we are all told to hate our "carbon footprint."

It is interesting to note that while science daily disproves the correlation between the growth of carbon emissions and increases in planet temperature, few people speak out about the undeniable correlation between the growth of our "carbon footprint" and the growth of our freedom, stability, and economic prosperity. You see, there are blessings to be found in those big honking carbon footprints. India and China see this clearly, and they have chosen prosperity over carbon credit tomfoolery. Even the little developing nations of the world, with their war, death, and famine, would like to have a shot at a little more carbon footprint growth. That is, they would like to reap the rewards, not the Hollywood hyped detriments of the industrial world. With the Obama and Gore liberals of today, it is the capitalistic smell of the carbon footprint that offends them most; and in defense of such wondrous things, I say, embrace your carbon footprint, cherish it while you have it, and remember what it has given you. In reality, it is not a burning planet but prosperity, stability, and economic growth. Not a bad smell indeed.

© Paul A. Ibbetson


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Paul A. Ibbetson

Dr. Paul A. Ibbetson is a former Chief of Police of Cherryvale, Kansas, and member of the Montgomery County Drug Task Force. Paul received his Bachelor's and Master's degree in Criminal Justice at Wichita State University, and his PhD. in sociology at Kansas State University. Paul is the author of several books and is also the radio host of the Kansas Broadcasting Association's 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011 award winning, Conscience of Kansas airing across the state. Visit his website at For interviews or questions, please contact


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