A Call to Arms on Climate Action


“I want people in Minnesota armed and dangerous on this issue of the energy tax because we need to fight back. Thomas Jefferson told us, ‘Having a revolution every now and then is a good thing,’ and the people – we the people – are going to have to fight back hard if we’re not going to lose our country. And I think this has the potential of changing the dynamic of freedom forever in the United States…

“The science is on our side on this one, and the science indicates that human activity is not the cause of all this global warming. And that in fact, nature is the cause, with solar flares, etc.”

— Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) on AM1280, a local radio station, 3/21/09 (thanks to The New York Times Green Inc. blog for highlighting the quote).


We’ll leave it to the authorities to decide whether Rep. Bachman’s call to arms crosses the line of inciting violence.

As to the substance of her statement, the Congresswoman is way off the mark.

No matter how many times climate action opponents call a carbon cap an “energy tax,” it isn’t any truer than if we started calling the enormous costs of global warming inaction a “head-in-the-sand tax.”

A tax is a very specific government policy. It is a blunt instrument that sets a cost for pollution and charges companies for the amount of pollution they emit. But if a company is willing to pay, they just keep on polluting.

A cap, on the other hand, is a positive incentives-based policy that sets an economy-wide pollution limit and rewards businesses that meet or exceed the cap. A polluter is required to buy pollution credits only if it is unable to cut emissions to the level set by the cap. And the cap insures that the pollution is held in check.

As to the science, here is a detailed series on Climate 411 that explains how we know that human activity human activity is the cause of “all this global warming.”

Don’t believe us? Well, how about this: Since 2001, no fewer than 32 national science academies have come forward to not only assert that global warming is real and that it is really caused by human activities, but to also urge governments to take urgent action.

Here is a joint statement from the national science acedemies of all the G8 nations (including the U.S.) as well as China, Brazil and India. The statement is an unequivocal acknowledgement of the growing threat of human-caused global warming and a strong call for government action.

Thomas Jefferson did say that “Every generation needs a new revolution.” But, as a man of science and reason, there is no doubt that Jefferson would understand the real threat of global warming and be on the side of unleashing America’s green energy revolution to deal with it.

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