Glenn Reynolds, the Instapundit steals (or at least lags slightly behind thinking of) my plan to have the benefits of air conditioning denied to the EPA in the name of climate change. To be fair, he elaborated on it quite a lot, and built a whole USA Today column out of it: Ban AC for DC:
. . . it’s hard to expect Americans to accept changes to their own lifestyles when the very people who are telling them that it’s a crisis aren’t acting like it’s a crisis. So I have a few suggestions to help bring home the importance of reduced carbon footprints at home and abroad:OK, he extended it to the whole Federal government. I understand the impulse, but not all the Federal government is equally guilty. Even if they won WW I and WW II without it, let the Defense Dept. keep their air conditioning. But the EPA and the IRS would be good places to start. And recognize that it's unlikely to pass even the Republican part of Congress if it is made to cover the Capitol and the Congressional office buildings. And we do need it to pass.
- Extend Smith’s bill to cover the entire federal government. We have Skype now, and Facetime. There’s no reason to fly to meetings. I’d let the President keep Air Force One for official travel, but subject to a requirement that absolutely no campaign activity or fundraisers take place on any trips in which the president travels officially.
- Obama makes a great point about setting the thermostat at 72 degrees. We should ban air conditioning in federal buildings. We won two world wars without air conditioning our federal employees. Nothing in their performance over the last 50 or 60 years suggests that A/C has improved things. Besides, The Washington Post informs us that A/C is sexist, and that Europeans think it’s stupid.
- In fact, we should probably ban air conditioning in the entire District of Columbia, to ensure that members of Congress, etc. won’t congregate in lobbyists’ air-conditioned offices.
- Speaking of which, members of Congress shouldn’t be allowed to fly home on the weekends. Not only does this produce halfhearted attention to their jobs — the so-called “Tuesday to Thursday Club” — but, again, it produces too much of a carbon footprint. Even if they pay for the travel out of campaign funds, instead of their own budgets, they need to set an example for the rest of us — and for those skeptical foreigners that Obama mentioned.
But, you know, it’s not just the government. We’ve been told that global warming will cause rising sea levels that will inundate coastal cities and produce devastation. I think we need to get ahead of that problem by encouraging people to move away from the coasts before things get bad. We can do that by a steadily-increasing tax on coastal property that will discourage people from moving to, or staying in, coastal cities. Sure, this will hurt property values in Boston or New York, but we all have to do our share.
Finally, there are at least a few good people in Washington D.C. who deserved to enjoys the benefits of AC. Admittedly, banning AC in all of DC would encourage a lot of Washingtonians to move to NOVA and Maryland suburbs, thus eliminating the pompatus of DC statehood. I'm debating the value of that internally.