Getting to 17%

Getting to 17%

President Obama flies to Copenhagen. He will promise that by 2020, US carbon emissions will be lower by 17%. How will he do it? How will he force us to do it?

Surely he will not order damming every available river, easing siting regulations for nuclear power plants, or allowing drilling for oil and natural gas on federal lands. He will probably employ such things as cap and trade, restrictions on electrical appliances and CAFÉ standards.

Carbon emissions are directly correlated to energy consumption which is directly correlated to numbers of people. Reducing the number of people could be a key. Or, if the number of people is not reduced, energy consumed by each could be reduced. Below are specifics.

  • Obama could sterilize people of childbearing age, first by 17%, then eventually by 83%, which is the energy consumption/ carbon emission reduction goal by 2050.
  • Obama and the Secretary of HHS could use death panels to reduce the population by 17%.
  • Obama Motors could install a shut-off device that would activate upon the car reaching 9,960 miles, (12,000- 17%), in any 12 month period. This would eliminate 17% of the miles driven, accomplishing the national goal, at least in regards to consumer auto travel.
  • Obama could issue permits for vacation travel, business travel, commuting travel and household daily travel. Limit the permits to accomplish the 17% reduction.
  • Obama could order a national speed limit of 30 mph. It is hard to calculate how much this would reduce carbon emissions. It would be non-negligible.
  • Obama could require 17% of households to live without heat in the winter or air conditioning in the summer. Households could be assigned a certain month, with the burden being passed around periodically. Or California and New York could be chosen. They represent about 17% of the nation.
  • Obama could nationalize, then shut down, 17% of the airlines or airline flights.

Jonathan Swift, author of A Modest Proposal, would smile.


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