Here’s what Jimmy Carter had to say almost 30 years ago about the energy crisis of his time:
From now on, every new addition to our demand for energy will be met from our own production and our own conservation. The generation-long growth in our dependence on foreign oil will be stopped dead in its tracks right now and then reversed as we move through the 1980s, for I am tonight setting the further goal of cutting our dependence on foreign oil by one-half by the end of the next decade
I’m asking Congress to mandate, to require as a matter of law, that our nation’s utility companies cut their massive use of oil by 50 percent within the next decade and switch to other fuels, especially coal, our most abundant energy source.
We will protect our environment. But when this nation critically needs a refinery or a pipeline, we will build it.
Mr. Carter was no presidential genius, as those of us over 40 remember quite clearly. And he’s not gotten any more brilliant with age, his worthy work with Habitat for Humanity notwithstanding. But he’s a veritable sage compared with Al Gore:
"If you’re a young person looking at the future of this planet and looking at what is being done right now, and not done, I believe we have reached the stage where it is time for civil disobedience to prevent the construction of new coal plants that do not have carbon capture and sequestration."
Gore, whose words were met with cheers and applause, believes that the world has fallen behind in tackling climate change in the last year. "This is a rout," he said. "We are losing badly."
Of course it is. Civilization as we define it depends utterly on electricity. There’s no user sugar-coating it – that’s just the way it is. Everything in our lives from employment to food storage requires a constant supply of power. South Texas was recently blown back to the Dark Ages by Hurricane Ike and while most of us made it through just fine, no one was living a normal American life during the outage. We were waiting for the lights to come on and marking time until they did.
Green energy fantasies aside, other than oil and coal there are no sources of energy available to us in the short term. Jimmy Carter recognized that we needed coal to survive and prosper as a nation; modern liberals do not. Hard as it is to believe, liberals have actually made themselves less in tune with reality than Carter was.
Your average American understands the connection between electricity and modern life quite clearly. What is so difficult for Gore and his disciples to understand?