Over the climate cliff with Bennet & Udall

(Denver Post, Oct. 25) The year is 2030. The scene, an assembly joining Michael Bennet High School and Mark Udall Middle School in Denver. The occasion, a talk on Colorado history in the early 21st century by Prof. Cody Hawkins, the onetime Buffs quarterback who is now a popular CU faculty member. Let’s listen: “During the Obama years, back when your parents were young and football was still allowed in this country, before the UN banned all violent sports, I wasn’t the only big star who was humiliatingly benched. The two famous senators whom your schools are named for, had their political careers terminated by voters in the same way my NFL hopes were snuffed by angry alumni and the coach. (Dad and I later made up, of course.) “Economic hardship in Colorado following passage of the 2009 cap-and-trade energy tax did them in. Sen. Michael Bennet served only a two-year appointive term before going down in the Republican landslide of 2010. Sen. Mark Udall plugged along in unpopularity until announcing in early 2013, just after Barack and Michelle vacated the White House, that one term would do it for him as it had for them.

“Why did the never-elected Bennet get his name on this high school, home of the Mighty Preble Mice? (Cheers and applause.) Because of the fine job he had done earlier as Denver school superintendent. He never should have left that post. Laurence Peter’s axiom about rising to your level of incompetence was thereafter renamed the Bennet Principle.

“If Michael Bennet had just kept it real in that stormy autumn of 2009, and followed the facts where they led, instead of bowing to the superstitions of the climate alarmists, he would not have cast the deciding vote for cap-and-trade. Colorado and the country would have been spared an economic body slam that worsened the Obama-Pelosi recession just when recovery was starting. And he might have hung onto his seat.

“In Boulder back then, if I had dared label global-warming doomsday fears as superstitions, Al Gore would have leveled me like a Longhorn linebacker. But Americans later realized that’s all they were. Not only did supporters of the legislation admit it would yield less than a 1-degree reduction in warming during this century. Scientists like the EPA’s own Alan Carlin could prove carbon dioxide, the alleged culprit that senators voted to curb, wasn’t even to blame for warming. And with the late-1990s cooling trend unbroken to this day, skeptics have laughed last.

“Sen. Udall still gushed that the cap-and-trade bill was ‘ideal,’ in spite of Heritage Foundation warnings that it would cause a doubling of electricity prices and a 50-percent jump in prices for gasoline, natural gas, and heating oil, by the 2030s. Those trends, now fully realized, started soon enough to hurt Udall badly. Colorado’s annual loss of 20,000 jobs and $1000 per person in gross state product, predicted in an ALEC study, was felt from 2012 onward, with public backlash leading to the senator’s retirement.

“Sen. Bennet was long gone by then, of course, comfortable in a salary-capped job on Wall Street. His agonizing vote for the Kerry-Boxer bill (similar to the House version, Waxman-Markey, but worse) got the incumbent past fellow Democrat Andrew Romanoff in August 2010. But he lost in November to the Republican argument that recessionary hard times were the worst moment to raise energy taxes. The GOP, echoing 1946, asked ‘Had Enough?’ Voters decided they had.

“You students have read of the superstitious Aztecs sacrificing lives to appease the rain god, Tlatoc. They didn’t know better. But imagine the perversity of leaders here in our own state, in our own time, sacrificing both prosperity and political careers to a climate deity equally mythical, equally cruel.”