Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Tangerines and Taxes

Elizabeth and John Edwards have built a home which is many thousands of square feet and therefore uses much more energy than the average home. They regularly travel by private jet.

And yet she believes that giving up tangerines, because they're not locally grown, will help combat global warming?!

You can't make this stuff up.

Not that I'm on the global warming bandwagon...but the Edwardses' hypocrisy is rather astounding. Rather like Al Gore using more electricity in a month than average families use in a year, then turning around and buying "carbon offsets" from himself.

The absurdity of the Edwardses making a small gesture like giving up a fruit grown in a distant state, while living in a palatial, energy-burning home and using private airplanes, points up the fact that the aspiring first couple either think the general public is stupid enough to fall for such symbolism (maybe that's true), that they're mental lightweights, or hypocrites. Or all of the above.

Ben Smith of Politico goes on to talk about the "carbon footprint" of transporting food long distance. Edwards was asked what "sacrifice" would be appropriate to offset the carbon footprint and he is quoted: "Would I add to the price of food? I'd have to think about that."

Reporter Smith then posted "UPDATE: Just to be clear, he's not talking about a food tax. The basic point is that any plan that imposes new costs on carbon emissions is going to make anything that's transported long distances with fossil fuels cost more. It is, in a way, a moment of clarity in this debate."

Excuse me, but how is a "plan that imposes new costs on carbon emissions" that would make food transported long distance cost more NOT a food tax, Mr. Smith? It may be indirect taxation, but it's taxation nonetheless, which would directly impact the price of food.

I think Smith is still in need of "clarity" on the issue.


Blogger Mrs. Happy Housewife said...

Perhaps I'm missing something here but it seems to me that an additional cost is already included with food transported over long distances. Transportation costs are factored into the final price.

5:56 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

That's true, and those transportation costs do include various taxes (gasoline, etc.). But apparently the thought is in some quarters that even bigger taxes should be imposed to pay for "carbon footprint reductions" or somesuch... Clear as mud?

Best wishes,

6:03 PM  
Blogger Dana said...

On top of which, how many more on the left are going to keep telling us what we should and should not do?! Enough already.

6:19 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Dana, that's a point I was thinking about...we've already got the transfat police outlawing transfats. The global warming police could use increased taxation (on things like food transport) to prevent us from eating things that aren't grown or made within a certain radius of our homes. If you search Google News you will find there are numerous articles on pushes to "eat locally" (especially in the UK at this point).

Yet another way in which our freedom to make personal choices is being restricted by the nanny state.

Best wishes,

6:33 PM  
Blogger Dana said...

I'm starting to think I need to call Elizabeth or Al & Co. to see if what I'm planning to serve for dinner has their approval

6:45 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Happy Housewife said...

Edwards is another liberal looking to creat a Nanny State - just like I said in my post about Michael Moore and health care. By the way, Laura, thanks for your input in that conversation. Your thoughts are often clearer than mine.

Well, tangerines are grown in FL so I guess I'm safe. ;)

Not that I agree with Edwards at all but I dislike buying food from outside the U.S. Other countries have different safety standards or ineffective oversight of the food industry, as seen recently with products from China. Of course, now that China has executed the former Chief Inspector of their Food and Drugs, everything should be safe, right? Ha! I think the guy was a scapegoat and I don't think China monitors exports.

4:50 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

I do agree with you about some concerns about food produced in foreign countries, for safety, rather than global warming, reasons -- I have growing concerns about Hershey, which is closing its CA plant and expanding
production in countries like Mexico and China. It's an American company, but I believe it was a Mexican subsidiary of Hershey that got in trouble for selling candy with lead content in CA; there was a newspaper expose on that. I'm concerned that Hershey's own standards for foreign-produced products may drop. One would assume there is some kind of oversight on the U.S. side, yet the Mexican candy got in; is there better U.S. safety oversight of U.S. companies producing food overseas? I don't know the answers...

I thought that was such an interesting conversation on Michael Moore on your site! I appreciate the compliment -- I think your thoughts are extremely articulate!

Best wishes,

8:54 AM  

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