Excerpts from recent editorials in newspapers in the United States:
Charleston, S.C., Sept. 30, The Post and Courier on the great toilet paper conspiracy:
The latest news from the forefront of the Bolivarian Socialist Revolution in Venezuela is the government’s seizure of a toilet paper factory.
In carrying out a “temporary occupation” of the Paper Manufacturing Company’s plant, the government was staging an effort to show it is combating shortages of food and basic commodities. It would have been better off canceling its price control policies.
Despite the country’s oil wealth — the state oil company had revenues of $124 billion last year — Venezuelans have suffered from a shortage of toilet paper since last spring and have been limited to buying only four rolls at a time. They also encounter periodic shortages of rice, milk, sugar, cooking oil and flour.
Economists say the blame falls on the government’s attempt to control prices in a failing effort to combat inflation running at 20 percent a year.
Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro has blamed the shortages, instead, on a conspiracy of his political opponents and the rich. He gave the same explanation for a major power outage in early September, tweeting, “All signs indicate that the extreme right has implemented its plan to carry out an Electrical Coup against the nation.”Interviews by the BBC and CNN with Venezuelan consumers indicate that they are not buying this excuse for the government’s failure to ensure orderly markets. Public support for Maduro is falling. ... If he keeps up the conspiracy talk he could become a laughingstock.
Las Vegas, Oct. 1, Las Vegas Review-Journal on global warming alarmists push false premise:
If you think coming upticks in fuel taxes and water rates are alarming, then you won’t want the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to have its way with your power bill.
The panel, overseen by the United Nations, on Friday released a report that says “it is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century.” This is the IPCC’s fifth assessment report, and with the previous four, anyone who dares challenge its conclusions is castigated as a “denier.”
But pesky climate change skeptics persist. Last month, The Associated Press reports, the United States and several European governments tried to persuade the panel’s climate scientists to downplay or even delete evidence of the lack of global warming over the past 15 years, despite rapidly rising global greenhouse gas levels over that same period.
Why would those governments go to such measures? Because such information doesn’t fit the narrative the climate change lobby and their media allies have sold for more than two decades. What the IPCC report — and the alarmism coming from the developed world — is really all about is killing off fossil fuel use despite its affordability and reliability. ... And it already has brought great change to the United States. Carbon dioxide emissions — considered the key cause of global warming — are declining domestically. ...
Green energy already is driving power bills ever higher, thanks to government subsidies and mandates. Let the global market set the price of natural resources. Let the free market determine which fuels produce our electricity. The global warming agenda is bad policy based on false premises, and the sooner elected officials stop bowing to climate change, the better off we’ll be.