The New York Times describes Joe Nocera as a business columnist, but a quick scan of recent columns is very heavy on pieces about the woes of the NCAA, the National Collegiate Athletic Association. If today’s column is any indication, we’d all be better off if he stuck with sports.
His thesis is that rejecting the Keystone pipeline, which would transport crude oil extracted from Canadian tar sands to refineries on the Gulf shoreline, was foolish, short-sighted, and so on.
Here’s what Mr. Nocera said:
Environmental concerns notwithstanding, America will be using oil — and lots of it — for the foreseeable future. It is the fundamental means by which we transport ourselves, whether by air, car or truck. Where do we get that oil? Mostly from countries that don’t like us, like Venezuela, which has the world’s second-largest oil reserves.
Anything that begins “Environmental concerns notwithstanding” should turn up anyone’s skepticism meter. He goes on:
As it turns out, the environmental movement doesn’t just want to shut down Keystone. Its real goal, as I discovered when I spoke recently to Michael Brune, the executive director of the Sierra Club, is much bigger. ‘The effort to stop Keystone is part of a broader effort to stop the expansion of the tar sands,’ Brune said. ‘It is based on choking off the ability to find markets for tar sands oil.’ This is a ludicrous goal.
Well now. It was James Hansen, our pre-eminent climate scientist, who said that if the tar sands are exploited and the resulting oil is burned it’s “game over” for the climate. Trying to save the climate is ludicrous? The word applies better to Mr. Nocera himself.