I’m always excited when people on the right address climate change, even if they say stupid things. At least they’re starting to think about it.

On National Review, Ken Green of AEI says that Gore’s carbon tax proposal is great, but the rest of his proposals are both redundant and sucky. After listing them, he says:

The fact that most of this agenda would be rendered superfluous by the tax shift shows the control-fiend mentality that really drives climate activists. If set at the right rate, a carbon tax would be virtually guaranteed to reduce emissions, but the climatistas can’t let go of the regulatory throttle.

But then, in the final paragraph of the article, Green tacks on this:

The redundancy of Gore’s list suggests one of two things: Either he knows that people would never tolerate a tax on carbon that is high enough to achieve the reductions he wants without a huge additional layer of government regulations, or that, for Gore, the regulations are less a means to an end than an end unto themselves.

You see what happened there? Green spends the whole article assuming (without offering any evidence) that a carbon tax is enough to get the necessary reductions, and thus that Gore must be a closet totalitarian control freak.

Only at the end does he acknowledge the overwhelmingly more plausible alternative: a carbon tax high enough to get the necessary reductions is politically impossible, so a modest carbon tax needs to be accompanied by other regulatory strategies — i.e., Gore’s goal is emissions reductions sufficient to prevent catastrophic warming, not control for control’s sake.

In other words, the whole article amounts to yet another baseless attack of the "Gore is fat" variety.

Don’t people on the right have anything original to say about this issue? Something other than slandering the motives of the people who have been right on the issue for decades? Ever? I want to be open-minded, but christ, it’s like the entire conservative movement got stuck on the junior high playground. Fine: Gore is fat. Can we move on?