#119 Demand Destruction of God’s Creation
The Biden Administration is performing demand destruction on fossil fuels. They are a part of God’s creation, that was intended to warm, transport, and feed the poor.
Creation or the Created
Christians believe that humans come first, and the rest of creation comes second. Scripture from Genesis 1:26 reads, “Then God said, Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and overall the creatures that move along the ground.” That means we are “royalty” according to some theologians. Environmentalists don’t agree. They believe creation is more important than the created human beings that God put on the earth.
Victor Davis-Hanson, writing in the Epoch Times this week in an article titled, “The Green Immoralists,” points out, “Climate-change moralists love humanity so much in the abstract that they must shut down its life-giving gas, coal, and oil. And they value humans so little that they don’t worry in the here and now that ensuing fuel shortages and exorbitant costs cause wars, spike inflation, and threaten people’s ability to travel or keep warm.”
But this the same crowd who supports abortion, so we should not be surprised that they favor the earth over humans. That’s why the Christian worldview: Creation, Fall, Redemption is such a critical underpinning of philosophy. It determines the order of our “loves” as Davey Naugle termed it in his book Worldview. I made the economics applications in my little book Economics and the Christian Worldview.
What is Demanded, gets Supplied
I was a member of a group of professors who visited Russia in 1993, sponsored by Campus Crusade for Christ, which is now called Cru. Lecturing in Moscow, one cold, dark March night in 1993, I noticed that their questions had a theme. They essentially wanted me to give them a formula where they could fill in the blanks and get rich as Americans did. So I blurted out, “Supply a demand.” It’s as easy as that. Do you want to get rich? Supply a demand.
That’s because demands GET supplied, one way or another. Human needs have never changed. How we satisfy them changes. Humans have always wanted heat, cooling, light, and transportation. In economics, we study how substitutes have arisen for those basic needs, but the needs have not changed.
Quoting Victor Davis-Hanson again, “The Biden administration stopped all gas and oil production in the ANWR region of Alaska. It ended all new federal leases for drilling. It is canceling major new pipelines. It is leveraging lending agencies not to finance oil and gas drilling.” They have declared a war on oil.
Clearly, the Biden administration was engaging in what’s called demand destruction. That’s where you raise the price of something so people will use less of it. Increasing the price of tobacco and alcohol via sin taxes are a good example of this concept. Demand destruction of the oil industry was practiced during the Obama administration, and they’re doing it now in the Biden administration.
In a Wall Street Journal editorial this week, oil expert Harold Hamm wrote about how Americans need relief from high gas prices, and “one thing stands in the way: President Biden’s unwillingness to reverse course on his administration’s commitment to put the American oil-and-gas industry out of business at the consumer’s expense.” He goes on to point out that the Biden administration has manufactured scarcity. That’s the very definition of demand destruction.
Gas was going for $2.53 a gallon when President Biden took office. It’s now at $4.25. Mr. Davis-Hanson provides another way in which the administration is participating in demand destruction,
“In just a year the administration has managed to turn the greatest oil and gas producer in the history of the world into a pathetic global fossil-fuel beggar.” That great oil and gas producer, of course, is the United States.
This was fully expected from the Biden administration. He told a young woman at a Presidential campaign event in New Hampshire, “I guarantee you we will end fossil fuels.” They are purposely raising the prices. A year ago, a reporter asked Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm about increasing oil production. She literally laughed at the reporter and stated, “That’s never going to happen.” Well, a freshman who understands supply and demand knows that as you limit the supply, the price goes up, and that’s what we’re witnessing today. Demand destruction of the oil industry has a regressive impact on the poor. Secretary Granholm also commented that increasing oil prices wouldn’t affect those who owned electric vehicles. Since they sell in the $65K range, that makes her a candidate for the “let them eat cake” award. By the way, President Biden does not own one of those electric vehicles that secretary Granholm quipped about.
When an ancient sea receded billions of years ago, it left the limestone ridge that Ginger and I live on, just south of Dallas. Christians believe it is in God’s plan for our neighbors to work in the three cement plants in our city, turning limestone into cement, so we can have building foundations, streets, roads, and sidewalks. In the same way, Christians believe that the decay of plants and fossils from millions of years ago pressed together under the earth’s gravity, produced gas and oil that we’re supposed to dig out and burn to heat our homes, light our buildings, and provide transportation for food and for humans.
God also provides sunlight and wind, and He gave brilliant people the knowledge to capture them as substitutes for fossil fuels. We believe both are a part of God’s creation, and both should be used by humans to improve and extend our lives.
Environmentalists don’t always agree with the Christian worldview. They believe that the created earth – excuse me – that is, if they believe in creation at all – is more important than the created humans on it. That’s not consistent with scripture. I unpack some of this in podcast #39 titled The Environment is a Gift from God.
People in my generation remember an ad for margarine that substituted for butter so carefully that it fooled mother nature. The woman playing mother nature declares, “It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature!” as lightning strikes. Christians have the same view about the demand destruction of the fossil fuel industry. It’s not nice to destroy God’s created sustenance for humans.
President Biden canceled the Keystone XL pipeline in the United States but supported the NordStream 2 pipeline taking gas from Russia to Germany. He seems to have no problem with pipelines per se, just American ones. As our enemies around the world in Russia, Iran, and Venezuela reap huge profits from record-high oil and gas prices, we are left to wonder why he is discriminating against oil producers in Alaska, North Dakota, or Texas? A note in the satirical Babylon Bee this week reported that the United States was giving Alaska back to the Russians, so oil drilling could resume there. Sometimes satire is too close to the truth.
President Biden seems to be less concerned about his own constituency in the United States, than other countries that want to harm the US, like Russia, Iran, and Venezuela. Russia is using oil profits to build bombs and tanks that this week are stealing freedom from the Ukrainians. Iran will use profits from the sale of oil to the US to build a nuclear bomb that they are threatening to use to wipe out Israel, the only truly democratic nation in the Middle East. The Biden administration is planning to buy oil from Venezuela which has impoverished its own citizens with a Socialist dogma that has never worked anywhere. Oh, I should point out that I’m not too worried about Venezuela harming the US. Socialism has turned their economy into such a basket case, that they can’t produce enough GDP to threaten anyone.
Christians Like Reality
The Biden administration has an environmental ideology this is not in line with reality. Hindus believe they must escape the real world to gain the spiritual realm they call nirvana. One of the great strengths of Christianity has been the ability to acknowledge reality and deal with it. Our predecessors practiced what economists call positive economics, which has a clear vision of reality. We take a look at the world as it is, broken and incomplete, and ask for God’s help in redeeming it back to His creational intent.
The Biden administration has chosen normative economics. They view the world through the lens of what they WANT the world to be. Powering modern life with solar panels and windmills is not reality. Germany and France tried. That’s why they’re paying 42 cents for the same kilowatt that we pay 10 cents for in Texas. This pipe-dream reality impoverishes the poor. But don’t worry about the elite political class. Even though solar-powered jets have not been invented yet, they will still burn fossil fuels to jet around the world, lecturing the poor about how they must pay the price for the transition from oil to solar.
Everything gets transported. The increased cost of fuel will increase the price of everything. Christians care about food for the poor, which I explain more fully in podcast #105, The Free Market Feeds the Poor. The increased cost of food is a regressive tax on the poor because they spend a larger share of their income on food than the rich. Thus, the poor will be hurt the most.
The Biden Administration is performing demand destruction on a part of God’s creation, that was intended to warm, transport, and feed the poor.
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