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The Dark Side Of Earth Day

If I wanted America to fail,

To follow, not lead,

To suffer, not prosper

To despair, not dream

I’d start with energy.

I’d cut off America’s supply of cheap abundant energy.

I couldn’t take it by force, so I’d make Americans feel guilty about using the energy

that heats their homes, fuels their cars, runs their businesses and powers their economy.

Those lines are a pretty good description of our current energy policy. Amazingly, though, they appeared not recently but 10 years ago, in a short YouTube video titled “If I Wanted America To Fail.”

The video (watch it here) runs less than five minutes. It was produced by Ryan Houck of Consensus Communications in Orlando, and put out by a now-defunct group named Free Market America. It got nearly three million views at the time and, according to Houck, Twitter briefly suspended the organization’s account.

If I wanted America to fail I’d use their schools to teach one generation of Americans that their factories and their cars will cause a new ice age.

And I’d muster a straight face so I could teach the next generation that they’re causing global warming. When it’s cold out, I’d call it climate change instead.

When I first watched the video in 2012, I was amazed by its power. After nearly a decade I recently watched it again, and this time around I couldn’t believe how dead-on accurate it’s turned out to be about the current state of things.

If I wanted America to fail I’d celebrate those who preach in public while indulging a lavish lifestyle in private.

I’d convince Americans that Europe has it right and that America has it wrong. …

I would prey on the goodness and the decency of ordinary Americans.

I would only need to convince them that all of this is for the greater good.

If you need a reminder about the dark side of Earth Day, I can’t think of a better place to start than with this video. (And you can follow it up with CEI’s own climate and energy-related videos here.)

Reprinted with permission from the Competitive Enterprise Insitute blog.

Sam Kazman is a general counsel at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

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