By George F. Will | Sunday, December 6, 2009 | Washington Post
Barack Obama, understanding the histrionics required in climate-change debates, promises that U.S. emissions in 2050 will be 83 percent below 2005 levels. If so, 2050 emissions will equal those in 1910, when there were 92 million Americans. But there will be 420 million Americans in 2050, so Obama's promise means that per capita emissions then will be about what they were in 1875. That. Will. Not. Happen.
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In 1875, Ulysses S. Grant was president. Six years earlier, the golden spike was hammered into place, creating the Transcontinental Railroad. In 1870, U.S. population was at 38 million. Much of our country was still unsettled and empty. To get back to those levels, Obama would have to nuke major portions of the country or release bio agents to severely diminish population and energy use.