Conservatives aren't in the habit of listening to Al Gore's book recommendations. No doubt, few noticed today when the former vice president called Michael Bloomberg's new global warming book "an inspiring must read." Still, they should consider picking up a copy.
Of course, they won't like the premise, the environmental science, or the author. But they can't help falling in love with the federalism. Bloomberg argues that federal intervention isn't necessary to solve the crisis, and he inadvertently destroys decades of liberal demands for climate action.
"The good news," Bloomberg declares in a promotional video, is that "we're going to make the COP21 [Paris Climate Conference] goals without the federal government." Coming from the former New York City mayor who waged war on soda pop, a bottom-up approach is absolutely worthy of praise.
While climate change might be inconvenient, the liberal response has always been predictable. They demand government action on the issue through aggressive regulation of industry, an approach that reached its zenith under President Obama. Over the last eight years, Obama beefed up the EPA, signed the sweeping Paris Climate Agreement, and launched a thousand regulations with his Clean Power Plan. But Bloomberg says none of it was necessary.
Judging from all the climate hysteria, one would expect the opposite. President Trump has reversed course completely, ordering EPA Chief Scott Pruitt to refocus the federal government's environmental energies elsewhere. After less than three months in office, Trump has almost completely wiped out his predecessor's global warming legacy.
And again, that's alright by Bloomberg. He believes local liberals can cool the planet on their own. "Washington will not have the last word on the fate of the Paris Agreement in the United States," Bloomberg declares. "Mayors will—together with business leaders and citizens from all over the globe."
Even Bret Stephen couldn't disagree. That's because under Bloomberg's scheme, so-called "climate deniers" wouldn't have to underwrite the radical environmentalism of anyone else.
So let San Francisco tax fossil fuels into oblivion and cheer any company planning to power their factories exclusively with clean energy. As long as Oklahoma City can slash gas taxes and oil companies can pump bubbling crude, everyone should be happy. Any liberal or conservative who objects to their local regulation can register dissatisfaction with migration.
If this idea catches on, liberals would lose an excuse not to refocus their energy on local solutions to the supposed environmental crisis. And after four years, they'd be forced to explain why federal intervention is still necessary.
That's why conservatives should hope Bloomberg's book becomes a best seller.
Philip Wegmann is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.