Europe is in a world of hurt when it comes to energy.
News outlet Die Welt reported last Sunday that the German government was preparing to deal with backlash from angry citizens who will need to deal with a massive energy crisis come winter.
According to the outlet, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz told news broadcaster ARD in July that skyrocketing heating costs are a “powder keg for society.”
As the war in Ukraine continues to rage and failed green policies contribute to weak domestic energy production, the government has been forced to reckon with the fact that there will be shortages when things get cold.
Current proposals to save energy include keeping streetlights dark at night to requiring buildings keep lower temperatures. And, of course, begging citizens to use less electricity at home.
To aid in this endeavor, the government announced a new levy on gas that will likely cost the average German family of four 500 euros ($507) to 1,000 euros ($1,030) per year.
Germany isn’t the only country in Europe that’s feeling the heat with energy usage.
Spain announced earlier in August that it would regulate what the temperature for public and commercial buildings could be set at.
Amid a sweltering heat wave across the continent, the Spanish government forbid businesses from setting air conditioners below 81 degrees. That temperature control policy will extend into the frigid winter when businesses will be banned from heating their offices past 66 degrees.
But for as much as these policies are supposed to be a “we’re all in this together” sort of solution to the energy crisis, it’s obvious they will disproportionately impact the common man.
Does anyone really think that Europe’s elite will suffer from suffocating heat waves or bitterly cold nights? Of course not. They’ll be just fine.
It’s average citizens who will suffer when energy rationing happens, most among them the poorest whose homes might have poor insulation. But rather than address these genuine concerns from the citizenry, elites criticize them.
One need not look all the way to Europe. It’s happening in America, too.
Stories abound of politicians and celebrities who decry the hoi polloi for having the gall to fly in planes or drive cars getting caught doing something far worse for the environment.
Microsoft founder and climate alarmist Bill Gates routinely chastises Americans for their evil, Mother Earth-killing ways while simultaneously taking private planes to an endless number of climate conferences.
America’s illustrious Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who infamously told Americans worried about ballooning gas prices to just go out and buy an electric car and abandoned his post for so-called paternity leave during the worst supply chain crisis the U.S. has seen in decades, is also shockingly hypocritical.
In March 2021, Buttigieg claimed that a mileage tax, where Americans would be charged based on how far they drove, showed “a lot of promise.”
“If we believe in that so-called user-pays principle, the idea that part of how we pay for roads is you pay based on how much you drive,” Buttigieg said. “The gas tax used to be the obvious way to do it; it’s not anymore. A so-called vehicle miles traveled tax or a mileage tax, whatever you want to call it, could be the way to do it.”
Buttigieg, of course, doesn’t use those icky cars to go anywhere. He bikes!
As Heritage Foundation experts have demonstrated, a mileage tax would result in more taxes for the average American family, not the ultra-wealthy.
Heritage Foundation policy analyst David Ditch argues that “even if the gas tax were to be eventually phased out, supporters of a mileage tax are clear that the main goal of the tax is to bring in more revenue than the gas tax currently provides.”
“Either way, that spells a tax increase, and one that will disproportionately hit blue-collar workers who can’t telecommute,” Ditch continued.
The Daily Signal is the media arm of The Heritage Foundation.
At the end of the day, Buttigieg and the German Bundestag are doing the same thing: blaming their citizens for failed green policies that hurt more than they help.
The people can’t roll over and accept these assaults on their standard of living from bureaucrats and elites who don’t even practice what they preach.
Dutch farmers in the Netherlands are protesting those failed green policies in their country, and they should serve as a model for those in the West sick of being blamed by elites for not radically upending their lives for the climate.
If the people don’t push back, we’ll be left out in the cold.
Have an opinion about this article? To sound off, please email letters@DailySignal.com and we’ll consider publishing your edited remarks in our regular “We Hear You” feature. Remember to include the url or headline of the article plus your name and town and/or state.