Government Agency Head to Get Arrested by the Government in Order to Protest Government Policy?

Note in this blog post by environmentalist Bill McKibben the announcement that James Hansen, who directs an agency of the U.S. government, is planning to get arrested in order “to give [Barack Obama and the Democrats in Congress] the political space they need to act on their convictions.”

McKibben believes those convictions include banning the burning of coal, which provides about half of our electricity, and other radical acts related to combatting the alleged threat of human-caused global warming. Evidently, these guys believe that a few radicals getting arrested will convince Congress to wreck what’s left of the economy on purpose.

My sense is that, despite a fairly high percentage of duffuses among Congressional Democrats, they aren’t dumb enough to intentionally sabotage economic recovery while spending hundreds of billions that they told the public are being spent to “stimulate” the economy.

There’s a reason, you know, that President Obama has signaled to Congress that he will be perfectly happy to wait until 2010 for an anti-global warming bill. My guess is that perfect timing for him is soon enough to appease the left in the 2012 Democrat primary, and late enough that the economic pain of such legislation won’t be felt until after the November 2012 election.

But somehow, all that seems almost a side issue, compared to the spectacle that is a government agency head getting arrested by government employees in order to pressure the government to do something it supposedly wants to do anyway.

I’m not sure this really is a government. It looks more like a bad circus.

Hat tip: Prometheus.

Addendum, 2/25/09: See Hansen, on videotape, inviting the public to participate in what organizers apparently hope will be the “largest mass civil disobedience for the climate in U.S. history.” [Snapshot shown above]

Hansen doesn’t claim to be speaking for NASA’s Goddard Institute in this video, but it seems inappropriate at best for a government agency head to urge his fellow citizens to break the law. If federal agency heads don’t respect the law, why should the rest of us?

Possibly old-fashioned concepts like obeying the law, along with paying for our own mortgages, went out with the Bush Administration.

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