Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt says that those skeptical of the global-warming doomsdayers are “un-American” and part of a “conspiracy.”

What a joke. This is, in old-fashioned parlance, a case of “the pot calling the kettle black.”

Babbitt is the guy, I’d like to remind you, parenthetically, who wants to hand out guns to Bureau of Land Management agents — thus creating one more precinct in the growing standing army of what is becoming a fearsome national police force. It’s hardly the kind of idea you would expect from such a flag-waving, patriotic American. But I digress. Let’s get back to his thoughts on the global-warming scare.

“It’s an unhappy fact that the oil companies in the United States have joined in a conspiracy to hire pseudo-scientists to deny the facts and then (began) raising political arguments that are essentially fraudulent,” Babbitt told a talk-radio audience. “This time, I think it’s especially unfortunate. And I think that the energy companies need to be called to account, because what they are doing is un-American in the most basic sense.”

Babbitt’s rhetorical overkill is part of a larger campaign by the administration to whip up hysteria and fear over global warming — a theory with little science behind it, but plenty of hot air.

President Clinton has been a tiny bit more circumspect, drawing on one of his tried-and-true emotional appeals: “We owe it to our children” to do something. But he warned of apocalyptic results if we don’t act — flooded coastlines, killer heat waves and biblical plagues and famines.

Where is all this leading? Why all the fuss now? What’s the administration’s agenda?

In December, the White House is sending a delegation to Kyoto, Japan, to negotiate yet another multinational treaty to cut greenhouse gases. Based on the intensity of his administration’s spokesmen on this issue, Clinton must have some pretty big plans in mind for that treaty and be fairly uncertain about Senate ratification.

Part of the agreement will call on U.S. industry and auto manufacturers to cut emissions of carbon dioxide, administration officials acknowledge. But how drastically? And is there more on the table?

No one is certain. But it’s ironic that the architects of such a plan would have the audacity to call critics “un-American.” You see, whatever the agreement, it is certain to hurt the American economy disproportionately. Even the White House’s own models show that cutting greenhouse gases would cost hundreds of thousands of U.S. jobs.

Is that an American idea? In the name of addressing a theoretical crisis, is it worth the pricetag? The administration would rather not debate the subject. Instead, Clinton, Vice President Al Gore, Babbitt and others prefer to demonize the opposition — call them names, resort to ad hominem attacks. In other times, in other debates, such tactics were characterized as “McCarthyism.”

So, if that’s the game they want to play, give me the ball.

I’ll tell you what’s really un-American. By definition it is un-American to submit sovereign citizens of the United States to laws, treaties, regulations and foreign authorities to which they have no accountability. Last time I checked, we Americans don’t elect any representatives to the United Nations, the World Trade Organization or any other multinational body. In his famous farewell address, George Washington, the father of our country, warned the nation about just such entanglements.

Now, that’s what Bruce Babbitt and Bill Clinton want to do. It is a profoundly un-American idea. And, worse yet, they are conspiring to hand over control of our lives and livelihoods to global authorities who would like nothing better than to see America knocked down a notch or two — all in the name of “leveling the playing field.”

But I think the un-American conspiracy goes even further. I’m not even sure Babbitt and company believe their own rhetoric on global warming, nor the thousand-and-one other crises they’re always raving about. They’re too smart for that. This is nothing but junk science. Rather, I think they see these imaginary threats as the means to an end.

And what is that end? It’s the further centralization and consolidation of power — this time on a worldwide scale. That’s what all these multinational treaties are really about. They are moving us toward global governance — away from the constitutional principles and foundations of the American republic, away from limited government, away from checks and balances.

That’s the real un-American conspiracy, Mr. Babbitt. Do I have any proof? Yeah, at least as much as the scare-mongers have to back up the global-warming theory.

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