British blogger David Vance looks at an emerging phenomenon with clear implications for everyone — whether Big Brother will restrict travel in England — in order to save the planet from “global warming”:

Restricting the ability of citizens to travel is clearly an unpopular strategy for any politician to advance but if if comes from the left and done in the name of “Saving the Planet” then it is likely to win sympathetic media treatment and so become a real political possibility.
The UK Government is not just interested in using global warming to raise new green taxes and to further hike fuel costs, but it is also contemplating allocating “personal carbon allowances.” The way these work is that you will be granted a fixed amount of carbon to use each year. Each time you travel in a plane, buy petrol, go shopping or eat out would be recorded on a plastic card. The more frugal could sell spare carbon allowances to those who want to “indulge” themselves. But if you were to run out of your carbon allowance, you could be barred from flying or driving.
The government will thus be able to prevent its citizens from traveling both inside and outside the United Kingdom under the guise of managing carbon allowances.
For the first time in history we face the real prospect of having the fundamental right to travel prohibited by government….

I’m not sure that this is the first time in history that a government has restricted the right to travel.
But after all, the citizens affected are in England, which is in Europe.
I keep saying that Europe does not have the same history of freedom that we have here, and it never ceases to amaze me how many Americans think that they’re “just like us.” They are not. In fact, their lack of freedom is in the inspiration behind the idea of American freedom. Our experience with the divine right of kings consisted of kicking it out when the British king decided it was time to restrict the colonists’ means of self defense.
As to the right to travel, in this country it is not an express constitutional right. It is (like the right to privacy, which the right wing often claims does not exist) implied:

As the Supreme Court notes in Saenz v Roe, 98-97 (1999), the Constitution does not contain the word “travel” in any context, let alone an explicit right to travel (except for members of Congress, who are guaranteed the right to travel to and from Congress). The presumed right to travel, however, is firmly established in U.S. law and precedent. In U.S. v Guest, 383 U.S. 745 (1966), the Court noted, “It is a right that has been firmly established and repeatedly recognized.” In fact, in Shapiro v Thompson, 394 U.S. 618 (1969), Justice Stewart noted in a concurring opinion that “it is a right broadly assertable against private interference as well as governmental action. Like the right of association, … it is a virtually unconditional personal right, guaranteed by the Constitution to us all.” It is interesting to note that the Articles of Confederation had an explicit right to travel; it is now thought that the right is so fundamental that the Framers may have thought it unnecessary to include it in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights.

Of course, under the thinking of the founders, the federal government had only very limited, specifically-defined powers, reflected in two amendments which might as well not exist as they have been willfully and shamelessly ignored for decades:

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.


The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

There being no power to restrict the right to travel, that means the federal gummint doesn’t have it! (Unless, of course, I’m being overly, um “textual” in my analysis…..)
The Wiki entry points out that the United Nations’ Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights reads as follows:

Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each State.
Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.

Should aggrieved British citizens try petitioning the UN?
Hey why not? This being a satire blog, let me be the first to encourage them to do so! (Surely the UN will uphold the right to travel in the face of applied scientific theory.)
Anyway, we should all be glad that this is not England, where environmentalist crackpots can abolish the right to travel.
But the author closes by noting that the environmentalist crackpot in chief is a good friend of Bill Clinton, and wants him back in the White House where presumably his wife can overrule the “right” we so smugly infer:

We British are the experimental rats in the carbon-mania laboratory. If Prime Minister Brown can get away with stopping us traveling by car and plane – and doing it in the name of cutting carbon emissions – isn’t it possible that the people if the US might also face the future prospect of also being issued with “personal” carbon allowances by a munificent President Clinton? Is it imaginable that someday US citizens could be prohibited from traveling how and when they choose – and all in the name of saving the Earth?

Not to worry. Here we overthrew the divine right of kings.
Here we have the Constitution!
And I for one take my implied rights literally!