Sunday, March 07, 2010

Climate Science Settled?

Some evidence supports global warming theory. Some does not.
Many scientists believe that global warming is probable or certain. Many do not.

But what is definitely NOT settled is that governments should impose draconian, socialist controls on the most important sector of our economy: energy production, which makes possible every other part of our modern, technological civilization.

Unfortunately, many climate scientists jump from accepting global warming theory to calling for economically and socially destructive policy measures, such as dramatically curtailing fossil fuel consumption, dictating land use, and reducing agricultural development.

If the world is warming by a few degrees per century, which is possible, and if this is a by-product of human activity, the best way to deal with it is by allowing individuals and institutions the freedom to adjust and innovate via the free market. By allowing individuals to adapt to ever changing circumstances in the world, the free market has exponentially lifted mankind's standard of living in only a few hundred years beyond anything imaginable to pre-modern civilizations.

In contrast, the socialist command-and-control approach has lead to untold human death and suffering in the 20th Century. Such an approach would be the worst way to deal with global warming. It will be suicide to accept government control of the energy supply. Global warming alarmists would effectively shut down industrial civilization by pulling the plug on our energy supply. And make no mistake: this is exactly what they wish to achieve. They want it because they accept the anti-human philosophy of environmentalism, which holds that pristine nature, untouched by human hands, is a value in itself, regardless of its value to human beings. Yet every material value upon which human life depends must be extracted or produced from the natural resources found in the environment.

If environmentalists favored improving human life and civilization, they would favor the only feasible alternatives to fossil fuel combustion, such as nuclear and hydroelectric power. Yet, again and again, they reject such alternatives. This is because the view human beings as evil and human improvement of the natural world as an affront to their sacred Garden of Eden: the environment.

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