February 2, 2008
The EC declares portentously “Climate change is one of the greatest environmental, social and economic threats facing the planet.” Surely a clarion call for action.
Global-warming theology has been embraced by a great many of Western Europe’s and America’s secular elites. Its adherents hold as articles of faith: (1) the Earth is warming, (2) a warmer planet is perforce bad, (3) anthropogenic-CO2 emissions are the principal cause of rising temperatures, and (4) curbing global warming is necessary and requires increased government and multinational institutional control and the reduction of human economic activity.
Climate is not static. Fred Singer and Dennis Avery abundantly document the Earth has been warming and cooling for billions of years without mankind, SUVs and coal-fired power plants. Their book Unstoppable Global Warming is a fascinating and worthwhile read utterly debunking the notion that mankind’s economic activity is the primary or even a major cause of global warming.
Mars, Pluto, Jupiter, and Neptune’s moon Triton are warming, which is hard to square with a belief mankind is the primary cause of global warming.
If, for now, the Earth is warming is that bad for man? In Climate of Fear: Why We Shouldn’t Worry About Global Warming, Thomas Moore notes that many, arguably most, people and countries would benefit from a warmer climate. If lo a warming Earth was attributable to increased solar radiation –what an idea! would hard-core Greens want to reverse or stem it? Edward Teller in “Sunscreen for Planet Earth” famously suggested we could cool the planet by firing rockets putting dust in low orbit slightly increasing the Earth’s albedo. This would be relatively inexpensive and sun set. Over time the dust would bleed out of orbit. So, if the cognoscenti got it wrong, no irreversible harm would have been done.
For the foreseeable future mankind has two primary sources of incremental energy to fuel economic growth: fossil fuel (coal, oil and gas) and nuclear. Abundant, cheap energy enables economic growth, and with the rule of law, free trade, stable currency and nonpunitive tax and regulatory systems, offers the world’s poor a ladder to greater prosperity. If one believes man’s CO2 emissions are a cause of global warming and that that is bad, one ought to cheerlead a nuclear power renaissance. Yet few believers in global-warming support atomic power. Except in France, Luddite Greens and political cowardice have stymied nuclear power plant construction for the last three decades, resulting, de facto, in the construction of thousands of relatively dirty coal-fired power plants.
Romantic environmentalists are against economic growth and prefer Gaia have fewer people. Of course these desires are rarely made explicit because they are politically unpalatable even to wooly-headed, Prius-driving soccer moms with tax-subsidized solar power panels in their suburban homes.
Some, cynically view treaties such as the much ballyhooed Kyoto Protocol putatively designed to slow global warming, as a means of handicapping the
US economy. The harsh reality is adopting Kyoto would impoverish us all and that its effects would be felt most acutely by the world’s poor, notwithstanding China’s and India’s not being signatories.
Czech President Vaclav Klaus in “Freedom, not climate is at risk” rightly worries actions driven by global-warming hysteria and the politicization of science imperiling freedom are the signal risk.
Many Democrats and Western Europeans believe rising temperatures are caused by man and a greater menace to Western Civilization than Islamofascism. Rather, Taliban global-warming religionists may indeed be as great a threat to Western prosperity and freedom as resurgent Islamic ideology.Author : Eric Grover