Saturday, April 01, 2006

They Still Don’t Know What They’re Doing, But They Want to Do It at the Point of a Gun

Here’s a message from an environmentalist who hides under the name “Tokyo Tom.” He says it comes “off of the web page of the world-renowned Wood`s Hole Oceanographic Institute”:
[W]orld leaders may be planning for climate scenarios of global warming that are opposite to what might actually occur.

It is important to clarify that we are not contemplating a situation of either abrupt cooling or global warming. Rather, abrupt regional cooling and gradual global warming can unfold simultaneously. Indeed, greenhouse warming is a destabilizing factor that makes abrupt climate change more probable.

What this means is that “world leaders” simultaneously want to deprive people of the fossil fuels needed to keep them warm, in the name of combating global warming, while subjecting them to freezing cold. They call that government “planning.” Well, I guess they’re right: it’s par for government “planning.”

I point out such problems and say that “Economic freedom is what is required to cope with global warming, global freezing, or any other form of large-scale environmental or social change.” And I explain precisely how it would do so. (See my recent post “Collectivism, Climate Change, and Economic Freedom.”) But when I explain how a free market would solve such problems, I’m accused of simply denying the existence of global warming and refusing to face the facts. The truth is the collectivists don't want to face the fact that the free market is the solution.

And yes, the environmentalists are collectivists. They blame and seek to punish the individual for the cumulative by-products of the actions of all of mankind, as though the individual and the human race were one and the same. If such a thing is possible, they’re a lower, more lunatic form of collectivist than were the old socialists. The Marxists in Russia at least claimed to be concerned with building up the material means of production—hydroelectric stations, power plants, steel mills, and so forth, things that if built on a foundation of voluntary saving and free labor, really do enormously contribute to human life and well-being. The environmentalist witch-doctors in contrast want to compel a massive global sacrifice of means of production, in the hope that that will improve the weather. Maybe they don’t really believe in some kind of “Weather God” whom their forced sacrifice will placate, but they’re sure behaving as though they did.

This article is copyright © 2006, by George Reisman. Permission is hereby granted to reproduce and distribute it electronically and in print, other than as part of a book and provided that mention of the author’s web site is included. (Email notification is requested.) All other rights reserved. The author is Pepperdine University Professor Emeritus of Economics.

You Can Earn College Credit for Studying the Works of George Reisman and Ayn Rand! Click here for Details.