Monday, March 12, 2007

You'll want to read this piece on global warming eco-hysteria from, of all places, ABC News. (Note: It's three pages.)

Key quote:

Herein lies the moral danger behind global warming hysteria. Each day, 20,000 people in the world die of waterborne diseases. Half a billion people go hungry. A child is orphaned by AIDS every seven seconds. This does not have to happen. We allow it while fretting about "saving the planet." What is wrong with us that we downplay this human misery before our eyes and focus on events that will probably not happen even a hundred years hence? We know that the greatest cause of environmental degradation is poverty; on this, we can and must act.

Climate change is a norm, not an exception. It is both an opportunity and a challenge. The real crises for 4 billion people in the world remain poverty, dirty water and the lack of a modern energy supply. By contrast, global warming represents an ecochondria of the pampered rich.

Yep. Poverty and disease can be at least partially fixed with decent government, private property rights, the rule of law, and access to free markets, along with development aid administered by the West. It wouldn't even cost all that much money. Several trillion dollars, of course, but a lot less than "fixing" global warming would cost.

One thing I find interesting is the religious and ideological nature of environmentalism. Environmentalism is mostly not a reasoned response to real problems, as conservationism is. Instead, as that environmentalist guy said in El Periódico the other day, it's an ethical (or, I'd say, unethical) movement. Environmentalists believe that Western society is evil and must be radically changed. Capitalism, growth, development, private property, the profit motive, individual economic rights--it's all got to stop. Bogus Marxism didn't work, so equally bogus environmentalism has replaced it; you have noticed, of course, that most Greens are also Marxists. Look no farther than Iniciativa, our local commies. They don't really give a crap about ordinary people or want to make their lives better in the here and now; that would be reformism. Instead, they want to throw out the whole system and start over, with themselves in charge, of course.

This is why environmentalists are against using biofuels, like ethanol, or building more nuclear power plants. They don't want to solve problems in a way that would make our current system better, since our current system is itself unethical and must be destroyed.

La Vanguardia's best columnist, Francesc-Marc Álvaro, today compares the global warning panic to the nuclear panic during the Cold War. He points out that nuclear destruction of the planet was a genuine possibility, while we're not even sure that global warming actually exists, whether it is man-made if it does exist, and whether it is a serious problem if it is man-made.

Quote: I do not want--and I think many agree--climactic change to become our new daily source of terror or frightening images of voracious deserts, overflowing seas, and perpetual storms to begin to haunt my dreams until they become nightmares. We didn't spend our childhoods watching images of antinuclear refuges on TV in order to spend our adult years terrified by climactic Apocalypse. Let's pay attention to the scientists, listen to the governments, consider the interests of the companies, but let us not accept a new conceptual Alien. Other things, like flourishing fundamentalism and populism, deserve much more space in the shop window of contemporary threats.

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