Friday, May 30, 2008

Carbon Atheist or Agnostic?

Czech President Vaclav Klaus articulated his skepticism of global warming at the National Press Club. I found the reaction of the journalists to be most instructive, their expressions were grim. It pained them to hear a global warming skeptic. I happen to agree with Klaus that AGW is a pernicious ideology similar to communist totalitarianism.

"Klaus called alarms about man-made climate change a "quasi-noble idea that transcends the individual in the name of something above him" and that it is being exploited by a new elite "certain they have the right to sacrifice man and his freedom to make their idea a reality.""

I like this guy. He stands up for his neighbors, telling the Russians that the missile shield is none of their business.

Krauthammer, by contrast, is a carbon agnostic.

"For a century, an ambitious, arrogant, unscrupulous knowledge class — social planners, scientists, intellectuals, experts, and their left-wing political allies — arrogated to themselves the right to rule either in the name of the oppressed working class (Communism) or, in its more benign form, by virtue of their superior expertise in achieving the highest social progress by means of state planning (socialism)."

"Two decades ago, however, socialism and communism died rudely, then were buried forever by the empirical demonstration of the superiority of market capitalism everywhere from Thatcher’s England to Deng’s China, where just the partial abolition of socialism lifted more people out of poverty more rapidly than ever in human history."

"Just as the ash heap of history beckoned, the intellectual Left was handed the ultimate salvation: environmentalism. Now the experts will regulate your life not in the name of the proletariat or Fabian socialism but — even better — in the name of Earth itself."

Emphasis mine.

Socialism doesn't work. Free societies where individuals make their own decisions are not only morally superior in the sense that liberty is more just and moral, but also the rational choice. Free societies are richer, more productive and even better for the environment.

Yet many people, even otherwise intelligent and decent people, believe that using coercion to impose their will on others will somehow result in 'social justice' and saving the planet, despite the empirical evidence to the contrary.

Related quote:
"It is, I suspect, no accident that it is in Europe that climate change absolutism has found the most fertile soil. For it is Europe that has become the most secular society in the world, where the traditional religions have the weakest popular hold. Yet people still feel the need for the comfort and higher values that religion can provide; and it is the quasi-religion of Green alarmism and what has been termed global salvationism - of which the climate change issue is the most striking example, but by no means the only one - which has filled the vacuum, with reasoned questioning of its mantras regarded as a form of blasphemy." - Nigel Lawson,