11A067 Will the Sky Fall? by Jim Davies, 3/9/2011    

Somehow, there have been 182 editions of this Blog without mention of one of the biggest government swindles of the last half century: Global Warming, or as they began to call it a few years ago when the globe ignored them and stayed cool, Climate Change. Today, that omission will be repaired.

Terrestrial climates have changed ever since this glob of molten rock took shape four or five billion years ago, so it's fairly sure to go on changing. With time, we may get better at predicting in which direction it will modify - warmer or cooler - but right now, we don't have much of a clue. Weather can be forecast reasonably well three days ahead, but not much longer. The sheer arrogance of Al Gore and all who hope to profit from the yarn he has spun is almost as amazing as the gullibility of the public in believing what government people say. When have they ever been right?

It's a tempting topic, for the ruling class, because (a) most folk lack the skills to contradict those faceless government "scientists" who make their predictions as solemnly as any mediaeval seer, and (b) once the public thinks a monstrous danger lies in our future, government alone is seen as powerful enough to do anything about it; therefore, to swallow its story about climate change (in any direction) is to hand it permission and power to turn our lives inside out - again. Those who benefit when we gulp it in are (i) all government people who get yet another boost to their ridiculous sense of importance and (ii) those cunning enough to invest in companies poised to win lucrative government contracts to handle the change predicted. Gore, for instance, is doing nicely; he spreads the hysteria, and places his money where the hysteria will bring him a fabulous return. As Noel Sheppard puts it there: "I thought Gore was doing all this out of the goodness of his heart to save the planet. You mean he actually could benefit financially? Knock me over with a feather. Who would have thought it?" This adds much to our understanding of why people seek high political office; it's like printing their own personal fortune.

In 1966 Cesare Emiliani had predicted that "a new glaciation will begin within a few thousand years." In 1975 Newsweek - as pro-government a journal as one might wish to find - solemnly suggested that the Earth will shortly re-enter an ice age. Bill Walker has a useful review here of some recent climate disruptions and predictions. The heap of accumulated thrown snow outside my front door has never been higher than last month, and in January the London Daily Mail announced to frozen Brits that "The Mini Ice Age Starts Here."

So the fact is that nobody really knows in what way climate will change, if any, and a single unexpected volcano eruption can radically affect it in the very short term. What we can know for certain is that government is not the way best to mollify its effects. Government always acts by writing laws, which usually take a long time to formulate and which almost never expire; the free market, in contrast, can and often does turn on a dime. If more snow falls, within weeks it brings more throwers to the stores; if a summer is unexpectedly hot, more air conditioners are "magically" there on the shelves of Sears, in the nick of time and at reasonable prices. Only the fuel supply (gasoline, electricity) is hazardous and slow to respond, and that's because those industries are embedded with government and hamstrung by its restrictions.

Let me recommend two books about all this. One is "No Turning Back: Dismantling the Fantasies of Environmental Thinking" by Walter Kaufman, who used to be a leader in the so-called "Environmental" movement but whose scientific honesty led him to leave and oppose it, and the other is Huber & Mills' "The Bottomless Well" which in an unusual and refreshing way develops the theme that energy is abundant and inexhaustible. Both are in the ZG Bookstore - see links nearby. Each turns conventional "wisdom" on its head.

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