15A034 The Climate Hysteria by Jim Davies, 5/22/2015    


Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) means that allegedly, the whole planet is getting warmer as a result of mankind's activities, notably the excessive burning of carbon. When recent data suggested it wasn't actually warming any longer, the name was swiftly altered to "Climate Change", which is safe. The climate may occasionally not change from decade to decade, but it normally does. Warmer, colder, whatever; but different. So nobody can deny that the climate is likely somehow to change.

But what they mean by climate change is AGW, and what they want to do about it is to control us, with the power of government, according to their agenda. They are mostly from the political Left, which loves to control populations even more passionately than those from the Right; so Climate Change is an ideal excuse for them. If they can get people to believe in AGW and to let them fix it, they are home and dry in their Brave New World.

They use the media, naturally, and the media is uniformly pro-government because when government evaporates there will be much less for them to report. The great events in the coming zero government society will be product launches, mergers, takeovers, achievements and discoveries, and while those are indeed life-improving, it's not so easy to make news out of them since they usually require thought by the reporter. There will be no "public arena" to which media hacks have some right of access, nor pre-written articles in the form of government press releases for them to regurgitate.

An example of media bias in favor of AGW emerged last month in The Guardian, a British daily working hard to add an American readership. Their slogan is, incredibly, KEEP IT IN THE GROUND - referring, of course, to hydrocarbon fuels like oil, coal, and natural gas. And recently they repeatedly published an open letter to the world's richest man, asking him to "lead us" as some kind of Führer in this "fight". I hope he has the good sense to do as King Knut did, namely to "show his flattering courtiers that he had no power over the elements" by commanding the tide not to come in, which order it naturally ignored. Whether Bill does or not, Knut's lesson is the one to draw. Mankind has not and can not control changes in climate. The contrary allegation exemplifies "arrogance."

This campaign also exemplifies colossal stupidity. Humans in colder climes need extra warmth to survive, and got it first by burning wood. That destroyed forests, while they got busy increasing the population. I think that's a pity, for forests are useful and pretty and harbor a vast variety of other living things. And they help use up any surplus CO2.

Then someone tripped over a lump of coal, and that more compact fuel did the job better - and then some, in the immensely productive and prosperous 19th Century. But the smoke was a nuisance, and unhealthy with it, so everyone - and the whales - were delighted when in 1859 Colonel Drake pumped oil from under the earth. The cleaner and more civilized mode of life that mankind has built since that pivotal day is all that most of us have ever experienced.

To "keep it in the ground" would immobilize all internal combustion engines including aero ones, and so return transportation to the train and horse-drawn carts. Those were fine in their day, but something like 90% of today's trade depends on oil so that too would vanish. There would be no commercial substructure to sustain the lives of a large majority of the population. It would be literal, mass suicide, and it's particularly tragic that The Guardian is endorsing this lethal idea, for that journal was in its first half century a champion of classical liberalism in 19th Century Britain, which was the mainspring of its Industrial Revolution.

Assuming survivors would still wish to read and find their way around after sunset, whale oil would again furnish light and all that noble save-the-whales effort would go to waste. The species would become extinct within a century. I think that too is a pity, for they are amazing animals.

Trains, too, would next disappear for they run on coal or wood and if coal were "kept in the ground" and the forests were burned up, there would be nothing to power them. Standards of life (for survivors) would return to those of about the year 1750 (I'm a bit - er - foggy about when exactly coal became extensively used in fireplaces.)

We may be on the cusp of another big change, in which electrical power can be generated more cheaply than by hydrocarbons; if and when that happens, a large part of the demand for them will disappear and, assuming a free market is operating at that time, there will be an automatic adjustment in price and supply. It will still take a while for gasoline to be displaced as an efficient fuel for vehicles, but if the change is accompanied by another big one in the design of batteries, hydrocarbons may indeed become obsolete this Century.

But that must happen as a result of market preferences, not by government edict.

And that's the true point of difference, between the "Keep it in the ground" eco-fascists and the rest of us. It's not a matter of pollution or climate, it's a matter of rule. A question of whose view will prevail by the force of government. I gladly agree that wind, solar, tide, geothermal and other renewable energy sources are desirable - no argument. But I will not be forced to accept those alternatives while they remain more expensive.

Nor, I hope, will Bill Gates. And in any case, once everyone has walked out on their government jobs, there will be no way to force us and the question will be moot.


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