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Global warming

The conservative and libertarian response to global warming seems to consist primarily of questioning the science behind it. I've had a small problem with this approach: what if they're wrong? I'm not in a position to accurately appraise the science behind global warming. The fact is, most Americans aren't either, but everybody who sat through an Earth Day celebration in public school sixth grade science class and is literate enough to watch television thinks they are qualified to give an expert opinion, and they all "know" that global warming is occurring, and is man-made. The only difference between myself and them is that I'm willing to admit that I am as ignorant as they are.

Since I'm not qualified to appraise the science of global warming, all I've got is an uninformed gut feeling. My gut feeling is that global warming is probably occurring, and that there's a good chance it might be manmade. This sets me at odds with most conservatives and libertarians, who are quick to point out a number of scientists and studies that do not support either of these conclusions.

Of course, I'm even more at odds with liberals.

Liberals (and liberals who call themselves moderates) violently deny that any of the scientists or studies presented by the conservative side are valid. Among other objections, they say we need to follow the money. If you just look at who funds these scientists and studies, they say, you will see that they are all funded by big evil oil companies, or right-wing think tanks, or other organizations that allegedly have a vested interest in denying global warming. The sin of "global warming denial" is now being likened to Holocaust denial, and at least one person has suggested that a future mankind ravaged and dying by the effects of global warming should waste what precious little time and survival effort it has left holding "Nuremburg-style war crimes tribunals" for such criminals.

Well, what's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. How about we follow the money for the conventional "consensus" expressed by mainstream science. Who does most of the funding for the scientists and studies that are now claiming mankind is headed toward oblivion? The fact is that the vast majority of this is done through government grants. Academic institutions are heavily government funded, and these people are the ones arrogantly claiming that since they know the science, they know the way out of the problem.

What this means is that we have chosen to fund this scientific research through socialism: rather than leaving it up to a free market, "society" (a bunch of lucky elected government officials and appointed bureacrats claiming to act for everybody) has taken money from "society" (follow me closely, here, because this time when I say society I mean everybody else, the people who actually work for a living) in order to fund all of this studying collectively. This is socialism, and it is collectivism. It's the always wrong-headed idea that there is some big, amorphous "we" (all of us) that "we" (some of us) have to act on behalf of. Your money is being taken by other people to fund this. And if you support government funded research, then you are supporting taking money that doesn't belong to you in order to fund it. My father taught me that if I wanted something I should work for it and pay for it myself. So did my God.

I've often argued that if you socialize the education of your children, you get kids who are educated into socialism. The founders of this country believed in children being educated on the free market, what we today call private education (which encompasses education privately through institutions as well as education privately at home). For one hundred years this system was the vanguard of liberty, and a spectacularly free populace turned out to be spectacularly well educated, as well as spectacularly in love with liberty. Then a bunch of meddling Puritans in New England who called themselves Christians decided that they needed to save the world through force rather than through the Gospel of Christ. They engaged in stealing: taking money that did not belong to them to forcibly fund schools. And they engaged in enslavement: taking children who were not theirs, sons and daughters of free Americans, and compelling them to be in their schools rather than the educational environment chosen by their parents. Education was socialized. The rest of the nation followed this great idea, and today not only do we think this is normal, but we also think socialism is a great way to address most of the rest of society's great needs. That freedom-loving populace? Gone. Today we think socialism is freedom. The highly-educated populace disappeared as well.

So, follow the money on the mainstream global warming "consensus." Government funds the studies (socialism), and what do we get? We get a bunch of "scientists" playing politics and telling us that there is a severe problem from which we can only be saved through -- guess what? -- socialism! That's right; the only clear and obvious solution to global warming is to eradicate several more chunks of the free market. People's liberty to use what they own must be taken away, because we have conclusively proved (through government funded studies) that free people are destroying the earth.

And this is why even though I might be at minor odds with the right for thinking that global warming might be true, I'm at far greater odds with the left. I can spot an excuse for socialism a mile away. It's not the science that's coming out of these studies that bugs me, although I certainly think that should be questioned. (That is, after all, what science is all about.) It's the socialism. It's the arrogance that a bunch of people who are highly educated in one field should set "policy" for all of us. It's the arrogance that there should even be "policy." It's the audacity of a people who do not understand history, who do not understand economics, who do not understand the free market, to think that by virtue of their education in one field of human experience -- science -- that they are therefore the most educated and have become qualified to assume the role of kings and tyrants. Not only is this not freedom, it's probably not the way to solve the global warming problem.

1 comment:

Headmistress, zookeeper said...

Glad you're blogging, but I hope this doesn't mean you'll comment less frequently at our place.=0

One more interesting tidbit about fact that the government funds the studies; there is almost no likelyhood that the government will ever fund a study that doesn't support that global warming is happening, and that it's caused by technology (that second point is very debatable IMO).
So it's self perpetuating. And just as it's self serving for oil companies to fund studies saying that it doesn't exist, or isn't caused by what we are doing (this isn't a science debate as much as a history one- have there been similar warm temperatures before current oil based technologoies? Why, yes, there have), or can't be fixed at anything like a reasonable cost- it's equally self-serving for the government to be funding yet another group of 'There's a crisis the government must save you from' studies.

And history again- having gone through school when instead of 'earth day' programs we had 'the world is coming to an end in a global ice-age because of our over dependence on fossil based fuels' scare mongering in junior high. So I just can't take these guys seriously. It's like what they really mean is, "Something terrible is happening, we don't know what, and we change our minds on it every other decade, but we know it's bad, so you should give us more money to save you from it. Whatever it is. Just in case. Because we're experts."