One Missing "If"

Monday, December 05, 2011

Reacting to the latest embarrassing release of emails among climate scientists, a writer at the Orange County Register notes the flimsiness of their "scientific" case:

What they have is a theory that things are getting warmer, which may or may not be true. Then they take a leap in logic that says things will continue to get much warmer, even though the purported cause of this warmth, greenhouse gas emissions, have escalated for 15 years while temperatures have remained flat or even declined.

Then they take another leap that presumes warming is harmful, even though it makes growing crops easier, and life less expensive in cold places, and more CO2 in the atmosphere is a boon to agriculture. Then they presume man can reverse all of this by using windmills and solar panels, which no one will buy unless someone else subsidizes them, and even then must be backed up with conventional, C02-emitting energy plants for when the sun doesn't shine and wind doesn't blow.

This is a chain of so many "ifs" it's amazing so many people have bought in to it. Until, of course, they are asked to sacrifice their own prosperity and comfort. Then, as they are discovering in Durban, that's enough of this nonsense.
These criticisms are all well and good, and Mark Landsbaum could have gone even further about the tenuousness of the theory behind anthropogenic global warming. Even if he had, though, he would not have gone far enough. To wit:
If the economy improves, decision-makers and the public will should use real science to decide whether mankind is superheating the Earth. And if so, what, if anything can or should be done about it. We hope someone will suggest weighing costs against presumed benefits.
The one thing practically nobody is questioning remains why (and really, by what right) the government should be in charge of "doing something" about AGW at all, presuming it were happening. There is no rational moral argument for the government to do so, and the proposal is highly impractical, as well.

The government can't know what is best for millions of individuals and it shouldn't deprive them of the property and liberty they need to promote their own lives and pursue their own happiness according to their best judgement. Perhaps the economy will improve, by finally becoming less centrally-planned, if people begin to realize that in time. By then, the threat of massive growth in central planning excused by AGW will be impossible to resurrect.

-- CAV


Mike N said...

I shared this on Facebook and twitter since the moral point needs to be made often.

Gus Van Horn said...

Thank you, Mike. I make it often here, myself, and am relieved that at least some of my readers appreciate why it is that I do!

Mike said...

actually there is something that the government can do in order to combat AGW. Remove their extensive regulatory framework, their inhibitions, prohibitions and subsidies and start getting creative on property rights.

Gus Van Horn said...

Heh. You could put it that way.