Monday, April 19, 2010

The "Anti-Industrial Revolution" Rolls On

My third annual "celebration" of Earth Day arrives on Thursday after a not very good year for the global warming - or is it climate change - cabal. As I pointed out in March of this year, the so-called "climate consensus" is in shambles following Climategate.

Yet, the Obama Administration is undeterred as it pushes ahead with its statist agenda in the form of a climate bill to "fight" global warming, including with GOP support. Why is that?

Look no further than the upcoming Earth Day. Most Americans who participate may have an innocent perception of Earth Day, and that is the danger. There is nothing innocent or benevolent about this "holiday", which is a modern incarnation of the primitive worship of a nature that was believed to be ruled by vengeful gods or demons who required human sacrifices. The real meaning of Earth Day, and the danger it poses to our way of life, is explained below.

No amount of logic; no scandal, however egregious; no contrary scientific facts will derail the environmentalist agenda until the basic premises underlying and driving it are understood and rejected. We will know when that has happened, when Americans stop celebrating Earth Day.

The rest of this essay is a republication of last year's post, which is still as relevant as ever.

As we mark another Earth Day, I bring you these two bits of nature-friendly news:

News Item #1—From the Associated Press;

"Cars, power plants and factories could all soon face much tougher pollution limits after a government declaration Friday setting the stage for the first federal regulation of gases blamed for global warming.

“The Environmental Protection Agency took a big step in that direction, concluding that carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases are a major hazard to Americans' health.”

Yes, carbon dioxide…the gas that we exhale and that plant life requires for its survival…is now considered hazardous to your health! But it is also a gas generated by the burning of fossil fuels, which are vital to our very lives. Apparently, soaring energy costs and shrinking availability will not be “a major hazard to Americans' health.” Given the extent to which we depend on energy production for our everyday lives, virtually every area of human life can now be regulated, from the miles we are allowed to drive, to when we can cut our grass, to the temperature at which we can set our thermostats, right down to the number of children allowed per family. The scope of power now held in the hands of unelected, constitutionally unconstrained EPA bureaucrats makes the polar bear ruling look tame by comparison. So much power does this GOP-created agency hold that it can now dictate legislation to congress. Declared Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., “It's ‘a wake-up call for Congress’ — deal with it directly through legislation or let the EPA regulate”.

If you think I am exaggerating, consider that we now have a president who has vowed to bankrupt the coal industry, which supplies most of our electricity, in the name of fighting global warming. This, despite the fact that no evidence has yet surfaced that a gas that comprises less than 4/100ths of one percent of our atmosphere is or has ever been a significant factor in climate change.

News Item #2—From the Washington Times;

“Self-proclaimed victims of global warming or those who ‘expect to suffer’ from it - from beachfront property owners to asthmatics - for the first time would be able to sue the federal government or private businesses over greenhouse gas emissions under a little-noticed provision slipped into the House climate bill.

"Under the House bill, if a judge rules against the government, new rules would have to be drafted to alleviate the problems associated with climate change. If a judge rules against a company, the company would have to purchase additional "carbon emission allowances" through a cap-and-trade program that is to be created by Congress."

How does any company defend itself against the charge of causing climate change? It can’t and, of course, that is exactly the point. Needless to say, a dictatorship needs undefinable, vague, and arbitrary laws to consolidate its power. The avalanche of lawsuits to come will cripple one company after another, beginning with the energy industry. Start getting used to the lights not coming on when you flip the switch.

Never underestimate the power of ideas and of precedent. Once the power to regulate is initiated in a particular segment of a nation’s life, it grows exponentially, especially if it is based upon irrational ideas. The historical evidence is indisputable. The only way to stop it is to expose and challenge the fundamental abstract principles at its root. In yet another example of her ability to project future trends through philosophical detection, Ayn Rand warned us about what was then called the “ecology” movement, the hippie-laden precursor to the modern totalitarian environmentalist juggernaut. She wrote:

“The uncontested absurdities of today are the accepted slogans of tomorrow”.

And, I would add, the laws. One such uncontested (except by Rand) absurdity was inaugurated on April 22, 1970…the first Earth Day. The inability or unwillingness of Americans to understand and appreciate the actual meaning behind that concept has allowed Earth Day to evolve into a powerful symbol of an ideology that is anti-human life.

Ayn Rand coined the term “anti-industrial revolution” to describe the “ecology” movement of the 1960s and 1970s. That movement was the precursor to the modern environmentalist movement.

The basic premise of Environmentalism is that “nature” in its raw state…which means unaltered by human intervention…has intrinsic value. A volcano erupting and destroying Mount St. Helens, taking with it millions of trees and wild animals, is raw nature. Man clearing a forest and “destroying” an ecosystem to build a housing development is not. Animals devouring one another to survive is raw nature. Man using animals for the purpose of testing (human) life-saving medicines is not. Crop-destroying insects or plant diseases is raw nature. Insecticides and bio-engineered pest- and disease-resistant crops is not. A black primordial goo lying underground is raw nature. Gasoline and heating oil is not.

The common denominator of that which is not “raw” nature is that it represents the application of human intelligence to the advance of man’s well-being and survival. Life is a process of self-sustaining and self-generated action. Every living species, from the lowest bacteria to the most advanced mammals, must act according to its nature to sustain its life. In other words, every living species is provided by nature with some means of survival, which it must rely on and exercise.

There is one crucial fact of nature that sets man apart from every other living species. Every other species must adapt itself to its natural environmental background. It has no choice in the matter, since it basically has no way of altering that environment. It is thus equipped with the basic means of survival determined by its nature to survive in that manner. Any species that lacks or losses the means to adapt perishes. Man, however, is not equipped to adapt to raw nature. He must, if he is to survive and thrive, adapt his environmental background to his own needs…by building homes, inventing medical treatments, developing advanced agriculture, producing fuel for transportation and heating…all produced from exploiting the natural resources found in raw nature.

Environmentalism’s elevating of nature to a value status equal to or greater than man is a direct assault on, and denial of, man’s means of survival…his need to transform raw nature as dictated by his very nature. Since man’s primary, basic means of achieving this is his rational mind, the anti-science of environmentalism is thus anti-mind, which means anti-man.

Environmentalism should not be confused with the idea of developing cleaner methods of producing and consuming that which we need to survive and thrive. That is not what the leaders of the environmental movement have in mind. It is human production and technology that is the enemy. Following are some quotes from some of those leaders:

The collective needs of non-human species must take precedence over the needs and desires of humans.
—Dr. Reed F. Noss, The Wildlands Project

Human happiness, and certainly human fecundity, is not as important as a wild and healthy planets…Some of us can only hope for the right virus to come along.—David Graber, biologist, National Park Service

The extinction of the human species may not only be inevitable but a good thing....This is not to say that the rise of human civilization is insignificant, but there is no way of showing that it will be much help to the world in the long run.
—Economist editorial

I suspect that eradicating smallpox was wrong. It played an important part in balancing ecosystems.
—John Davis, editor of Earth First! Journal

We, in the green movement, aspire to a cultural model in which killing a forest will be considered more contemptible and more criminal than the sale of 6-year-old children to Asian brothels.
—Carl Amery

We have wished, we ecofreaks, for a disaster or for a social change to come and bomb us into Stone Age, where we might live like Indians in our valley, with our localism, our appropriate technology, our gardens, our homemade religion—guilt-free at last!
—Stewart Brand (writing in the Whole Earth Catalogue).

This last is the ideal that drives environmentalism…the return of mankind to a pre-industrial age when man lived “in harmony” with nature. A time when nature was worshipped, rather than exploited for human gain. Rather than a warm winter home, they long for an existence of savages cowering in fear of natural forces. The name itself, “Environmentalism”, captures the very essence of its meaning, just as Communism or Nazism captures the essence of those systems. In fact, statists of every stripe have latched on to the environmental movement to further their anti-capitalist agendas.

But make no mistake. The agenda of the environmentalists is to thwart, roll back, and destroy the life-giving technology and industrialization of the modern age. This is not to say that I believe that they will succeed. Most people don’t equate environmentalism with an anti-man’s-life agenda. There is a real danger, though, that they will succeed at advancing a statist agenda under cover of environmentalism, leading to a deteriorating economy, rising impoverishment, and possible dictatorship. I submit in evidence the two news items cited above.

By celebrating “Earth Day”, we should be aware of the enemies of man that we are helping to bring to power in America and around the world.

Rather than celebrate raw nature, as embodied in “Earth Day”, we should instead look around at all of the life-giving benefits we enjoy as a result of industrialization.

Earth Day is the “holiday” of the anti-industrial revolution. Instead, we should celebrate the holiday of the Industrial Revolution, Exploit The Earth Day!


Harold said...

I'm in the oil business and have been following this somewhat. It remains to be seen what will happen as congress debates and lobbyists lobby. In any case, it's very troubling, and it is my opinion that the intent here is to forcefully phase out these industries as quickly as possible. I also picked up on that lawsuit issue--it'll probably get changed, but who can tell?

George Reisman wrote an article on this where he laid out many of the philosophical and psychological motivations of this movement. In addition, he gave a talk on the subject and dealt with many of the concrete issues surrounding resources, their definition, and use.

So, what do we have? China and India continue to grow virtually unheeded by this nonsense, with little exception most companies here are unable to defend themselves morally, the leaders of industry compete in proclaiming their commitment to addressing climate change, and all the while, hundreds of millions of dollars and man-hours are wasted every year complying with absurd and immoral regulations.

Perhaps we should declare war on those countries that don't take the necessary steps to reduce their GHG's by 20% in the next ten years. It's a national security issue, and American lives are in danger.

Mike Zemack said...

"…most companies here are unable to defend themselves morally, the leaders of industry compete in proclaiming their commitment to addressing climate change…"While P.R. undoubtedly plays a roll in the way companies fall all over themselves to proclaim their “green-ness”, Harold's statement that they are unable to defend themselves may be a bigger factor, at least for larger companies. The case of ExxonMobil should send a chill up the spine of anyone who values liberty.

Exxon long was a leading challenger to the whole global warming movement…until two years ago, when it suddenly became a convert to the “cause”. What’s disturbing about this is that it came on the heels of a letter sent by two United States senators, John (Jay) Rockefeller IV (D-WV) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME), “…insisting that ExxonMobil end its funding of the climate change denial campaign by the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) and other organizations with similar purposes.”

The Wall Street Journal called that letter a “Global warming Gag Order”. It reported that It's to Exxon's credit that, in its response to the Senators, the company said that it will continue to fund free market research groups because "there is value in the debate" that helps promote “optimal public policy decisions.” Yet just weeks later, the company relented.

What’s disturbing about this is not the issue of climate change or any concrete issue as such. Regardless of who is right or wrong here, the fact that two sitting senators with regulatory, legal, and taxing power would so brazenly interfere in the exercise by a private citizen or company of their free speech rights shows how far from First Amendment principles America has strayed. Who knows what kind of pressure or threats were applied--anti-trust prosecution, for example. That Exxon caved soon after the letter is a classic example of Ayn Rand’s contention that “Without property rights, no other rights can be practiced.”As government power grows, the political establishment’s intolerance for dissent grows in tandem.

Mike Zemack said...

The link to the Wall Street Journal article in my previous comment appears to be broken. here it is again:

Global Warming Gag Order

Harold said...

Thanks for the links.

"Regardless of who is right or wrong here, the fact that two sitting senators with regulatory, legal, and taxing power would so brazenly interfere in the exercise by a private citizen or company of their free speech rights shows how far from First Amendment principles America has strayed."The idea of individual rights is now a foreign concept.

"Who knows what kind of pressure or threats were applied--anti-trust prosecution, for example."Ironically enough, Exxon and Mobil were the products of the antitrust crusade against John D Rockefeller.