Thursday, January 16, 2014

"Market Failure" to Blame for Invasion of the Polar Vortex?

I've responded to a lot of letters pumping catastrophic human-caused climate change and calling for massive government intervention into the economy—and in particular against fossil fuels—as the solution. But the New Jersey Star-Ledger letter Cold Weather Reflects Unstable Climate has got to be read to be believed. Submitted by Joseph Robertson, a volunteer for some outfit called the Citizens Climate Lobby, the letter claims that

Science has clearly shown that excess thermal energy "loads the dice" for added release of climate energy through unusual weather events: We are operating in a climate system unlike any seen throughout the entire history of the human species . . .

I left these comments:

I won't even comment on the nonsense spewed in the first two paragraphs, which rediculously imply that these types of cold waves are something unusual and new. That's covered pretty well below. The last paragraph is my concern:

"We need solutions that will reduce negative human impact on the global climate-energy balance, and stave off devastating climate destabilization. We can do this by correcting the market’s failure to price carbon emitting fuels honestly and transitioning to the more robust, more democratic clean energy economy."

To translate: When someone claims "market failure" in support of some government economic intervention, what they're really saying is, "I don't like the choices others make, so I'm going to impose my choices on them at the point of a gun"—i.e., by law.

The bogus idea that carbon emitting fuels are not priced "honestly" is based on the fallacy that all of the external effects of fossil fuel use are negative. But, what about the vastly greater positives? What about the water purification and delivery systems, waste disposal systems, central heating and air conditioning, illumination, transportation, advanced healthcare and high tech, just to name a few of the modern marvels that support our living standards and life expectancies, the highest and longest in the history of mankind? None of that is possible without reliable, plentiful, economical energy provided primarily by fossil fuels. And if weather extremes really are getting worse—a dubious assumption—how is mankind to protect itself against these extremes without that steady, reliable energy? How will once again placing people at the mercy of nature's hostile forces, as they were before the industrial revolution, an improvement? With the return of such misery, who the hell would care about imperceptibly less "extreme" weather?

"Market Failure" is statists' rationalization for more tyrannical government. The market—the sum of the voluntary contractual choices between countless consumers and producers—is the only honest pricing mechanism for fossil fuels (or any product). Anything involving force is tyranny and immoral.

Climate ideologues fantasize about a "clean energy" bonanza SOMEHOW coming into existence if we only tax and regulate the fossil fuel industry enough, crippling it as environmentalists have the non-carbon emitting nuclear industry. Well, if "clean energy" like wind and solar can carry the load of industrial civilization, and be economically competitive with fossil fuels, let them prove it. Let Robertson and his ilk produce it themselves and offer it up for sale on the free market, without government intervention—and leave the rest of us who love life free to make our own choices. That is not "market failure." That is liberty and respect.

Don't be fooled. The climate ideologues are not concerned with a livable HUMAN environment, which requires reshaping and improving the planet to human benefit through technology. In the name of "science"—the climate authoritarians' tool of statism—the climate ideologues would impose much higher costs on consumers for the reliable, plentiful energy provided by fossil fuels. And that's the best case scenario. At worst, climate ideologues would force a total transition to an alleged "clean energy economy," and thus collapse our healthy, clean, life-serving industrial economy at great cost to human life. Science was once used to justify eugenics, which led to the Nazi horror—and socialism, which led to the communist slaughterhouse. We should not allow another such gang—the climate ideologues—to commandeer science to justify crippling fossil fuel energy production and bring on an even worse human catastrophe.

As an aside, the recent cold wave is not a common, every winter occurrence. But neither is it that unusual. As the New York Daily News reports:

    The polar vortex, referred by NBC weather icon Al Roker as a "Polar Hurricane," is a weather system that is usually seen in Canada, but has moved south.
    "It's not rare at all," AccuWeather senior forecaster John Gresiak told the Daily News on Monday. "It's an upper-level low pressure system which is usually found over or near the polar regions. I would just describe it as a pool of very cold air."
    Every so often, "the action of the jetstream" and other atmospheric factors can force the vortex south. This polar vortex will only last approximately 24 hours, Gresiak said.
    "While most of the time its in northern Canada, once in a while it will drop further south, and thats [sic] what's happening right now," he said.
    Vortexes can occur "every few years to some extent" in the U.S., but the last one south of Canada this extreme took place in 1994, Gresiak said.
    "It was even colder than it is now," he said.

Just to prove how utterly false the claims of Cold Weather Reflects Unstable Climate is, the Associated Press reported that cold waves of 2013-14 magnitude are becoming less prevalent. As AP reports,

    In the past 115 years, there have been 58 days when the national average temperature dropped below 18. Carbin said those occurrences often happen in periods that last several days so it makes more sense to talk about cold outbreaks instead of cold days. There have been 27 distinct cold snaps.
    Between 1970 and 1989, a dozen such events occurred, but there were only two in the 1990s and then none until Monday.
    "These types of events have actually become more infrequent than they were in the past," said [Greg] Carbin, who works at the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla. "This is why there was such a big buzz because people have such short memories."
Or just plain dishonest. If anything, the climate is becoming more stable as it warms.

Related Reading:

The Church of Climate Scientology: How Climate Science Became a Religion—Alex Epstein

Markets Don't Fail—Brian P. Simpson

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