Today thousands are marching in New York City to demand cuts in fossil fuel use in order to save us from climate change. Left-wing mouthpieces are chiming in and offering editorial support. One such mouthpiece is the New Jersey Star-Ledger.
The editors open their editorial, Building a movement on climate, with:
Great social movements start in the streets. Civil Rights. Women’s rights. The anti-war rallies. Gay marriage. It usually ends with legislators getting nervous and riding the tide of public opinion toward something resembling insight and action.
This much is true. As I’ve noted before, politicians never lead. The editors continue:
The People’s Climate March is expected to draw at least 100,000, and its goal is to support the U.N. Climate Summit across town, while alerting the world to the risk that carbon pollution will turn our planet into a cosmic hothouse.
It’s also true that this movement is driven by apocalyptic climate models predicting planetary doom. But those predictions are window dressing. Cataclysmic environmental alarmism is a front to cover up the real motive; hatred for capitalism, science, technology, and industrialization—the very things that have turned earth into a livable human environment.
The editors lament:
Not everyone will listen: One party in Washington still finds science politically prudent to repudiate, even though EPA chairmen from the last four Republican administrations (including Christine Todd Whitman) told Congressional climate change deniers in June that they are playing with fire.
The science is irrefutable as the symptoms unfold before our eyes, as predicted. Melting glaciers, severe storms, rising temperatures, decaying coral reefs, and so on.
Noting that “the real work is political,” the editors offer their solution to the climate alarmists’ doom and gloom scenario:
There is no great mystery about the answer this demands: We need to make it more costly to burn fossil fuels with a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade system. The money could be returned to taxpayers for no net loss, or used to subsidize green energy.
Leftists always label opponents of their political agenda as science “repudiators” or “climate change deniers” and the like—monikers designed to smear opponents as ignorant or equivalent of holocaust deniers.
I left these comments:
“Great social movements start in the streets.”
I agree. The Tea Party started that way. But not all such movements are great. Some are terrible. E.G.; Peoples Climate March.
Never mind the climate science. Science only tells you what is happening and why. It doesn’t tell you what to do about it politically. It doesn’t tell you, for example, that the risks of drastically curtailing fossil fuel use will be devastating to millions and billions of lives. Fossil fuels are contributing to climate change? So what? Getting rid of fossil fuels would be far worse for humans than anything climate change would throw at us. No good can come of policies that make storms slightly less severe, if humans no longer have the energy capacity to protect ourselves from them. Nazi Germany was built on science—the science of eugenics. Look what happened when they modeled their government policies on that science. Soviet communism was built on Marx’s “scientific socialism”. Politicized “science” is not science.
What’s missing is balance. Where is the recognition of the human life-serving benefits of fossil fuels? Coping with climate requires clean, reliable, affordable, industrial-scale energy. Thanks mostly to fossil fuels, we have it. Droughts, rising sea levels, hurricanes, floods, blizzards, heat and cold waves, and wildfires—to the extent they occur, for whatever reason—are much easier for humans to adapt to and cope with today, thanks to fossil fuels. Our environment has never been cleaner—cleaner air, cleaner water, cleaner safer domestic and industrial waste disposal, all thanks mostly to fossil fuel energy-driven high-tech processing systems. Fossil fuels have made our planet environmentally better than ever. Climate related deaths have plummeted 98% over the past century and a half, to record lows—in countries that adopted fossil fuel use on a mass scale. In India and China—two rapidly industrializing countries—life expectancies have risen 10-15 years over the past few decades largely because of fossil fuel-driven industrial-technological progress. Western countries’ life expectancies are higher than ever.
Environmentalists perpetuate the myth that fossil fuels are dirty and unsafe. But as energy expert Alex Epstein notes in his upcoming book, The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels:
The environmental benefits of using fossil fuels far outweigh the risks. Fossil fuels don’t take a naturally clean environment and make it dirty; they take a naturally dirty environment and make it clean. They don’t take a naturally safe climate and make it dangerous; they take a naturally dangerous climate and make it ever safer.
Mainstream liberals like the Star-Ledger at least understand that you can’t get rid of fossil fuels until you get reliable replacement. They like “climate change science” mainly for political reasons; to rationalize higher taxes, more energy controls, more “renewable” energy welfare, etc. (but not, mysteriously, for a crash program of nuclear power, the ultimate clean reliable energy). But the hard core of the Peoples Climate March is demanding immediate, drastic cuts in fossil fuels, to the terrible detriment of billions of human lives. They are racists of the worst kind. They’re not against any particular color or nationality. They’re against human beings as such. They are human racists, because their agenda is monstrous.
I continue to believe that the only moral and practical way to go is for the market—meaning, the voluntary contractual choices of energy producers and consumers—to be left free of government interference and favoritism. Only then will the best energy mix consistent with human well-being come to pass. Government’s guns should be kept out of it. Will the "climate" champions demanding “alternative energy” then rise to the occasion, and invest their own time and money to create the “clean” energy technologies that can replace fossil fuels, as only capitalism leaves them free to do? Or are they just a bunch of armchair hypocrites who want to sit back, attack the fossil fuel producers their fellow man depends on, and stamp their feet demanding that somebody else somehow make their energy fantasies come true?
The Peoples Climate March claims it is fighting for
a world with an economy that works for people and the planet; a world safe from the ravages of climate change; a world with good jobs, clean air and water, and healthy communities.
But that is akin to sugary coating on a poisoned apple. They need the coating to make their agenda appeared palatable. As The Objective Standard’s Ari Armstrong observed:
Although environmentalists sometimes couch their policies in terms of improving the world for human benefit—if they didn’t they wouldn’t get much cultural or political traction—fundamentally the environmentalist movement regards humankind as a blight on the earth whose productive activities are inherently immoral.
This is the truth that must be kept in mind, as you consider a world without the reliable energy our homes, businesses, and transportation depend on.
Voices for Reason on the Peoples Climate March—Amanda Maxham
The Secret History of Fossil Fuels—Alex Epstein, The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels, Chapter 1
The Environmentalists’ War on People—Ari Armstrong