Recently, the New Jersey Star-Ledger, reflecting the Environmentalist Left’s panic over Donald Trump’s election, railed that Trump's war on the environment must be fought locally., and urged people to gear up for the “People's Climate Mobilization in Washington on April 29.”
I left these comments:
The battle over climate change is a broader battle between environmentalism and human flourishing.
Humans survive and thrive by using reason and productive work to transform the raw environment to benefit human living. Environmentalists’ moral standard of value is unaltered nature. Therefore, Environmentalism is ideologically inimical to human well-being. Climate change is the main front in the Environmentalists’ war on human flourishing, and reliable energy led by fossil fuels and free market capitalism are the main targets of the Environmentalists because reliable energy is vital to industrial progress and freedom is the social condition vital to the production of industrial-scale energy.
For too long, the anti-humanists, with climate catastrophism as a cover, have had the political upper hand in America. They have convinced many that reliable energy, mainly fossil fuels but also non-carbon reliable sources like nuclear power and hydroelectric power, must be curtailed and eliminated regardless of the immense value they provide to human well-being and regardless of the catastrophic harm energy poverty will bring to people. Mind you, the Environmentalists are not just calling for minimizing the negative side-effects of energy production, but eliminating reliable energy as such—kind of like eliminating antibiotics because they entail some negative side-effects.
It’s about time we got the other side of the debate brought to the forefront. I will not judge Trump’s specific policies here. I do not know if Trump is the president to bring it about, being as unpredictable as he is. What I do know is that we need an honest debate that considers not just the negative side effects of reliable fossil fuel energy specifically and industrialization generally, but also their immense value based on a humanist standard of value—human well-being as the moral standard.
The climate catastrophists, aka climate alarmists, know that their case is garbage. That’s why they need to demonize “skeptics” as science deniers or climate deniers. That’s why they resort to neo-fascist tactics like the “AGs for Clean Power” coalition’s prosecutorial assault on dissenters under the guise of “fraud.” True, climate change is real, humans are one contributing factor, and everyone knows it. So what? The immense value of reliable energy including fossil fuels is far greater than whatever negatives carbon dioxide causes (which, by the way, must be balanced against the positive impacts of increased CO2, such as enhanced plant growth). But climate catastrophism is pure speculation peddled by primitives who are unconcerned with the human catastrophe their policies, if fully enacted, will cause. It’s about time we got a full, undemonized airing of the pro-humanist and progressive pro-energy side in the Climate debate in Washington.
The Star-Ledger observes, “The week actually began with a Pew poll that said that 55 percent of Americans believe the environment should be among Trump's top priorities. We hope the same people are making plans for April 29.”
This presupposes the question, “What do we mean by ‘the environment’?” Nobody wants dirty industrialization. No one wants wanton destruction of natural beauty, or polluted rivers, or dirty air—all of which can and should be subject to rational anti-pollution laws based on available technology and cost-benefit analysis. But pollution is not the issue. The question is, by “the environment” do we mean a transformed environment safe and conducive for human flourishing or an unaltered “natural” environment that leaves humanity subject to natural dangers that industrialism now protects us from?
There is no imagined “war on the environment.” The real battle is Environmentalism vs. Human Flourishing—i.e., an unaltered “natural” environment vs. a human environment. A loud and vocal minority will come out on April 29th, some well-intentioned but grossly misguided, but led by nihilistic energy-enemies like Environmentalist Bill McKibben and his ilk. Those of us who actually value our lives, the lives of our families, and those of future generations should reject it. I side with Human Flourishing.
The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels by Alex Epstein
Hans Rosling's 'Magic Washing Machine’