Sunday, December 1, 2013

"Sustainable" Material Bounty Requires Sustainable, Reliable Energy—Like Fossil Fuels

In response to the Star-Ledger's editorial asserting America's "deep moral responsibility to reduce our own emissions" to alleviate the alleged effects of climate change, especially on "poor" nations, a supportive letter was published on 11/29/13. Dubbed Climate change: The entire world’s problem, the letter writer agreed and stated:

As we give thanks this [Thanksgiving] week for the bounty we enjoy, let’s also pause to think about the implications for others — and for ourselves, ultimately — if we don’t find ways to create this material bounty more sustainably. We know it can be done, through better technology, and by changing our tax burden off labor and onto fossil fuels. It just requires the good will and common sense to act.

"Sustainable" refers to the ability to power our industrial civilization by generating energy without using up natural "resources." This is also known as so-called "renewable" energy. Alex Epstein demolishes this idiocy. I left these comments:

We've already found "ways to create this material bounty more sustainably"; a free market economy powered by cheap, reliable energy provided by nuclear, hydro-electric, and—especially—fossil fuels, which provide 87% of the energy that powers the developed world's life-sustaining industrialization.

America and other advanced Western nations have the most prosperous living standards and cleanest, safest environments in world history. They have plentiful clean water, indoor plumbing, environmentally safe kitchens, clean central heating and air conditioning, advanced transportation systems that can enable mass evacuations in advance of storms, plentiful, uninterrupted food production and distribution, and a general ability to recover rapidly and move on from natural disasters—and much more. In the last 200 years, life expectancies have nearly doubled and climate-related deaths have declined 98%—all primarily because of fossil fuel energy-driven industrialization.

What separates the "rich" developed nations from the "poor" developing nations in their ability to cope with nature's ever-present, ongoing threats to human well-being? Industrialization, driven primarily by fossil fuels.

The only moral responsibility the West owes poor countries is to encourage them to industrialize by continuing to open up the world's markets so those nations' people can freely engage in trade with producers from America and elsewhere. That, and encourage them to adopt the fundamental cause of human advancement—the liberation of the individual's reasoning mind, production, and trade that is only to be found under capitalist economic/political freedom. The rest is up to them.

The real threat to the world is not climate change, but the insanity of de-industrialization masquerading as "carbon pollution" reduction. Forget the Left's latest socialist mantra, "climate justice." We need real justice. Western leaders should unequivocally reject not only demands for financial “compensation” to developing nations but also pressure to hamper its own citizens' individual rights and prosperity—and ability to protect themselves from nature's hostile forces—through forced cut-backs on CO2 emissions. America and company should not apologize for its "carbon pollution"—its citizens' earned prosperity. It should encourage more of it—for ourselves and the entire world. 

America's political leaders do have a moral obligation; to proudly defend our political and economic lifestyle, our citizens’ industrial achievements, and the heroic, life-giving fossil fuel industry that powers and enables it.

The entire world's problem is generating a livable environment in the face of nature, which is, in its raw state, hostile to human flourishing and survival. Climate fluctuations are incinsequential compared with that task.

Related Reading:

Obama Should Approve the Keystone Pipeline for Economic AND Environmental Reasons

Progressive Energy vs. "Renewable" Energy—Alex Epstein

Fossil Fuels improve the Planet—Alex Epstein

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