Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at intelligent and rational individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

"Observe that the 'haves' are those who have freedom, and that it is freedom that the 'have-nots' have not." Ayn Rand

"The virtue involved in helping those one loves is not 'selflessness' or 'sacrifice', but integrity." Ayn Rand

24 June 2008

Brits Unconvinced Man Caused Global Warming

Ipsos MORI polled 1,039 adults in Great Britain and found that 6 out of 10 agreed that "many scientific experts still question if humans are contributing to climate change." Four out of ten agree that they "sometimes think climate change might not be as bad as people say." About 20% answered each question with a refusal to commit response. After years of much worse global warming propaganda in Great Britain even than we are subjected to here in the United States, the British public clearly has major doubts.

Many people did not want to place restrictions on their lifestyles. A small minority claimed to be willing to make significant and radical changes in their lifestyle, such as driving and flying less. More than half did not have confidence in international and British leaders to tackle climate change. Two-thirds want the government to do more, but nearly as many said they saw green taxes simply as 'stealth' taxes. The tax doubters are the perceptive ones.

The Global Warming Alarmists had hoped that the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report last year would finally convince the Britons of the Global Warming Crisis. It is said that 2,500 scientists found a 90% chance that humans were the main cause of climate change and warned that drastic action was needed to cut greenhouse gases. Actually, many scientists making contributions to the scientific review portion of the report do not agree with the summary portion of the report written largely by politicians and a few hand-picked scientists. Many critical scientists dropped out of the UN working groups in protest over how their scientific work and assessments were used in previous reports. Some of the public have doubts due to seeing the documentary "The Great Global Warming Swindle" on TV and due to such books as that of Lord Lawson, a former Chancellor, who questions the consensus on climate change.

This is all very bad news for those in the UK government who aim to cut greenhouse emissions by 20% over the next 12 years. It is not looking as though the British people are on-board for such personal deprivation for such a dubious rationale.

The socialists have turned to environmentalism as a means to acquire power after their boast that they could provide everyone more worldly goods fell on its face and Capitalism emerged as the clear victor for providing people with more food, better clothing, better housing, better health care, more interesting jobs and entertainment, and a wider variety of personal choices. The only self-consistent collectivist environmentalist is one who wishes to return man to the status of the Noble Savage. For the moment, they are using scientists to provide a rationale for their grab for power. They are buying many of them with generous research money and a huge amount of media attention. As a result, many scientists are playing the Global Warming alarmist game with them. This is a close parallel to the old socialist technique of paying Capitalists for the rope that the socialist plans to use to hang the Capitalist with. When the public catches on that many scientists are leading them down a road of personal deprivation for reasons that are not sound, the public will lose its regard for science. The socialist environmentalists will have used the avarice and desire for attention of many scientists to totally discredit them and science itself.

Once the socialists have the power provided by the claim that they are saving the earth from the depredations of man, they will have no use for science and scientists. It will be enough to lead men suffused with superstition, teased by rumors, and fed and dreaming up conspiracies. Science will only cause problems in this quest to return man to the state of the Noble Savage as it approaches its goal. For now, bribed scientists are a tool to help the socialists to power. Later they are expendable. No, they are an impediment to be eliminated. These scientists have been only too willing to hand the socialists the rope to hang them with. The Capitalist society has been the great provider for science as both have evolved from the philosophy of the Enlightenment. As the socialists make further progress in destroying Capitalism, its destruction will entail the death of science.

Just as the production of goods and services flourishes in a free market place, so do ideas and technical developments prosper in a free market. Socialism is clearly the antithesis of the free market for goods and services. What people understand less well is that ideas and new inventions depend just as much upon the freedom of individuals to make their own choices and to pursue their own happiness. The market place of ideas must be as free as that for goods and services if ideas are to be explored and understanding is to be realized in the life of man.

As a part of the socialist agenda against Capitalism and the market place of ideas, the federal government scientist Dr. James Hanson of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies has called for using the courts to prosecute those politicians who deny the idea that man has caused Global Warming and that this is a disaster. Dr. Hanson is one of the media's favorite alarmists. Another prominent scientist alarmist had already made the same call. This scientist is Dr. David Suzuki, a Canadian scientist who became a producer of environmentalist documentaries and is well-known to the watchers of the CBC. Apparently scientists of the socialist environmentalist persuasion are highly inclined to the elimination of free inquiry and freedom of conscience. This tendency is broadly based in the postmodernist, multicultural, and environmentalist fascist socialist worldview.

Thanks to Robert Bidinotto for directing my attention to the article on the poll of the British people and to the comments of Dr. Hanson and Dr. Suzuki.


miss breeziness said...

You know something - when I read the passage in Atlas Shrugged that talked about how Dagny thought how "Dr. Ferris, the man of science, was looking forward to the day when men returned to the hand-plow", it reminded me of environmentalists and their attitude today. Now your article has reminded me again.

However, I think that it's not so much of a desire to have power over others as plain old liberal guilt. Have you ever read a book called "Guilt, Blame and Politics" by Allan Levite? He makes a convincing case that socialists of all stripes do not wish to have power over others - they want it wielded over them, so they can have some excuse for their privileged rich environmentally-unfriendly lifestyles that they themselves believe to be morally wrong, but really don't want to give up.

Then again, no matter what the motivation, this desire to coerce the human race into much-reduced prosperity, using global warming as an excuse, is NOT good by any means.

Charles R. Anderson said...

Miss Breeziness,

Thanks for the very interesting comment on the motivation of many socialists. This observation that guilt is playing a major role is a very good one. The power motivation is also real, though for most people it is probably more like that of a parent toward his or her children. There is this elitist assumption that they know better than most others how those others should be living their lives and what their dreams should be. They really want to control others as they might their own children, though because they enlist state power to do so, they are less likely to accommodate the individuality of others than they would that of their own children.

I have not read the book by Allan Levite. I shall have to look for it. Thanks for the recommendation.

So his thesis sounds a bit of a parallel to someone enjoying BDSM so they will not feel guilty about having sex. Sorry, but I always have problems trying to imagine why people feel guilty about being happy, about having a nice house, or about enjoying sex. But, it is clear that many people are at war with their own happiness and well-being. This is man's greatest tragedy and you are right to identify it as a major motivator for liberal politics.

Thanks again for a perceptive comment.

miss breeziness said...

Oh, if you read that book by Allan Levite, you will know exactly why you are immune to that kind of thinking, but some others aren't. Levite makes the case that doing hard work and shouldering responsibility is an antidote to free-floating guilt feelings. I never had to do much of either myself, in the old days. :)

Although, I do find it convincing that lots of socialists desire the kind of power over their fellowmen that you mentioned. People hardly ever only have one motivation for any action, actually. That's a point I believe Levite missed out on.

Charles R. Anderson said...

One of the most common mistakes that liberals make is the failure to allow for how extremely differentiated and individual people actually are. People are also extremely complex and this complexity gives rise to an incredible wealth of individuality. Government and its programs can never accommodate this complexity and individuality. This is perhaps the most fundamental reason why government must be minimal and simply allow people to form the voluntary associations they want in a free society.

Because they are so complex, it is no surprise that they do things for complex structures of reasons. You are again perceptive in understanding this. Some of my essays of 2005 emphasized such issues.

It always amazes me when people say the American Civil War was fought to free the slaves. Well, yes, in part. It was true that the South wanted to preserve slavery, but it also wanted to preserve states rights and to minimize federal power expansion. Most Southerners did not own slaves. They did not like the northern interest in trade, tariffs, and banking issues. The Northerners mostly wanted to preserve the union, but some wanted to free the slaves. Others thought free slaves would be a lot of trouble and were not too eager to have them freed. Some people opposed slavery simply because they did not want to have Africans in America and they cooked up schemes to send Africans back to Africa if they were freed men. The motivations for the war were complex and this should be no surprise.

On learning the dignity of hard work and taking responsibility, I was fortunate in having a great father. When we lived in NJ in the 1950s, he would put Crazy Otto and his piano on the intercom and wake us up on Saturday mornings to do the chores. I scrubbed the kitchen floor and and the bathroom floors. I also cut the grass. My Dad and I put up a fence. I watched over my two younger sisters at the time. Ultimately, I had 4 sisters and a brother to watch over. Taking responsibility was expected and it always seemed a natural thing to do. My Dad was away on cruises often and I was left to be the Man of the House when I was 8. It made me proud that my Dad put so much trust in me and that my Mom so seemed to appreciate my help and reliability.