Charles Krauthammer lends his usual wit and psychiatrist’s prospective to the important issue of global warming. He is not convinced one way or the other and approaches the issue from a pragmatic point of view.
In his weekly column, he makes some very insightful comments:
Yet on the basis of this speculation, environmental activists, attended by compliant scientists and opportunistic politicians, are advocating radical economic and social regulation. “The largest threat to freedom, democracy, the market economy and prosperity,” warns Czech President Vaclav Klaus, “is no longer socialism. It is, instead, the ambitious, arrogant, unscrupulous ideology of environmentalism.”
The speculation he refers to concerns climate models, which are inherently not predictions but scenarios of the future climate based upon an evolving understanding of how nature operates. It is arrogant to assume we can predict with even 50% certainty what the earth’s climate will look like in 2080.
If you doubt the arrogance, you haven’t seen that Newsweek cover story that declared the global-warming debate over. Consider: If Newton’s laws of motion could, after 200 years of unfailing experimental and experiential confirmation, be overthrown, it requires religious fervor to believe that global warming — infinitely more untested, complex, and speculative — is a closed issue.
But why would Newsweek publish such a cover story?
But declaring it closed has its rewards. It not only dismisses skeptics as the running dogs of reaction, i.e., of Exxon, Cheney, and now Klaus. By fiat, it also hugely re-empowers the intellectual Left.
Here we go now. The left will be re-empowered.
Vaclav Klaus, who has been ripping global warming as a religion, condemning the tactics of a new Stalinism-like movement, sees the command-and-control mechanisms of the new “green-left” as a threat similar to communism.
For a century, an ambitious, arrogant, unscrupulous knowledge class — social planners, scientists, intellectuals, experts, and their left-wing political allies — arrogated to themselves the right to rule either in the name of the oppressed working class (Communism) or, in its more benign form, by virtue of their superior expertise in achieving the highest social progress by means of state planning (socialism).
Just as the ash heap of history beckoned, the intellectual Left was handed the ultimate salvation: environmentalism. Now the experts will regulate your life not in the name of the proletariat or Fabian socialism but — even better — in the name of Earth itself.
Are you green enough? You drive a huge SUV, how wasteful. Eat organic.
Barak Obama is cited as an expert on the subject, mixing in some foreign policy experience with his forward looking hope and change canard:
“We can’t drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times … and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK.”
How is this new technocracy going to control our every movement? Well, control carbon and they control your body. What you can eat, your energy usage, what you breathe out. It is all carbon.
“There’s no greater social power than the power to ration. And, other than rationing food, there is no greater instrument of social control than rationing energy, the currency of just about everything one does and uses in an advanced society.”
So what does the global-warming agnostic propose as an alternative? First, more research — untainted and reliable — to determine (a) whether the carbon footprint of man is or is not lost among the massive natural forces (from sunspot activity to ocean currents) that affect climate, and (b) if the human effect is indeed significant, whether the planetary climate system has the homeostatic mechanisms (like the feedback loops in the human body, for example) with which to compensate.
So, who wants to start rationing. Can you just imagine the amount of data that the government would be collecting to manage your life?