Friday, October 12, 2007

Global Warming Is Socialist Science

Lubos Motl at The Reference Frame is discussing Al Gore and his movie An Inconvenient Truth.

Left-wing people are rarely right in politics. If they were right, they wouldn't be left. But this audio is a remarkable exception. A self-described mildly left-wing professor criticizes the British conservatives at their CPS Fringe Event and he is quite right.

What the British conservatives are doing in the context of climate change - such as the recently proposed plasma TV ban - is absolutely outrageous and it is very good that Philip Stott told them in his inimitable way.

Nigel Lawson, one of the brightest politicians in the U.K. history, speaks after Philip Stott.
The audio Lubos mentions, along with a number of others can be found here. Or if you prefer, here is a direct link to the Lord Nigel Lawson - Audio. For the "plasma TV ban" link visit the Reference Frame. The audio opens with Windows Media Player so ignore any error messages that come up when you try to open the file with that player. I haven't tried any other players.

I'd like to discuss one of the more interesting quotes from the audio. Let me note that the speeches are delivered in British House of Commons style which I have always enjoyed.
I am absolutely amazed that the Conservatives above all others have been tempted to fall for the hubristic idea that we can control climate predictably, and I will return to that word "predictably", by big government. By taxes that are injurious to industry and to business. By taxes that are retrogressive on the poor and by attempting to micro-manage every single aspect of people's lives.

Policies which stand 100% agaist those on which the CPS itself was founded by Keith Joseph and Margaret Thatcher.

It is a serious issue "global warming", but it is politically serious not scientifically serious.

I fear that Conservatives above all, have for the last two or three years, been walking blindly into a socialist elephant trunk.
And that is just at the beginning of the Philip Stott segment of the audio. You should go and listen to the whole thing.

We are seeing this same push in America to bring in totalitarianism through the back door. By the Global Warming hysteria, with Medical Totalitarianism and of course with the control mechanism that is the grand daddy of them all The Drug War. Two themes are predominant: "for the children" and boy do they love to whip that one. The other of course is "we are trying to do something about a problem so serious that it imperils life on the planet". Take the DDT scare. Cecil Adams of Straight Dope has this to say.
While DDT is highly toxic to insects and fish and can poison other animals in large enough doses, in moderate amounts it's not especially harmful to birds and mammals, including humans. (Ironically, the EPA's own judge agreed, but was overruled by its chief administrator.) No one has conclusively proved that DDT can give you cancer. The cause of eggshell thinning is likewise poorly understood.

On the other hand, DDT is demonstrably effective at controlling the mosquitoes and other insects that transmit malaria and typhus. Thanks principally to DDT, in the years after World War II malaria was eradicated in the U.S. and sharply curtailed in many tropical countries. Venezuela recorded eight million cases of malaria in 1943; by 1958 that number was down to eight hundred. The World Health Organization estimates that DDT saved 50 to 100 million lives during this period, and that's just counting malaria prevention. In recent years, however, the disease has staged a comeback. Globally it quadrupled during the 1990s, and it's even reappeared sporadically in the United States. The resurgence of malaria is due to a variety of factors, including changes in land use and possibly climate, and some experts say the phasing out of DDT is one of them.

I don't mean to suggest that DDT is benign. On the contrary, it's a potent contact toxin, and though it breaks down quickly in sunlight, it's much more persistent in soil and water and accumulates in plants and fatty animal tissues with long-term exposure. But its drawbacks have to be weighed against its benefits. Malaria currently infects 300 to 500 million people annually, mostly in Africa, and causes as many as 2.7 million deaths. Alternative methods of mosquito control cost more and are less effective. Some 400 scientists and doctors have signed a petition opposing the inclusion of DDT among the 12 persistent organic pollutants (POPs) to be banned under a United Nations treaty now up for ratification, and a few public health experts are campaigning to bring DDT back. DDT isn't a panacea; India, which still uses it, suffered nasty outbreaks of malaria in the 90s, and insects in many parts of that country have become resistant to the chemical. But it remains an important tool, and in a time of rising global pestilence we shun it at our peril.
These hysterias get ginned up every so often and the there is always one and only one solution proposed. More government control.

The end goal of course is to free the world to follow exactly the dictates of government.

My answer is that the best protection for all men is Liberty. Let me quote a few of our founders:

"I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." — Thomas Jefferson (Letter to Archibald Stuart - 1791)

"When governments fear the people there is liberty. When the people fear the government there is tyranny." — Thomas Jefferson (attributed to Jefferson, by his contemporaries)

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." — Benjamin Franklin (on the title page of An Historical Review of the Constitution and Government of Pennsylvania - 1759)

"I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of freedoms of the people by gradual and silent encroachment of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations." — James Madison (attributed to Madison, by his contemporaries)

Cross Posted at Classical Values

From the list at Action America

No comments: