Monday, February 12, 2007

Czech Mate

Vaclav Klaus is a big free marketeer in the Czech Republic. He pulverizes the recent global warming report and the associated "green" philosophy. He puts his finger on what bothers many of us about the constant "global warming" mantra. First, it is contradicted as an empirical matter by a number of data points. Second, there could be many things out of our hands creating any warming observed. For instance here is evidence that the same phenomena that gave the Fantastic Four their powers, influences Global Warming.

Third, the proposed "fixes" for the problems either will do no good or will cause massive economic dislocation or both.

Fourth, the people most exercised about Global Warming have a track record on environmental problems that leads me not to trust them with anything. Many are "Gaea" worshippers, nuff said. Others used to fear "Global cooling", or "nuclear winter" or overpopulation of the planet. All of these threats have disappeared in the quarter of a century I have been aware of such controversies. None went away because of massive government spending or because of the creation of a large bureaucracy. (Ok, maybe Reagan's Defense buildup lowered the chances of nuclear winter and European bureaucracy has made it too expensive to have kids but that is not what the Left said about them while they were being implemented). Famously, the late Julian Simon bet Paul Ehrlich, doomsayer, on the price of any commodity of Ehrlich's choice. Wikepedia shows the result here:
Ehrlich's "Fate of the Earth" was huge in the 70's. Much bigger than "An Inconvenient Truth" is today. And it was mostly all wrong. But Ehrlich was lauded. He got a "MacArthur Genius Grant" and made a fortune selling doom. Getting rid of DDT in the Third World was a disaster for human health but has never been revisited based on new knowledge.

I have never sensed any understanding of relative risk from the "global warming" crowd. They present their solutions as costless. "Tragedy of the Commons" arguments are attractive to conservatives for obvious reasons. But from Kyoto, which exempts the two most populous nations in the world, to the EU, which has increased its relative output of greenhouse gasses to that of the U.S. during George Bush's tenure despite hectoring the U.S. constantly on the subject, Global Warmers seem unserious. Opposition to nuclear power and the disaster of subsidy and stupidity that is ethanol also does not give me any confidence in "green" solutions.

Finally, the shrill attack on anyone breaking away from the consensus developing on "Global Warming" reminds me of all the other subjects the Left has made forbidden to discuss in polite company. They may, like a blind squirrel finding its acorn, be right this time but I don't think its the way to bet.

I look forward to Klaus' book.

Update: Ross at the American Scene has similiar thoughts:

Unlike Ross I did not support the forcible removal of Saddam because the right people were doing so. It was then and continues to be the right thing to do. However, he is on the money that in areas where we lack knowledge we tend to go with those who are tempermentally and ideologically congenial.


LAM said...

There's a good idea: leave science to right wing economists.

jjv said...

Better than Leftwing philosophers.

Dave S. said...

Aha! That comment makes marginally more sense here.

CRH said...

Do you ever get tired of virtually nothing you say being based in fact? Although I will grant you that Vaclav Klaus is a right-wing economist and a global warming skeptic.

Someday I hope you will overcome your confusion between science and the uses to which science is put (not that this is your only error in yet another atrocious blog post).

jjv said...

All that I say is based on fact. The fact that I am error free.

I felt that once I got no CRH feedback on "Jim Webb was Right" there was nothing that would bestir you to comment. This has freed me up to just go off.

LAM said...

nomad has spoken

CRH said...

No one reading this blog is under the illusion that you needed the slightest encouragement to just go off.

Good one, lam.