THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 527, July 12, 2009
"Robert McNamara It is good that he died."
Global Warming HysteriaThe Road to One World Socialism
Attribute to The Libertarian Enterprise
It should not be news to libertarians that the collapse of the Soviet Unionthe fountainhead of world socialismin December of 1991 set off a crises amongst all the leftist, socialist and communist organizations around the world. Suddenly their arguments of equality and state planning had the ground swept under them. Not ready to concede defeat, they needed another argument, another rationalization which they could use to browbeat the public into accepting state controls and regulations over the private industry.
The Earth Summit (or United Nations Conference on Environment and Development) held in Rio De Janeiro just a few months after the collapse of the Soviet Union, in June of 1992 provided them with just such an excuse: Climate Change. Thousands of left-wing NGOs around the world had converged at this summit and they hatched out a treaty called the Framework Convention on Climate Change. This was the birth of the Global Warming hysteria.
Before we get into the political agenda that this hysteria is driving, let us first consider the shoddy foundation of this whole sham: Average Temperature of the Earth.
II. Average Temperature of the Globe
The big question is this: is there such a thing as the average temperature of the globe? Another question: can this be precisely measured for any given year, let alone over the period of years?
The answer for both of these is unequivocally NO.
Libertarians need not get into the debate over the rise or fall of global temperature, the relation of greenhouse gases to the temperature, the role of sun etc. It is enough to prove that the whole yardstick of 'global average temperature' is incorrect as it stands and no model built upon itsuch as global warmingcan be accepted scientifically.
Let us first talk about Average. One calculates the average of a set, say classroom grades, by adding them all up and dividing by the number of objects in the set. For there to be an average measurement of any given property in a set, there have to be a number of objects in the set whose property can be measured accurately and independently. In our classroom example, one has to know the grades of the students for us to allow the addition and division which will give us the average grade.
Same criteria would apply to the task of inquiring about the average temperature of the earth. First, our globe would have to be divided into independent regions where there is an accurate uniformity of the temperature. Second, these regions would have be further divided into time zones: times at which there is an accurate uniformity of the temperature. Then one would have to keep accurate measurement of temperature across all these regions and time zones for one to allow the calculation of the average temperature of the globe.
And what a herculean task would that be! There are disparities between temperature of locations that are just miles apart, not to mention that temperature rises and falls over the course of the day. So we have a situation where, all around the earth, there is a wide disparity of temperature and it is changing by minutes, hours and days. The task of quantifying temperature of any given location for day after day would be hard in and of itself, but the task of quantifying temperature across all different regions of the globe, continuously for years would be next to impossible.
So, I have answered the second of the two questions I posed, that an average temperature of our globe cannot be precisely measured. Sure, we can make reasonable guesses about large swaths of time periods in the past such as the Ice Age; we can say earth in general would have been cooler during the Ice Age, then before or after. But we cannot say what the average temperature of our entire globe was for any particular year, let alone for decades and centuries. And let us not forget, many of these "scientist" of climate claim to have accurate and precise knowledge of temperature for years when mankind did not even know about the thermometers. (1)
Getting back to the first question: we can now answer that not only it is impossible to measure the average temperature of the globe, such a measurement if possible would only be a mathematical number without any real meaning. After all, what does it mean if the temperature increases by 2 degrees in Peru and decreases by 1 degree in Sahara desert? Their average is not the temperature that is actually 'felt' anywhere on the earth: it is simply an abstract mathematical measurement.
Just as an aside: we also have to consider the outliers. Take our earlier example of classroom grades. Suppose the average grade of the classroom rises by a small number, does that mean that the entire classroom is getting smarter? No, it could be a scenario where a few students have increased their grades by a lot, but most of the rest have had their grades decrease by a little. Yet the average takes no account of the outliers.
In the temperature debate, the global warming supporters claim that the average temperature has increased, but the increase claimed by them is so little, that even if average temperature could be measured precisely, a few outlier regions of the earth could easily account for the change.
Just as Austrian economists take a rational, logical approach to economic theory and scoff at empiricism, here too due to a lack of precise measurements(or even the possibility of precision),our best approach must be logical. And such an approach to the question of 'Average Global Temperature' leads us to conclude that this idea should be rejected and hence the whole edifice of global warming built upon it.
III. Socialist Political Agenda
Now, we must get into the question of the political agenda. It is not a revelation to libertarians that the state uses every sorry excuse it can muster to expand its power at the expense of our life, liberty and property. It is also not news that environmental movement pushes controls and regulations as means to achieve their goals. But while, most of the environmental "problems" concern a single industry, global warming is related to all the industries.
This presents a prime opportunity for the state and for the environmentalists to bring all the private industries under their command and control. Every industry needs energy and energy is demonized for contributing to "global warming". Knowing the political process very well, we can be all but certain that they will use global warming as an excuse to expand their power. And lest anybody think that they will only stop at businesses, they have also created the absurd concept of 'Carbon Footprint' as a Trojan horse to justify enviro-tyranny in individual's personal life.
According to environmentalists, we all have a carbon footprint when we use any product or service that has any correlation to fossil fuels somewhere in it's production cycle. Since, fossil fuels such as Oil, Gas and Coal are used to power majority of the industry and since oil byproducts are used in the production of many materials; a majority of our personal goods fall in their net. Thus, in the name of stopping 'Global Warming', enviro-tyrants can push the government to regulate our lifestyle: how we travel, what we eat, where we live, what our thermostat's will be set at, how much of what goods we can buy and how often; all these questions can be taken away from the realm of personal choice. If they have their way, the government will answer these questions for you. Folks, that is draconian tyranny, but if the environmentalists manage to bamboozle the people and the politicians into taking the nonsense of global warming seriously, then 'lifestyle regulations' will not be far behind.
Private industry will be especially hard hit. What do you call it when government makes the production decisions of a business? You might as well call it socialism, even absent formal state ownership, because the right to make the business decisions is the hallmark of ownership. And what will be the excuse to give the government the right to impose production decisions on the businesses: carbon footprint. Environmentalists and power hungry opportunist statists will claim that allowing businessmen to make their own production decisions leads to 'energy waste and larger than acceptable carbon footprint'. Remember the enviro-state alliance gets to decide what is the 'acceptable' level, that means they also get the final say over a company's business decisions, as that is the only way to bring carbon footprint to an 'acceptable' level. That is, acceptable to enviro-commies.
Non-ideological opportunists are also gearing up to feast on the businesses whose only crime is aiding in the uplift of mankind from a primitive life to a more civilized one. An article in the June 2008 issue of Atlantic Monthly reports that a few trial lawyers are getting ready to hit the energy industry with lawsuits to recover damages allegedly from global warming.(2) They are also planning on going after energy industry's attempt to defend itself by labelling it an attempt to "falsely sow public doubt"(3). Businessmen are not to be allowed even the First Amendment protections to make their case. If these nefarious lawsuits succeed not only will they wreak havoc with energy industry and raise the already exuberant prices for all of us, but they will also allow every self-proclaimed "victim" anywhere on the globe to extort money from American energy industry by blaming his local flood, storm, cyclone, what have you on America's high carbon emissions and thus on American energy companies.
But American companies won't be the only ones, as this global warming baloney is billed as a global problem, environmentalists and statists will push for a global control. They are already doing it through the Kyoto Protocol, but fortunately United States has not ratified it. How long this will be the case, cannot be said with any certainty as global warming hysteria is reaching the level of mania. What is certain is that private industry all over the world will become subservient to a gaggle of tyrannical enviro-commie internationalist bureaucrats who will have the last word, directly or indirectly through national governments, over the final business and production decisions of all the companies.
That is One World Socialism for you.
IV. Libertarian Response
Most libertarians understand that global warming is nothing more than global hoaxing. It is a prime opportunity for the state to regulate every aspect of our life and our businesses. No wonder then, it has been embraced so wholeheartedly by the governments of almost all the countries.
What are the libertarians to do? First, we must awaken our natural allies in this area, the businessmen who run energy, natural resource and utility companies, and the workers who work there, of this agenda. Most are under the illusion that global warming proponents and environmentalists in general are simply after a clean environment. Nothing could be further from the truth. Hardcore environmentalists hate industrial civilization and global warming is the best bandwagon they can jump on to promote de-industrialization. Hence, businessmen and employees of such companies should forget about kow-towing to environmentalists. The more ground that is yielded, the more that will be demanded, till a point reaches where economic deprivation starts kicking in and the industrial progress starts going backwards.
The only way to stop them is to call out their fraud openly, loudly and publicly and libertarians should take the lead in this.
1. Such methods as the ones relying upon Antarctic ice core or tree rings should be dismissed out of hand because at most they can only convey knowledge as to their surroundings, not about our enormously large planet.