I am informed this morning by my relatively free press that Senate Democrats held an all-night talk fest on the floor of the United States Senate making speeches about climate change. The alleged purpose of this talk-fest was to attempt to move the needle of the public’s awareness of this scourge, since recent polls have suggested that we rank it 14th on our list of most pressing problems…right after heartburn and just before crappy tasting lite beer.
This issue is a witch’s brew of contradictions and hypocrisies. On the one hand, we are constantly being lectured about its dangers by limousine liberals who live in 20,000 square feet McMansions and fly around the world in Co2 belching private jets making a killing selling carbon credits, who now that they’ve got theirs, want the rest of the world to give up air conditioning. On the other hand we have conservatives who receive millions in campaign cash from the Oil barons, telling us that even if there is a problem with the climate, it ain’t because of us. Those environmentalist wackos are just this generation’s flavor of Marxism whose real agenda is to destroy capitalism and take away our freedom. So, what to think?
I am not a science guy. It’s so bad; I can’t even Google up enough faux-intelligence on the subject to fake it. It’s like the part of my brain devoted to scientific stuff never fully developed. Maybe it has something to do with how my Mom carried me in the womb, or more likely, it’s all the fault of that incredibly hot girl in my 10th grade Earth Sciences class for distracting me. Whatever the reason, when it comes to scientific debates, I’m more a “yeah, what HE said!” type of debater.
Having said all of this, my reading of this issue tells me that yes, the planet is probably warming, although the absence of such warming over the last 15 years should inject a little humility into those beating us over the head with all of this settled science claptrap. Further, my trick knee tells me that if the planet is warming, we probably have something to do with it. Anyone who has ever driven up 95 from Richmond to Princeton should instinctively know that there are just way too many freaking cars on the highway. I do have a certain sympathy for the default position of the environmentalist. Back in Eden, God gave us dominion over his creation and we were charged with its care. By all accounts, like everything else man was charged with, we have largely screwed over the planet. Don’t believe me? Just walk along any street in down town Newark, New Jersey and look at the filth in the streets.
Here’s my problem. Although I’m not comfortable in the company of the Global Warming deniers’ crowd, I’m also weirded out by the tree huggers. Start reading their positions on the issue long enough and you run head long into Statist idolatry. These people have unfettered confidence in the power and benevolence of government, especially world government. The solutions they champion for a potential 100 year increase of world temperature of perhaps 1.5 degrees is nothing short of a radical reworking of the social contract between mankind and their government, whereby we give up most of our autonomy (not to mention much of the comforts of our lifestyles) in exchange for an impossibly empowered government whose geniuses and experts will clean up our water and air. In other words, their proposed cure is more terrifying than the disease.
If history teaches us anything it is to beware of people so enthusiastic about powerful government.