November 16, 2007

Why Conservatives Are Skeptical of The Global Warming Consensus

This came up in the comments to this post on Jim Frasier's excellent site.

The leftie narrative is fairly predictable, conservatives are reactionary pigs who are driven by greed and ignorance while the enlightened lefties motives are as pure as the driven snow.

It is true that the healthy skepticism the right has had for the global warming hysterics IS reactionary in a way.

The environmental movement was pretty much taken over by lefties, especially after the fall of the USSR.

Leftism has never worked, instead it has rendered millions of innocents dead, wrecked economies and left the most "successful" nations it was inflicted upon with weak economies and on a demographic death spiral. After, Robspierre, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, 130 million people dead, and at best malaise and general dispair you'd think there would be a re-examining of premises....

....but, like mid 19th century Christian apocalyptics trying to distract attention from the great disappointment, the lefties watchword has become "next time fer sure".

For a time after the end of the cold war however, this was a hard sell.

So to foist their utterly unworkable philosophy on the rest of us they embraced global warming as an excuse to force anti capitalist (and often anti American) policies through that would never pass political muster in this country.

The policies that the "greens" tend to advocate are the same old authoritarian, planned economy boondoggles that have been failing for 80 years.

Kyoto, (like many of their solutions)  is about hyperregulating the private sector. Additionally, given that treaties are binding for the US (but for Europe, not so much) Kyoto in particular is a way to hurt America and thereby give rather more socialistic Europe a leg up on us and perpetuate the lie that socialism is in any way competitive with a basically free market.

This has as much a political and idealogical bent as any on the conservative side.

Additionally, despite their claim to impartiality, academics are frequently left leaning by nature. Given the demonstrable, imperical non-workability of leftism in experiment after experiment from De Sade to Pol Pot this seems strange. However, on a spreadsheet or math equation it seems like a good idea...when divorced from the chaotic variables that are human nature. This left leaning bent is in part because academics tend to exist in a fairly Malthusian and state supported environment (they depend upon grants from a growth restricted limited budget that is frequently dependent upon public financing) and have limited interaction with the day to day operations of a capitalist economy.  This is conducive to focusing on certain types of research (for which there is often much rejoicing) but makes them very unsuited to performing the sort of cost benefit analysis the solution to this problem requires.

Conservatives can additionally be forgiven for skepticism when the boosters of global warming hysteria behave in ways that indicate they don't seem to believe in it themselves. The lefts approved approach is idiocy like Kyoto,which the Europeans who signed it are cheating on, and which ignored major polluters like China and India. (China recently surpassed the US in net CO2 emissions). The left has historically opposed nuclear power, OWWEOL*, supports unworkable boondoggles like ethanol,# and fly around the world lecturing about global  fricking jets.@

The Bush administration, for all its many, many faults has pushed fuel cells, nuclear power, as well as thermal depolymerization and other biodiesel projects. Significantly he has gotten a CO2 agreement that includes (albiet tentatively) China (and therefore is relevant...quite unlike Kyoto).

Bush has therefore done more practical good in this regard than those who are identified with this cause.

As I've pointed out before there are worse eco-problems than global warming.  Global warming is a perfect storm of solar heating of the whole solar system, coming out of an ice age and CO2 emissions...all at he same time. However, things like acid rain, mercury in the environment,the ecological collapse of the oceans and poisoning of groundwater supplies are almost entirely anthropogenic in nature and are IMHO both more pressing and more directly able to be influenced by human actions.

None of this means that conservatives like myself seriously believe that global warming is not real nor that we don't want to cut emissions.

I and many conservatives support fossil fuel carbon taxes as opposed to the carbon caps/ carbon credits that are just Ponzi scheme vaporware. We support nuclear power, and with the scads of cheap carbon free energy that can provide the thermal depolymerization plants and other biofuel processing plants it can make possible. The current administration is also looking at SSPS arrays for the first time since the early 80's. While I'm skeptical of this technology for several reasons it is not indicative of ignoring energy alternatives.

It is true that there are ignoramuses on the right who deny any anthropogenic component to this issue or even that warming itself is apochryphal. They are given a good deal more exposure than cranks would normally warrant in part because the media likes to use them to discredit the right.

More here, here and here.

*(OWWEOL= Offshore Windmills Within Eyesight of Lefties)

# Yes I know, conservatives do that too...we are most displeased.

@ Why don't they use blimps...blimps are cool! Hell they could use an actual Zeppelin !

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