Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Climate change no excuse for tyranny

Climate change no excuse for tyranny

(My Clovis News Journal column for October 28, 2011. This is the long version.)

You are being lied to about "global warming". By both sides.

Of course, it's no longer called "global warming", but "anthropogenic global climate change", to communicate the idea that the average global temperature might go up or go down in the short term, along with other climatic effects, and that human activities- specifically technology- are the cause.

No matter the name, "anthropogenic global climate change" ("AGCC" for short) is presented as a clear line in the sand between those who believe they have the right to control how you live "for the greater good" and those who don't.

Except, that isn't the whole truth. The irony is that some of AGCC's most vocal critics also believe in using the violence of government to violate your property rights and individual sovereignty, but for different reasons. Reasons like "national security", "morality", or "preserving our culture". Those critics have to insist AGCC is false or their belief in using the authority of The State to control you would come back to bite them.

Is AGCC real? No one knows for sure one way or the other, although you'll hear both sides claim they know the truth and that the "other side" is lying in order to promote an agenda. I'll let you in on a secret: it doesn't matter if AGCC is real or not. Making laws that violate individual rights - even in an effort to "save the planet"- is still wrong.

Uncouple AGCC from the agendas and pretend for a moment that it is absolutely factual. Pretend also that climate change would be wholly bad rather than the more likely reality that it would be a mixed bag of good and bad effects. Do you have the right to prevent someone else from doing things that might contribute in some unspecified, non-quantifiable way to AGCC? How do you calculate the exact amount of damage any specific individual's actions are causing to your property? Almost any action taken by people, and most other forms of life, could be claimed to cause some "damage to the planet". It is wrong to criminalize human life.

Think about it another way: Do you have a right to prevent someone from making a mutually consensual individual economic decision that might contribute to the collapse of the world economy? Buying a car using US dollars is economically harmful compared to buying a car with real money like gold or silver, yet as long as the buyer and seller can both agree, it is their decision- even if it might contribute to global economic upheaval in the long run. And don't be fooled: economic problems can be just as deadly as climate problems can.

Your only ethical option is to convince people to do what you believe they should do rather than using collectivism and initiating force to impose your will. Present the best evidence for your position and admit the unknowns. Don't lie to be more persuasive; that will only harm your argument when it is discovered. Make the best choice you can, setting the best example possible, with the information you have. Change is inevitable. Tyranny isn't.

Related: Cosmos and "Climate Change"