We are living in strange times. One exceptionally warm winter is enough – irrespective of the fact that in the course of the 20th century the global temperature increased only by 0.6 per cent – for the environmentalists and their followers to suggest radical measures to do something about the weather, and to do it right now.
Not sure what to make of this paragraph. The last sentence seems to hang on a sort of ambiguity–in one sense environmentalists want a sort of “central planning.” But not, it seems, to me in the same sense as communism. Whatever it is, it’s a pretty cheap trick, I think.
As someone who lived under communism for most of his life, I feel obliged to say that I see the biggest threat to freedom, democracy, the market economy and prosperity now in ambitious environmentalism, not in communism. This ideology wants to replace the free and spontaneous evolution of mankind by a sort of central (now global) planning.
This paragraph is interesting.
The environmentalists ask for immediate political action because they do not believe in the long-term positive impact of economic growth and ignore both the technological progress that future generations will undoubtedly enjoy, and the proven fact that the higher the wealth of society, the higher is the quality of the environment. They are Malthusian pessimists.
Not sure I see the relevance of the “proven fact,” which, nonetheless, seems plausible to me as a simple generalization, for the problem of global warming. Does this imply that we can simply assume that global warming is not a threat, if it is caused by higher standard of living?
How about this? Perhaps an ignoratio elenchi?
The scientists should help us and take into consideration the political effects of their scientific opinions. They have an obligation to declare their political and value assumptions and how much they have affected their selection and interpretation of scientific evidence.
Should scientists qua scientists really take into consideration the political effects of their scientific opinions (qua scientific opinions)? Even if that’s so, the last sentence is just nutty. But since it has no obvious logical connection to the first sentence (does it follow from the previous one? explain? is it a case of “loosely connected statements?”), we have either, if we take it as an argument, a sort of ignoratio elenchi or red herring, perhaps.
He closes with a series of suggestions that. . .well, my description can’t do them justice. (My favorites are 4 and 5).
- Small climate changes do not demand far-reaching restrictive measures
- Any suppression of freedom and democracy should be avoidedc
- Instead of organising people from above, let us allow everyone to live as he wants
- Let us resist the politicisation of science and oppose the term “scientific consensus”, which is always achieved only by a loud minority, never by a silent majority
- Instead of speaking about “the environment”, let us be attentive to it in our personal behaviour
- Let us be humble but confident in the spontaneous evolution of human society. Let us trust its rationality and not try to slow it down or divert it in any direction
- Let us not scare ourselves with catastrophic forecasts, or use them to defend and promote irrational interventions
in human lives.