This post bumped to the top so it doesn’t get lost under the newer post: Solar Model Part IV below.
In The Rage of the Climate Central Planners, Jeffrey Tucker describes something we’ve all experienced. That moment where the social atmosphere turns suddenly poisonous. Climate Rage!
Namecalling is a tool to stop debate. It works to keep the wandering minds in the square. But the flipside is that sooner or later the smallest crack, the tiniest doubt, elicts a bizarre over-the-top response and the mismatch reveals the game. How many passionate skeptics are created in the moment a fence-sitter realizes that those who say they love the environment will risk friendships and burn relationships in order NOT to discuss it? For surely there is only one possible interpretation of Climate Rage.
“They really can’t allow a debate, because they will certainly and absolutely and rightly lose.”
“When that is certain, the only way forward is to rage.”
The conversation with a good friend — brilliant man but a head full of confidence in the planning state — was going well. We’ve agreed on so much… Then the other day that changed. For the first time ever, the topic of climate change and policy response came up….
I’m convinced that fear over climate change (the ultimate public goods “problem”) is the last and best hope for those lustful to rule the world by force. Some people just want to run the world…
I just hinted at it vaguely. It was enough. He began to shake. He turned white and began to pace. He called me a denialist. He was horrified to discover that his good friend turns out to be some kind of extremist weirdo who disparages science. He began to accuse me of believing in things I never said, of failing to read the science (though later admitting that he hadn’t read the science).
I stood there stunned that I could have so quickly and inadvertently changed the whole dynamic of our conversation and even friendship — all for having suggested that something seemed a bit out of whack with mainstream opinion on this topic.
This is not the first time this has happened. In fact, I should have come to expect it by now. Every time this subject comes up with anyone who favors government action on climate change, the result has been the same. We seem to be unable to have a rational conversation. It’s like an article of faith for them, and I’m suddenly the dangerous heretic who believes the world is flat.
Now, in light of this, I read Paul Krugman this morning. He writes in his column: “Read or watch any extended debate over climate policy and you’ll be struck by the venom, the sheer rage, of the denialists.”
The denialists? My whole experience has been the opposite. By denialists, I’m assuming he means people who doubt the merit of his grand central plan for the world economy. Among them, I’ve found a vast range of views, an open mindedness, and curiosity about the full range of opinion, and, quite often, an attitude that seems to me — if anything — to be far too quick to defer to all main conventions of this debate.
If you want tolerance and humility, and a willingness to defer to the evidence and gradual process of scientific discovery, you will find it among those who have no desire to manage the world from the top down.
What can we say about those who want to empower a global coterie of elites to make the decision about what technologies we can use and how much under the guise of controlling something so gigantically amorphous and difficult to measure, detect, and precisely manage as earth’s surface temperature?
This is a level of chutzpah that surpasses the wildest fantasies of any socialist planner.