WHY THE BENEFITS OF CARBON EMISSIONS ARE NOT EMBRACED
Robert D. Brinsmead
When that hugely respected (a self-confessed Democrat and supporter of Barack Obama) looked at how carbon dioxide was being demonized, he said, “The people who are supposed to be the experts and who claim to understand the science are precisely the people who are blind to the evidence…I hope that a few of them will make the effort to examine the evidence in detail and see how it contradicts the prevailing dogma, but I know that the majority will remain blind. That to me is the central mystery of climate science. It is not a scientific mystery but a human mystery. How does it happen that the whole generation of scientific experts is blind to obvious facts?”
Dyson went on to explain how the global warming science had become a shared story that a lot of people, including a lot of scientists, have embraced. It is a story that holds them together in loyalty to a cause. It has even become a story they will defend against dissenters as fiercely as religious zealots used to burn heretics at the stake.
What Professor Dyson is really suggesting is what a lot of observers and even participants in the DAGW movement like James Lovelock have concluded: the so-called science has become a religion. By religion we mean a worldview – something of ultimate concern, the meaning-giving centre that becomes like a pair of powerful glasses which determines the way we see ourselves, the world and everything else. In that sense everyone, including the most confirmed atheist, has a religion or a worldview.
The reason some people can’t see the real facts about carbon dioxide is because DAGW is one of those shared stories that has penetrated human consciousness to the level of becoming a worldview. It has become a belief system which appears to explain what is wrong with the world and what must be done to fix it. In other words, it addresses some of the questions traditional religion used to answer. No wonder it has been called “the religion of the 21st Century.”
We human beings are capable of changing our opinions, even as John Maynard Keys famously said, “When the facts change, I change my mind.” But an opinion that has become an integral part of our worldview is different. Trying to convince any DAGW believer that carbon dioxide emissions are beneficial may be as difficult as trying to change the opinion of a Catholic or a Muslim on a point that is a vital part of their religion. Try telling an orthodox Jew that a ham sandwich is kosher or a Jehovah’s Witness that a blood transfusion is beneficial!
The powerful role of shared stories is the theme in Yuval Noah Harari’s bestseller, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind. He points out that our nearest cousins in the animal kingdom are the chimpanzees which happen to share 89% of our genes and DNA makeup. The chimps bond together in bands of no more than about a hundred after which they break up into smaller bands. Harari’s raises the question of how Homo sapiens (the wise ones) were able to bond together in groups big enough to become a city or even a nation. Why are the sapiens the only animal species that can do this? His answer at first blush seems to be almost too simple, but the more he makes one think about it (using numerous examples) the more it appears to be transparently correct. Only humans have the imaginative ability to visualize entities that can’t be seen or that don’t even exist. This gives them the ability to tell stories that capture and live on in the human imagination in a way that shapes a worldview with a value system and a sense of destiny.
Shared stories can not only hold a whole city together, but they can hold a whole tribe or nation together with shared values and a sense of identity. They might even hold an empire together. They can bond a large community of people across international boundaries, as it happens for instance with Catholics or Sunni Muslims. It is not some genetic inheritance that holds them together. They are simply held together by a shared story that gives them a common worldview. The dissenter, reformer or heretic who is thought to threaten the bonds of the shared story is instinctively resisted, whether by brutal force, ridicule or ostracism - think Socrates being made to drink hemlock for desacralizing the Greek myths, Jesus getting himself crucified for blasphemy, Galileo being forced to recant to save himself from being burned at the stake, or something as mundane as Peter Ridd being expelled from James Cook University for exposing the story of his peers about the Great Barrier Reef in crisis as a fallacious myth.
All the great religions – and even the smaller religions or sub-religions – are held together by shared stories. Judaism has been held together by its shared story of the Exodus of the Hebrew people from Egypt. Buddhism has its story of the Prince who left the comforts of a palace to find enlightenment. Christians share a common story of the man whose kind of love triumphed over death. The Muslims have their story of Muhammad being visited by the angel Gabriel as he fasted in a cave during Ramadan. The Mormons have their story of Joseph Smith’s miraculous translation of a lost sacred text. Whether or not any of these bonding stories are well-attested historical events makes no difference to the enormous power they exert to bind large national or international communities together.
Man-made climate change has its own story to tell the world. Its narrative is about the way industrialized civilization is dangerously warming the planet. It presses a lot of guilt buttons about our consumerism, the economic rat race, the folly of “keeping up with the Jones,” the yearning for a simple life more in harmony with nature. This climate change story also has a redemptive plan to save the planet. That too can press the buttons of our nobler aspirations. Here are all the features of a religion. Perhaps the less said about the ruthless aspects of religion the better – like suppressing, ridiculing, labelling, ostracising, expelling, silencing, and destroying dissenters. These features too are the tell-tale signs that appear when something has become a religion.
Some of the main thought leaders who worked at crafting the story about our dangerously warming planet were not even scientists. They were a cabal of socialists or One-World-Government dreamers centred in the UN and its ancillary organizations. Their real aim, sometimes blatantly stated, was to dismantle the free-market economic order and to replace it with a more centralized collectivist order. Another name for this outlook is neo-Marxism.
One of the chief strategists in this vision to construct a new World Socialism order to replace the failed one behind the Iron Curtain was Maurice Strong, a Canadian businessman and self-confessed neo-Marxist. Strong was a brilliant networker in UN circles. His reign as the chief organizer behind a bewildering array of world conferences, UN climate science organizations and programs lasted from 1962 to 2005.
“He organized the 1972 UN conference in Stockholm, where the UN Environmental Program (UNEP) was proposed, and he became its first head. UNEP later made wildly exaggerated claims about ‘acid rain’… In 1990 Maurice Strong said: ‘Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilization collapses.’ It was Strong who arranged and chaired the 1992 Rio Earth Summit [ which launched Agenda 21], where it was decided that the term ‘Climate change’ would refer only to change caused by human activity, and change due to natural causes would be referred to as ‘natural variability.’” (D Weston Allen, The Weather Makers Re-Examined, pp. 251-2)
With the collapse of the “acid rain” scare that dominated environmental issues for a few years before it was proved to be nonsense, Strong began casting around to find better evidence to support his worldview that free-market Capitalism exerted a destructive and damaging effect on the world. He found a valuable ally in Bert Bolin, a Scandinavian meteorologist who had studied at the Stockholm University where 60 years earlier Arrhenius did some ground-breaking work on carbon dioxide. Strong began to work with Bolin and others at the UN to build a case against carbon dioxide.
Just as Strong had organized the 1992 Rio Earth Summit and became its chairman, so again he played a huge role in setting up another UN sponsored organization called The Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC) in 1988 and became its first chairman. From the beginning, this UN organization was stuffed with money and dominated by green socialists bent on highlighting the environmental sins of the free-market economic system.
The charter of the IPCC stated that it was all about investigating the human influence on the climate. A huge number of scientists from all over the world were corralled to participate by submitting and reviewing papers.
If scientists are asked and rewarded handsomely with grants to find a human influence on the climate, then that is exactly what they are going to find. They were not asked to find the evidences of natural variability which is obviously a much larger field than merely looking at the human influence. Some researchers and reviewers were apprehensive about this bias toward highlighting human influences and demoting natural influences. They even complained that more balanced studies were being sidelined. Not a few of them resigned from further participation in the IPCC program. (See D. Weston Allen, The Weather Makers Re-examined, for a more detailed critique of the IPCC)
During this period, one of the participating scientists wrote to a colleague saying that they needed “to get rid of the Medieval Warm Period.” For even the IPCC’s earlier Assessment Report still featured a climate graph on its front cover showing that the Medieval Warm Period was as warm as our present era. That kind of graph did not sit well with the agenda to magnify the human influence and minimize the influence of natural variability. For if it was conceded that the Medieval Warm Period was as warm as today, then it would weaken the case that the present warming was mostly caused by mankind’s carbon dioxide emissions.
A climate researcher by the name of Michael Mann became the hero of the day. He and several colleagues (Bradley and Hughes) came up with a study to support an entirely new climate graph. It showed temperatures maintaining a flat line for the last 1,000 years, and then suddenly rising like a hockey stick blade at the end of the 20th century in lockstep with rising carbon dioxide levels. This Hockey Stick graph did everything the drivers behind the IPCC program wanted. It got rid of that troublesome Medieval Warm Period which would always throw their story into some doubt. And it showed temperatures perilously rising to unprecedented levels, correlating with mankind’s carbon dioxide emissions. This Hockey Stick graph was then featured on the front cover of the next IPCC Assessment Report.
A number of experts in statistical analysis in Canada and also in Europe, on reviewing Mann’s Hockey Stick research data, found that the statistical methods used by Mann were invalid. The Hockey Stick was more like a contrived cut and paste trick than authentic science. By this stage, however, nothing was going to stop the IPCC cart rolling triumphantly on.
In its 4th Assessment Report the IPCC declared that it could now say with 90% certainty that most of the global warming over the last 50 years was due to a human influence. This was upgraded to 95% certainty in the 5th Assessment Report (2013). The story was quite clear now: there can be no doubting that our carbon dioxide emissions were pushing our world toward a climate apocalypse.
Move over mighty sun, great ocean currents and all other celestial and terrestrial influences on the climate! All these past drivers of the climate were now supposed to be put in the shade by man’s mighty carbon dioxide emissions. (They were not going to spoil their story with any reminder that the natural carbon dioxide emissions from land and sea are about 33 times greater than all human emissions combined).
With the story telling us that mankind’s industrial emissions are exposing the world to a climate apocalypse, then it logically follows that we can also stop this climate apocalypse. “Yes we can” said Obama in his first Presidential Inaugural address. He said that beginning with his Presidency the world would begin to cool and the oceans would cease to rise. Here was someone greater than King Canute!
If there was any doubt about where this narrative of dangerous man-made climate change was heading, Sir Nicholas Stern put those doubts to rest by declaring, just after the 2007 IPCC Report was published: “Climate change is the result of the greatest market failure in history.” With this amazing one-liner we are given the answer to the great climate whodunit story. It’s the MARKET - not the sun, not cosmic rays, not the variability of the earth’s orbit around the sun nor the earth tilting on its axis, not the planetary alignments, not the changing ocean currents, volcanoes or any other natural forces that have brought on Ice Ages and warm periods in the past. The one thing that has caused this “unprecedented”, “runaway”, “tipping-point”, “destructive climate change” is the market. Yes, blame it all on the free enterprise system that has lifted more human beings out of poverty, improved the human condition and increased the human life span more than anything else in human history!
It’s the market silly! The official submission from Bolivia to the UN Paris Conference on climate change says this: “The structural cause that has triggered the climate crisis is the failed capitalist system. The capitalist system promotes consumerism, warmongering and commercialism, causing destruction of Mother Earth and humanity…For a lasting solution to the climate crisis we must destroy capitalism.” (The Australian, 13/11/20150)
That’s exactly the conclusion the UN framers of the climate story had come to and wanted others to conclude. It’s a no brainer. If our free-market capitalist system is the cause of the climate disaster, we must Get-up (pun intended) and get rid of it. That is exactly what Maurice Strong said must happen: “Isn’t the only hope for the planet that industrial civilizations end.” That was the direction of his 40-year career networking at the UN, from his setting up the Earth Summit in Rio (1992) to his setting up the IPCC in 1988, the Kyoto Protocol in 1997 and lots of other UN programs in between. But he was not the only dreamer of a One-World Socialism.
From a UN climate official Ottmar Edenhofer: “One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has nothing to do with environmental policy anymore, with problems such as deforestation or the ozone hole. We redistribute the world’s wealth by climate policy.”
From Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UN’s Framework Convention on Climate Change: “This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, with a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution. This is probably the most difficult task we have ever given ourselves, which is to intentionally transform the economic development model for the first time in human history.”
The thesis is summed up in Naomi Klein’s recent book, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate.” The message here is crystal clear: Come dance on the grave of the free market capitalism and save the environment. In a preview documentary of her book she said, “It’s the best chance we have to build a better world.”
The UN’s climate science has always been driven by the UN’s worldview. That worldview also determines the way the science is used. Timothy Wirth, U.S. Undersecretary of State for Global Issues, said this: “We have got to ride the global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing in terms of economic policy and environmental policy.” Richard Benedick, a deputy assistant secretary of state who headed policy divisions of the U.S. State Department did his bit to let the cat out of the bag with this statement, “A global warming treaty must be implemented even if there is no scientific evidence to back the greenhouse effect.” (Cited in EIR Science, March 16, 2007, CO2: The Greatest Scientific Scandal of our Time, by Zbigniew Jaworowski, Ph.D. )
(a British think-tank chaired by Lord Nigel Lawson) recently published several articles and reports about scientists and government advisers who believe that only a new collectivist order of global socialism can save us from the climate apocalypse. One of them is Australian scientist Will Steffen whose name is attached to a group of scientists who claim that only “collective solutions”, and “new governance arrangements and transformed social values” can enable us to decarbonize our whole way of life. He could have suggested that we stop breathing!
Hans Joachim Schellnhuber who is deeply involved in European and UN climate affairs says that national governments “will have to give up a good deal of their national sovereignty and establish a true regime of global governance.”
Another German government adviser expresses the view that “decarbonisation can only be achieved by the limitation of democracy.”
Did Maurice Strong, Naomi Kleim, Nicholas Stern and all these other neo-Marxist dreamers draw their pessimistic conclusions about the free market system from their study of the climate, or did they bring their pessimism of the free market to their study of the climate? It is clear that their story of climate catastrophism grows out of their core belief that there is something radically wrong with the whole capitalist system. They want to replace it with their new kind of World Socialism.
This story of the man-made climate disaster has been widely embraced because it taps into the mood of cultural pessimism that has become endemic. Cultural pessimism is a belief that everything is in a state of decline, going downhill and getting worse. This pessimistic mood flies in the face of the real evidence about the improving state of the world and the human condition on so many fronts. As Thomas Macaulay has said, “On what grounds when looking back we see nothing but progress can we look forward and see nothing but decline.”
As an illustration that feelings are not always in line with the facts, ask the average housekeeper if the food she has to buy to feed the family is more expensive now than it used to be. More often than not she will say that food is becoming more expensive. In actual fact the cost of food today in real terms is about 1/3rd of what it was 50-60 years ago. The cost of most other things has declined too.
There is a widespread belief that as the population grows and industry expands, the world’s forests are disappearing at the rate of knots. Who hasn’t heard the stories about how many trees equal to filling so many football fields are disappearing every hour? But during the last 34 years (1982 -2018), while the population of the world increased by more than a billion people, That’s about 2,250 million square kilometres of extra tree cover.
It seems that everyone knowns (unless they are the knuckle dragging climate sceptics) that cyclones, droughts, floods, tornadoes and other weather disasters are becoming more frequent and intense because of all the human greenhouses gases. Right? Wrong again! .
Why do so many of us so readily believe the bad stories? “We do not see things as they are; we see them as we are.” (Talmud) In his truly monumental work, The Idea of Decline in Western History, Arthur Herman makes the same observation: “Pessimism and optimism are attitudes the scholar brings to his analysis of events, not conclusions that arise from that analysis… For the cultural pessimist, the bad news is actually good news. He greets economic depression, unemployment, world wars and conflicts, and environmental disasters with barely concealed glee, since these events all foreshadow the final destruction of modern civilization.” (pp.3,9)
In looking at the conception and development of the story of a climate apocalypse, we are not looking at some kind of a conspiracy to create a hoax. Conspiracy theories totally miss the point. We are looking at the conception and the development of an idea that is part of a belief system that nothing can dislodge except a return to the myth-busting rationalism of the Enlightenment, or otherwise the inevitable train smash that eventually happens with every apocalyptic movement.
Science values scepticism; religion damns it.
In his book, The Demon Haunted World, Carl Sagan makes an interesting comparison between religion and science. Religion tends to laud faith and damn scepticism. Not so with science. As Huxley famously said about science, “Scepticism is the highest of duties; blind faith the one unpardonable sin.”
If this is true, then the DAGW science walks like a religion and quacks like a religion. It is a religion. It says “The science is settled!” “The debate is over!” That kind of talk sounds like the Church of Climatology. Anyone who dares to be sceptical of the “settled science” is liable to be derided as a “flat earther,” “a knuckle dragger,” “a denier” [like a Holocaust denier] who should be suppressed, expelled, even jailed, as some now suggest, for a crime against the planet. Unbelief in the dogma of emissions reduction is regarded as almost as appalling as questioning a dogma of the Medieval Church used to be. Expressing any scepticism about the climate science dogma has become a career hazard, a grant-getting hazard, a political hazard and a reputational hazard. This is not the way science works; it’s the dark side of religion at work.
Further evidence that it is more religion than science is the ad hominem approach to any contrary argument, article or research paper. Instead of dealing with the arguments or evidence, DAGW devotees immediately begin digging up dirt on the messenger: sinful scientists can’t be trusted, only saintly DAGW ones. Even when their saints falter, like substituting real temperatures to “hide the decline” in inconvenient proxies when concocting hockey-stick temperature charts, the climate church whitewashes and protects them.
The first experiment in World Socialism was driven by a grand narrative that was scripted by Karl Marx. Marx’s parental background was Jewish. Marx’s father converted to Evangelical Christianity and young Marx was baptized into the Lutheran Church. Marx fashioned his socialist narrative along the same lines as the Christian story of Paradise lost and Paradise restored.
Whereas the Christian narrative begins with the fall of man from the ideal human state at the beginning of history, in Marx’s script it was the fall of man from a classless society into a state of alienation. In his story, the “original sin” that destroyed the classless society was not eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, but “eating” of the tree of capital and labour. This created on the one hand bosses who owned the means of production and workers on the other who became alienated from the true enjoyment of their own productive work. The way to restore the lost Paradise, according to the story of Marx, was to destroy the whole system of capital and labour which creates class and alienation, and to restore the classless society of human equality. “Workers of the world unite” became the mantra of the Marxist religion.
In going head-to-head with the capitalist World centred in the United States and Western Europe, the Communism that developed behind the Iron Curtain always claimed the high moral ground, especially in its ideals of human equality. Its motto, “from each according to his ability; to each according to his need,” seemed to reflect the way of life among the first Christians in Jerusalem who held all things in common ownership (Acts 2:44-46).
Capitalism, on the other hand, didn’t appear to claim any high moral ground that could match Marxism. Some would even argue that there was no moral high ground in a system which fostered the belief that “greed is good.”
It was soon found, however, that when a central planning authority took charge of the economy and a collective system took over the farm or the factory, the individual was expected to lay aside his own dreams and freedoms for the good of the collective. The collective mattered, but not the individual. The individual became seriously devalued and dispensable. People lost the dignity of their individuality, and the system ended up disposing of millions of people as if they were trash.
Things became so bad that the authorities had to build the Berlin Wall to prevent the workers escaping from their workers’ Paradise. The bitter irony of this must not be missed. Marx had scripted a story that created a dream about a better world for the workers. From the beginning, the story line was that Marxism would create a better world, with better working conditions and a better standard of living for the workers.
For all of its shortcomings, the capitalist world of the market economy had one thing going for it, and that was freedom. Human beings perform at their most creative and productive best only when they are free. No collective ever painted a Mona Lisa, designed the Sydney Opera House or discovered the theory of Relativity. Most of the great discoveries, inventions and scientific breakthroughs in history were not arrived at by some collective, but by free individuals - like a Thomas Edison or a Steve Jobs expressing their creative genius. Whoever or whatever takes individual freedom away kills the goose that lays the golden eggs for the benefit of the whole society.
Thanks to the freedoms of the capitalist system, no generation has ever been as well fed, clothed, educated, medicated, travelled, entertained or has had as many years to live as this generation. When Julian Simon did a survey of the health and wealth of the people in the different nations of the world, he found that it was a general rule that the less oppressive the government and the more freedom the people of a country enjoyed, the healthier and wealthier were the citizens.
Milton Friedman summed it up like this: “When a society places freedom before equality, then it gains a great measure of both, but when a society places equality before freedom, then it attains neither.”
The old Marxist dream of creating more goods and services for its workers is now dead and buried, but that does not mean that the dream of socialism is dead. When the Berlin Wall and all that it symbolized collapsed, many socialists poured out from its ruins only to pour into the environmental movement. That is how the term “watermelon Greens” originated, meaning that inwardly they were still socialists. Yet instead of pushing the old Marxist line that the greedy capitalist world of the free market gives the workers of the world too little goods and services, the new Green socialists started complaining that the Free World was creating too many goods and services. It pushed the new line that there was too much affluence, too much consumption of the world’s scare resources, and above all, such a prodigious use of carbon-based energy, that the free-market was creating a climate apocalypse.
We have already traced how this neo-Marxist story line was crafted by a cabal of neo-Marxists working in the UN network of climate change organizations and conferences. Instead of running the old story line that sweeping away the free-market will create a better world for the workers, they spun the story that their new World Order of Socialism was needed to create a safer and healthier environment. It’s called sustainability.
Here is a new twist to the old narrative about the fall of man and original sin, but it now dressed up in green garments. The original sin becomes the hubris of mankind’s thinking it could get above nature in order to rule and subdue it (Genesis 1:27-29); and redemption is returning to the Gates of Eden by living in harmony with nature. You bet it’s a religion!
This neo-Marxist dream is a far greater threat to human freedom than old-time Communism.
The old Marxism did not set out to be anti-human. It wanted to improve the human condition far beyond anything capitalism could do. The same thing can’t be said about environmental socialism. It is deeply misanthropic. It sees mankind in terms of being the scourge of the environment and a cancer of the earth. Short of eradication, it says that mankind should have its numbers drastically reduced. The affluence and extravagant consumption of the earth’s resources has to stop. But in this worldview, it all has to start with reducing carbon dioxide emissions, decarbonizing the economy and reducing the human carbon footprint on the earth. If this war on carbon is going to starve a billion people and destroy industrial civilization, some would even say, “Hoorah! that is what we want.”
The old socialism behind the Iron Curtain ended up destroying people because it thought the Collective was more important than people. The new socialism makes its environmental cause more important than people. A classical illustration of this is Greenpeace’s opposition to Golden Rice which has been genetically modified to correct a Vitamin A deficiency that is killing more than a million people a year. But because Greenpeace is ideologically opposed to the GM technology, it has prevented Golden Rice from being grown in Third World countries. This is the enormous error of elevating any ideology or ism to become more important than people. Another name for this is Fundamentalism.
Carbon and carbon dioxide are so bound up with every aspect of life – as this paper has shown – that it is not possible to control carbon without controlling every aspect of human existence.
Those who plan this neo-Marxist future for us, on the pretext of saving us from the climate apocalypse, at least can recognize that to achieve the level of decarbonisation required, they will have to (1) radically curtail our economic freedoms, (2) drastically wind back our political freedoms, and (3) most threatening of all, reach into the inner sanctum of our minds to change our values, reform our behaviour and re-educate us to have a different worldview.
We say, “most threatening of all,”That domain includes freedom of conscience, freedom of speech and the freedom of each individual to choose his own values. This is absolutely the domain of the individual where no collective of any kind has a right to intrude or impose its will.
This trilogy of human freedoms – religious freedom, political freedom, and economic freedom – represents the greatest achievement of Western Civilization. These freedoms were conceived only after long centuries of the struggle of the human spirit against the oppressive union of Church and State that began with the conversion of Constantine the Great. These human freedoms never saw the light of day until the Enlightenment had followed on from the Reformation. It was then that a galaxy of intellectual giants conceived of frontiers of human freedom that had heretofore never been crossed.
Blazing the trail toward a new dawn of religious freedom was John Milton in England and Anne Hutchinson and Roger Williams in America. Yet the freedom they envisaged could not be realized until the founding fathers of the Unites States of America had achieved the separation of Church and State. Without this world-first breakthrough, religious freedom would have been stillborn.
Opening up a new frontier of political freedom were the fathers of liberal democracy – Jefferson, Voltaire, John Locke, John Stuart Mill and others of that ilk. The liberal democracies they fathered were about the freedom of political ideas, the freedom of political association, the freedom to vote for whom one choses, the freedom to run for political office and the freedom of speech. It created a free “market” of political ideas where this philosophy would prevail: “I may disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
Before Marx had formulated his Communist Manifesto in 1848, Adam Smith, a leading figure in the Scottish Enlightenment, had already drafted his vision of economic freedom in his Wealth of Nations. This was a brilliantly reasoned defence of a free market economy as a means of creating the greatest wealth to benefit the greatest number of people. It was this idea of economic freedom which opened up the heretofore untapped potential of human ingenuity and creativity.
These freedoms achieved by Western Civilization belong to the whole human race. Any nation that embraces them rightly belongs to what is called the Free World. These freedoms have brought with them the greatest improvements of the human condition that has ever been seen in human history – in nutrition, in hygiene, in medicine, in education, in travel, in technology, in access to information, in entertainment, in longevity and above all, in human rights. Much remains to be done to make conditions better for everyone. But nothing is to be gained by going back to fondle the old chains of an oppressive socialism.
The Free World had to fight bitterly for this heritage of freedom in its conflict with the National Socialism of the Nazis and World Socialism behind the Iron Curtain. These great enemies of human freedom were enemies outside the gates of the Free World. But now we face a new phase of the war because this time the enemy is not hammering at our gates but is an enemy trying to destroy us from within our gates.
The neo-Marxists have employed the myth of carbon pollution as a weapon to beat up on our hard won freedoms, to beat up on our values and everything else that has made us free and prosperous. We call their weapon a myth because carbon and carbon dioxide are as pure as the driven snow and as essential to life as oxygen and water. Far from being harmful, carbon dioxide emissions are enormously beneficial. The story of the dangerous effects of carbon dioxide is a delusion. It’s a cuckoo in the nest of human freedom. The false information of this myth acts on the body of our society like a virus acts on the immune system to cause the body to start destroying itself.
The Free World fought off the enemy from without and preserved its heritage of freedom. The question now is whether it will rise to the challenge of fighting off the enemy within to preserve its heritage of freedom.
How can we look at what has gone on in the international Climate Conferences from Rio to Copenhagen, or from Paris to Bangkok and not conclude that the nations are doing things to destroy the gains of a free civilization. This UN crusade to stop climate change has become a trillion dollar industry that does nothing more to change the climate than a pagan rain dance. Yet it is doing an enormous amount of environmental damage inafter
It is also doing enormous amount of damage to science by compromising its independence by massive government patronage. It has turned science into a political weapon with scientists becoming paid advocates of government policy. This now makes the separation of Science and the State as necessary as the separation of Church and State.
The war on carbon is doing great damage to the economy as illustrated by what it has done to escalate electricity prices. Rising energy costs, all politically created, threaten to de-industrialize whole nations. That is exactly how Maurice Strong thought it should happen, starting with his first international Conference in Rio (1992) where the insidious Agenda 21 program was launched.
The greatest threat of all, however, is the threat to human freedom. Why allow ourselves to be so deluded that we would surrender the freedoms inherent in self-government to a UN government? The only way a free people could be enticed down this road is brilliantly stated by H.L. Mencken: “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”
It is not possible to control carbon and its emissions without taking control of every aspect of human existence. Carbon emissions enters into absolutely everything we do right down to our breathing. If we spit we make carbon emissions. If we travel to work, buy a pair of shoes or other goods and services of any kind, we cause carbon emissions. If we go to a football match we become part of an event that causes massive carbon emissions. If we go to church we cause carbon emissions. Even when we die we will add to those carbon emissions.
We are all carbon-based organisms which run on food which is made of carbon, we live in houses built of carbon materials, dress in carbon fibres, and participate in the great dance of life made possible by the constant exchange of carbon. It is called the carbon cycle. We can’t avoid being part of it and can’t live without it. How then is a war on carbon possible without a war on life itself? This is madness gone mad.
At least Will Steffen understands that de-carbonizing the economy will mean massive social engineering and re-education to change human values, to change human behaviour, and to change governance away from the principle of self-governance to more centralized control. To be sure, Will Steffen clothes what he thinks must happen with the kind of obfuscated jargon that will not frighten the horses. He could, however, just cut to the chase and say that what he is really on about is establishing a carbon dictatorship that abolishes that whole trilogy of religious, political and economic freedoms.
Why not simply call it for what it is? - a carbon police State. Or an eco-Taliban.
“I’m sorry, Ms. Mayweather, we can’t sell you a plane ticket to Sydney to see your daughter because you have already exhausted your carbon rations.”
“No Kidman, we can’t allow you to run another 100 head of cattle unless you pay a massive Flatulence Tax for all those extra carbon emissions from the cattle.”
“Bristleway, you are being sent to our re-education camp for six months to overcome your inclination to scepticism.”
“Your family must cut back on eating meat and choose a more climate friendly diet. Remember, you can get carbon credits by becoming vegetarian and even more if you become vegan or a locavore.”
“No Jones, you must shelve your dream of owning that little red sports car.”
“Believe what the Science believes, no more, no less; that the Science is right and always right, confess.”
“Isn’t it time you went to carbon confession?”
“Don’t tell the carbon police that I’m away on fishing trip in a power boat. That’ll blow my carbon credits for the whole year.”
The radical Left is already running amok inside the city, preparing the way for this neo-Marxist takeover. They have already taken over most of the Universities and most of the Media. Their sacred cow is the climate change dogma because it is their big stick to beat up on Capitalism, Western Civilization and all the freedoms of the Enlightenment. Using political correctness, identity politics, the manipulation of language itself, plus the tactics of censorship and intimidation, they are shutting down freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and an individual’s right to her own worldview and values. Anyone who has not seen this going on right now in Universities and other speaking venues would have to be living under a rock.
At stake here is the right of every individual to choose their own story and to live their own story. At stake too is every person’s right to form their own worldview, determine their own values, live by the dictates of their own conscience, and enjoy the right to free speech and free assembly. All this comes under the umbrella of what is broadly called freedom of religion. On that freedom depends our hard won political and economic freedoms.
This rock of human freedom, however, has proved to be a hard old rock. The first experiment in World Socialism came to grief on it. We can be confident that neo-Marxism, which is being carried on the wings of climate change catastrophism, will also be smashed to pieces on that same old rock. We have nothing to fear for the future except we forget that freedom was our civilization’s finest achievement. To cite Macaulay again, “On what principle is it that, when we see nothing but improvement behind us, we are to expect nothing but deterioration before us?
D. Weston Allen, The Weather Makers Re-examined (Irenic Publications)
Jennifer Marohasy (Editor), Climate Change. The Facts 2017 (Institute of Public Affairs)
Stephen Moore and Kathleen Hartnett White, Fueling Freedom. Exposing the Mad War on Energy
Alex Epstein, The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels
Ian Plimer, Heaven and Earth. Global Warming: The Missing Science