Monday, June 18, 2007

Freedom, Not Climate, Is at Risk

More and more businesses are jumping on the global warming band-wagon. Why? Do they think it's good for business? Do they see an opportunity to make a profit for their owners and shareholders? Do they think it's good PR? Or do they feel compelled by conscience to do what they think is right?

I suspect it is a mixture of all of the above. A business is nothing more than a temporary overlap of a wide variety of self interests. People work and do things for their own peculiar motives, not necessarily yours or mine. The amazing thing is that we work together so well and so often.

But whatever the motive, before business accepts the responsibility to do what it can to avoid a man-made climate catastrophe, it should consider the words of Vaclav Klaus. Although he is an elected politician, President of the Czech Republic, he bravely speaks about the danger behind global warm-and-fuzzy feelings. An excerpt:

"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."

And another:

"I agree with Professor Richard Lindzen from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who said: “future generations will wonder in bemused amazement that the early 21st century’s developed world went into hysterical panic over a globally averaged temperature increase of a few tenths of a degree, and, on the basis of gross exaggerations of highly uncertain computer projections combined into implausible chains of inference, proceeded to contemplate a roll-back of the industrial age”."

Business should approach the issue of global warming with great skepticism. It is an issue where science, politics, and propaganda have mixed to a dangerous degree.

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