Don Lloyd, writing in the Greeley Tribune, explains what environmentalists really want:
[D]amage to our capitalistic system appears to be of little concern to the environmental movements that have gotten behind the global warming alarmists. Their simplistic positions seem to indicate that they prefer the economy of the 19th century, with a much more restrained consumption of natural resources and little industrial pollution about which to be concerned.Unless I'm mistaken, that'd be the same 19th century in which industrial squalor, pollution and misery constituted a moral crisis to everyone from Charles Dickens to John Ruskin to Alexis de Tocqueville to Marx and Engels. I haven't seen any evidence that "environmental movements" - as opposed to, say, libertarians - want to return us to those cheerful days, but perhaps I'm looking in the wrong places.
Planet Gore has an interesting unsigned post on the phasing out of incandescent bulbs:
Had Thomas Edison employed the same business strategy as his 21st-Century heirs at General Electric, he would have lobbied Congress to outlaw the candle in 1879 when he perfected and patented the light bulb.Unless I'm mistaken, that'd be the same Thomas Edison who launched the War of Currents:
Edison carried out a campaign to discourage the use of alternating current, including spreading information on fatal AC accidents, killing animals, and lobbying against the use of AC in state legislatures. Edison directed his technicians, primarily Arthur Kennelly and Harold P. Brown, to preside over several AC-driven executions of animals, primarily stray cats and dogs but also unwanted cattle and horses. Acting on these directives, they were to demonstrate to the press that alternating current was more dangerous than Edison's system of direct current....He also tried to popularize the term for being electrocuted as being "Westinghoused".John F. Brinson looms up from the anti-Parnassus of the Lehigh Valley Tax Limitation Committee to deliver himself of a truly astonishing j'accuse:
The thing that is glaringly absent from the global warming theory is testing. The scientific method requires exhaustive testing to validate a hypothesis, and also requires that a test be applied that would show the hypothesis to be false. This was not done....Which proves yet again that even the most brilliant criminals will inevitably make that one fatal mistake.
We need more oil, gas and coal -- not less. Yes, we must demand that pollution be reduced, but CO2 is not a pollutant -- it is essential to life on earth.Mr. Brinson won't mind if I dump manganese, copper and human dung into his drinking water, being as they're "essential to life on earth."
Last, Bjorn Lomborg is troubled in his honest heart by a seeming paradox:
I find it curious that they gave the Nobel Prize to both the [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change], which says sea levels are going to rise between 18 and 59 centimetres, and Al Gore, who tells us it might rise six metres. The difference is one between a problem and a catastrophe.An odd decision indeed, and one that the Nobel Committee should explain at its earliest convenience.
As for the "difference" Lomborg mentions, here's a statement issued by polar ice experts earlier in this dwindling year:
The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reported in February that the scientific community could not provide a best estimate or an upper limit on the rate of sea-level rise in coming centuries because of a lack of understanding of the flow of the large ice sheets.Oddly enough, the six-meter scenario is predicated on the melting of the large ice sheets.
(Illustration: "Skeletons Trying to Warm Themselves" by James Ensor, 1889.)