Monday, March 2, 2009

Global Warming or Climate Change?

I was first introduced to the concept of Global Warming in 1996 in 11th grade Geography. My teacher, who was a pragmatist not a political idealist, framed it as an exciting opportunity for Canada. As he explained it, Canada would have more arable land and the United States would have less. In a warmer world, we would be able to expand our economic development in the far north, drastically increasing land value and productivity.

Thus I entered adulthood excited for Global Warming. That was until University when my “Introduction to Astronomy” professor presented the theory that Venus was once just as the Earth is now, and that greenhouse gas induced warming transformed it into a great ball of fire. Needless to say that caught my attention and I was now officially concerned.

When I was told that the solution was to consume less energy, consume less food, consume less everything; my response was to hell with that! We need to build a fleet of carbon vacuum blimps to suck up all the extra CO2 floating around in the air up there; and to build several massive nuclear powered refrigeration machines at the arctic poles. We should spare no expense and get right to work! A Carbon Offset is no more than a Papal Indulgence to ease a guilty conscious.

By the time I was wrapping up my Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematical Economics, the film The Day After Tomorrow was released. I was spooked yet again, except this time convinced that a new ice age was inevitable and that mankind was doomed! I was trying to conceive methods by which we could keep the North Atlantic Current flowing, such as submerging a series of massive propellers throughout the Deep Blue Sea!

Not long thereafter, Al Gore started winning inconvenient awards and an ever growing number of Politicians began sounding the alarms and heralding the Kyoto Treaty as the solution to the “Climate Crisis”. This was what planted the first seeds of skepticism in my mind. I reviewed the Kyoto Protocol, and how a plan to redistribute wealth was going to solve the problem of fire in the sky felt eerily like a political red herring. In my opinion the solution would need to be a technological innovation or a 21st century epic public works Manhattan Project, not Marxism.

I began to take note of how the alarmists were attacking consumption as the root of all evil. As Adam Smith wrote in the Wealth of Nations, Book IV Chapter VIII: “Consumption is the sole end and purpose of all production; and the interest of the producer ought to be attended to, only so far as it may be necessary for promoting that of the consumer.” And where Karl Marx once wrote “Under private property ... Each tries to establish over the other an alien power, so as thereby to find satisfaction of his own selfish need. The increase in the quantity of objects is therefore accompanied by an extension of the realm of the alien powers to which man is subjected, and every new product represents a new potentiality of mutual swindling and mutual plundering.”

My skepticism gradually progressed as experts such as David Whitehouse, Christopher C Horner, and Bjorn Lumborg began to emerge to debunk many of Gore’s theories. By the time Stephane Dion ascended to the throne of the Liberal Party riding the wave of his green revolution; I had already retreated from my initial position like the Czar’s Cossacks against Napoleon’s Grand Armee.

Now as the world cycles into a cooling trend, I see these experts, pundits, politicians, and professors who staked their reputations on a theory; scrambling to explain why their forecast models are turning out to have been remarkably inaccurate. Just as I imagine Mr. Bonaparte felt as he was holed up in Moscow amidst a fiercely cold winter (a mini ice age possibly caused by the exhaust from his horse’s ass); when he realized that he had made a grievous miscalculation. At that turning point in history he was faced with an incredibly difficult decision. Advance forward and risk losing it all, or retreat and risk losing credibility as a military genius. Mr. Gore’s decision has become crystal clear. He’s going all in, full steam ahead.

“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it”


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