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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/6065/a-new-tactic-for-the-think-globally-act-locally-crowd/

A new tactic for the Think Globally, Act Locally crowd

December 27, 2006 by

The Chicago Tribune and The Columbus Dispatch are reporting a Washington Post story on the federal push to make the polar bear the first mammal to be listed as in-risk of extinction due to global warming. According to the reports, “The Bush administration has decided to propose listing the polar bear as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, putting the U.S. government on record as saying that global warming could drive one of the world’s most recognizable animals out of existence.”

OK, now that the feds are willing to consider the global impact of a supposed warming Earth on the polar bear population, it’s time to work out the local implications. No longer is some local forest or stream the habitat of legal restraint as “putting polar bears on the endangered species list raises the legal question of whether the government would be required to compel U.S. industries to curb their carbon-dioxide output.”

According to this logic, cars made in the US contribute to global warming, which in turn affects the greater habitat of the polar bear. It’s a beautiful strategy, extend the habitat of an animal to encompass the whole Earth in order to control the actions of all acting humans.

The snail darter and spotted owl were amateur attempts at Green socialism compared to the polar bear.

{ 15 comments }

Edward Brotherton December 27, 2006 at 10:48 pm

Keep in mind there is no evidence showing carbon dioxide emmisions is the cause of global warming. Some experts say it is a natural occurance that happens every few thousand years.

Craig Mackintosh December 28, 2006 at 6:19 am

I think to say "there is no evidence showing carbon dioxide [sic] emmisions
[sic] is the cause of global warming" is slightly overstating your case. For
those that
are
interested in the plight of polar bears, you may find some points of interest
here.

Ohhh Henry December 28, 2006 at 7:53 pm

I find the information given in the link here to be a fairly weak argument for the decline of polar bears, let alone the decline of polar bears due to climate change. It says that several groups of polar bears are declining, but doesn’t say that overall numbers of polar bears are declining. This omission leads me to believe that probably they are not declining overall, and the author has chosen to avoid the topic since it is, ahem, inconvenient. Mostly stationary or increasing numbers of polar bears are noted here.

Likewise, I find that global warming advocates who mention that this or that glacier is shrinking, but who don’t mention how many other glaciers are increasing, are also guilty of omitting relevant facts and on that basis I am inclined to disbelieve what they say. Especially when they jump from “this glacier is shrinking” to “therefore we must raise taxes on gasoline”.

And in any case, as regrettable as the extinction of polar bears might be, the earth won’t come to an end if they’re gone. Worldwide climate change probably had something to do with the disappearance of sabertooth cats too, but their extinction was hardly a calamity for human beings.

The JunkScience article is a pretty good place for people who would like to consider the facts without hysteria. Despite the possibly prejudicial sound of the web site name, it’s a pretty solid overview of the atmospheric physics and, er, “other factors”.

TokyoTom December 31, 2006 at 8:47 pm

Sorry, guys. The libertarian response isn’t to deny that climate is changing or that the changes might cause the extinction of polar bears – or a host of other environmental or economic changes. In fact, a little bit of serious inquiry makes it hard to deny that there is any cause for concern.

Rather, the principled libertarian response is simply to deny that the problem is one that GOVERNMENT should do anything about at all.

It’s rather clear that enviros have a point about the “tragedy of the commons” problems they like to harp on – Miseseans agree fully that resource problems occur when resources are not clearly owned, pursuant to recocognized and enforceable rights. It’s just that the libertarian position is that the most effective solutions are created when the government stays out of the way (except when the courts act to adjudicate private disputes brought to them) – and if the government does act, it is likely to be ham-fisted and ultimately more costly than doing nothing.

Government should do nothing, unless they are right-wing, when they should be praised, like Pinochet and Bush.

Did I get the libertarian position right?

Mark Brabson December 31, 2006 at 9:09 pm

Well, other than the nasty little cheap shot at the end, you were substantially right.

I don’t remember any body praising Pinochet. And I think most people on this blog would have been happy to see Bush hang right next to Saddam.

Sione Vatu January 1, 2007 at 12:35 am

More baseless and dishonest assertion from Tokyo.

Tokyo Tom writes: “The libertarian response isn’t to deny that climate is changing or that the changes might cause the extinction of polar bears – or a host of other environmental or economic changes. In fact, a little bit of serious inquiry makes it hard to deny that there is any cause for concern.”

That’s utter BS.

Notice how TokyoTom smuggles in his unbacked premise. He wants to assert that Man’s activities ARE CAUSING the climate to change and that such change is necessarily bad. Of course he can’t be honest and come right out and say that up front, as he would then be stuck with the requirement to provide proof. On previous occasions when Tokyo Tom has been challenged to prove his assertions he has failed to provide such proof. Hence TokyoTom is now reduced to argument by implication (the latest in a line of polemic techniques he’s tried and failed with).

Notice his characterisation of the Libertarian position with respect to climate change. It’s another assertion from him and it’s wrong. Aside from the fact that there are Libertarians who would argue completely contrary to his latest assertion, there are those who would contest his characterisation of climate change as being caused by Man’s activities and further would not agree that such activities are wrong or bad. As usual he ignores any requirement for proof that falls upon him. Although he bears the burden to provide it, he prefers evasion. Anyway, it’s hard to see why he has returned to argue on this topic given he already conceded the argument to Prof Reisman on a previous thread. Perhaps he’s forgotten.

Tokyo Tom is a failed socialist. He has the conceit to think he can find a grand unifying theory between Libertarianism and collectivism- hence resucue his cherished ideas. Forget about him.

Sione

Peter January 1, 2007 at 6:45 am

I came across this article by Jeremy Clarkson (for those who don’t know, Clarkson fronts Top Gear, by far the best television program in existence) I just had to share part of:

Well, now I’m going to give them something else to write about, because I’m going to explain why I think engineering is more important than environmentalism.

God made the world in seven days, but it was a fairly bleak and hopeless place, full of volcanoes and sharks. On the eighth day, however, man got cracking and, as home improvements go, did a monumentally good job. He created light, warmth, the potato crisp and the dishwasher. And every single one of these things – everything that makes your life pleasant, comfortable, safe and exciting – is down to engineering.

Environmentalists make out that the planet is some kind of wondrous, self-sustaining entity, and engineering has ruined it. They look at the gun, the car and the jet engine as instruments of Satan, but the mosquito has killed more than all three put together. And don’t forget that the Boxing Day tsunami killed more than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

What’s more, it’ll be engineering that creates the satellites to make sure that no tsunami ever has such dire consequences again.

There’s more. Thanks to the last Ice Age, which was not man’s fault, anyone wishing to travel between Denmark and Sweden had, until recently, to drive round the Baltic or use a plane. Neither of which would go down well with the environmentalists. Now, though, God’s oversight has been corrected by engineers who have built a massive and staggeringly beautiful 10-mile double-decker bridge for trains and cars.

The thing is, they couldn’t just go ahead and build it. They had to make sure the construction project in no way affected the local avocet population. How mad is that? How far do you think Brunel, Stephenson and Watt would have got if they’d had Greenpeace sticking its nose into every single thing they did?

And what about the future? It will be engineers who bring an air-powered jet to fruition, not Stephen Joseph from Transport 2000. And it will be engineers who predict the next volcanic eruption, not Simmons from Oxford Council.

I feel for engineering students these days. When they get a job the pay is derisory. There’s no respect. They have to operate with the anvil of environmentalism permanently attached to their left leg. And when they nominate someone other than Bill Oddie for an honorary degree, they’re made to look like murderers.

TokyoTom January 2, 2007 at 12:16 pm

Hey Mark – a happy new year to you.

The closing coment was a bit cynical, but neither nasty nor cheap. Did no not see this thread?
http://blog.mises.org/archives/006051.asp

TokyoTom January 2, 2007 at 12:22 pm

Vacuous Vatu – happy new year to you, too!

It’s hardly socialist to acknowledge that man’s activities are changing the face of the earth, or to note that some of the net effects may be bad – when there are no clear and enforceable property rights.

Some day perhaps you’ll care to argue with what I actually say, instead of some mega bogey-demon you’ve constructed in your head.

Toodles.

RogerM January 2, 2007 at 12:43 pm

Peter,
Nice post! Thanks!

I’ve been waiting for another global warming article to come out so I could recommend this story: http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/news/story.html?id=bc93abca-79cd-4a7b-b7a8-357d4e98f3f3
If the link doesn’t work, Google this: “The original denier: into the cold” by LAWRENCE SOLOMON.

Here’s a quote: “Dr. Lindzen is one of the original deniers — among the first to criticize the scientific bureaucracy, and scientists themselves, for claims about global warming that he views as unfounded and alarmist. While he does not welcome the role he’s acquired, he also does not shrink from it. Dr. Lindzen takes his protests about the abuse of science to the public, to the press, and to government…Dr. Lindzen is a critic from within, one of the most distinguished climate scientists in the world: a past professor at the University of Chicago and Harvard, the Alfred P. Sloan professor of meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and a lead author in a landmark report from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the very organization that established global warming as an issue of paramount importance.”

“The summaries’ distortion of the IPCC chapters compounds another distortion that occurred in the very writing of the scientific chapters themselves. Dr. Lindzen’s description of the conditions under which the climate scientists worked conjures up a scene worthy of a totalitarian state: “throughout the drafting sessions, IPCC ‘coordinators’ would go around insisting that criticism of models be toned down, and that ‘motherhood’ statements be inserted to the effect that models might still be correct despite the cited faults. Refusals were occasionally met with ad hominem attacks. I personally witnessed coauthors forced to assert their ‘green’ credentials in defense of their statements.”

David White January 2, 2007 at 1:14 pm

I’m a GW skeptic but would have to agree with TokyoTom as to the appropriate libertarian response, given that the Left considers climate change to be “the greatest and widest-ranging market failure ever seen.”

http://www.commondreams.org/views06/1228-24.htm

Never mind the environmental horror that was the former Soviet Union or the burgeoning horror that is China today — e.g., http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2003498352_cashmere282.html?syndication=rss) — the crony capitalism of the corporate state is to a free market what a hooker is to love.

And even if the free market did in fact reign, who’s job is it to enforce the thousands of regulations that are supposed to keep a lid on things? I mean, since when did the government step back and say, “OK, free market, have at it, but if you don’t police yourself, we’re gonna come down hard”?

Not that any of this will prevent the “watermelons” (green on the outside, red on the inside) from using GW to further their quest for a world state, of course. And thus will the cure be far worse than whatever disease might be breaking out.

RogerM January 2, 2007 at 4:25 pm

Here’s an interesting article from the the Canadian Society of Exploration Geophysicists demonstrating that the sun causes about 80% of the variation in earth’s mean temp for the past 500 years: http://www.cseg.ca/recorder/pdf/2000/2000_Jan/01_Jan2000.pdf

TokyoTom January 3, 2007 at 11:15 pm

Roger:

This piece at RealClimate makes it clear that they are aware of the effects of solar cycles on the earth`s temperatures: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/03/solar-variability-statistics-vs-physics-2nd-round/

But the question is not so much what has caused changes in the past as what is causing changes presently being manifested. They conclude that “there is not much evidence pointing to the sun being responsible for the warming since the 1950s.”

Regards,

TT

Sam January 3, 2007 at 11:26 pm

Or we could heed the words from South Park: fart, in moderation.

Sione January 10, 2007 at 6:34 pm

TokyoTom

Read what I wrote. I identified YOU as a socialist. I had good reason, based on your previous posts.

Don’t forget it was you who promoted energy taxes in response to my suggestion that people be left alone to solve problems that confront them. You now appear to have altered your position from before. Still, the tax proposition was indeed a socialist idea- a collectivist crime really. I hope you no longer support such things.

Sione

PS. I wish nothing but frustration, injury, defeat and untimely death on socialists and collectivists everywhere. May 2007 be an entirely unhappy year of total doom for them.

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