In his January 2008 column for GreenBiz.com, Brad Allenby penned an essay entitled “Climate Wise – The Dangerous Rise of Carbon Fundamentalism.” In this essay, he provides examples of how carbon metrics are becoming pervasive in areas of life – and within ideological frameworks – that never had anything to do with the environment.
|It is possible to love the earth but
reject carbon fundamentalism.
(Photo: US EPA)
To name a few, he mentions a proposal in Sweden to charge “carbon credits” per child and pay carbon offsets to people who get sterilized, an article in the New Scientist suggesting obese people are using an abusive amount of carbon through their immoral gluttony, another suggesting men use more than their fair share of carbon because they’re bigger and they breath more air. As he says:
“…the sheer volume of articles, the vicious language and the retranslation of so many social and cultural trends — divorce, obesity, gender conflict and much else — into terms of carbon footprint suggests that something more fundamental is going on.“
Allenby then suggests the moral outrage being summoned is undermining rational debate about climate change, as well as undermining science. He states:
“The data driven and exploratory processes of science are choked off by inculcation of belief systems that rely on archetypal and emotive strength. Importantly, the extreme language is directed not against those who deny anthropogenic climate change completely, but those who, while accepting the existence of the phenomenon, do not believe it is an existential and immediate crisis. The authority of science is relied on not for factual enlightenment but as ideological foundation for authoritarian policy prescriptions which might otherwise be difficult to implement.“
We could not agree more. In a December 2007 post “Inconvenient Facts About Global Warming,” we question the existence of a “denial industry,” and instead we list the participants in what one might term the “alarm industry.” From that perspective, it is clear this latest strand of virulent fundamentalism – carbon fundamentalism – is tolerated and indeed encouraged by virtually all powerful vested interests on earth.
- Insurance companies get to charge higher premiums
- Fossil fuel companies get to keep prices (and profits) high
- Politicians get to enact new taxes
- Public sector entities get new tax revenue to fund their pensions
- Environmental organizations get more funds
- Left wing activists get a new basis to attack private ownership
- Labor unions get more jobs, especially in the public sector
- Lawyers get a new basis to file lawsuits
- Wall street gets to trade emissions credits
- Climate researchers get more grant requests funded
- United Nations bureaucrats get a guaranteed revenue stream
And along with those special interests, sadly, add the inspired hoards of greentech entrepreneurs who are spending precious time groveling for carbon-offset funded subsidies and other government handouts, instead of pursuing innovations that win competitively in the free market.
Last week we posted another feature by famed meteorologist Richard Lindzen, who agrees there is some warming, but does not believe it is a crisis. Reader reactions that latest feature “The Fluid Envelope – A Case Against Climate Alarmism,” are posted here.