What Global Warming Alarmism is All About

From a press release from the Environmental News Network that landed in my inbox:

It's Time to Re-think Economic Growth for Advanced Nations

LONDON - In Prosperity Without Growth: Economics for a Finite Planet, published by Earthscan this week, Professor Tim Jackson raises fundamental questions about the economics needed to tackle climate change. Jackson argues that, faced with the limits imposed by carbon sinks and the scale of "˜de-carbonization' of the world's economy required to stay within them, continued economic growth in the already affluent world does not offer the solution; it represents the problem....

there is a strong case for the developed nations to make room for growth in poorer countries. It is in these poorer countries that growth really does make a difference. In richer countries the returns on further growth appear much more limited; for example subjective well-being diminishes rapidly at higher income levels."

Assuming that such thinking is not just a crass excuse for totalitarian control, it represents an enormous failure of imagination.  The author cannot imagine what benefits increased wealth would provide, so he assumes those benefits to be zero.  There is absolutely no reason that this same exact thinking could not have been applied in 1300 or 1750 or 1900.    Fortunately it was not.

Wonder where the communists went when their philosophy was shown to be bankrupt?  Wonder where the anti-globalization folks went after they looted in Seattle.  Look no further than the global warming movement.  The author suggests, among other things:

  • support for "˜ecological' enterprise "“ resource efficient, community-based activities that offer meaningful employment and deliver low-carbon goods and services
  • clear restraints on unbridled consumerism
  • the protection of public spaces and a renewed vision of social goods
  • investment in the capabilities for people have to participate in society in less materialistic ways

Just say no to ecological Marxism.


  1. Bob Hawkins:

    "restraints on unbridled consumerism"

    80 years ago, socialism was a moral imperative because it was the best way to create smoke-spewing factories and deliver consumer goods to the masses. 40 years ago, socialism was a moral imperative because it was the best way to prevent smoke-spewing factories while delivering consumer goods to the masses. Today, socialism is a moral imperative because its the best way to prevent smoke-spewing factories and stop the masses from getting consumer goods.

    To paraphrase an old punch line, "It's not about the smoke and the consumer goods, is it?"

  2. Michael:

    Paul Krugman is going to be envious.

  3. Bill:

    This is why these people are known as watermelons - green on the outside, red on the inside...

  4. Ron de Haan:

    Unfortunately the Governments of the free world are infiltrated and the well planned coup is underway.
    look no further than the UN IPCC, Agenda 21, read the concept treaty of the Copenhagen Climate Meeting which starts with the framework of a World Government, read
    http://green-agenda.com (Club of Rome, UN and the First World Revolution) and watch the video of the Glenn Beck interview with John Bolton and Lord Monckton.
    More info at: http://wattsupwiththat.com
    and http://www.icecap.us

  5. Passerby:

    Lenin said "Socialism is Communism with electricity" which I thought was appropriate in this case.

  6. Greg:

    "Assuming that such thinking is not just a crass excuse for totalitarian control, it represents an enormous failure of imagination." And the thinking of the author of this blog displays an enormous detachment from reality. It's quite simple really. Explain how growth can be infinite when the planet we live on and its resources are not?

  7. DMac:

    Greg, there is a huge gap between a zero-growth assumption and your assertion of 'infinite growth'. The greens, and other planners, assume a zero-sum game, and try to carve today's fixed pie to suit their needs. There is a certain hubris to the assertion that we have reached the pinnacle of human society, and it's all down-hill from here, that we don't know how to further develop our resource management, including the development of new and under-used resources for continued growth.

  8. Gordo:

    The author of this blog understands well that no one can see the future. The same doomsayers have been around for centuries now, and all the while the human condition has improved on balance. Restraining growth will limit the innovations that will ameliorate the unintended negative consequences of prior growth and development. We can't solve the problems we have with the same level of understanding that gave those problems to us. And we certainly can't solve them if we regress, which is what the global warming alarmists are demanding we do. And does anyone think for the briefest of moments that the global elite will subject themselves to the same restraints as the rest of us?

  9. Thom Moses:

    Let us look at this discussion in the eyes of Al Gore's Global Marshall Plan;

    Source: Earth in the Balance, page 297-301

    Global Marshall Plan: Five strategic goals "In my view, five strategic goals must direct and inform our efforts to save the global environment":
    1;Stabilizing of world population
    2;The rapid development of environmentally appropriate technologies
    3; A comprehensive change in the economic "rules of the road" by which we measure the impact of our decisions on the environment
    4;Negotiation & approval of a new generation of international agreements
    5; A cooperative plan for educating the world's citizens about our global environment.
    We see his number one concern is Stabilizing world population. But increasing the Co2 in the Atmosphere would provide for larger crop yields & more food for more people. That goes against Al Gores Vision. He believes that people are the problem. I am not a scientist, but my logical mind tells me that if co2 were still at 250ppm, the world would not be able to feed 6.5 Billion inhabitants. As co2 increases so does the population. Al Gore has his cause & effect backwards. We see (at co2science.org) if Co2 were increased by 300ppm to around 685 ppm then crop production would increase by 20-50%.
    The choice is feed the world or starve the world.

  10. Methinks:

    So, global warming is about central planning and engineering society. Got it.

  11. nom de guerre:

    no, global warming is about control of the populace by the state. they've just applied the lessons learned over the past few decades and replaced the scary-looking swastika and the omninous red star/hammer & sickle with a rainbow-colored unicorn wearing a smiley face.

    it's the same old crap, the branding is just different. like when pepsi changes logos.

  12. Chris K.:

    Reminds me of an employee at the patent office around the turn of the twentieth century who said that everything that could have been invent already had been.

  13. Methinks:

    Nom, Comrade, I'm very familiar with social engineering, hailing as I do from the petrie dish that project was grown in - the USSR.

    Yeah, I did notice the rebranding with that ridiculous Obama logo instead of the hammer (which they used to whack us over the head) and sickle (which they used to then cut it off). The "O" will save you from hope. So, I guess it is all about hope and change after all. Once government is finished transforming into your overlord, you will no longer have any hope to change anything about your newly miserable life.

  14. smurfy:

    "Reminds me of an employee at the patent office around the turn of the twentieth century who said that everything that could have been invent already had been."

    That's exactly how I felt in freshman chem. Assholes like pastuer had already discovered everything and my name will never be on a formula or theory. I was right on that last part, but I had the blame completely miss-assigned. All it takes is Scotty to come back and show us how to make clear aluminum and many of our limits suddenly disappear.

    "2;The rapid development of environmentally appropriate technologies" Seems to me that 'rapid' is the biggest problem in that phrase. The ethanol boondoggle was a great example of the Peter Principal. Take something that could work at a small, local scale but doesn't scale up well and expect it to suddenly meet a large percentage of national demand.

  15. Gil:

    Likewise ending slavery by government force wasn't about the plight of the slaves but strengthening government and weakening private enterprise. It would have probably been the case that African slaves had a higher standard of living as slaves in the West than they did as being free people in Africa. Besides many working people at that time were complaining many free workers had conditions that were much the same, if not lower, than slaves - slaves got healthcare since the master wasn't going to his investment. Hence slavery should have been left alone by government and been allowed to be voluntarily phased by private enterprise when seen fit. If some slavery would still be around even today then it serves a valuable purpose and is indeed more efficient than free labour in certain areas. /end sarcasm.