Friday, February 09, 2007

Vitriol Is Not A Side Effect, It's The Whole Point

Glen Reynolds:

JONAH GOLDBERG SPANKS ELLEN GOODMAN for a silly column comparing people who disagree with global warming theater to holocaust deniers.

This sort of behavior by global-warming enthusiasts is offputting, and justifies those who compare them with religious fanatics. As Arnold Kling wrote the other day:

The Left's religion often comes dressed up as science. Marxism is one example. The eugenics movement of the early twentieth century is another. The Global Warming crusade is probably another.

On a practical level this doesn't matter that much to me -- as I wrote before, we should probably be acting as if global warming theories are true regardless -- but acting as if isn't the same as crushing all dissent. And I can't help but feel that for people like Goodman, getting to compare people you disagree with to holocaust deniers is the main point, and global warming is just the excuse. Don't want me to get that impression? Don't act that way, then.

Jonah Goldberg has quite a good column about the Global Warming power grab juggernaut. Here's a line I liked (bolded below):

Environmentalists like to claim the “energy independence” issue, but it’s not a neat fit. We could be energy independent soon enough with coal and nuclear power. But coal contributes to global warming, and nuclear power is icky. So, instead, we’re going to massively subsidize the government-brewed moonshine called ethanol.

Here again, the benefits barely outweigh the costs. Ethanol requires almost as much energy to make as it provides, and the costs to the environment and the economy may be staggering.

Frankly, I don’t think the trade-off is worth it — yet. The history of capitalism and technology tells us that what starts out expensive and arduous becomes cheap and easy over time.

Lewis and Clark took months to do what a truck carrying Tickle-Me Elmos does every week. Technology 10 years from now could solve global warming at a fraction of today’s costs. What technologies? I don’t know. Maybe fusion. Maybe hydrogen. Maybe we’ll harness the perpetual motion of Sen. Joe Biden’s mouth.

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