Saturday, June 16, 2012

RIO +20 Summit - an exercise in primitivism

As tens of thousands gather in Rio this week to "save the world", let's take a look at some of the actions organizers are advocating.

1. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says that abundant resources have allowed us to mine our way to growth and burn our way to prosperity and says this is a global suicide pact.  He claims we need a free market revolution for global sustainability.

These ideas are anti-life and economically ignorant.  All the natural resources used since the industrial revolution did not exist beforehand because they are all products of the human mind applying reason to the problem of survival.  They were simply varieties of dirt and rocks whose existence and usefulness was undefined and unknown to mankind.  The concepts of skyscrapers, electricity, internal combustion, atomic power and pipelines were unimagined because mysticism rather than reason had ruled mankind through most of history.  Ban Ki-moon and his ilk want to return us to the primitive existence before the enlightenment and industrial revolution.  They ignore the fact that the free-market revolution is what brought us longer life, comfort and prosperity beyond imagination.

2. Rio advocates say that burning coal, oil and gas is warming the planet so fast that in less than 100 years we will face a catastrophe.  They are caught up in false premises that are easily revealed by a variety of sciences.  The assumption that CO2 is what drives global climate has been shown false by simple statistics showing almost no relationship between CO2 and global temperature over short, medium, long and very long-term time scales.  The assumption that current temperature represents some kind of stable value is easily falsified by geologic records.  The notion that more warming will be dangerous is dis-proven by repeated past warming periods during which humans thrived.  Recent research has shown that the interaction between the cycles of the sun, the penetration of cosmic rays into our atmosphere and cloud formation account for almost all the historical variability in global temperature.

3. The Rio organizers praise Quebec and BC for imposing carbon taxes.  Given that the entire worry about carbon is unfounded, such measures and meaningless.  In fact, even the IPCC's own data shows that reducing CO2 will have a negligible effect on global temperature, but clearly they see such taxes as a way to attack industrial progress and control the economy.

4. A former UNEP executive wants to increase governmental control of corporations, saying they lobby for subsidies, use advertising to convert insecurities into wants and, sounding like a good communist, says corporations should be forced to act for the public good.  He evades the fact that corporations must lobby to protect themselves from government intrusions into the marketplace.  If government did not arrogate control of the economy, lobbying would have no impact.

There is no such thing as the public good since the public is merely a collection of individuals.  In a free market each individual decides what is good and right for himself in the choices he makes.  When some people violate his rights through the force of law we call it oppression by government not freedom.

The truth is that the Rio people are in essence advocating a global totalitarian state to protect the raw elements of nature from interference by humanity.  Since man survives by using reason to re-shape the raw materials of nature to his needs, their agenda is anti-man, anti-life and anti-reason.