Climate Crisis, Inc — A $1.5-Trillion-Per-Year House Of Cards

No warming in 18 years, no category 3-5 hurricane hitting the USA in ten years, seas rising at barely six inches a century: computer models and hysteria are consistently contradicted by Real World experiences.

So how do White House, EPA, UN, EU, Big Green, Big Wind, liberal media, and even Google, GE and Defense Department officials justify their fixation on climate change as the greatest crisis facing humanity? How do they excuse saying government must control our energy system, our economy and nearly every aspect of our lives – deciding which jobs will be protected and which ones destroyed, even who will live and who will die – in the name of saving the planet? What drives their intense ideology?

The answer is simple. The Climate Crisis & Renewable Energy Industry has become a $1.5-trillion-a-year business! That’s equal to the annual economic activity generated by the entire US nonprofit sector, or all savings over the past ten years from consumers switching to generic drugs. By comparison, annual revenues for much-vilified Koch Industries are about $115 billion, and for ExxonMobil around $365 billion.

According to a 200-page analysis by the Climate Change Business Journal, this Climate Industrial Complex can be divided into nine segments: low carbon and renewable power; carbon capture and storage; energy storage, like batteries; energy efficiency; green buildings; transportation; carbon trading; climate change adaptation; and consulting and research. Consulting is a $27-billion-per-year industry that handles “reputation management” for companies and tries to link weather events, food shortages and other problems to climate change. Research includes engineering R&D and climate studies.

The $1.5-trillion price tag appears to exclude most of the Big Green environmentalism industry, a $13.4-billion-per-year business in the USA alone. The MacArthur Foundation just gave another $50 million to global warming alarmist groups. Ex-NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Chesapeake Energy gave the Sierra Club $105 million to wage war on coal (shortly before the Club began waging war on natural gas and Chesapeake Energy, in what some see as poetic justice). Warren Buffett, numerous “progressive” foundations, Vladimir Putin cronies and countless companies also give endless millions to Big Green.

Our hard-earned tax dollars are likewise only partially included in the CCBJ tally. As professor, author and columnist Larry Bell notes in his new book, Scared Witless: Prophets and profits of climate doom, the U.S. government spent over $185 billion between 2003 and 2010 on climate change items – and this wild spending spree has gotten even worse in the ensuing Obama years. We are paying for questionable to fraudulent global warming studies, climate-related technology research, loans and tax breaks for Solyndra and other companies that go bankrupt, “climate adaptation” foreign aid to poor countries, and much more.

Also not included: the salaries and pensions of thousands of EPA, NOAA, Interior, Energy and other federal bureaucrats who devote endless hours to devising and imposing regulations for Clean Power Plans, drilling and coal mining bans, renewable energy installations, and countless Climate Crisis, Inc. handouts. A significant part of the $1.9 trillion per year that American businesses and families pay to comply with mountains of federal regulations is also based on climate chaos claims.

Add in the state and local equivalents of these federal programs, bureaucrats, regulations and restrictions, and we’re talking serious money. There are also consumer costs, including the far higher electricity prices families and businesses must pay, especially in states that want to prove their climate credentials.

The impacts on companies and jobs outside the Climate Crisis Industry are enormous, and growing. For every job created in the climate and renewable sectors, two to four jobs are eliminated in other parts of the economy, studies in Spain, Scotland and other countries have found. The effects on people’s health and welfare, and on overall environmental quality, are likewise huge and widespread.

But all these adverse effects are studiously ignored by Climate Crisis profiteers – and by the false prophets of planetary doom who manipulate data, exaggerate and fabricate looming catastrophes, and create the pseudo-scientific basis for regulating carbon-based energy and industries into oblivion. Meanwhile, the regulators blatantly ignore laws that might penalize their favored constituencies.

In one glaring example, a person who merely possesses a single bald eagle feather can be fined up to $100,000 and jailed for a year. But operators of the wind turbine that killed the eagle get off scot-free. Even worse, the US Fish & Wildlife Service actively helps Big Wind hide and minimize its slaughter of millions of raptors, other birds and bats every year. It has given industrial wind operators a five-year blanket exemption from the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, Migratory Birds Treaty Act and Endangered Species Act. The FWS even proposed giving Big Wind a 30-year exemption.

Thankfully, the US District Court in San Jose, CA, recently ruled that the FWS and Interior Department violated the National Environmental Policy Act and other laws when they issued regulations granting these companies a 30-year license to kill bald and golden eagles. But the death tolls continue to climb.

Professor Bell’s perceptive, provocative, extensively researched book reviews the attempted power grab by Big Green, Big Government and Climate Crisis, Inc. In 19 short chapters, he examines the phony scientific consensus on global warming, the secretive and speculative science and computer models used to “prove” we face a cataclysm, ongoing collusion and deceit by regulators and activists, carbon tax mania, and many of the most prominent but phony climate crises: melting glaciers, rising sea levels, ocean acidification, disappearing species and declining biodiversity. His articles and essays do likewise.

Scared Witless also lays bare the real reasons for climate fanaticism, aside from lining pockets. As one prominent politician and UN or EPA bureaucrat after another has proudly and openly said, their “true ambition” is to institute “a new global order” … “ global governance” … “redistribution of the world’s resources” … an end to “hegemonic” capitalism … and “a profound transformation” of “attitudes and lifestyles,” energy systems and “the global economic development model.”

In other words, these unelected, unaccountable US, EU and UN bureaucrats want complete control over our industries; over everything we make, grow, ship, eat and do; and over every aspect of our lives, livelihoods, living standards and liberties. And they intend to “ride the global warming issue” all the way to this complete control, “even if the theory of global warming is wrong” … “even if there is no scientific evidence to back the greenhouse effect” … “even if the science of global warming is all phony.”

If millions of people lose their jobs in the process, if millions of retirees die from hypothermia because they cannot afford to heat their homes properly, if millions of Africans and Asians die because they are denied access to reliable, affordable carbon-based electricity – so be it. Climate Crisis, Inc. doesn’t care.

Free market principles do not apply, and free marketers need not apply. The global warming industry survives and thrives only because of secretive, fraudulent climate science; constant collusion between regulators and pressure groups; and a steady stream of government policies, regulations, preferences, subsidies and mandates – plus taxes and penalties on its competitors. CCI gives lavishly to politicians who keep the gravy train on track, while its attack dogs respond quickly, aggressively and viciously to anyone who dares to challenge its orthodoxies, perks, power and funding.

Climate change has been “real” throughout Earth and human history – periodically significant, sometimes sudden, sometimes destructive. It is driven by the sun and other powerful, complex, interacting natural forces that we still do not fully understand … and certainly cannot control. It has little or nothing to do with the carbon dioxide that makes plants grow faster and better, and is emitted as a result of using fossil fuels that have brought countless, wondrous improvements to our environment and human condition.

Climate Crisis, Inc. is a wealthy, nasty behemoth. But it is a house of cards. Become informed. Get involved. Fight back. And elect representatives – and a president – who also have the backbone to do so.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Hillary’s Energy Plan Is Like Obama’s Clean Power Plan On steroids

The Clinton campaign’s newly announced “ambitious renewable energy plans” move far beyond Obama’s highly criticized efforts. Obama’s policies push a goal of producing 20 percent of the nation’s electricity from renewables by 2030; hers is 33 percent by 2027. We are at 7 percent today.

At a rally in Ames, IA, Clinton said: “I want more wind, more solar, more advanced biofuels, more energy efficiency.” She added: “And, I’ve got to tell you, people who argue against this are just not paying attention.”

I’ve got to tell you, the Clinton campaign isn’t paying attention—or, it is paying attention to the demands of wealthy campaign donors.

The White House has received aggressive push back and a Supreme Court’s smack down over the administration’s policies designed to cut carbon dioxide by requiring renewables.

A growing list of governors refuses to comply with Obama’s Clean Power Plan (CPP)—the cornerstone of his climate agenda. Congress has pending legislation giving the governors the authority to “just say no” if such plans would negatively affect electricity rates, reliability, or important economic sectors.

Clinton pledged, according to The Guardian, “to uphold the Obama administration’s heavily opposed restrictions on carbon emissions of power stations, which are expected to accelerate the rapid shut-down of coal plants across the country.” Don’t worry, though, if you are one of thousands of employees put out of work because of these policies, according to the New York Times (NYT): “Mrs. Clinton promised that in coming months she would unwrap additional climate policies, including aid to workers in coal-producing regions who suffer economic harm.” So now, instead of having a good-paying job, those who used to work in the coal industry will become wards of the state—while those of us who still have jobs pay for the “aid” through our taxes.

To meet her goals, NYT reports: “Congress would have to mandate production of renewable power, or to tax greenhouse gas pollution—both proposals that have floundered on Capitol Hill.” If she’s paying attention, Clinton would acknowledge that she’ll have virtually no chance of that succeeding as a President Clinton would likely still have a Republican-controlled Congress.

Meeting her 33 percent goal would also require “further federal investment,” which would require “resuscitation of tax credits and some innovation and regulatory incentives”—all of which add up to more government spending of taxpayers dollars.

Leading climate alarmist James Hansen, formerly with NASA, surprisingly announced that Clinton’s plan “is going to make energy more expensive.”

Due to dire economic consequences, other countries have abandoned, or at least, dialed back on, CO2 reduction plans—but, perhaps, she isn’t paying attention.

The Guardian coverage of Clinton’s climate plan warns: “People in the U.S. may care less about climate change than they do about cost.”

Why isn’t Clinton paying attention to the backlash against renewable energy and the higher costs it imposes on consumers and industry? The answer is clearly laid out in the NYT: “Mrs. Clinton’s strategists see climate change as a winning issue for 2016. They believe it is a cause she can advance to win over deep-pocketed donors.” Billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer has announced that “for candidates to receive his support in 2016, they must offer policies that would lead the nation to generate half its electricity from clean sources by 2030 and 100 percent by 2050.” Clinton’s press secretary tweeted: “Counting nuclear, as Steyer does, she exceeds his 50 percent goal.”

If you pay attention, you’ll realize that the priority of Clinton’s ambitious plan is to further her ambitions, putting money in her pocket while taking it from the average American.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

A Libertarian View Of Francis’ Laudato Si

Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si (“Be Praised”) has been acclaimed by the international media as a call to action on global warming, to combat its threat to world survival. It has been praised in New York Times editorials and by Progressive Catholic intellectuals like E.J. Dionne on the Left while garnering scathing or dismissive responses from libertarian, free-market types on the Right.

The papal document, however, is not fundamentally about climate change (who questions that weather changes?) or even global warming. (The Pope merely follows the scientific “consensus” and even qualifies it as a trend that “would appear” to “indicate” that “the greater part” of greenhouse gases’ warming is “due to human activity.”)

The encyclical is actually about our “fragile world” and how modern technology linked to “limitless” freedom, “business interests,” and consumerism will destroy it, especially its effects on the poor since consumerism’s “worst impact will probably be felt by developing countries in coming decades.” He is less worried about heat than trash:

We all know that it is not possible to sustain the present level of consumption in developed countries and wealthier sectors of society, where the habit of wasting and discarding has reached unprecedented levels. The exploitation of the planet has already exceeded acceptable limits and we still have not solved the problem of poverty.

To confront the danger to our fragile planet, fundamental changes are necessary in the world’s production, consumption, and lifestyles. Francis is extremely critical of what has been done so far, finding it “remarkable how weak international political responses have been.”

A fragile planet with limited resources means a zero-sum situation in which the richer deprive the poor majority of necessities. Even where serious commitments have been made by the West to reduce carbon emissions, the richer nations are unwilling to confront the underlying problem of consumerism among their populations.

Western leaders’ “ecological sensitivity” has “not succeeded in changing their harmful habits of consumption.” Even if there were the will to extend Western prosperity to the world, there would be insufficient resources to produce the goods necessary. The Western “minority believes that it has the right to consume in a way which can never be universalized, since the planet could not even contain the waste products of such consumption.” The increasing use of air conditioning is singled out as an example of the “harmful habits of consumption” that are expanding ever more to exhaust world resources. Stimulating demand for such appliances is “self-destructive.”

The Pope is kind of a modern version of the English priest and academic Thomas Malthus (1766-1834), who predicted that natural population growth would always in the long run outpace material production in a static world, finally leading to world poverty—although a “great law of necessity” would decrease population naturally to provide for some prosperity for the rest. Malthus’ modern proponents, such as Margaret Sanger, thought nature needed the assistance of abortion and birth control. Since the Pope condemns these as immoral, the only other logical and moral solution for him is to welcome lower average world wealth but to minimize the effects on the poor by redistributing wealth to them from the richer nations. The funds used on such luxuries as air conditioning should be reallocated to feed and house the poorest.

This encyclical, therefore, is much more radical than the statements of even the most extreme of the green movements worldwide. The Pope is more honest. There is no free lunch. Western “opinion makers, communications media, and centers of power are far removed from the poor” and live “isolated lives” unwilling to take the necessary action. If the Greens are right in their analysis of the climate crisis and infanticide is not an option, the richer in the West—those who can afford air conditioning—will have to sacrifice their modern standard of living and “leave behind the modern myth of unlimited material progress.”

Who Are the Poor?

Francis does not mention it, but 80 percent of the official poor in the United States tell the government that they have air conditioning. Sorry E.J., even the U.S. poor are too rich; their and your air conditioning simply must go.

Even those, like your writer, who are without home air conditioning (to the utter incomprehension of neighbors during the steaming Washington, D.C. summer) cannot take much comfort. The Pope also criticizes “privatization of certain spaces that restrict peoples’ access to places of particular beauty.” (I live on the Chesapeake Bay and my property blocks access to it.)

Frustrated by present efforts, the Pope quotes Pope Benedict XVI on the need for “a true world political authority” that would go well beyond his predecessor’s limited conception to “manage the global economy; revive economies hit by the crisis, prevent deterioration of the present and subsequent imbalances; to achieve integral and timely disarmament, food security and peace; to ensure environmental protection and pursuant to the regulations for migratory flows.”

In short, what is envisioned here is “one world with a common plan.”

How to implement it? “Enforceable international agreements are urgently needed, since local authorities are not always capable of effective intervention,” writes Francis. Even if there is “sustainable development,” it must be offset by “containing growth by setting some reasonable limits and even retracing our steps before it is too late.”

But he qualifies this by allowing that “there are no uniform recipes, because each country or region has its own problems and limitations. It is also true that political realism may call for transitional measures and technologies, so long as these are accompanied by the gradual framing and acceptance of binding commitments.”

As for international relations en route to “one world with a common plan,” states “must be respectful of each other’s sovereignty, but must also lay down mutually agreed means of averting regional disasters which would eventually affect everyone.” Decisions must be made “based on a comparison of the risks and benefits foreseen for the various possible alternatives.” Moreover, there must be “greater attention to local cultures when studying environmental problems,” to encourage “a dialogue between scientific-technical language and the language of the people.”

The poorer countries do not escape “the plan.” They should continue to put a priority on “development and poverty eradication,” but at the same time, “they need to acknowledge the scandalous level of consumption in some privileged sectors of their population and to combat corruption more effectively.” He even warns poor countries that “want their chance to grow along the same path of industrialization” as the West did to “rethink that path” toward achieving ever greater riches. These countries “also need less-polluting forms of energy production, but for this they need to count on the help of wealthy countries” For even if the libertarian optimists are correct that technology can adapt to the changing environment, the poorer countries that have historically emitted the least carbon dioxide lack the means to adapt.

The Moral Ecosystem

The problem is finally a moral one. “Human beings and material objects no longer extend a friendly hand to one another; the relationship has become confrontational. This has made it easy to accept the idea of infinite or unlimited growth, which proves so attractive to economists, financiers and experts in technology. It is based on the lie that there is an infinite supply of the earth’s goods, and this leads to the planet being squeezed dry beyond every limit.”

How do we combat the lie? “There needs to be a distinctive way of looking at things, a way of thinking, policies, an educational programme, a lifestyle and a spirituality which together generate resistance to the assault of the technocratic paradigm. Human beings cannot be expected to feel responsibility for the world unless, at the same time, their unique capacities of knowledge, will, freedom and responsibility are recognized and valued.”

Simple welfare payments to the poor are not enough. Employment is a “necessity, part of the meaning of life on this earth, a path to growth, human development and personal fulfilment. Helping the poor financially must always be a provisional solution in the face of pressing needs. The broader objective should always be to allow them a dignified life through work.” But the need for work leads Francis to make a rare concession to business that “it is imperative to promote an economy which favours productive diversity and business creativity.” Yet, “to ensure economic freedom from which all can effectively benefit, restraints occasionally have to be imposed on those possessing greater resources and financial power.”

For underlying it all is respect for the human person as such, “endowed with basic and inalienable rights.” The whole welfare of society is based on those inalienable individual rights and “builds on them” through a “variety of intermediate groups, applying the principle of subsidiarity,” through the family, locality, region and up to the state and beyond.

It starts with individual morality. “Only by cultivating sound virtues will people be able to make a selfless ecological commitment. . . . There is a nobility in the duty to care for creation through little daily actions, and it is wonderful how education can bring about real changes in lifestyle.” What is needed is a literal “conversion” that “calls for a number of attitudes which together foster a spirit of generous care, full of tenderness.” Primarily “it entails gratitude and gratuitousness, a recognition that the world is God’s loving gift, and that we are called quietly to imitate His generosity in self-sacrifice and good works.”

As a Pope, Francis must insist on the world population’s meeting high moral standards, to be “selfless”—even to be “perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.” He is realistic enough to say his encyclical is moral teaching, that “the Church has no reason to offer a definitive opinion” on specific solutions and respects those with “divergent views,” although all must be guided by the “facts.”

Markets and Myths

Views of the facts range between the libertarian “myth of progress that ecological problems will solve themselves” with technology and the “other extreme” on the Left that the “presence of human beings on the planet should be reduced.”  “Viable future scenarios will have to be generated between these extremes” in a “synthesis between faith and reason.” Although he calls for a compromise between the two, presumably the solution will not be the mathematical one of moving from the Left to reduce the population only by half of what the Left may desire.

Francis understands the libertarian ideal as a market manipulated by business interests, with seemingly no conception that businessmen are actually controlled by popular market demand and constantly manipulate government to assist them in subverting market control. He quotes Pope St. John Paul II that the earth is given to the whole human race without excluding or favoring any. He notes John Paul’s concession to private property but finds a “social mortgage” on it that “serves God’s purposes which are not to favor the few.”

Of course, this theme goes back as far as St. Thomas and completely ignores that both saints justified property because it could benefit all if properly regulated under law. Markets are not “limitless” freedom. As even the libertarian icon and Nobel laureate F.A. Hayek specifically argued in his The Constitution of Liberty (1960), there is no such thing as pure laissez faire; the market rests on traditional law, custom, and proper governmental administration of justice.

Markets are not indifferent to the environment, either. A report on climate change by the International Energy Agency issued at the same time as the encyclical noted that without a mandatory regime, the world economy grew by 3 percent last year without increasing manmade carbon dioxide emissions. Market-consistent actions such as shifting from coal to natural gas and increasing carbon efficiencies are working. The reduction of subsidies for fossil fuels could save a half trillion dollars more. The moral justification of the Christian libertarian for the market is that it helps most people in the most moral and productive manner. The reason not to overregulate is so that growth and technology can force wealth down the economic scale.

So-called trickle down is often derided, but in fact it is the only way wealth has gotten to the poor. As Robert Sirico notes, the International Labor Office estimates the number of people on earth earning only $1.25 a day or less fell by more than half from 811 million in 1991 to 375 million in 2013. It was not the redistribution of wealth that did this, it was the market.

Environmental control by government is subject to abuse, too—what John Paul II criticized as “bureaucratic ways of thinking” rather than “concern for serving their clients.” The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was recently criticized by its inspector general for a “culture of complacency” that led the agency to delay taking action against serious employee misconduct that might have affected the management of chemical risks. Eight employees charged with misconduct were even paid for 21,000 hours of leave, totaling $1 million. A senior National Weather Service official created his own post-retirement job and came back to the NWS to perform the same work as before, at an increased salary.

Anyone who understands the enormous benefits of markets and the extreme limits on regulators’ knowledge in trying to guide them would commit a terrible sin by denying markets to the poorer nations of the world. Indeed, more free trade is essential. No one opposes “regulating occasionally,” as Francis puts it. Imagine, however, if the world had listened to Malthus and rather than limit population had merely restrained economic growth. Almost everyone would be poor today, with those at the bottom earning less than half of today’s average of $2,000 per person, much less than those in the poorest countries earning less than half of todays $300 per year. Nor is it a coincidence that the richer nations are better environmental stewards with much less raw discharge of pollution.

Man’s Dominion

Francis properly looks to Genesis 1:28 for the basic Judeo-Christian moral guidance on this matter, which he summarizes as: God gave man the mandate “to have dominion” over the earth but limited it through Biblical obligations to care for the earth. He doesn’t offer the Bible in support of the planet’s extreme fragility, of course—that point isn’t in there. He naturally quotes liberally from Francis of Assisi but, again, nothing very conclusive about how fragile or resilient the planet actually is.

In the section on Jesus’ ideas about nature, he says that “Jesus lived in full harmony” with the environment but the evidence is the observation of witnesses, who ask: “What sort of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him?” (Matthew 8:27). This seems to demonstrate His dramatically controlling the environment, not living in harmony with it.

In trying to resolve the “dominion” question, the Pope concedes: “We Christians have at times wrongfully interpreted the Scriptures” but “nowadays” we must “forcefully” reject “absolute dominion.” He urges reading the words about dominion in context with other Biblical passages  but does not even quote the previous sentence. It is: “Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and subdue it.” For the actual word dominion, many substitute the phrase “be masters of,” others use “rule over.” Yes, Christians have interpreted “subdue,” “masters” and “rule over” in their normal understanding as being required in a hostile and resilient world to fulfill their Creator’s charge, while also finding there is an obligation to “till and keep it” as good stewards.

As the man who would become Pope Benedict XVI put it years ago in his In the Beginning lectures:

What we had previously celebrated — namely, that through faith in creation the world has been demythologized and made reasonable; that sun, moon, and stars are no longer strange and powerful divinities but merely lights; that animals and plants have lost their mystic qualities: all this has become an accusation against Christianity. Christianity is said to have transformed all the powers of the universe, which were once our brothers and sisters, into utilitarian objects for human beings, and in so doing it has led them to misuse plants and animals and in fact all the world’s powers for the sake of an ideology of progress that thinks only of itself and cares only for itself. What can be said in reply to this? The Creator’s directive to humankind means that it is supposed to look after the world as God’s creation, and to do so in accordance with the rhythm and the logic of creation. The sense of the directive is described in the next chapter of Genesis with the words “to till it and keep it.” (Genesis 2:15).

Of course, Pope Francis is not a scientist and simply relies on the consensus. What he is concerned about is morality. However correct libertarians are in appreciating capitalism for its role in lifting the poor, there is no doubt that we can and do become complacent, comfortable, and even a bit ideological in ignoring the downsides. Our best theorists, like Joseph Schumpeter,  recognize the market’s success is based upon its “creative destruction” that discards the old to unleash a higher prosperity. But that means that some are hurt in the process of free creation. Hayek spoke to this in finding tradition and custom to be essential to capitalist development, and these set a value on neighborliness, what Hayek called “conventional morals.”

Here the Pope can help us:

We must regain the conviction that we need one another, that we have a shared responsibility for others and the world, and that being good and decent are worth it. We have had enough of immorality and the mockery of ethics, goodness, faith and honesty. It is time to acknowledge that light hearted superficiality has done us no good.

Schumpeter especially makes it clear that a particular moral order was responsible for capitalism’s creation and is necessary to preserve it. Indeed, he offers the intriguing idea that capitalism is not in Marx’s sense a separate stage of history but is merely the final stage of feudalism. Without its “protecting” values, the whole order of freedom cannot be sustained and the walls of civilization will crumble, in Schumpeter’s view.

Certainly Francis’ understanding of capitalist “freedom to consume” has little to do with what Schumpeter or Hayek understood about liberty. To the extent Francis’ definition of capitalism is accurate, is it not the very type of capitalism that Schumpeter warned against? Indeed, is not capitalism as Francis describes it—“saving the banks at any cost, making the public pay the price”—not precisely what real free market advocates criticize as crony capitalism?

To the extent that today’s capitalism is cronyism, Francis’ comments have some validity.

Outside of the empirical speculations that he offers, speculations that take him beyond his expertise, he is right to say that the problems of global hunger will be not be “resolved simply by market growth.” In fact, the father of modern capitalism, Adam Smith emphasized the necessity of charity and local welfare.

The fact that data show that market conservatives in the United States follow his injunction by contributing more to charity than those on the Left of the political spectrum presents one reply. Or take the fact that libertarians rely upon technology to solve whatever ill effects may arise from climate change. Francis is correct that poor nations will have less access to that technology.

Might there be some obligation to share technology with those who cannot afford to pay the costs? There must be some non-state, non-coercive means to meet this challenge.

Francis’ perception of all earthly problems through the “fragile world” lens shows that his assumptions fall under the great political scientist Aaron Wildavsky’s left/egalitarian cultural presuppositions about human existence. We would be wrong to call this Marxism, strictly speaking. The left/egalitarian instinct says that if the world is fragile, it needs some strong external force like the state to protect it. That instinct leads to accepting the consensus “facts” on global warming, and the expert administrative state that is supposedly going to stave off the disaster.

Yet this assumption of fragility, and of the state’s ability to guard it, are based on faith—not the religious kind but the cultural and scientific kind. Malthus, after all, predicted limits that have been greatly exceeded. The scientific “facts” of the environment are in dispute, as the encyclical’s numerous qualifications in that regard testify. And Francis concedes that the Church cannot provide specific solutions. These all depend on science, not morality.

In 1616, Pope Paul V forced the scientist Galileo to recant his heliocentric view of the universe based upon the consensus of astronomical science of the day. Ptolemaic science had led to the discovery of whole new worlds; its accuracy was not supposed to be questioned, for it had provided reliable navigation (and did so right up until the invention of the Global Positioning System). Galileo’s works were not removed from Paul’s prohibited list until 1741, by Pope Benedict XIV. By 1939, Pope Pius XII was praising Galileo for being among the “most audacious heroes of research . . . not afraid of the stumbling blocks and the risks on the way, nor fearful of the funereal monuments.”

I published a book in 1978 entitled Does Freedom Work?, arguing that the market was the best friend of the impoverished and was distressed to end it with a necessary critique of Pope Paul VI’s Populorum Progresso. That encyclical, much like Laudato Si, criticized the market and urged instead a more powerfully controlling, central welfare state. I argued that, while Paul VI’s morality in defense of the poor and the infirm was impeccable, he was misguided about the empirical facts of markets and politics. A decade later, Pope John Paul II’s Centesimus Annus accurately detailed the benefits and limits of the market and freedom, critiquing the welfare state’s regulatory excesses while, of course, reaffirming the need for compassion for the poor.

In his magnum opus Truth and Tolerance, the later Pope Benedict XVI put freedom at the same moral heights as truth, although as in Hayek, it was ordered liberty. Francis’ experience was of Argentine crony capitalism. His predecessors’ more searing experience was of the fundamental evils of communism and Nazism, and they grasped the benefits of freedom and markets as alternatives (although always under law and beneficence, to use Smith’s term). In his In the Beginning comments, Benedict as Joseph Ratzinger specifically criticized intellectual sources of the environmental movement such as Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Claude Levi-Strauss, and B.F. Skinner for their hostility to human nature and its freedom:

Reaction and resentment against technology, which is already noticeable in Rousseau, has long since become a resentment against humans, who are seen as the disease of nature. This being that emerges out of nature’s exact objectivity and straightforwardness is responsible for disturbing the beautiful balance of nature. Humans are diseased by their mind and its consequence, freedom. Mind and freedom are the sickness of nature. Human beings, the world, should be delivered from them if there is to be redemption. To restore the balance, humans must be healed of being human. In ethnology, this is the thrust of Levi-Strauss’s thinking; in psychology, of Skinner’s.

Christianity teaches the reverse: that human mind and freedom are the epitome of nature, although always tempted to exploit it. Only human beings can have even partial dominion over nature, for good or evil, in the freedom their Creator granted them. Obviously, Popes, by their own Church doctrine, are not infallible on empirical or scientific matters. The pronouncements of Paul V and Paul VI were superseded by new insights. Both, in fact, were corrected by the minds of different Benedicts, and libertarians can expect that Francis’ “facts” will in time meet the same fate.

The libertarian prayer should be for a Benedict XVII to complete the understanding. Concretely, moral libertarians should set their contrasting goal as unleashing a freer international market under rational limits to produce such an increased wealth of nations that it would bring air conditioning to the world’s poor by the end of the 21st century.

This article originally appeared at LibraryLawSite.org.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Hillary Caught On Camera Doing Something That Destroys Her Message From Just HOURS Before

Hillary Clinton is receiving some heat for her use of a lavish corporate jet immediately after making a speech about the need to take drastic measures to address man-made climate change.

The 2016 presidential candidate, after her speech in Iowa, boarded a plane bound for New Hampshire, which was caught on video by the conservative PAC America Rising.

The Daily Mail reports that the French-made corporate jet she used, the “Dassault model Falcon 900B, burns 347 gallons of fuel per hour,” adding: “The Trump-esque transportation costs $5,850 per hour to rent, according to the website of Executive Fliteways, the company that owns it.”

In her Monday speech and in a video released by the campaign, Clinton urged the taking of immediate action to address the supposed global menace. In her video, she says: “You don’t have to be a scientist to take on this urgent challenge that threatens us all. You just have to be willing to act.”

When the campaign was questioned about its double standard of urging Americans to act to address the ‘urgent challenge’ and Clinton’s use of a corporate jet that releases more carbon emissions into air in a single flight than most Americans burn in an entire year, an aide responded on Tuesday: “The campaign will be carbon neutral. We’ll be offsetting the carbon footprint of the campaign and that includes travel.”

“The most common way to achieve carbon neutrality is by buying voluntary carbon offsets that make up for things like private air travel and driving. There are other ways to reach carbon neutrality, they include planting trees, counting clean commuting and making changes in an office environment, but those are far less common,” according to CNN.

Clinton states in her climate video that “It’s hard to believe that people running for president refuse to believe the settled science of climate change,” as quotes attributed to GOP hopefuls fill the screen, including Jeb Bush stating “I’m a skeptic. I’m not a scientist.” Ted Cruz is quoted saying “There’s been no warning whatsoever,” while Donald Trump simply labels it a “Hoax.”

Clinton’s plan calls for uping America’s use of renewable energy from its current level of 7 percent to 33 percent by 2027. President Obama has set a goal of 20 percent by 2030. To achieve her higher benchmark, Clinton wants to grow the nation’s current amount of solar panels in the United States by 7 times to reach a half a billion by 2020, the New York Times reports.

Scientists differ on whether the climate is warming and, if it is, what effect man may be having. Many have noted there has been a 17-year “pause” since 1998 in the rise of global temperatures documented over the last century, which raises doubts whether human activity is the primary cause of any change.

There is no doubt for Clinton, however. In her climate video, the candidate says: “I’m just a grandmother with two eyes and a brain and I know what’s happening in the world is going to have a big effect on my daughter and especially on my granddaughter.”

“The reality of climate change is unforgiving no matter what the deniers say,” according to Clinton.

When questioned about her view on completing the Keystone XL oil pipeline in New Hampshire Tuesday, the former secretary of state refused to take a position. The pipeline is opposed by many environmental groups, but popular with labor unions, whose support Clinton will likely want to secure.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Exposed: An Errant Environmental Encyclical Courtesy Of Pope Francis

The Laudato Si encyclical on climate, sustainability and the environment prepared by and for Pope Francis is often eloquent, always passionate but often encumbered by platitudes, many of them erroneous.

“Man has slapped nature in the face,” and “nature never forgives,” the pontiff declares. “Never have we so hurt and mistreated our common home as in the last 200 years.” It isn’t possible to sustain the present level of consumption in developed countries and wealthier sectors of society. “Each year thousands of species are being lost,” and “if we destroy creation, it will destroy us.”

The pope believes climate change is largely manmade and driven by a capitalist economic system that exploits the poor. Therefore, he says, we must radically reform the global economy, promote sustainable development and wealth redistribution, and ensure “intergenerational solidarity” with the poor, who must be given their “sacred rights” to labor, lodging and land (the Three L’s).

All of this suggests that, for the most part, Pope Francis probably welcomes statements by his new friends in the United Nations and its climate and sustainability alliance.

One top Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change official bluntly says climate policy is no longer about environmental protection; instead, the next climate summit will negotiate “the distribution of the world’s resources.” UN climate chief Christiana Figueres goes even further. UN bureaucrats, she says, are undertaking “probably the most difficult task we have ever given ourselves, which is to intentionally transform the global economic development model.” [emphasis added]

However, statements by other prominent prophets of planetary demise hopefully give the pope pause.

Obama science advisor John Holdren and Population Bomb author Paul Ehrlich, in their Human Ecology book: “We need to de-develop the United States” and other developed countries, “to bring our economic system into line with the realities of ecology and the global resource situation.” We will then address the “ecologically feasible development of the underdeveloped countries.” [emphasis added]

Ehrlich again: “Giving society cheap energy is like giving an idiot child a machine gun.” And most outrageous: The “instant death control” provided by DDT was “responsible for the drastic lowering of death rates” in poor countries; so they need to have a “death rate solution” imposed on them.

Radical environmentalism’s death campaigns do not stop with opposing DDT even as a powerful insect repellant to prevent malaria. They view humans (other than themselves) as consumers, polluters and “a plague upon the Earth” – never as creators, innovators or protectors. They oppose modern fertilizers and biotech foods that feed more people from less land, using less water. And of course they are viscerally against all forms and uses of hydrocarbon energy, which yields far more energy per acre than alternatives.

Reflect on all of this a moment. Unelected, unaccountable UN bureaucrats have given themselves the authority to upend the world economic order and redistribute its wealth and resources – with no evidence that any alternative they might have in mind will bring anything but worse poverty, inequality and death.

Moreover, beyond the dishonest, arrogant and callous attitudes reflected in these outrageous statements, there are countless basic realities that the encyclical and alarmist allies sweep under the rug.

We are trying today to feed, clothe, and provide electricity, jobs, homes, and better health and living standards to six billion more people than lived on our planet 200 years ago. Back then, reliance on human and animal muscle, wood and dung fires, windmills and water wheels, and primitive, backbreaking, dawn-to-dusk farming methods made life nasty, brutish and short for the vast majority of humans.

As a fascinating short video by Swedish physician and statistician Hans Rosling illustrates, human life expectancy and societal wealth has surged dramatically over these past 200 years.

None of this would have been possible without the capitalism, scientific method and hydrocarbon energy that radical, shortsighted activists in the UN, EPA, Big Green, Inc. and Vatican now want to put in history’s dustbin.

Over the past three decades, fossil fuels – mostly coal – helped 1.3 billion people get electricity and escape debilitating, often lethal energy and economic poverty. However, 1.3 billion still do not have electricity. In India alone, more people than live in the USA still lack electricity; in Sub-Saharan Africa, 730 million (equal to Europe) still cook and heat with wood, charcoal and animal dung.

Hundreds of millions get horribly sick–and 4-6 million die every year from lung and intestinal diseases, due to breathing smoke from open fires and not having clean water, refrigeration and unspoiled food.

Providing energy, food, homes and the Three L’s to middle class and impoverished families cannot happen without nuclear and hydrocarbon energy and numerous raw materials. Thankfully, we still have these resources in abundance because “our ultimate resource” (our creative intellect) has enabled us to use “fracking” and other technologies to put Earth’s resources to productive use serving humanity.

Little solar panels on huts, subsistence and organic farming, and bird-and-bat-butchering wind turbines have serious cost, reliability and sustainability problems of their own. If Pope Francis truly wants to help the poor, he cannot rely on these “alternatives” or on UN and Big Green ruling elite wannabes. Who are they to decide what is “ecologically feasible,” what living standards people will be “permitted” to enjoy, or how the world should “more fairly” share greater scarcity, poverty and energy deprivation?

We are all obligated to help protect our planet and its people – from real problems, not imaginary ones. Outside the computer modelers’ windows, in The Real World, we are not running out of energy and raw materials. (We’re just not allowed to develop and use them.) The only species going extinct have been birds on islands where humans introduced new predators – and raptors that have been wiped out by giant wind turbines across habitats in California and other locations. Nor are we encountering climate chaos.

No category 3-5 hurricane has struck the USA in a record 9-3/4 years. (Is that blessing due to CO2 and capitalism?) There has been no warming in 19 years because the sun has gone quiet again. We have not been battered by droughts more frequent or extreme than what humanity experienced many times over the millennia, including those that afflicted biblical Egypt, the Mayas and Anasazi, and Dust Bowl America.

The scientific method brought centuries of planetary and human progress. It requires that we propose and test hypotheses that explain how nature works. If experimental evidence supports a hypothesis, we have a new rule that can guide further health and scientific advances. If the evidence contradicts the hypothesis, we must devise a new premise – or give up on further progress.

But with climate change, a politicized method has gained supremacy. Based on ideology, it ignores real-world evidence and fiercely defends its assumptions and proclamations. Laudato Si places the Catholic Church at risk of surrendering its role as a champion of science and human progress, and returning to the ignominious persecution of Galileo.

Nor does resort to sustainable development provide guidance. Sustainability is largely interchangeable with “dangerous manmade climate change” as a rallying cry for anti-hydrocarbon, wealth redistribution and economic transformation policies. It means whatever particular interests want it to mean and has become yet one more intolerant ideology in college and government circles.

Climate change and sustainability are critical moral issues. Denying people access to abundant, reliable, affordable hydrocarbon energy is not just wrong. It is immoral – and lethal.

It is an unconscionable crime against humanity to implement policies that pretend to protect the world’s energy-deprived masses from hypothetical manmade climate and other dangers decades from now – by perpetuating poverty, malnutrition and disease that kill millions of them tomorrow.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth