A collection of essays by Bill (website@ccjj.info) accompanied by feedback from his friends.

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Conservatives' Deaf Ear on Global Warming

Many liberals are having trouble understanding why it is conservatives are putting up so much resistance to the concept of global warming. A little history is in order.
Many people become environmentalists because they are technophobes. They hate technology, specifically because they don't understand it. You can't be a very constructive environmentalist unless you have a solid grasp of science. Most of what such people have to say is just plain stupid.
Other people become environmentalists because they are economic leftists. They claim to be concerned about the birds and trees, but really they just want any excuse they can find to give grief to corporations.
Global Warming isn't the first time we've been told that we would have to drastically overhaul our energy infrastructure. There was an oil shock in 1973 and after that we spent most of the 1970's hearing about how we were running out of oil. I remember reading, in the mid-70's, that the world would be out of oil by about 2005, and out of natural gas by about 1995. So for anyone old enough to remember those times, the current alarm about AGW doesn't sound all that new.
Another voice related to the environmental movement is the alternative energy movement. This group has been, ever since the early '70's, promoting severely immature technologies without any regard for whether they were economically feasible.
According to energy prices quoted by Scientific American in 2009, the cost of switching our entire electrical energy production to silicon solar cells would have been, at that time, more money, per year, than all personal federal income taxes combined. Alternative energy enthusiasts talk as if this isn't even a concern.
The alternative energy enthusiasts were promoting solar back in the 1970's, when it was nowhere NEAR as cost-effective as it was by 2009. I remember a professor of mine in college had a political cartoon on his door saying that the only reason that solar energy was deemed economically infeasible in 1979 was because of a conspiracy of the big oil companies.
The consequence of all this is that industrialists have been subjected, for at least as long as anyone below retirement age has been working, to a steady stream of mixed hostility, stupidity, and gratuitous alarmism coming from the environmental and alternative energy movements. It is thus natural for them to perceive these groups to be not only enemies, but also profoundly lacking in scientific and economic competence.
AGW denialism in this country is an unfolding disaster, and something must be done about it, but an understanding of the problem is not complete without an awareness of how the political left bears a great deal of the responsibility for their current credibility problem with the American right.

1 comment:

  1. I posted this on facebook and people responded to it there, no one responded here. There are some things I would like to clarify:

    I realize that intelligent, constructive environmentalists exist, and environmental considerations are important. I do, however, feel that much of the movement has been hijacked by technophobes and leftists.

    Sometimes people hear me say things about liberals, react negatively, and say things like that I need to get out and meet some real liberals. The reality is that nearly everyone I know is VERY liberal. I myself voted for Obama and expect to vote for him again in 2012. But my reflections about liberals are not based on idle speculation, I am totally immersed in liberalism.