Monday, August 14, 2023

I hate it when the right is right

Dar Williams - The World's Not Falling Apart

There are many things I dislike about the current right-wing in the United States. I assume that is clear.

But given human nature and the world as it is, the center-right is right about several things. Markets are very often more effective than central planning. Incentives matter. Everything involves trade-offs. Once you get beyond immediate tribe, "to each according to their need; from each according to their ability" simply doesn't work. 

Another area where the center-right is correct: many radical environmentalists and climate doomers are not simply confused, but are actively dishonest about their motivations. At the core, they are against capitalism, "progress," and the modern world in general.

Sometimes they are relatively overt about this; e.g., Against “Green Capitalism”: The Environmental Struggle Must Be Anti-Capitalist and Revolutionary

Of course, the problem is neither capitalism nor fossil fuels. 

The problem is the immense amount of profound and unnecessary misery in the world today

Reducing that misery is the first and only bottom line, not some mistaken idea of "saving the planet" or reviving a failed political ideology. 

Here again, some in the climate cult are clear about their indifference to the suffering of others. (The cruelty of climate fanatics; “Is the West saying Africa should remain undeveloped?”)

It is important to realize that we could cool the earth right now if we really wanted to. Injecting aerosols into the stratosphere would be cheap and we know it would work. But is this even part of the discussion?

As I write in Losing My Religions:

Haven’t there always been [doomers] yelling “The sky is falling”? Hasn’t every single one of their doomsday predictions from the 60s, 70s, and 80s been proven wrong?

Shouldn’t this give us pause when evaluating new doomsday claims?

And not to be cynical, but if global warming truly is The Worst Thing Ever, why is geoengineering a topic we can’t even discuss? Ocean seeding and enhanced weathering – these aren’t even part of the discussion. Increasing albedo is verboten because the sky would look different? A slightly-less-blue sky overrides The Worst Thing Ever? 

Vox’s Bryan Walsh wrote in July 12 2022’s Future Perfect: “To argue, as the climate activist Greta Thunberg did in a tweet earlier this month, that nuclear power can never be considered ‘green’ is to implicitly reveal that your fear of nuclear trumps your fear of climate change. And if that becomes the norm, the climate will pay the price.” [Already done - and worse.] Or, as James Lovelock put it decades ago: “Some time in the next century, when the adverse effects of climate change begin to bite, people will look back in anger at those who now so foolishly continue to pollute by burning fossil fuel instead of accepting the beneficence of nuclear power.“

As I've made it clear in many past posts, this isn't to say we should simply continue the status quo. Despite all the progress we've made, the status quo is truly terrible. That is why we must work to reduce suffering, rather than just worship at our Church of Doom

Additional reading:

Matt Yglesias: Two visions of environmentalism: A better world for people vs. a world with less human impact

Via Andrew Tobias: Please take a little time to explain why the geoengineering aspects you don’t like are worse than what is already happening [and will inevitably happen w/o geoengineering]

David Friedman: Climate and the Media (tl;dr - don't believe what you read)

Breakthrough Institute: tl;dr by Bryan Walsh of Vox: "Taylor Dotson argues that such calls fail precisely because they seek to leap the hard, slow work of politics in favor of the home run of revolution. Remember: We should judge interventions not on how they sound or how they make us feel as we chant the words, but on how effective they ultimately are."

And, of course, I must repost: "Why climate tribalism only helps the deniers."

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