Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Plea for Rational, Responsible Economic Environmentalism

There is, in fact, no scientific consensus on the existence of global warming, let alone the alleged extent or most likely causes. And the recent exposure of emails by the CRU cabal may have mortally wounded the efforts of the crisis-mongers pushing the human-caused-global-warming scenario.

(Kim Strassel: Their correspondence show a claque of scientists massaging data to make it fit their theories, squelching scientists who disagreed, punishing academic journals that didn't toe the apocalyptic line, and hiding their work from public view. "It's no use pretending that this isn't a major blow," glumly wrote George Monbiot, a U.K. writer who has been among the fiercest warming alarmists. The documents "could scarcely be more damaging." And that's from a believer.)

But the diminishing stature of this faked crisis is actually a cause for some concern. Just because these latest crisis profiteers have tainted their crisis-of-the-decade, that doesn't mean we need the pendulum of public concern for the environment to swing too far back in the other direction. Why? Because we'll always need clean air and clean water.

Clean air, clean water, and the broadest possible bio-diversity are good things, and economic activities (and government policies that impact economic activities) should take them into account.

For those who tend to think that unrestrained free-enterprise is perfect, let me remind you that people making decisions for profit only, without regard to the environmental impact of their decisions, have caused some horrendous pollution and damaged the health of many millions of people world-wide.

On the other extreme, for those who act like the environment is their god, let me remind you that moderated free-enterprise has led to many scientific achievements that allow us to measure and quantify our environment while providing livelihoods for billions of people.

So, let's be rational. Let's encourage economic growth that takes the environment into account and work to improve both our economic engines and our environment.

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