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NYC Conservative Climate Activists Message Board › For Economic Conservatives

For Economic Conservatives

Bill
user 2341848
Group Organizer
New York, NY
Post #: 295
Most environmentalists in the United States are, to put it mildly, left-of-center, and this has been the case for a long time. Their grasp of the theory of supply and demand is usually pretty hazy, if they don't reject it outright. They've never met a regulation they didn't like, and their solution to ANYTHING is government, government, and more government. So it follows that the usual solutions to climate change being proposed by most of the environmentalists involve nationalizing huge sectors of the economy, accompanied by heavy regulations of EVERYTHING down to dictating what kind of light bulbs everybody gets to buy.

A lot of economic conservatives, faced with this onslaught on the freedom of the marketplace, throw up their hands in horror, dig in their heels, and put a very, very high burden of proof on the science, and begin dismissing any evidence put forward by the climate scientists.

My point in this essay is that that sort of aggressive skepticism is not the best way to defend economic freedom in this crisis.

You may have read a lot of climate skeptic material and be convinced that global warming isn't real. But how sure are you? It's a complicated issue, and there are smart people on either side of it. Have you really studied it so exhaustively that you can be more than 70% sure that global warming won't be a problem? What if the other 30% turns out to be the case, and that becomes evident? How much credibility will you have if all that you've been saying up to that point is that "Global warming is not real?".

There is a crisis. The evidence for climate change is pretty strong, and may get stronger, maybe a LOT stronger. 2015 and 2016 were record-breaking hot years, each decade has been hotter than the one preceding it for at least 40 years, and there is absolutely no question that there's over 40% more CO2 in the air than there was 150 years ago.

2017 was a bad year for hurricanes. That doesn't establish a trend in my mind, but 3 years in a row like that would, and that may come to pass. Some climate scientists are predicting aggressive melting in Greenland and Antarctica this century -- there's not a strong consensus in favor of that, but it could happen, and if sea level were to rise a foot in a decade, especially if that were accompanied by increased storms (since that will mean coastal flooding), it would be very problematic for a lot of the world's coastal cities. And the people in those cities vote.

If such things come to pass, rendering the evidence crystal clear, the public will demand action, the aggressive climate skeptics will be completely discredited, and unless there are conservatives on board the environmental movement, the left will have a monopoly on the proposed solutions.

And the solutions don't have to be that bad. A ­revenue neutral carbon fee & dividend would not grow the size of the public sector, would provide the necessary financial incentives without having politicians dictate the specific solutions pursued, and could even be a mechanism for relaxing some of the regulation we already have. We'd probably wind up free to buy any kind of damn light bulbs we pleased.

Another issue is that nuclear energy is a proven source of near zero carbon energy, and reducing our carbon emissions will be MUCH easier if it is employed. There are some new breakthroughs in nuclear energy that could be very helpful. The mainstream environmental movement, however, is badly infested with Luddites who are hell-bent on wiping nuclear energy off the map. It would be good to have more conservatives involved in the environmental movement to help inject some sanity into this discussion.

What I've said so far won't make the most extreme Libertarians happy, because it still leaves a need for government involvement. The problem is that no private party owns the atmosphere, so no private party can file lawsuits against those who damage it. And with a population of 7 billion and rising on the planet, with the energy-consuming prosperity being brought to an ever-increasing share of them due to the spread of international capitalism, we're liable to inflict some pretty severe harm on our atmosphere. Someone has to take ownership of the air, and hold people accountable for the damage they inflict upon it.

If you have a better way to solve this problem without the government getting involved, I'd love to hear about it. Send me an email.
Bill
user 2341848
Group Organizer
New York, NY
Post #: 300
Here is an interesting essay by Jerry Taylor. He was a professional climate skeptic for 23 years, working at the CATO institute, when he finally got tired of being scientifically beaten up by the other side in debates and, in his own words, "gave up the ghost", concluding that he had been wrong about the science. He had to leave CATO, and is now at the Niskanen Center, a liberal think tank.

https://niskanencente...­/
Bill
user 2341848
Group Organizer
New York, NY
Post #: 301
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Have questions about whether climate change is real? Welcome to the group, you've come to the right place. This website has answers to nearly every imaginable climate skeptic argument.
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