On Friday, June 26, the House passed a Climate Change Bill that will “require the U.S. to reduce carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions by 17 percent from 2005 levels by 2020 and by about 80 percent by mid-century.”
While some politicians complain that this bill is going too far and worry about the damage this will do to the economy, with few exceptions, no one disagrees that something should be done to lessen man’s environmental impact. Meanwhile, the same day that the House passed this bill, TheWall Street Journalreported on the collapse of the supposed consensus among scientists that global warming is a man-made phenomenon:
“The number of skeptics, far from shrinking, is swelling. Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe now counts more than 700 reputable scientists who disagree with the U.N.—13 times the number who authored the U.N.’s 2007 climate summary for policymakers. Joanne Simpson, the world’s first woman to receive a Ph.D. in meteorology, expressed relief upon her retirement last year that she was finally free to speak “frankly” of her nonbelief. Dr. Kiminori Itoh, a Japanese environmental physical chemist who contributed to a U.N. climate report, dubs man-made warming “the worst scientific scandal in history.” Norway’s Ivar Giaever, Nobel Prize winner for physics, decries it as the “new religion.” A group of 54 noted physicists, led by Princeton’s Will Happer, is demanding the American Physical Society revise its position that the science is settled.”
In addition to the lack of evidence, one must also consider the impact that a bill, which requires a reduction of this magnitude in carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas emissions, will have on our technological and industrial progress. Without fossil fuels, industrial civilization, and all the benefits that come with it, would come to a grinding halt. There are numerous examples of countries with very low levels of carbon emissions where one can see clearly what life is like without this industrialization, but these are not places one would want to visit: countries where people lack electricity, running water and sufficient food, where disease runs rampant, and most people do not reach the age of 40.
The long-term consequences of the Climate Change Bill are so destructive that some very careful deliberation is in order. Perhaps, if the science were conclusive, proponents of this bill could try to argue about the necessity for government action. But today, given the increasing skepticism from scientists towards the man-made global warming theory, it is unthinkable that Congress is even considering the draconian restrictions on the freedom of Americans contemplated under this new law. Every American who values industry, technology, progress, and freedom should strongly voice his opposition to the Climate Change Bill.
For additional reading on global warming, environmentalism and other related subjects, see here and here.
The Undercurrent is a magazine distributed at college campuses and communities across the country. We release a print edition once per semester, and in the interim, regularly post additional articles, blog entries, and campus media responses reports to our website.
The Undercurrent's cultural commentary is based on Ayn Rand's philosophy, Objectivism. Objectivism, which animates Ayn Rand's fiction, is a systematic philosophy of life. It holds that the universe is orderly and comprehensible, that man survives by reason, that his life and happiness comprise his highest moral purpose, and that he flourishes only in a society that protects his individual rights.
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