Recently by James E. Miller: Ron Paul Is Right About Gold and Money
Oregon University professor Kari Norgaard has made headlines with a controversial paper claiming that global warming skeptics are plagued by an "aberrant sociological behavior." From the Daily Mail:
Sociology and environmental studies professor Kari Norgaard wrote a paper criticising non-believers, suggesting that doubters need to be have a u2018sickness'. The professor, who holds a B.S. in biology and a master's and PhD in sociology, argued that u2018cultural resistance' to accepting humans as being responsible for climate change u2018must be recognised and treated' as an aberrant sociological behaviour. Resolving skepticism about climate change alarmists, she added, is a challenge equitable to overcoming u2018racism or slavery in the U.S. South'. Norgaard added that effective international action on climate change is being hampered by u2018weak' responses to the crisis by both individuals and societies.
This is becoming a typical trend in an ever-centralizing world. Governments grow on the backs of excuses to expand their own authority. The best demonstration of this spectacle is the current judicial debate involving the constitutionality of President Obama's health care overhaul otherwise known as Obamacare. Proponents of Obamacare argue that because hospitals are forced to give care to those who would not normally be able to afford it, the controversial individual mandate portion of the bill is necessary to eliminate free loading. What isn't acknowledged is the simple economics which dictate that subsidizing anything, in this case free hospital visits, has the effect of encouraging more of it. It is precisely because of the mandate for hospitals, along with a myriad of regulation at the state and federal level, that the health care industry is cartelized to the point where costs continue to rise without the necessary counteracting supply that would arise in an unfettered market. Put simply, government intervention created the mess yet further intervention is opted for. Influential libertarian writer Albert Jay Nock summed up this all-too-often occurrence in his wonderful book Our Enemy, the State. In referencing the 19th century classical liberal Herbert Spencer, Nock writes:
He points to the anomaly which we have all noticed as so regularly presented by newspapers. Take up one, says Spencer, and you will probably find a leading editorial "exposing the corruption, negligence or mismanagement of some State department. Cast your eye down the next column, and it is not unlikely that you will read proposals for an extension of State supervision. . . . Thus while every day chronicles a failure, there every day appears the belief that it needs but an Act of Parliament and a staff of officers to effect any end desired. Nowhere is the perennialaith of mankind better seen."
The science on global warming is still muddled (though the data has not panned out in a way reflective of the "pro warming" scientist's models), but supposing man-made global warming is a reality and the world on a whole is now on a crash course with disaster, the very last thing to do is put the government, or a number of governments, in charge of hashing out a solution. Any mandatory decree will only emerge after years of "forums" and "meetings" hosted at the most pristine resorts around the globe; all with catered meals to boot. Taxpayers will be stuck with the bill and with living in whatever brave new world is levied upon them. After taking human civilization back a few pegs for the sake of cutting greenhouse emissions, there is little doubt the same leaders will grant themselves exceptions as to continue their lavish lifestyles of motorcades and private flights. It will be socialism for the poor and the gifts of capitalism for the rich and connected.
The true solution to global warming, assuming it's problem to begin with, is not for government dictation but to unleash the power of the market to develop alternatives energy sources. Consumer demand, which affects prices signals as a means to clue entrepreneurs and investors on the desires of the market, will inevitably increase for "green" energy as the need arises. Driving up the cost of production and discovery by taxing carbon emissions or placing barriers on owning land from which to extract natural resources doesn't speed up develop but places another costly barrier on the market process. It is the opposite of technological advancement. Energy, namely oil, is a capital good in most production processes. Allowing its price to be unperverted through government measures is a must if efficiency in energy usage is to be obtained. And efficiency is really what is needed. If the "green revolution" could be sparked with inefficient sources of energy, there would be a Chevy Volt on every block in America. Instead, it was another highway-to-nowhere vote buyer involuntarily paid for by Joe Taxpayer.
Trusting the government to run the economy is like trusting a group of thieves to run a business. The end result is invariably bankruptcy along with the copper wire being gutted out of rented office space. Keep in mind, this is the same institution that can't even run the postal service correctly in just one country. And these people are to be trusted in launching a global initiative that will affect the lives of 7 billion Earth inhabitants?
Governments are antithetical to industrial progress. As investor and author Doug Casey points out, "we'd already be living with the technology of Star Trek if it wasn't for the state slowing things down."
Besides a total lack of familiarity with basic economic concepts, Norgaard's assertions are revealing of the dominant mindset held by of those within the state's sphere of influence. She treats dissenting opinions as not only wrong but in dire need of some alluded form of reprogramming. First is the notion that racism is an immoral and dangerous mindset.
Racism in itself is only a variation of discrimination. At its heart is essentially one's right to congregate and interact with those of his choosing. Dispelling anyone who is black, Latino, Muslim, etc., from your place of business may be dense from a marketable perspective but such a decision is justified in respect to private property. It is by no means a medical condition to "be recognized and treated."
The real mental disease at hand is the sociopathic nature of state worshipers like Ms. Norgaard. Those who buddy up with and infuse themselves with the political class have a real disgust for mankind. They regard humanity as naive and unfit for actual freedom. That is why is must be molded and directed like a herd to slaughter. By the same token, these central planners completely overestimate the extent of their own knowledge and perceptions on how society "should run." They picture themselves as the deserving class to have a seat at the throne by virtue of their own intelligence; not the unthinking cogs in the machine like truck drivers, fast food workers, or bartenders.
It is cognitive dissonance en masse.
To further illustrate this profound rejection of humanity and life, take a look at the crew Norgaard rolls with:
Norgaard last week attended the annual four-day u2018Planet Under Pressure' international conference in London, where she presented her controversial paper to delegates on Wednesday. The scientists behind the event recently put out a statement calling for humans to be packed into denser cities so that the rest of the planet can be surrendered to mother nature. And fellow attendee Yale University professor Karen Seto told MSNBC: u2018We certainly don't want them (humans) strolling about the entire countryside. We want them to save land for nature by living closely [together].'
The only way to achieve such a dystopian result is authoritarianism. This is the green movement's end goal; societal planning on a grand scale, forced indoctrination of submission to the state, and total domination of the Earth's resources by the few. It's therefore not surprising that the first state-centered attempt to negate global warming dates back to Stalin's Russia. Fascist environmentalists are simply watermelons – green in appearance but red on the inside.
Norgaard's paper is further evidence of the statist formula that has remained identical through history; question the state and be labeled as a crackpot. Believe the government is filled not by angels but men acting in their self interest? Perhaps a mental asylum is a better place of residence for you.
Sound economics has no place in the fantasy land engineered in the halls of Congress and Parliaments around the world. Scarcity is not their cup of tea; control is.
James E. Miller [send him mail] holds a BS in public administration with a minor in business from Shippensburg University, PA. He is the chief blogger at the Ludwig von Mises Institute of Canada and a current contributor to his hometown newspaper, the Middletown Press and Journal. See his blog.