Why Turn the Planet Over to a Warmongering Thief and Liar?

Environmental panic is peaking.

Greta has put her face “on the existential issue of our time.” Capitalism, we’re told, is destroying the natural world and only some form of global socialism can save us.  Kill the cows, shut down the coal plants, outlaw those 40-milllon methane-emitting gas stoves otherwise we’ll all die.  We can no longer tolerate freedom, either among the unwashed or the captains of industry.  Unlike physics or artificial intelligence, climate change is settled science, and climate scientists are urging politicians to take real action, since we can’t live much longer given present trends.

To paraphrase Thomas Paine, in the name of saving the planet freedom is being hunted “round the world.”

Let’s get sober.  Two plus two really does equal four, and empirical science — which deals with testable hypotheses and outcomes —  is never settled.  An example of an empirical science that is never settled is climatology, the dictionary definition of which is the scientific study of climate. Thinking as a Science Henry Hazlitt Best Price: $25.57 Buy New $8.49 (as of 09:30 UTC - Details)

Yet not all science is empirical.  Scientific conclusions and everyday observations obey certain axioms, or laws, that have proved favorable to understanding reality.  These laws had to be discovered, and in this respect could be considered the science of correct reasoning.  For more on this topic see Hazlitt’s Thinking as a Science, W. Stanley Jevons Elementary Lessons in Logic, or go to the original source in Aristotle.  You might also find deliverance in my article “Too Many Economic ‘Truths’ Are Built on Fallacies.”

Let’s go to court

In dealing with any issue it often helps to think like a defense attorney.  The following is from my book, Write like they’re your last words.  The scene is a courtroom where a man is being tried for murdering his girlfriend, taken from an old movie.

The prosecution put a male witness on the stand who testified he had sometimes heard the accused and his girlfriend exchanging heated words.

“So, are you saying the accused had woman troubles?” the prosecutor summarized.

“I think that’s fair to say.”

“Thank you.”

He turned to the defense attorney. “Your witness.”

The defense lawyer approached the witness and hit him square on the nose:

“Have you ever murdered a woman?”

 “No!  Of course not!”

 “Have you ever had woman troubles?”

 “Yes.”

 “Have you ever known a man who didn’t have woman troubles?”

 “No.”

 “Thank you. That’s all.”

Like the prosecution in the scene above, anyone with a weak argument might slip a fallacy into the debate to make their point.

What about the priests of climate change? The argument they want us to accept runs something like this:

  1. Certain human activities are making our climate life-threatening.
  2. Since we need a favorable climate to sustain life these activities should be eliminated.
  3. Therefore, governments, which have the power to control human behavior, should mitigate and ultimately eliminate the aforementioned activities.

How would you go about “trying” this syllogism in court?

Back-door socialism

I might begin this way:

On September 10, 1990 The New Yorker published a piece called After Communism by socialist economist Robert Heilbroner, author of The Worldly Philosophers: The Lives, Times and Ideas of the Great Economic Thinkers.  As Gary North wrote in 2020,

The book has sold almost 4 million copies. As a book on economic theory, this is second only to the textbook written by Paul Samuelson in 1948, Economics. Not once did Heilbroner mention Mises. But he devoted a chapter to Karl Marx.

Mises Socialism, published in 1920, argued that from a purely economic perspective socialism would fail because without market prices it could not determine what anything was worth.  No one listened.

But then in 1990, reflecting on the collapse of the Soviet Union, Heilbroner said, “It turns out, of course, that Mises was right. The Soviet system has long been dogged by a method of pricing that produced grotesque misallocations of effort.” Socialism: An Economic... Ludwig von Mises Best Price: $6.00 Buy New $1.99 (as of 06:20 UTC - Details)

Does his confession mean capitalism is right?  Not to Heilbroner.

Socialism may not continue as an important force now that Communism is finished. But another way of looking at socialism is as the society that must emerge if humanity is to cope with the ecological burden that economic growth is placing on the environment. From this perspective, the long vista after Communism leads through capitalism into a still unexplored world that [must] be safely attained and settled before it can be named.  [my emphasis]

Let’s summarize:

Socialism does not work admits the socialist Heilbroner.  Capitalism, to the extent it’s been allowed to exist, has solved problems of every kind since its inception.  If capitalism wasn’t a problem solver it would have been abandoned.  Worse: mankind might have perished.

The conclusion — “that governments should mitigate and ultimately eliminate the aforementioned activities” — does not follow for the following reasons:

Capitalism preserves assets — because it’s profitable.  The planet and the climate around it are assets.

Capitalism properly is an outgrowth of the free market, not something mimicked by government and its cronies.

The free market is what the name implies, a voluntary social and economic arrangement.  1984 was not about life in a free society.  Turning problems of any nature over to an organization founded on theft, violence, and lies — government as it exists — should give anyone reason to reject the idea out of hand.