American Elephants

Government Causes Catastrophes: Ordinary People Solve Them. by The Elephant's Child

hu–bris  n.Overbearing pride or presumption; arrogance.

Headline from Scientific American:Effective World Government Will Be Needed to Stave Off Climate Catastrophe.”

The author says:

Almost six years ago, I was the editor of a single-topic issue on energy for Scientific American that included an article by Princeton University’s Robert Socolow that set out a well-reasoned plan for how to keep atmospheric carbon dioxideconcentrations below a planet-livable threshold of 560 ppm. The issue came replete with technical solutions that ranged from a hydrogen economy to space-based solar.
(um— greenhouses keep their atmospheric carbon dioxide at 1,000 ppm. planet remains livable, plants grow more enthusiastically).

If I had it to do over, I’d approach the issue planning differently, my fellow editors permitting. I would scale back on the nuclear fusion and clean coal, instead devoting at least half of the available space for feature articles on psychology, sociology, economics and political science.

The problem to be fixed, you see, is all the damned people. They’re not cooperating. We need a “constitutional moment” at the upcoming 2012 U,N,Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio in June to reform world politics and government. Among the proposals: a call to replace the largely ineffective U.N. Commission on Sustainable Development with a council that reports to the U.N. General Assembly, an attempt to better handle emerging issues related to water climate, energy and food security.

To be effective, a new set of institutions would have to be imbued with heavy-handed, transnational enforcement powers. There would have to be consideration of some way of embracing head-in-the-cloud answers to social problems that are usually dismissed by policymakers as academic naiveté. In principle, species-wide alteration in basic human behaviors would be a sine qua non, but that kind of pronouncement also profoundly strains credibility in the chaos of the political sphere.

The whole global-warming/sustainability has fallen into such disrepute that the true believers are getting quite desperate. The largely ineffective U.N. will have to get really “heavy handed”with “trans-national” enforcement to scare the people enough that they will continue to fork over their money and their support. Unexpectedly, all the wind farms and solar arrays, electric cars haven’t eliminated any carbon dioxide. Cap-and-trade is dead as a dodo. Carbon sequestration is over. The Carbon market is out of business.

“Those who claim to care about a livable climate for the future,”says Master Resource, “should strive to understand the mechanisms by which industrial capitalism has already created the most livable climate in history.”

The mass-production of sturdy, weather-proof buildings … the universal availability of heating and air conditioning … the ability to flee the most vicious storms through modern transportation … the protection from drought through modern irrigation … the protection from disease through modern sanitation–all of these have led to a 99 percent reduction in the number of climate-related deaths over the last century.

It has been enormous hubris that has led some scientists to assume that they can duplicate, in a computer program — even very large computers — the nature of worldwide climate. The climate programs cannot successfully “predict” today’s climate, let alone 50 and 100 years into the future. Meteorologists can predict the weather by studying weather patterns, and get it right, maybe for the rest of the week, and they don’t always get that right.

Politicians are elected on their ability to impress a crowd, and be generally what my father use to call “glad-handers”— amiable, glib, likeable and able to give an effective speech. Some rely on props like Grecian columns and special logos, others rely on flags and bunting. This is no indication of their understanding of science, history, world affairs or economics. And it is unfortunately often absent. Those marble halls and the attention of “the Media”is inclined to imbue politicians with hubris — presumption and arrogance.

There are very few things that government can do well, and protecting us from changing climate is not one of them. It was only 40 years ago that the panic was about a new ice age, and “nuclear winter.” Our government’s record of trying to force us into a “clean energy economy ” is rife with fraud, waste and debt, and the worst of crony capitalism.

Individuals, on the basis of profit and loss calculations, do pretty well at deciding what changes they need to make in their businesses and in their personal lives to adjust to the situation. They require only freedom to solve big problems. Think the settling of North America, the settlement of the American West, the transition from a horse and buggy society to the internal combustion engine. We didn’t need the federal government to ban horses, nor to license wagon trains. The Greenies grew fat and comfortable on the bounty of taxpayer money that flowed to them. Now those funds are drying up, and they are in a major panic as to how to keep the funds flowing.

In their overweening arrogance, they think they are smarter than you are, and they should be able to set the terms and direction for your life. “Effective World Government” is an oxymoron.


Monday, March 26. 2012— It Begins! by The Elephant's Child

The arguments begin on Monday, as attorneys representing 26 states, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), and a few of its individual members square off against U.S. Solicitor General Donald B. Verilli, Jr. and one of his deputies.  Other attorneys appointed by the Supreme Court will  join the fray on two issues.

Heritage spells out the schedule — six hours of oral arguments which will be conducted in four sessions, spread over three days. That’s an unusual amount of time that the Supreme Court has allocated to the cases challenging the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which we all know and detest as ObamaCare.  The schedule is here.


%d bloggers like this: