Climate, Freedom, & Money
“Climate change” represents the crisis de jure. We have no choice but to accept that human activity has created a crisis level of change in the climate of the world. To deal with this crisis, we must implement an unprecedented level of government intervention.
The complexity of this subject boggles the mind. How do we determine the validity of this problem, and what to do about it? To reduce the complexity, I will address only a couple of questions I have about this “problem” and the proposed intervention.
One reason people give for why we should believe in this crisis: 97% of scientists agree on calamitous findings regarding climate change.
Now I don’t have any certified credentials in science. I do, however, know enough to know that real scientists pride themselves on believing in the principle of non-confirmation. They do not believe in “settled” science. Even as a layman I know we cannot determine facts by popular vote. Those who believe otherwise must not have heard of Einstein, Copernicus, etc. Need I continue?
I have some important questions about carbon. Much of what I hear does not make any sense to me.
Believers in the impending climate crisis want to reduce the amount of CO2 created by human activity. They talk as if CO2 were a poison. Does that make sense?
I remember from high school biology that CO2 provides a food source for plants. Without enough CO2, plants would die. Without plants, we would die.
I admit my years in high school occurred a really long time ago. Maybe new technology has found a poisonous property in CO2. But, don’t people who run greenhouses add CO2 to the air inside?
Does it make sense to reduce our production of plant food?
The people who believe in the risk of climate change all think the solution will require some form of economic intervention. These interventions consist of everything from taxes on the use of carbon-based fuels to complete government take over of the economy.
Before I discuss the proposed interventions, I would like to make a general review of some of our current interventions. That might give us a clue as to the most effective interventions for the future.
I will reflect on the three categories of interventions: 1) monetary policy, 2) spending, and 3) regulation.
Expanding the money supply has become one of politicians favorite ways to meddle with the economy. It’s stealthy—few people notice it. It taxes citizens without the painful process of passing tax legislation. It’s easy. But it has consequences.
Artificial monetary expansion distorts price signals. This misinformation leads people to misallocate resources. People spend money on goods they cannot afford. Investors acquire producer goods they do not need.
Monetary expansion leads to inefficient burning of carbon fuels.
Government officials have adopted the euphemism “spending” for a broad range of redistributions. In general, government redistributes resources from producers to consumers. “Spending” leads to less effective, efficient use of resources.
Government “spending” leads to more use of carbon fuels than would occur without redistribution.
Regulation forces segments of the population to engage in activities which they would not otherwise choose. They must consume resources they would not consume if left to their own choices.
Similar to spending, regulation leads to the use of more carbon fuels than would have occurred without such regulation.
Instead of examining the current political environment, the people with deep-seated concern about climate change propose additional government intervention. I will discuss those in the reverse order.
Instead of trusting people to clean up their personal environments, politicians, as usual, think they can achieve a better result by forcing people to change their behavior. As a result, people will engage in behaviors in which they would not otherwise engage. In doing so, they will either follow the regulations or figure a way to work around the rules.
Politicians recommend massive spending programs in order to “clean up the environment.” Somehow, magically, they think they can do that without consuming additional resources or burning additional fossil fuels.
They have not learned that the redistribution of resources by government spending always leads to less efficient use of resources.
When asked how they plan to pay for it, the people promoting green projects say that should not be a problem. That amounts to code for “we’ll just have the government print money.”
This attitude indicates they have not come to grips with the connection between monetary expansion and the wasteful boom and bust cycles in the economy. The malinvestments created as a result of monetary expansion create far more pollution than actors in a free-market would create on their own.
Examine the Science
People making disastrous predictions regarding climate change should first go back and re-examine their science. Who knows; they might be correct. But, as long as one dissenting voice exists — and there are many — the science requires re-examination.
Answer, for example, the question I posed at the beginning of this article. Why do we consider carbon dioxide (a food for life) as a poison that could kill us?
Rollback Regulation, Spending, and Monetary Expansion
Instead of adding new interventions to the already ineffective interventions, rollback those that are already contributing to the ineffective use of resources and the excessive consumption of carbon fuels.
When you take a close look at the people promoting “Green New Deals” and Paris Accords, you realize that the majority of them either have political power or seek political power. Whether the people advocating these programs have the science correct or not, should we allow them to take further control of our lives?
This environmental scare, when you pull back the curtain, amounts to a great power grab, whether you agree with their desired results or not.