Britain

omnologos writes about an AGW protest group called Plane Stupid that barged into a British airport and disrupted flight schedules. All the protesters have been arrested, and this is what one of them has to say on their actions-

“We’re here because our parents’ generation has failed us and it’s now down to young people to stop climate change by whatever peaceful means we have left.

We’re afraid of what the police might do to us, we’re afraid of going to jail but nothing scares us as much as the threat of runaway climate change.”

About the whole affair, omnologos says-

The strange bit is that even such an authoritative AGW group like the IPCC, and avowed catastrophiliacs such as Lord Stern, do not believe overdramatic actions are needed today, or tomorrow. Rather, they all advocate something to be done in the scale of decades.

And that is even more worrying: because in spite of what is actually meant by Stern, or by Al Gore, or by James Hansen or the UK Government, at the end of the day their choice of words will always inspire simpletons to do something very very silly at airports and elsewhere; and Governments to curtail civil liberties in the name of the Greater Good That Could Not Have Been Portrayed Greater.

Perhaps more people will wake up one day to the fact that he transformation of society into a “Moral Police State” is the only way AGW can be stopped, or so it is implied by those that portray it as the biggest challenge to humanity, a threat bigger than the terrorism, the source of everything wrong with the world today, the thing that will burn up the world to cinder, etc etc.

Read his post,

– – – –

Paternalistic solutions to “global warming” will necessarily involve the law, and therefore the use of the coercive power of the State against defenseless citizens and their enterprises, just as the so-called “war on terrorism” has become a war on citizens more than one on terrorists.

About Britain. The sad part is this – AGW or no AGW, Britain is already on its way to perdition – the “Moral Police State”. The idiots who govern the country are doing everything they can to see that the goal is accomplished. I wrote about one of their crackpot ideas a couple of months back, and this ars technica report paints a scary picture of a future dystopian Britain.

All we can do is wait and watch as the US and UK self destruct through sheer over reaction. Perhaps its a good thing – civilizations that are afraid of their own shadow probably don’t deserve to survive.

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Comments

  • yet_another_hindu_infidel  On December 9, 2008 at 12:49 pm

    i have yet to understand how climate change made it’s way into the list of myths.

    climate change has always been there. didn’t we just return from the ice age? so it means the at some points in time, the climate makes a drastic change, the reasons for which we do not know. we could only guess. there are people who have gone through the records of the phase of climate change over the last couple hundred years and they’ve found that in the recent years, it has speeded it’s phase/process.

    the process speeded up as our our economic growth increased and as we released all that sh!t in the sky. the wild guess was that were responsible for the sudden speeding up of things. im no rocket scientist but i do understand there’s a problem when the ice caps start melting. and isn’t 3/4th of the earths surface covered with water and the ice caps hold a reasonable part of it. what’ll happen it all the caps melt away? or is the melting part a myth? just like the ice caps are a myth too?

  • Aristotle The Geek  On December 9, 2008 at 1:22 pm

    The skeptics are not denying ‘climate change’; they are questioning the notion that humans have anything to do with it. That’s why the call it AGW – anthropogenic global warming – or global warming induced by humans.

    Climate change is a natural phenomenon – the ice ages come and go, the temperature rises and falls. What these climate change scientists are doing is they have created ‘models’ and are using it to predict events that are supposedly going to occur in 50-100 years time. Wall Street had a great time using models to predict risks, didn’t it?

    Its probably not a fault of the models though – its a question of data, and the motives of people interpreting the data. Bad data + bad people = bad predictions.

    Catastrophiliac – I love that word.

  • Abhishek  On December 9, 2008 at 2:12 pm

    I happen to be a libertarian who believes AGW is real but I agree with Aristotle that the coercive methods used and the wildly exaggerated claims being made on this topic are destructive — both to liberty and to science.

  • undercover Indian  On December 10, 2008 at 7:40 pm

    Bad data + bad people = bad predictions.

    That is most interesting argument in whole debate :) With words like Good and Bad, one can keep debating unitll cows come home.

    As for motives, everybody has a motive; wheather you are a skpectic or a believer.

  • Aristotle The Geek  On December 10, 2008 at 9:38 pm

    Interesting – is a very interesting word, really.

    What you consider good, or bad, depends on your values, and that’s why debates such as this, and those on morality can go on till, as you say, the cows come home. The climate change war is not being fought on the basis of science, but politics. And from what I see and read, those fighting for action on that front are a bunch of statists. So, I will necessarily call them ‘bad’ just as I would call a Hitler bad – because I don’t approve of what either group did (or are doing).

    Motives, of course everybody has a motive. What will a man do without motives? The question is whether the motive is ‘good’, or ‘bad’. Just because I don’t believe in a universal morality, it does not mean that I refuse to differentiate between what I consider good, and what I consider bad.

    Its a value judgment, and abdication is a crime.

  • undercover Indian  On December 10, 2008 at 10:23 pm

    Your reference to Hitler, even if meant as analogy, in current context of discussion is taking things too far.It is actually funny in a way. Take your values , morality , humanity, whatever else, when you sit and compare , you cant possibly put Hitler and bunch of statists (as you call them) in same bracket, just like you cant put a petty thief in same league as a rapist or a terrorist or a suicide bomber.

    Politics ,is a fact of life and would always play a role when there are differing interests on stake.

    I find both believers and skeptics same as both of them essentially show same characteristics and passion.

    Ultimately in your case you are also taking a position not based on any science but on your value judgments, so how are you different from others , so called believers!!

  • Aristotle The Geek  On December 11, 2008 at 3:10 am

    I never said that all crimes are the same – sure there are degrees involved, and murder (or rape) is a greater crime than petty theft. But again, both are crimes – that is, both are bad. I was referring to this purely in the context of good and bad, not how good and how bad.

    Then again, the comparison to Hitler, and thereby to fascism, is not too far fetched if we consider their reaction to dissent. Most voices on the “believers'” side, and their politics, are definitely not sane. Everything from appeals to collectivist sentiment, to selective interpretation of data, to selective quotations, to statements that call for dissenters being imprisoned

    Fossil fuel reservoirs are finite, which is the main reason that prices are rising. We must move beyond fossil fuels eventually. A solution to the climate problem requires that we move to carbon-free energy promptly.

    Special interests have blocked transition to our renewable energy future. Instead of moving heavily into renewable energies, fossil companies choose to spread doubt about global warming, as tobacco companies discredited the smoking-cancer link. Methods are sophisticated, including funding to help shape school textbook discussions of global warming.

    CEOs of fossil energy companies know what they are doing and are aware of long-term consequences of continued business as usual. In my opinion, these CEOs should be tried for high crimes against humanity and nature.

    Conviction of ExxonMobil and Peabody Coal CEOs will be no consolation if we pass on a runaway climate to our children. Humanity would be impoverished by ravages of continually shifting shorelines and intensification of regional climate extremes. Loss of countless species would leave a more desolate planet.

    (that’s James Hansen for you) is being resorted to. Also read this Lomborg piece, if you haven’t done so already.

    I, and many other libertarians, call them statists because their solution to each and every problem – from obesity to illiteracy to economics to health care to climate change – involves the State forcing people to do stuff. They simply cannot think of a non-State solution to anything.

    “Ultimately in your case you are also taking a position not based on any science but on your value judgments, so how are you different from others , so called believers!!”
    I cannot take a position based on the science because I don’t know the science involved – I am not qualified; this I have already accepted in a few comments, both on this blog and some others. But I can surely support the skeptics if I think their position, or the evidence they say they have, helps stall the progress of the opposite camp – their politics, and their laws that are designed to curb freedom – some think tanks are even planning for food rationing (they have mapped out various disaster scenarios). I have written quite a few posts on the subject – global warming.
    The reason I am different is because I am primarily against the statist forces that are behind the AGW movement, and for that I don’t need to believe, but simply trust the skeptics, just like I trust my doctors without having any knowledge about the exact workings of the human body; the only difference is there is not much scope for politics in the fields of cardiology or opthalmology as there is in the case of climate science.

    Even if, I repeat, even if climate change has a human element involved, governments have no business legislating on the issue because as far as jurisprudence is concerned, to convict someone of a crime, you need to prove it beyond reasonable doubt. And there is plenty of doubt on the subject of AGW.

    Ludwig von Mises has an interesting quote on the environment, particularly the depletion argument-

    Many people are alarmed by the reckless use of the deposits of minerals and oil which cannot be replaced. Our contemporaries, they say, squander an exhaustible stock without any regard for the coming generations. We are consuming our own birthright and that of the future. Now these complaints make little sense. We do not know whether later ages will still rely upon the same raw materials on which we depend today. It is true that the exhaustion of the oil deposits and even those of coal is progressing at a quick rate. But it is very likely that in a hundred or five hundred years people will resort to other methods of producing heat and power. Nobody knows whether we, in being less profligate with these deposits, would not deprive ourselves without any advantage to men of the twenty-first or of the twenty-fourth centuries. It is vain to provide for the needs of ages the technoIogica1 abilities of which we cannot even dream.

    The same thing can be said about the green movement. We do not know how technically advanced we will be in fifty years time. Planning for the ‘distant’ future based on present day technology is a very strange thing to do.

    All I can say is this – fascism will probably take over the world before humans damage the environment.

  • blr_p  On October 31, 2009 at 2:51 am

    From the ars article…

    the Court stated that although there was a right to not self-incriminate, this was not absolute, and that the “public interest” can supersede this right in some circumstances.

    This phrase is what i mean by ‘compelling state interest’. Does it have any basis in your opinion ?

    • Aristotle The Geek  On November 1, 2009 at 2:05 am

      “Compelling state interest” is a legal fiction. So is “public interest.” The state, government rather, exists to protect the people. It doesn’t exist to protect itself, and hence cannot run roughshod over the rights of its citizens based on some such nebulous concept.

      If the state cannot determine the person/s in danger, it has no case. It cannot arrest people based on probability, or because they hold strange or inconvenient (to the state) beliefs. And it certainly cannot protect rights by not respecting them.

      All these terms, “public interest,” “common good” etc are a cover for letting the people in power, whether they were elected by a majority or are an oligarchy, do what they want without being inconvenienced by concepts like absolute rights.

      I haven’t read the book in years, but this quote is from Ayn Rand’s autobiographical “We the Living” which TOI carried yesterday

      And what is the state but a servant and a convenience for a large number of people, just like the electric light and the plumbing system? And wouldn’t it be preposterous to claim that men must exist for their plumbing, and not the plumbing for the men?

  • blr_p  On November 2, 2009 at 12:27 am

    # If the state cannot determine the person/s in danger, it has no case.

    I think you come from an absolutist position that existed on day 0 of the founding of nations. Where the people come first and created a state that would uphold this princple. I see no reason why this reasoning should ever expire.

    Fast forward to now and we end up in a situation where the state appears to supercede the ppl. Call it legal fiction and from your position it does appear so, but there is a basis in law for it.

    At what point did this happen ?

    Each crisis steadily chipping away at rights from day 0 or the tendency of state to make itself indispensable.

    • Aristotle The Geek  On November 2, 2009 at 3:20 am

      # “I see no reason why this reasoning should ever expire…but there is a basis in law for it.”
      Try this paper. Its on taxation, but it does refer to Jefferson’s and Lysander Spoon’s position on the legitimacy of the State. Also read the Herbert Spencer article which I link to here.

      What is “law?” If it means any diktat that the rulers of a nation issue, then yes, the basis is their “wish.” Proper law is not based on the whims of the majority, or what some clowns in parliament think. It is based on reason, and it must be objective.

      A proper state should stick to its mandate. Or it should break up voluntarily.

      # “Each crisis steadily chipping away at rights from day 0 or the tendency of state to make itself indispensable.”
      Its interesting that the biggest supporters of the morbidly obese state are those people whose skills would become worthless if the government ceased to exist.

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