Václav Klaus is one of the most dangerous challenges to the hysteria of global warming: he's an economist.
He recently made some comments that are worth repeating here.
Future dangers will not come from the same source. The ideology will be different. Its essence will, nevertheless, be identical – the attractive, pathetic, at first sight noble idea that transcends the individual in the name of the common good, and the enormous self-confidence on the side of its proponents about their right to sacrifice the man and his freedom in order to make this idea reality.
While the "science" - in quotes because no one actually publishes their model as such, just the results, and as someone who has been forecasting industrial activity for more than 20 years, I have to see the models (and sorry, peer review here is a joke if all the peers have the same financial interests - of global warming eludes me, the politics of it does not.
I've mentioned the watermelons before: green on the outside, red inside.
And what drives those behind the scenes?
The insurmountable problem as I see it lies in the political populism of its exponents and in their unwillingness to listen to arguments. They – in spite of their public roles – maximize their own private utility function where utility is not any public good but their own private good – power, prestige, carrier, income, etc. It is difficult to motivate them differently.
Bingo. They're not in it for the science: it's a way to power.
And it's all about control:
I am afraid there are people who want to stop the economic growth, the rise in the standard of living (though not their own) and the ability of man to use the expanding wealth, science and technology for solving the actual pressing problems of mankind, especially of the developing countries.
What I see in Europe (and in the U.S. and other countries as well) is a powerful combination of irresponsibility, of wishful thinking, of implicit believing in some form of Malthusianism, of cynical approach of those who themselves are sufficiently well-off, together with the strong belief in the possibility of changing the economic nature of things through a radical political project.
One might think that history doesn't repeat itself: what we are seeing is the rebirth of the idea that you can plan out the economy and manipulate it to meet your political needs (which is what the massive reductions in CO2 output would imply: you can't do this via market means, hence the government will intervene and, where necessary, require the changes: this is a planned economy on the installment plan...).
The climate alarmists believe in their own omnipotency, in knowing better than millions of rationally behaving men and women what is right or wrong, in their own ability to assembly all relevant data into their Central Climate Change Regulatory Office (CCCRO) equipped with huge supercomputers, in the possibility to give adequate instructions to hundreds of millions of individuals and institutions and in the non-existence of an incentive problem (and the resulting compliance or non-compliance of those who are supposed to follow these instructions).
We have to restart the discussion about the very nature of government and about the relationship between the individual and society. Now it concerns the whole mankind, not just the citizens of one particular country. To discuss this means to look at the canonically structured theoretical discussion about socialism (or communism) and to learn the uncompromising lesson from the inevitable collapse of communism 18 years ago. It is not about climatology. It is about freedom.
Of course, the global warming hysterics don't care about your freedom: let's save the world! Everyone living today must make great sacrifices for the greater good of tomorrow, so that our grandchildren may live in perfection.
Those who do not understand history are condemned to repeat it.