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The Crux of the Climate Policy Debate
Volume 4, Number 6: 7 February 2001

In a revealing Insight Feature (1) in the 18 January 2001 issue of Nature, climate guru Stephen H. Schneider says that what he calls "the crux of the climate policy debate" has been reduced to a single question: "how can we create incentives to put a price on carbon?"

The first of the odious options Schneider lists for achieving this goal is the enactment of a direct carbon tax (2); the second option is to enforce measures such as the Kyoto Protocol (3); while the third option includes the disbursement of subsidies for the development of carbon management schemes (4), which latter word, we might add, is a most appropriate descriptor of the deception involved in such undertakings.  Or shall we say underhanded takings?

As we literally shouted in last week's Editorial (5), "sound the alarm bells!" If you weren't convinced of it before, you should be certain now: one way or another everyone's going to pay, and pay dearly, to fund the schemes of the enlightened few who see the global-warming straw man of the climate alarmist crowd as an almost sure-fire means to leverage the development a "management scheme" for the entire planet that will impact almost everything we do.

Impact everyone and everything?  Yes, everyone and everything; for as Schneider clearly states, the "real cure" for the imaginary CO2-induced increase in our climatic woes (6) involves both "curbing the consumption of the rich and the population growth of the poor."  And if they stick it to the rich and the poor, you know darn well that the middle class will take it on the chin for sure.  Furthermore, what the enlightened few call a management scheme is in reality a policy of coercion.

You think we exaggerate? ... that the powers that hope-to-be would not go that far?  Think again.  It's right there in black and white in Schneider's article.  He talks freely of institutions with "the authority to enforce responsible use of the global commons" and the fact that such institutions "would need the resources and authority to make and monitor changes."  He also talks about "some partially successful examples of nation states willing to cede some national sovereignty to international authorities for the global good."

And who will determine the "global good" or the "responsible use of the global commons?"  Be assured, it will not be you.  No, that power can only safely be vested in the select few who truly understand the arcane behavior of the vast "earth systems" that are the centerpieces of Schneider's article, and for which only hideously complex computer models can be expected to adequately probe the depths of their mysterious workings.

Yes, you can kiss goodbye any thoughts you may have had of living as you have in the past; for many of the freedoms you now enjoy and feel confident are guaranteed you by the constitution of your country, and which are, in fact, an inalienable right of existence itself, such as the freedom of married couples to bring children (in the plural) into the world, will sooner or later be deemed inimical to the climatic stability of the planet (7).

We wish we were joking.  We wish we were exaggerating.  We wish we were wrong.  But we are not.  The things we are talking about are being openly discussed in mainline scientific journals.  They're on the minds of those who will mold the future to their enlightened liking.  And they will happen -- unless those who know and cherish the truth begin to speak out and make that truth known to a wider public.  If that does not happen, we shudder to contemplate the consequences.

Dr. Craig D. Idso
Dr. Keith E. Idso
Vice President

Notes and References
1. Schneider, S.H.  2001.  Earth systems engineering and management.  Nature 409: 417-419, 421.

2. How much might the tax be?  The figure Schneider mentions is "something akin to US$50-100 per ton carbon."

3. How effective would such measures be?  Schneider says the Kyoto Protocol "would address only a small fraction of the needed [CO2] emission cuts."

4. Who would pay for the schemes?  It's one of those dirty jobs that someone has to do; and that someone - by definition - is the taxpayer.

5. See our Editorial of 31 Jaunary 2001: Sound the Alarm Bells!

6. See the various Journal Reviews listed under the different sub-headings of Extreme Weather in our Subject Index, many of which indicate that some of the very things Schneider places in the category of human-enhanced climatic woes, i.e., "intensified hurricanes ... drought and flood stresses," clearly do not belong there.

7. See our Editorial of 29 November 2000: Limiting Life in the Name of Climatic Salvation.