Thursday, December 3, 2009

"Must Read"s on Climate Change

Two superb articles on now available on-line, each of which addresses one of the two major aspects of the climate change debate: the science and the politics.

For the science, read Richard Lindzen's WSJ editorial "The Climate Science isn't Settled." I have been following Lindzen's presentations for several years and find him one of the most reasonable and well-credentialed of those who are speaking out against the existence of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming. In this editorial, Lindzen briefly summarizes the state of the science, offering an excellent explanation of what is known and generally agreed upon, as well as where opinion diverges. His explanation is easily understood by an intelligent layman.

For the political economy of how to solve our need for energy, read "Human Ingenuity: The Real Renewable Resource" by C. August, posted on his blog Titanic Deck Chairs. August's main point is that all resources derive their utility from human ingenuity, whether it is oil, sun, wind or coal. Without the human mind to "transform inanimate matter into life-sustaining values," natural resources would simply be rocks, poisonous goo and weather. The best way to solve our problems of energy access and environmental quality is to identify and protect the condition which maximizes the "inexhaustible resource" of human ingenuity: capitalism.

Capitalism unleashes the political and economic possibilities of the best within humanity. All of the creative, positive, progressive aspects of human activity are fostered -- not oppressed -- by the socio-political framework of capitalism, which means the system that fully and consistently protects individual rights in all areas of human interaction, leaving men free to produce, to solve problems, and to make enormous sums of money in the process. Nearly every modern convenience and life-sustaining technology that we take for granted today is ultimately the product of men who were free, at least in part, to use their minds, to innovate, and to produce.


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