Libertarianz leader Dr Richard McGrath ransacks the newspapers for stories on issues affecting our freedom.
This week: “The Egregious Tax on Serfs.”
Yesterday, three libertarians – Don, Olive and myself – joined a march from the Civic Square to the Beehive protesting at the imminent Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). It felt good to exercise our right to free speech and expression in peaceful protest, without harassing anyone in the process. Despite the beautiful Wellington weather, there were only about 100 people marching, and more the pity as the issue will affect every one of us – and soon. The price of electricity and fuel will rise, thus hurting everyone who uses electricity and owns a motor vehicle. But farmers will be worst hit. The agriculture industry will basically be punished, in order to subsidise investors in forestry.
The prime movers behind this tax are Nick Smith, who was previously opposed to the concept of an ETS, calling it a lemon [read John Ansell’s blog for a full account this “Nickpocrisy”], and John Key, who gushed over Al Gore’s movie about Al having “pushed all [his] buttons.” In 2008, the National Party joined ACT and the Libertarianz Party in condemning the growth of the state sector and Helen Clark’s micromanagement of New Zealanders. National was elected on the basis of pledges to shrink Nanny and adhere to core values which apparently include limited government and personal responsibility. In 2010, however, they’ve given up on all that.
The evidence to support the hypothesis that human activity significantly influences global temperature is proving difficult to find. Computer models do not comprise hard evidence, so lets discount those immediately. The high priests of the Church of Global Warming conveniently ignore the observed rises in CO2 levels that don’t precede but FOLLOW rises in global temperature. Tey ignore that recorded temperatures in the 1930s were as high or higher than they are today, without any comparable rise in CO2 levels. They ignore the steady drop in average recorded temperatures from 1940 to 1975 while CO2 levels rose during a period of war followed by re-industrialisation. They ignore the slow but steady decline in global temperature over the last dozen or so years; in fact they want to hide the decline.
They even ignore the fact that their chief propagandist Al Gore, doomsayer of rising sea levels, has purchased coastal real estate since making his propaganda film.
So what IS the limited government approach to the alleged threat of climate change? The first step would be to depoliticize the field of scientific research – shut down or privatise NIWA and all other government-run research organisations, and free the taxpayer from having to fund them. Let the private sector gather and analyse data on weather and temperature, it can’t be that hard.
Secondly, sit back and let the market respond to the consequences of any rise in temperature. Increased temperatures are an opportunity to millions of people, who will find crops easier to grow and the environment somewhat more human-friendly. Huge frozen expanses in Russia and Canada would likely be more amenable to development. There are endless possibilities whereby humans can take advantage of changing climate, just as humans always have. It is much easier now for people to migrate to new areas. I don’t pretend to know all the answers, but neither do politicians and bureaucrats. Entrepreneurs will provide humankind with ingenious life-enhancing breakthroughs that will harness climate trends for good.
The Church of Global Warming are scare-mongerers, whose aim is to stoke people’s anxiety about the weather to new heights and then offer to save them – at the cost of higher taxes, of course. They should be free to spout their rubbish as much and as often they like, but their freedom ends where my nose starts. Their irrational fears do not entitle them to raid my wallet, or yours.
As former Libz leader Bernard Darnton pointed out a few years back, if socialism doesn’t work at 17 degrees, why should it work at 19 degrees? The ETS is a destructive tax, based on a crumbling edifice of bullshit. Enough is enough – vote out Nick Smith, John Key and their anti-farmer anti-business BlueLabour Party.
As one banner said yesterday: ETS = OTG (One Term Government). That’s a message even Nick Smith should understand.
When the people fear the government, there is tyranny - when the government
fear the people, there is liberty.
- Thomas Jefferson