“The current Global Warming Debate is not about temperature or CO2 levels. It is an
ideological clash between those who want to change us (rather than the climate) and t
hose who believe in freedom, markets, human ingenuity, and technical progress.
The advocates of global warming alarmism ask for an almost unprecedented expansion
of government intrusion, of government intervention into our lives and of government
control over us. We are pushed into accepting rules about how to live, what to do,
how to behave, what to consume, what to eat, how to travel. It is unacceptable.”
~ Hon Vaclav Klaus, then-president of the Czech Republic.
“We know that socialism doesn’t work at fifteen
degrees. So why would it work at seventeen?”
~ Bernard Darnton
Irony in two headlines:
Yes, the capitalists are apparently crazier than the comms, and now both the pope and Bill Gates believe that communists and central planners care for the environment.
They’ve clearly forgotten the black wastes of Magnitogorsk (above), the soviet engine of steel production, where no-one could even see the black ooze that filled streets and rivers because of the smoke.
And Dzherzhinsk (right), the Soviet chemical capital, with its toxic waste of dumped chemical weapons that were all too visible after the Wall came down.
And they’ve clearly never seen the air in China, the last-unlamented home of the five-year plan…
Communists and central planners care about the environment the way teenage party-goers home alone care about their parents’ carpet.
But, says Bill Gates in an interview with Atlantic magazine, “representative democracy” has failed; the private sector is “inept”; and only bigger government – led by China and the US – has the power to save the world from climate change.
Strangely, Gates didn’t want government interference when he was building his business…
And ironically, as a venture capitalist himself, he appears to misunderstand the “ineptness” of the private sector, as a letter writer to The Atlantic points out:
According to Gates: “Yes, the government will be somewhat inept–but the private sector is in general inept. How many companies do venture capitalists invest in that go poorly? By far most of them.”
It might have occurred to Gates that the VC’s end up investing in so many ventures that go poorly because the poor performance gets quickly exposed by the private sector’s harsh system of profit-and-loss. With no comparable way to expose its own ineptitude, government is free to keep throwing good money after bad on failed ventures, thus leaving Gates the impression that it is only “somewhat inept.”
Economics Books Editor
“Gates is a good businessman,” says Don Boudreaux; “he’s a poor economist. And he clearly either has not read or hasn’t absorbed the work of Julian Simon or of Matt Ridley.” Either (or both) of which would tell him how unleashing the untrammelled human mind—as neither communism nor central planning is able to do—is what ultimately produces all the resources we rely upon.
Gates says only communism and central planning can lower humankind’s “dangerous” carbon emissions. Yet even if you were to agree that carbon emissions are dangerous then, as Nick Sorrentino points out, you should realise that
according to The Energy Information Administration US carbon emissions are at 1988 levels. [The] population was significantly smaller in 1988 and yet [the US] now, as a country, produces less in the way of greenhouse gasses than when Ronald Reagan left the White House.
Bad as things are in the US, they are not yet enjoying fully-fledged communism and central planning—and if they were, Gates would apparently have nothing about which to complain.
So why the reduction in emissions? Simple. Capitalism.
Fracking technology changed the energy landscape. Specifically natural gas has changed the energy landscape, for the better.
Natural gas used to be something the enviros liked. Even The Sierra Club liked it. But then, when fracking came on the scene, with all the associated rigs and other associated eyesores, the greens turned on natural gas even though embracing the stuff meant that potentially reducing greenhouse emissions. Now it’s more than just potential reductions, the reductions are real and tangible.
And yet Bill Gates still says we must have a carbon tax. That “capitalism” can’t solve a problem it already appears to be solving.
Yes, it is.
“Gates made his fortune in what used to be one of the least regulated sectors of the US economy,” points out James Delingpole. “But still he has little faith in free markets as a driving force for innovation.”
He thinks the forthcoming UN climate talks in Paris are largely a waste of space because they’re just not going to be radical enough… On the basis of no evidence he is prepared to venture in the interview, Bill Gates is agitating for the near total decarbonisation of the world economy.
Does it need me to tell you what total decarbonisation of a centrally-planned communist economy would look like? Imagine Venezuela without even the little oil wealth that buys the scant few things that make it there—and transport that situation across the whole globe: A world of no milk and no honey—the only thing of which it would have plenty would shortages. (No, Virginia, it’s no accident that no capitalist economy of the sort Gates now chooses to revile has ever experienced famine. Unlike the many disastrous famines that plague every centrally-planned collectivist economic shambles since time began.)
Private enterprise cannot achieve this [decarbonisation, says Gates] because there is no financial incentive to do so. (It appears not to have occurred to Gates that the reason there is no financial incentive because there is no genuine need and therefore no demand. If there had maybe he would have been a green tech billionaire rather than a software billionaire)…
Bill Gates is not totally stupid. He knows electric cars suck. But he does, sort of, believe that government has access to a magic money tree and that it does something called ‘investment’ – which isn’t at all the same, oh no, as splurging taxpayers’ dollars on pointless crap like Solyndra… Bill Gates thinks that heavily-subsidized green tech like wind and solar has worked really well [a delusion he shares with the Greens' Russel Norman]. Then he goes onto admit in virtually the same breath that, no actually, it hasn’t worked well at all. Go figure….
In fact, Bill Gates thinks that all those greenies bigging up solar are a bunch of liars”
“They have this statement that the cost of solar photovoltaic is the same as hydrocarbon’s. And that’s
one of those misleadingly meaningless statements. What they mean is that at noon in Arizona, the
cost of that kilowatt-hour is the same as a hydrocarbon kilowatt-hour. But it doesn’t come at night,
it doesn’t come after the sun hasn’t shone, so the fact that in that one moment you reach parity, so
what? The reading public, when they see things like that, they underestimate how hard this thing is.”
Bill Gates – did he make this clear? – thinks green tech is a crappy sector to invest in. That’s why he thinks it’s so important that Government steps in to force the private sector to invest in it. Because otherwise, obviously, it wouldn’t. Free markets: so totally overrated, aren’t they?
“The only reason I’m optimistic about this problem,” says Gates, “is because of innovation.” Yet what he wants to do is shackle the innovators Because when pushing mercantilism to “solve” global warming, he forgets that:
The government is the one setting up the regulatory framework, not the free market. This is something Ayn Rand complained about in Atlas Shrugged . Remember, John Galt developed an alternative energy engine, but decided not to market it because of the power of the unions and collectivist thought. So if the government didn’t get so involved in what businesses were doing, it’s completely possible the market would actually demand alternative fuels. If it doesn’t demand it, then it’s up to the seller to convince the buyer why his or her product is better than what they currently have. Then word of mouth starts spreading and the cash could start pouring in. It doesn’t mean it’s going to happen because the market is pretty much always in flux, but Gates obviously believes energy comes in waves. He’s just buying into the entire global warming hysteria. His solution to all this is more government spending because obviously the government can fix everything.
And even if they did “fix” it then, by his lights, it would only mean all our lights going out. We’d be better off if Bill had decided to retire and develop an obsession with Dr No, says Delingpole, rather than his current really dangerous obsession.
Bill Gates: wouldn’t have been so much better for all of us if he’d just bought up some remote island in the Pacific, hollowed out some volcano to build his secret base, and just worked on something relatively innocuous like plotting a war between China and the US guaranteed to result in mutual nuclear annihilation?
This climate change nonsense of his is so much more dangerous…
- “[His] use of the words “don’t act” is very misleading. What he is urging when he speaks of “action” is a mass of laws and decrees—i.e., government action. This government action will forcibly prevent hundreds of millions, indeed, billions of individual human beings from engaging in their, personal and business private action—that is, from acting in ways that they judge to serve their own self-interests. Thus, what he is actually urging is not action, but government action intended to stop private action.’”
Selling disaster: The four horsemen of modern apocalypse – George Reisman, quoted at NOT PC
- “They really do want a Blue Planet in Green Shackles, as Czech President Vaclav Klaus titles his latest book, which has just been translated into English. Klaus, an economist, said he opposed the "climate alarmism" perpetuated by environmentalism trying to impose their ideals, comparing it to the decades of communist rule he experienced growing up in Soviet-dominated Czechoslovakia.”
Snarling warmist hatred – NOT PC
- “"Ambitious environmentalism," says Czech president Vaclav Klaus, "is the biggest threat to freedom, democracy, the market economy and prosperity... What is at risk is not the climate, but freedom."
- “A week ago, I gave a speech at an official gathering at the Prague Castle commemorating the 60th anniversary of the 1948 communist putsch in the former Czechoslovakia. One of the arguments of my speech there, quoted in all the leading newspapers in the country the next morning, went as follows: “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.” What I had in mind was, of course, environmentalism and its currently strongest version, climate alarmism...
'From Climate Alarmism to Climate Realism.' – Vaclav Klaus, NZCPR
- “Russel Norman is still talking about “a smart, green economy” as if that were an actual thing.
“Apparently it’s an economy in which the government sets up ‘an expert innovation working group’ to decide on the best way to deliver $1 billion in grants. ‘Future government,’ says Norman, ‘will have to accept the inevitable failure that comes with investing in innovation along with sharing in the brilliant successes.’”
“And so will future taxpayers.”
Smart green failure – NOT PC