Dispute on climate change goes well beyond just the climate

To the Editor:

Although there are good reasons to be skeptical of many climate change claims, the real conflict concerns the implication that climate change then requires full political control of the environment, the economy and the discourse by climate change advocates.

A historical record replete with erroneous predictions, biased analysis (“climate-gate”), predictive models based on highly variable parameters and records of limited duration should make reasonable people at least somewhat skeptical of the accuracy of claims of the extent of human effects on climate. Mankind has been changing his environment for thousands of years in attempts to improve the human condition. Despite possible negative effects, carbon-based resources have dramatically relieved potential environmental damage to other resources and have increased productivity and wealth manyfold.

To date, total cost (investment return, prices, subsidies, regulations) of current alternative sources are obviously less economical or they would not require subsidies and favorable regulations. The increased total cost is distributed equally through higher prices and reduced wealth (capital) necessary for further economic and environmental improvement. Regardless the distribution of taxes, higher prices and lower available employment and innovation, due to lower invested capital, has a disproportionate effect on low income people.

Proposed solutions imply complete control of the environment and the economy through force of government. Environment and economy encompasses the control of one’s whole life. It implies the destruction of the free market of exchange of goods, services and ideas, which is the only method on earth to determine economic value of scarce resources. It also implies elimination of private property rights and ownership, for control is the primary attribute of ownership. It implies conversion of our form of government of these to the extent advocates’ arguments are credible, persuasive and economic, consumers will voluntarily change products they purchase, with producers changing to meet that demand. This is the way progress is made over time (e.g., from horse to carbon-based fuels). Instead of freezing progress and innovation through regulation and subsidies, society would be better served if climate change advocates believed in their proposals enough to risk their own, rather taking others’, funds to develop truly economically and environmentally superior products and services in the free market.

Eldon L. Rash