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A public policy blog from AEI
There was a report today on BBC news that seems to confirm the commonly-held view among conservatives that many, if not most, climate change alarmists are captives of a kind of secular religion and are not truly concerned about human welfare.
The BBC was reporting on a new technology that seems to offer the hope of pulling carbon out of the air and turning it into something useful. It’s a relatively simple idea — utilizing what seems like a scrubbing process — to separate CO2 from other air components and turn it to some useful purpose. In this case, the other purpose was pumping it into greenhouses where it improves vegetable growth, but the report indicated that the idea can be scaled up to produce a liquid form of CO2 that would make the process economically feasible.
One would suppose that this idea, if it actually works, would make everyone happy — from coal miners and fresh air enthusiasts to people worried about the long-term effects of carbon emissions.
But no. One of the commentators on the BBC program was quite unhappy about the prospect that this technology might work. After all, she said, it would have the effect of allowing the producers of fossil fuels to continue in business, which was not at all the purpose of those who oppose the production and use of fossil fuels. The purpose of the movement, she said, was to change societies so they become more “sustainable.”
In other words, preserving livelihoods and economic growth around the world is not what’s important to the anti-climate change movement; it’s to change the way people live, even if it means a decline in their economic welfare. To me, that confirms the idea that in the anti-climate change movement, we are dealing with something deeper in the human psyche — perhaps a totalitarian element — than what appears on the surface. Finding a sensible middle ground will be difficult.
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