Children, Childish Adults and Climate Change

Promoted from the diaries by streiff. Promotion does not imply endorsement.

There is a growing movement among youth to take to the streets with placards demanding action on climate change.  They live in the childish visceral world of emotion devoid of logic and reason for the simple fact their minds are not mature enough yet.  However, when adults join the chorus, it is equally and perhaps more confounding and not understandable.  Hence, one can argue that they are behaving and acting on an infantile or immature level also.

Climate change is a very complicated issue.  Pointing out that there may be no relation between increased carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere and extreme weather events can be an exercise in futility.  Most of  the argument involves cost-benefit analysis.  For example, should we work to avoid the extinction of butterfly X if it meant taking $1,000 out of everyone’s pocket through a carbon tax?

The impulse to debate the complexities of the issue are misguided at best.  Those activists in the streets and the halls of Congress do not base their arguments on reason.  It is doubtful that most activists or people in Congress even know what cost-benefit analysis really is in the first place.  Even more to the point, they think and act as if they do not need to know about it.

In their way of thinking, the problem, to the degree it exists, is not their’s to remedy.  That is left to the government and their only role is to beseech the government to do something.  Once the government acts, they believe the government has the expertise to make the correct calculations and do the right thing without hurting anyone except, of course, the rich.

Almost like the childhood belief in Santa Claus, the belief that government has the answers and solutions is imparted to children early in life.  As they grow older, they come to realize that governments have flaws and that leaders do not have all the answers and solutions.  Conventional wisdom says that by age 30, most people come to realize that government does not have all the answers.  Hence, it makes perfect sense that the younger or more immature one is, the more susceptible they are to climate change hysteria.

Perhaps the most telling illustration of this childish belief that government has the answers to complex problems came earlier this year with the equally childish proposal called the Green New Deal touted by the epitome of immaturity in Congress, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.  According to her, a host of problems from wildfires to hurricanes to mass migrations to lowered life expectancy, wage stagnation and wealth gaps are all attributable to climate change.  If the government acts now and radically to alter carbon emissions, all these bad things can be corrected and avoided.

But, what does she specifically propose?  She does not, for example, cite any evidence that if we institute a 16% carbon tax it will save x% of the coral reefs and reduce another X% of wildfires, or decrease the intensity of hurricanes by X%.  Like the protesting children on the street, she leaves that task to a higher authority- the government.  She summarizes the sentiment with words like: “It is the duty of the Federal Government to create a New Green Deal.”  This is a vivid illustration of the infantile faith in government which runs so deep that even an activist who is part of the government looks to that very same government to solve a “problem” she herself cannot maturely analyze.

Instead, we need to curb naive government interventions that tend to actually bring ruin to the world and our standard of living.  We need to teach these immature idealists that government does not have all the answers to everything and, in fact, often makes a problem, to the degree it exists at all, even worse.  The government does not possess godlike attributes.  It is composed of fallible people.  Instead of trying to convince people of the silliness of climate change, ask them instead this question: knowing what you do about the government and those in charge, is it really reasonable to expect a high level of rationality when solving a perceived problem?

IF climate change is real and IF it entails the deleterious and apocalyptic predictions of the activists, the solutions lie not with the government and their interventions.  In fact, given the track history of government in correcting perceived problems, the government should be the last place to put any faith in solving a problem.

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