Monday, November 13, 2006

The Sky is Falling! The Sky is Falling!

Via Drudge, the UN is actively promoting a new children's book warning about the dangers of "manmade" global warming:

A new United Nations children’s book promoting fears of catastrophic manmade global warming is being promoted at the UN Climate Change Conference in Kenya. The books main character, a young boy, is featured getting so worried about a coming manmade climate disaster that he yells “I don’t want to hear anymore!” The new children’s book, entitled “Tore and the Town on Thin Ice” is published by the United Nations Environment Programme and blames “rich countries” for creating a climate catastrophe and urges children to join environmental groups.

The book is about a young kid named Tore who lives in an Arctic village. Tore loses a dog sled race because he crashes through the thinning ice allegedly caused by manmade greenhouse gas emissions. The book features colorful drawings and large text to appeal to young children.

After the boy loses the dog sled race, he is visited by “Sedna, the Mother of the Sea” in a dream. The “Sea Mother” Goddess informs the boy in blunt terms that the thinning ice that caused his loss in the dog sled race was due to manmade global warming.

“I’m the one who created and cares for the sea creatures – whales and walruses, seals and fish,” the “Sea Mother” explained to the boy. The “Sea Mother” then tells the boy she will educate him about the reason the ice is thinning.

[..] The book ends with a section answering the question “What can you do?” The books answer includes such suggestions as “Join or create an environmental club,” “only drive cars if you must,” and “write to your political leaders.”
Unfortunately, the boy wakes up and takes the warnings of the "UN" Goddess seriously. He then embarks on a project to bring windmills and solar panels to his village. One can only hope that children exposed to this hysterical book will follow it up with "Chicken Little."

“Tore and the Town on Thin Ice” is available in PDF format here.

CP: Dust my Broom


Anonymous said...

There is no doubt among those scientific people who study the environment using scientific instruments that the world is warming, the climate is changing or that carbon dioxide is increasing in the atmosphere. Tens of thousands of studies confirm this, with few if any studies that defect from that view. This is more-or-less simple data gathering, and any reader can confirm this with their direct senses or via measuring instruments.

There is again, no doubt that humans have done this, although the arguments are much more complex and they tend to be founded on scientific and technical matters -- again, experts are virtually unanimous on this issue. Whether this effect is human or not doesn't happen to matter in terms of what is coming.

A lot of doubt and uncertainty has been created politically, and those members of the public who are scientifically more ignorant typically haven't been able to cast worthwhile judgments or they haven't been able to make valid observations of the soundness of the scientific value of the arguments made... This isn't new. At one time, thousands of people believed that the world was flat, and thousands of others didn't, and neither belief system made the world change one iota.

Speaking of belief systems, there are already lots of readily verifiable public effects of private wealth production that we already know about. For example, I'm already aware that I'm unable to consent to certain diffuse environmental conditions which benefit the emitters of those effects, and for which they are not required to compensate me directly.

Just for example, all Londoners breathe car exhaust coming downwind from Chicago and Detroit whether they want to or not. Likewise, there is scientific speculation that 10 million africans have died from droughts -- and failed monsoons are climate changeeffects of living downwind from US cars exhausts.

It seems that present forms of economy don't readily have a mechanism to compensate those people who endure effects for whom they cannot see the affector -- although these two might happen to occupy the same world.

Why should a polluter or a climate changer be free to do what they want to others, when others may not be able to be free of the effects?

How can we justify the freedom of the situation for the polluter, but not also guarantee equal freedom from that situation for the pollutee?

My guess is that current forms of monetary economy appear to completely fail to abstract these facts about the world because they are actually not types of capital. Pollution isn't capital, it doesn't produce wealth.

The other, obviously more natural disincentives lag so far behind the economic ones that they also don't make a correction. Mines might cave in before they become uneconomic, or fishery stocks may entirely disappear before you run out of customers or fishermen. You can still sell the last anything, regardless of what that means for the future.

The problem with climate change, with pollution or with monetary systems, is that we can't necessarily recognize what the limits are or what the tipping points will be, at least, not in advance of reaching them, and this uncertainty invites a lot of tendency to think and behave as if the future is going to be the same as the past.

That's a belief, but that idea isn't an argument for the case.

MapMaster said...

There is no doubt? That's a pretty strong assertion, and a rather offhand dismissal of those scientist who do not concur with the prevailing politically correct view. Call me "scientifically ignorant," if you will, but given the enormous political levers being used to enforce this "consensus" to justify massive regulatory and economic controls, I think I'd be foolish to take statements such as yours at face value.

But I would agree that private wealth production by itself, when taken out of the societal and legal contexts along with which it developed, does not adequately distribute the costs and opportunities of pollution to its bearers and the public. But, then, neither do regulatory regimes, and we have had a mountain of regulation for decades. Nor does restricting or abolishing the private production of wealth: socialist countries have the worst record of environmental degradation on the planet (excepting, of course, those like Cuba that don't generate anything at all, let alone wealth). I believe instead that a return to common law principles of suit and redress, long abandoned for politically motivated regulation, would provide the fairest and surest method for minimizing environmental costs.

Little Tobacco said...

Agreed on the common law principle. The problem for the 90% of states with the rule of force rather than the rule of law ... say China ... is the lack of an independent court system and law.