Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Happy Birthday Lenin, I mean Earth Day

While Lenin definitely wasn't a great environmentalist, in celebration of his birthday Earth Day here are a few points from Glenn Reynolds (of Instapundit) to keep in mind (New York Post) - they'll either give you conniptions or comfort:

  • "Reducing carbon emissions by making people poorer will never happen. Just ask people in China - now the world's No. 1 carbon emitter - how interested they are in returning to the economic conditions they suffered a few decades ago when their carbon emissions were lower."
  • "Burning fossil fuels is a lousy idea for reasons that have nothing to do with global warming. These hydrocarbons offer important applications as fertilizers and chemical feedstocks, making it foolish to burn them for fuel."
  • "New technologies are generally cleaner, safer and more efficient than old ones."

I was having lunch with a friend over the weekend and server overheard us arguing over the merits of a carbon tax as opposed to a carbon trading (yes, I really am this boring even in real life). He argued for the merits of carbon trading though ended up concluding "as long as 'they' do something." While I am a realist recognizing that something is probably going to happen even if it's not necessary, the reality is that 'they' already are. Let's forget for a moment that the world has been cooling since 1998 (ref: BBC! also see controversy here). It's just that the difference is that 'they' for me means markets. Central planning is no friend to the environment.

Update: Something you don't normally associate with either Lenin's birthday and Earth Day - Capitalism Day?

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