Friday, December 11, 2009

Here's One for the Record Books --- Climate Debt

I guess I'm just slow. Until a couple of days ago, I had never read nor heard the term "climate debt." The rest of you are surely way ahead of me on this one. For those still in the dark, climate debt is what western industrialized nations "owe" third-world countries for having deposited carbon in the atmosphere, denying the third-world countries their own opportunity to do the same.

If you want to hear more about climate debt, just listen to the tripe coming out of Copenhagen daily for the next 10 days or so --- if you have the stomach for it. The proposition is that western countries, and the United States in particular, must turn over hundreds of billions per year to the leaders of third-world countries. These payments would not be a gift, nor would the payments be a loan, but repayment of the climate debt.

Sound preposterous? Lots of people originally thought that the prospect of BHO getting elected president was at least as preposterous. I must confess that I was one of them, yet it happened. So, I don't rule out any absurdity as impossible anymore.

Here, Charles Krauthammer writes about the "new socialism," and its proponents' attempts for a stealthy revival in the guise of "green." Will it work? Of course not. Here's why.

Suppose the United States and other western countries did pay hundreds of billions of dollars per year to the moronic, despotic, dysfunctional leaders of third-world nations. And suppose at the same time the United States and other western countries did exactly what the morons at Copenhagen are calling for --- namely, quit using carbon-based energy to produce real stuff.

You can't eat money. If the United States quits producing real stuff, all those hundreds of billions of dollars paid to third-world countries would be utterly worthless. Real income is production of real goods and services. Production of real goods and services requires the use the earth's resources, including carbon-based sources of energy, at least for the time being. I personally have no doubt whatsoever that science and technological advance will one day render fossil fuel energy completely obsolete. But that one day is not yet here.

The morons at Copenhagen evidently don't understand that the hundreds of billions of dollars per year they say the West "owes" third-world countries is nothing more than a bunch of digital zeros and ones on a bunch of servers somewhere. Take away the production of real goods and services and what do you have left? The zeros and ones.

I do believe that at least half my ECON 101 students understand the basic truth that income and wealth are the same thing as production of real stuff. They also understand why the third-world countries are so piteously poor. They don't produce much of anything.

My ECON 101 students also understand why the third-world countries don't produce much of anything. It is because they have gone down the roads of socialism, dictatorship, and compulsion with their political economies, instead of adopting the only system that works and is moral; voluntary exchange (a.k.a. free-market capitalism, to use what is a four-letter word to the "greens").

Will socialism be revived disguised as "green"? A rose by any other name. As I have repeated in this space so many times before, voluntary exchange is the only road to economic prosperity for humans. It is also the only moral way for humans to behave. All of history is abundantly clear about both propositions.

Do you think the morons in Copenhagen who are so deliriously high on their prescriptions of central governments' control of scarce resources, and high on their ridiculous notions of some world authority (the U.N.?) forcing everyone to abandon carbon-based energy --- do you think those morons understand that he who is willing to wield the sword is granting his foe the same right?

The western world can do without third-world countries, but third-world countries cannot do without the western world --- a fact that third-world countries have so amply demonstrated. Consequently, it is not just stupid of them, it is dangerous for them to call for some sort of "new world order" in the form of a centralized world authority that will control the use of scarce resources. See if you can guess who will get the short end of the stick on that deal.

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