Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Global Climate Change Agenda vs. Prosperity & Freedom

Excellent piece in the Wall Street Journal about freedom, the poor and climate change. Money quote:

The real source of China’s pollution problem is a state-led industrial policy geared toward production, and state-owned enterprises (especially in “dirty” sectors like coal and steel) that strive to meet production quotas, and state-appointed managers who don’t mind cutting corners in matters of safety or environmental responsibility, and typically have the political clout to insulate themselves from any public fallout.

In other words, China’s pollution problems are not a function of laissez-faire policies and rampant consumerism, but of the regime’s excessive lingering control of the economy. A freer China means a cleaner China.

There’s a lesson in this for those who believe that the world’s environmental problems call for a new era of dirigisme. And there ought to be a lesson for those who claim to understand the problems of the poor better than the poor themselves. If global warming really is the catastrophe the alarmists claim, the least they can do for its victims is not to patronize them while impoverishing them in the bargain.

Having traveled the world - including India & China - I have to say that in my experience, the poorer a place is, the dirtier it is and the converse is true (Ever been to Geneva? Do those people even have trash?). Hard to imagine why poor countries and people should want to remain poor, or even accept an enormous one-time wealth transfer (we won't be able to afford another one since we can't even really afford the first one) from rich countries to clean up their environment if the trade off is that they have to stay poor in perpetuity because they aren't allowed to grow their economy, er I mean increase their CO2 output. Shocking that less developed countries aren't leaping onto the climate bandwagon!
Sphere: Related Content

No comments:

Post a Comment