She Could Always Click Her Heels
You can choose who makes the most sense. Recently a 16-year old Swedish girl tried to frighten the world via the UN. Her message was simple: A few greedy adults have screwed up the earth. They have stolen the future from her generation. For the sake of making money. As a result, environmental catastrophe lies only a few years ahead. All scientists tell us so.
In the same week The Federalist ran an article by David Harsanyi. You might enjoy it.
First he pooh-poohs the youngster’s apocalyptic predictions and fears. He reminds us that doomsters have made similar predictions for decades. Citing scientists left and right.
He is right. You can fill a dumpster with their predictions of drought, famine, disease, pestilence, economic collapse, ice ages, surfing in Peoria, canoeing through the Arctic Circle. And then some. Well, the dumpster is the right place for their predictions. They have all been wrong. Spectacularly.
Which is why maybe, perhaps, possibly the latest horrific predictions should not persuade us to sell the farm.
Next, Harsanyi answers her charge that us oldies have sold out her future. He cites “extraordinary gains” we have made. Gains that surely contribute to her future. In the most important aspects of human existence over the past 30-40 years. “…nearly every quantifiable measure…is improving.”
To what does he credit this? To capitalism. To the retreat of socialism. The retreat of the very kind of socialist controls and authoritarianism that her backers want to bring back to fight global warming.
He looks at some of the gains we have made for humanity.
Extreme global poverty has plunged. From 37 percent of humanity in 1990 to 10 percent today.
In 1990 only 5 billion of us had clean water. Today over 7 billion do. Nearly a billion fewer people are forced to drink contaminated water.
Meanwhile, child mortality rates have fallen dramatically. In teens. In youngsters. In toddlers and babies. In all parts of the world.
Life expectancy has risen and risen and risen. For people in all parts of the world.
The earth knows many wars and armed conflicts. Yet deaths from battles have fallen dramatically over the past 50 years. Today we have virtually no genocides. In the 20th century we suffered a dozen or more. Nazis, Japanese, Soviet, Chinese and other communist regimes led the way. (Someone might inform the Swedish girl that greedy capitalists fought against all these regimes.)
In capitalist America all emissions of air pollutants have fallen dramatically since the 70’s. Deaths from polluted air have plunged around the world.
Deaths from climate catastrophes have too. As have deaths from earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanos and the like.
Hard to believe is that even homicide rates have fallen in America. Our rates today are what they were in 1963.
Illiteracy has dropped as well. Literacy in the world has risen to nearly 90 percent. Primary school enrollment has shot upward in all parts of the world.
Meanwhile GDP per capita has risen throughout the world.
Harsanyi creates a potent argument. The forces that wrote the script for the Swedish girl all cry out for socialism. They demand that armies of unelected bureaucrats be allowed to control how people live. They want them empowered to dictate our diets, our energy use, our house designs.
Several of the world leaders of the climate change movement have declared that capitalism must be destroyed or crippled. Some have admitted their movement is not really about the climate. Instead, it is about changing the world’s economic system.
Incidentally, Harsanyi might have added data on how food production keeps growing faster than population. Or on how we keep extending decent healthcare to millions more each year.
The problem here is two-fold. It is capitalism, not socialism, that has lifted so much of humanity from desperate poverty. People love to give socialism the credit. Socialists deployed the wealth that only capitalism creates. And the more pure the socialism is, the more glaring its failures.
Meanwhile, the prophets of doom stand on shaky ground. Ground littered with hundreds of predictions of disaster that have been dead wrong.
We could build a platform for climate change doomsters. Build it from the two dozen climate models they spent millions to construct. Such a platform would not bear the weight of a paper clip. Their models have all failed. Collapsed.
The Swedish teenager and others can place all their faith in such scientific projections. David Harsanyi doesn’t buy it. Nor do I.
From Tom…as in Morgan.
Find Tom at tomasinmorgan.com. You can write to Tom at email@example.com.