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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Warm Weather Causes Terrorism!?

In case you thought that apocalyptic claims regarding global warming could not get more absurd - think again.

Sir Crispin Tickell (this is a real name), the former British ambassador to the United Nations, warns us that due to global warming:

"Violence within and between communities and between nation states, we must accept, could possibly increase, because the precedents are all around."

He cited Rwanda and Sudan's Darfur region as two examples where drought and overpopulation, relative to scarce resources, had helped to fuel deadly conflicts. "

Experts at the conference hosted by the Royal United Services Institute said it was likely that global warming would create huge flows of refugees as people tried to escape areas swamped by rising sea levels or rendered uninhabitable by desertification.

Tickell said terrorists were likely to seek to exploit the tensions created."

The article even quotes yes, you guessed it, Bin Laden's 2002 letter to the American people:

"You have destroyed nature with your industrial waste and gases more than any other nation in history. Despite this, you refuse to sign the Kyoto agreement so that you can secure the profit of your greedy companies and industries."

But here is my favorite quote from Paul Rogers, professor of peace studies (is that really a major?) at Bradford University, said:

"any attempt by countries to build fortress walls to keep out climate change refugees -- what he called the 'barbarians at the gate' mentality -- was doomed to fail."

So let me get this straight. The weather will get warmer leading to rising sea levels AND more desertification (not quite sure how rising seas lead to deserts but whatever). This will make people in Rwanda and Sudan angry (since now everything is grand). Consequently, they will make a run for somewhere most likley Western countries (apparently the place where global warming hasn't destroyed everything). So when this all goes down we shouldn't even consider building a "fortress" to keep them out because that would fail. And, also, because these people will suddenly become poor and desperate and starving this will incite them to kill people in the West out of frustration.

Hmmmm, this is an interesting theory but I have a few questions.

How is it that the city of Las Vegas which has a population of over 1 million people manages to feed, water, house, and entertain millions of people every year in the most gluttonous orgy of food, product, and convenience in human history all from land that Al Gore would likely consider "uninhabitable due to desertification"?

According to these "experts", aren't local communities determined by the fertility and/or natural resources of the land they immediately inhabit and so shouldn't everyone in Las Vegas be killing each other by now?

What about Manhattan which has over 10 million people on a small island. Theoretically this is a densely populated land with seas (oooh scary) all around it. Shouldn't everyone be drowning, fighting for food, and exploding bombs out of frustration?

Even a cursory glance at reality reveals that intelligent, free people find a way to prosper wherever they go under practically any conditions through ingenuity, hard work, and free trade. (Note that the premise of the article is that the third world will be affected by global warming and will want to come to the West so are they even admitting that global warming will somehow not affect the West - no answer)

If terrorists are extremely pissed off because they are poor and starving shouldn't they be emulating the West instead of trying to destroy it? Why doesn't Bin Laden use his millions of dollars to build roads, schools, and factories to educate the population and attract investment capital? (But wait, that might spoil that beautiful desert landscape with "industrial waste and gases" so maybe that's why he chose flying planes into buildings.)

Note what Bin Laden actually says in his quote. He's not mad because he's poor or because he is starving and miserable. He is mad because America is rich and happy. If he cared about human life then he would recognize that life expectancy in the West is higher than it has ever been and has gone up 25 years in the short span of the last century thanks to capitalism and its "industrial waste and gases".

Also note the connection between environmentalism and the terrorists that Bin Laden makes explicit. Both demand sacrifice either to the earth or to Allah. Both ideologies contradict man's fundamental nature which requires reason and production to survive, i.e., free rational thought and the transformation of nature into useful products. Both naturally see the West and capitalism as antithetical to their ideology and thus seek to destroy it albeit to different degrees.

Terrorism is not caused by frustrated, starving people or deserts. If the third world wants to be rich, prosperous and happy they could become capitalists and join the rest of the civilized world. The Islamic fanatics worship death and the afterlife and suffering in service to God and seek to impose Islamic or Shariah law on the rest of the world. They do not seek wealth they despise capitalist "decadence" and seek to destroy the West. If they wanted to be rich they would have tried to steal the World Trade Center not destroy it.

In short, the West stands for life, freedom, and happiness. The terrorists stand for death, slavery, and suffering.

If there are any barbarians at the gate it is Mr. Tickell and his cronies who worship nature apart from human life and who do not understand the precondition and true source of wealth: human reason and the political freedom to exercise it.

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