Rational Capitalist on Facebook

Saturday, April 21, 2007

"Earth Day" Links

On Earth Day, Remember: If Environmentalism Succeeds, It Will Make Human Life Impossible, by Michael Berliner

Video debate on CNBC "Power Lunch"

Peter Schwartz, former chairman of the Ayn Rand Institute, and Michael Ewall, director of the Energy Justice Network, squared off on "Power Lunch."

Schwartz counters that the corporate move to green is "cowardly appeasement" to environmentalists, who want to protect nature from humanity not for humanity's benefit.
Ewall calls ethanol "a false solution" adding that wind and solar power are better sources for transportation. Schwartz simply says let the "free market produce the kind of energy people want to buy."

Global warming may spur wind shear, sap hurricanes. I wonder if Al Gore will promote this?

Global Warming activists urged to focus on Earth Day rallies and ignore snow as it "piles up outside of our windows" and Quote of the Month honors:

"Data show our earth is getting warmer at a clip that concerns expert scientists. What the future holds for us is unknown, though there is something we can do about it." [So, we don't know what's going to happen, but let's do something about it, huh?]

California to Energy Producers: Not in Our State
Thursday, April 19, 2007 By: Alex Epstein

Irvine, CA--After an intense four-year struggle, Australian energy company BHP Billiton's attempt to build a Liquefied Natural Gas facility off the coast of California has been effectively killed by the state's Lands Commission, which voted 2-1 that its "Environmental Impact Report" was unsatisfactory.

"When we in California experience our next energy crisis--or the next time we complain about our exorbitant gas and electric bills--we should remember the fate of BHP Billiton," said Alex Epstein, a junior fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute. "That company wanted to build a plant that could satisfy up to 15 percent of Californians' energy needs--a plant that did everything possible to maximize safety and minimize pollution. And what did it get in return? Nearly half a decade of obstruction from California's endless constellation of environmental bureaucracies--and seething opposition from environmental groups that oppose every single practical form of energy production, from coal to oil to gas to nuclear power. The message California sends to any would-be producers of plentiful energy is obvious: Not in Our State.

"California and many other states are riddled with laws based on environmentalist hostility toward industrial energy. These laws must be replaced with a respect for property rights and an appreciation for the incomparable value that is industrial energy. Fossil fuels and nuclear power are the lifeblood of our civilization; without them, the average American's food, clothing, shelter, and medical care would be impossible. And, contrary to claims that we must abandon fossil fuels to protect against alleged weather disasters caused by global warming, fossil fuels are vitally necessary to build the buildings and power the technologies that protect us from dangerous weather.

"The anti-industrial mentality of environmentalists must be rejected, in word and in law, by everyone who truly cares about human life."


Adam Pierce said...

I think it's sad the way Schwartz debated on "Power Lunch".

His opponent specifically indicted capitalism for failing to bring human rights, and a much stronger response than what Schwartz actually responded with would be that human rights should bring capitalism.

Our right to life is based in part on a right to take action to sustain our life through acquiring property. Thus, any attack on property (by environmentalists or anyone else) does not get to claim the moral high ground.

Adam Pierce said...

And on another note:
I think a large part of Objectivism's failure (or minarchist Libertarianism's failure, for that matter)to persuade many people in the global warming debate stems from the fact that Objectivism has stood still in many different ways since the death of Rand.

Not only have the 'orthodox' Objectivists refused to provide any original philosophical thought (it is their position that doing so would be a corruption of Rand's work), but even the non-orthodox Objectivists have refused to advance the rhetoric of Objectivism.

The New Left movement has many things to offer in terms of rhetoric. If Objectivists can co-opt the discourses on issues like biopower, and can refine our non-coercive concept (and rhetoric!) of capitalism to seperate it from their ("their" referencing, for example, Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri) largely fascist idea of capitalism: rampant collusion between government and corporations; then we can seize the dominant discourse, invade the ivory towers, and in one swift movement co-opt, and radically transform, neo-liberalism itself.

We have to lose, only our rhetorical (and not our philosophical) association to Rand. We have to gain, the public opinion, the power of the intellectual elite, and perhaps the personal value that ought to go with the title: "Objectivist".