Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Hey You

Yeah you--youse guys who are so terribly concerned that we must at all costs avoid any man-made climate change. Are you serious? By that I do not mean "are you kidding?" but rather are you actually personally doing anything to advance this grand overarching agenda? Have you junked (not traded in) your old gas guzzler and bought the smallest most fuel efficient vehicle sold in this country? Do you bicycle at any and all possible opportunities to avoid using fuel? Have you quit driving across town to eat or see a movie or visit friends? Do you now forbear to drive/fly that 50/100/200/500 miles several times a year, to visit aunt Bessie or your parental units or your kid in college?

Have you moved out of your comfy 2500sq.ft. house and moved into a minimalist 400sq.ft. apartment in some hyper-efficient warren? Have you quit taking hot showers or using the oven or replaced everyone of your tungsten light bulbs with compact fluorescents or ceased your backyard grilling? Are you faithfully recycling every last scrap of anything remotely reusable? Do you check the box that ensures you will be provided only "green" or "renewable" electrical power at a substantial increase over what is charged for normal? If that is not available have you lobbied incessantly for access to this renewable goodness? Have you given up your cell phone, Ipod, computer, flat screen tv and turned your summertime thermostat up to 80 degrees?

Have you cut all saturated fats, sugar, simple carbohydrates, food preservatives, animal protein and dairy out of your diet? Do you only eat organic locally grown produce? Do you eschew all plastic bags at the grocery, or any other, store? Do you always compost all your organic waste?

Have you chosen not to do all, or a large percentage, of these things? Have you not made these choices because they almost all diminish your preferred quality of life? Do you think that all these things are good ideas but since not everyone will choose to do them are you hoping that a flood of governmental fiat will force everyone to act thusly and relieve you of any personal responsibility?

Is the threat of climate change not severe enough for you to do all these thing on your own in a gesture of planetary goodwill? If you have in fact done all those things are you resentful of those who have not and approve of sundry coercions to force them to do likewise? Do you approve of this coercion, of even yourself, in the name of climate change? Is not the dreaded specter of climate change enough for you to take all the aforementioned actions without being forced to do so? If not then why should governmental coercion be used to force actions upon others which you yourself will not contemplate without said coercion? Have you given any thought to what all this coercion might do to the commercial and cultural/intellectual fabric of society?

Do you acknowledge the concept of a cost/benefit ratio or do you hold that no price is too high and no coercion too severe to avoid deleterious climate change? How much of your income are you prepared to devote to the service of this campaign? Ten percent? Twenty? Fifty? Eighty? Do you think that, since you do not consider yourself so, that only the "rich" should have to pay for all of this? Do you think that there are enough rich people available to be converted into the un-rich in pursuit of climate change goals? Do you think that big increases in the tax rates on the well-to-do are not only necessary but vital for "economic justice"? Do you think that removing trillions of dollars from the private commercial sector and injecting them into the public sector will have only salutary effects on the world's economies?

Do you ever think about any of this at all or are you simply content to pull a lever in the voting booth and hope that your "betters" will "do the right thing"? Have you done any substantial personal independent research into any of these complex issues or are you content with environmental pressure groups, progressive politicians, public broadcasting, and vociferous celebrities doing all the heavy intellectual lifting?

Finally is the very concept of personal responsibility sinking into the quicksand of the all-encompassing embrace of the ever more intrusive national state? Probably. Wave bye-bye the truculence and chaos of unaffordable personal freedom and say hello and yum-yum to the socially nutritious nipple of the wet-nurse future. Ah but it'll be worth it. Won't it?


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