Thursday, February 01, 2007
On this day:

"A whitewash on global warming?"

From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Washington — The Democratic chairman of a House panel examining the government's response to climate change said Tuesday there is evidence that senior Bush administration officials sought repeatedly "to mislead the public by injecting doubt into the science of global warming."
Well, maybe that's because there is still a great deal of doubt surrounding the science of global warming. Few, if any, climatologists would dispute that global temperatures are rising, but as to why that is occurring or the degree to which human beings have either influenced it or can alter its course are questions that science has yet to answer. That's not because the scientists studying Earth's climate are lazy or incompetent. It's due to the fact that their research involves many uncertainties, and it is only recently that they have been supplied with the tools to necessary to turn interesting hypotheses into theories supported by real evidence.

I'm convinced that most climatologists are driven by a sincere desire to uncover the truth about climate change. Further research into the forces that influence the Earth's climate - whether they are natural or the result of human activity - should be welcomed, regardless of our political inclinations. However, there has to be a clear line drawn between the science of global warming and the politics of global warming.

Let's assume for a moment that global warming is a reality and that human activity is a significant cause - both of which seem to be at least somewhat likely. What is the appropriate way for us to react? Although that question should be informed by good science, it is ultimately a political one.

As a conservative, I'm wary of any solution that involves restricting the economic liberties of Americans. That doesn't mean that I am unalterably opposed to government intervention should it become clear that such a course is absolutely necessary, but until then, I'm hesitant to surrender even one degree of liberty in order to prevent a few of degrees of warming.

The Left's proposed solution to global warming involves an unprecedented expansion of government control over the economy. I think that is exactly the wrong solution. It would restrain the economic forces that hold the key to reducing the greenhouse gas emissions that many scientists say are the culprit for our climatological maladies. If anything, we need a Global Warming Tax Cut and Regulatory Relief package that unleashes the powers of industry to develop cleaner sources of energy and fill production lines with energy-efficient goods.

Free market capitalism has brought a level of material prosperity that extends deeper and wider than ever before in history, and it has consistently proven its superiority to socialism as a means to overcoming technological challenges. Why would we abandon it now?