It is a source of amazement that politicians and political activists continue to make demonstrably false claims and use these to raise taxes or funds without challenge from our lawmakers. As a case in point, the banner advertisement in On Line Opinion’s worthy forum over the past couple of weeks has proclaimed “Climate change will claim lives - help stop it now” and carried on to suggest that by donating money to the organisation running the advertisement, the contributors could help stop the dreaded climate change.
This can be demonstrated to be arrant nonsense, as is the political campaign to impose an emissions trading scheme (a tax by any other name is still a tax). Surely these are cases for the ACCC!
A quote attributed to the infamous Joseph Goebbels seems appropriate: “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”
Before spray cans gave vandals another weapon of mass defacement, posters, or “bills”, were stuck on walls in public places. The practice continues to this day despite warning signs which were as unsightly as the posters they aimed to prevent - “Bill Posters will be prosecuted”. The graffiti people responded with “Bill Posters is innocent” scrawled across the signs.
Bill Posters may not have been innocent, but the friend of life on Earth, carbon dioxide, has been charged with the most heinous of crimes: carbon dioxide is innocent of the slanders on its character, now so popular in the press, the parliament, the pulpit and the public and private schools.
As Professor Julius Sumner Miller would have inquired were he alive today, “Why is it so?”.
It is another interesting case of mass hysteria. The most loaned-out book in my personal library was first published in the 1840s and is still in print today. Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds by Charles Mackay describes how lemming-like mass hysteria has a periodic breakout in the human experience. Some wise person (source unknown) observed “Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one”.
So where is the source of this latest outbreak of nonsense flu?
We could start at the very beginning, but that lies in the mists of time, so probably a good place to start is with the Industrial Revolution. To cut a long story short, this coal-fired revolution gave unprecedented numbers of people, unprecedented lifestyles, and new-found access to this remarkable energy source has given millions of lives comfort and longevity hitherto denied. Poor people who previously died young lived longer and healthier lives. Sadly too few of those people knew or understood the reason for their new-found longevity, and a new industry was established, an industry based on envy.
That industry is a parasitical one, which today threatens to destroy the host on which it feeds. Generations of schoolchildren have been brainwashed into believing coal is bad. Indeed there have been periods where inefficient power stations have caused local pollution of particulate matter containing sulphurous and nitrous gases. The infamous “Dresden Bell” in post-war Germany was a pall of smog which could be seen from afar as a bell-shaped cloud enveloping a city in which plant growth was inhibited, and citizens lived inside closed doors to escape the acrid air. The city fathers fixed the problem. Scrubbers in the smoke-stacks removed the nasties, but left a user-friendly, clear, odourless, non-toxic gas to escape to greet the new-found sunlight. It was a happy union. The gas, carbon dioxide, uses sunlight from clear skies to mate with plant life in the miracle of photosynthesis, and so Dresden again became green. Prosperity beats pollution any time. But poverty and pollution are bedmates.
Fast-forward to the early 21st century when life-friendly carbon dioxide, a trace gas in the atmosphere (less than 400 parts per million, a veritable drop in the atmospheric ocean), has been demonised, and there are those who now believe by measuring and taxing emissions of this gas, that they can stop “global warming” or as the planet has now entered a cooling phase, the catch-cry is to stop “climate change”.
As a new generation of voters succumb to senseless propaganda, the poll-driven politicians go with the flow, and instead of cheap coal-based energy, we are now faced with huge surcharges on the cost of power using exotic wind farms or solar panels - a sure pathway to poverty. Windmills and solar panels are made using power from fossil fuels, and in the case of the most efficient solar panels, it takes about six years to generate the power it took to make them. By then corrosion and maintenance would have consumed much of the utility of these dreamweavers.