Friday, September 30, 2011

They Say the Smog Is the Reason for the Beautiful Sunsets

I really don't care about the environment.  The zeal with which some people argue about it astounds me.  Though I've recycled my cans and stopped drinking bottled water for the most part, I can't report that I've been overcome with an incredible amount of urgency about the condition of the planet and the most notable conceit that we must somehow "save" the planet.

The planet's fine.  Earth will keep right on ticking no matter what we do to it.  We're the ones in trouble.

There are several pieces of information that inform my opinion on the matter.  The first one is that many reports, like this one, that indicates the process is already irreversible, no matter what we do.  My thinking is similar to the time my mother told me about a mystery disease that was killing people and had an indeterminate manner of spread...why bother worrying about it if nothing I do changes anything?

I remain slightly skeptical about the whole thing, because it's not like we haven't been wrong before.  I have heard global warming cited as the cause for the record summer in the American South this year, but I can also remember the exceptionally cold winter we just had either being dismissed as evidence of global warming or cited as also evidence of global warming.

I also am unconvinced about its validity due to the constant shifting of terminology.  Global warming is now usually called "climate change," a neutral term that allows for cold snaps to also be thus attributed.  Rhetorically, it's brilliant, but it's intellectually dishonest.

Here's the great thing about libertarianism: it doesn't matter what I think.  The correct thing to do is simply to require that pollution either be avoided or remuneration be given to those affected.  I am not for EPA emissions standards (or the EPA, for that matter), but I'm also not for companies having carte blanche to pollute their corporate little heads off.  I understand that companies will complain about the prohibitive cost of figuring and compensating people for total environmental effect, but them's the breaks if you want to play with fire.  Simply put, pollute all you want, but you better not share.

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