Justin’s note: Today, I continue my conversation with Doug Casey and Strategic Investor editor E.B. Tucker on the great climate change hoax. If you missed part one, click here to catch up.
Below, the guys take a closer look at what’s really going on… and why all of the hysteria is actually a big threat…
Justin: Why peddle this idea that the Earth is warming rapidly? What’s the motive?
E.B.: Bigger government.
I mean, climate change has become a pop culture drumbeat. If you watch the Oscars, somebody is going to say, “We’ve got to do something about the climate.”
But no one, of course, knows what to do. All they know is that we should give the government more money to do something about this. And that money is obviously going to come from the developed world. I mean you’re not going to get any money if you implement a carbon tax in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
So it’s basically just a giant tax scheme. I mean carbon taxes brought in $82 billion last year. That’s a big number. And no one even knows where this money goes. You can’t question it because everybody has the best of intentions.
Justin: It’s just one big money grab?
E.B.: It’s about more than just money. Carbon taxes give government much more control over commerce. When you buy an airline ticket to fly over Kansas, you’ve got to pay a bunch of money to a U.N. organization to mitigate the effect you have on the lower atmosphere or whatever as you fly through it in an airplane.
It’s stupid, but people go for it. I was in Mexico two weeks ago and took a domestic Aeroméxico flight. When I bought the ticket there was an option to “fly green” for an extra fee. The airline takes the money and buys carbon offset credits. It’s very popular actually. But no one really knows where that money goes.
And it’s only just the beginning. Now, you have Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez [AOC] saying the world will end in 12 years if we don’t do something about climate change. She’s proposing that we build trains across the ocean and rebuild every building in America to prevent this from happening. Somebody clearly benefits from all of this.
And it’s only going to get worse. You’ve got to put yourself in the mind of government bureaucrats, who are just businesspeople in government. Think of them as a government version of businesspeople.
They want their business to get as big as possible. And the U.S. government has never really collected more than roughly 18% to 20% of gross domestic product in taxes. But that’s not enough.
Let’s say that carbon taxes reach just 2% of economic output. For the developed world alone, that would mean around $1 trillion. It’s a serious amount of money.
So I think that climate change is a cover for big government. And it’s a great one. People will go for it. That’s why they’re pushing it so hard.
Justin: It’s clear neither of you thinks AOC’s Green New Deal is the answer. So what should be done about climate change? Anything?
Doug: Absolutely nothing should be done about it. As I’ve tried to indicate, the climate has a life of its own. If it’s affected at all by humans, our effect may be dwarfed by that of ants and termites – but that’s a whole other can of worms, as it were.
That’s not to say man can’t have a major effect on the Earth. Humans have wiped out a number of major species, from passenger pigeons to the buffalo. Both of those species once practically covered North America. And yes, we could probably pave the planet, and wipe out most life. But the exact opposite of that is more likely to happen.
The fact is that as technology improves – which is happening at the rate of Moore’s Law practically across the board – things become vastly more efficient, with much less waste. Not to mention the human population of the developed world is in an accelerating downtrend. CO2, which should be viewed as no more than necessary plant food, is a complete non-problem.
So, sure. Humans can have an effect on the planet, but not as major as the sun, volcanism, and other natural processes. The big danger isn’t climate change, it’s hysteria. And government, and the types who manipulate it, destroying the economy. I’m afraid that many scientists on the global warming bandwagon are there for purely selfish economic reasons. Unfortunately most science funding today is done directly and indirectly through the government. It’s a political process.
And if you’re a scientist who’s considered politically unreliable, who believes politically incorrect things, you’re not going to get the funding. You’re not going to get journals to publish your articles. You’re not going to get positions in universities, which are universally controlled by leftists. It’s interesting that the people who believe in AGW [anthropogenic global warming] are almost all leftists, and the people who don’t believe in it tend to be non-leftists.
Climate science has been turned from a legitimate branch of knowledge into a new age religion, where heretics are persecuted. It’s become a means to centralize even more power in the State. After all, the fate of the Earth is at stake!
So, it’s very advantageous to join the crowd if you’re a scientist, or at least not fight against it. It’s evidence of the corruption of science itself, which is really serious.
That’s another argument for getting the U.S. government 100% out of science of all types. The will, and the capital, to fund scientific projects will still exist. It just shouldn’t be allocated by the political process of government.
Justin: What threat does climate change pose to capitalism?
Doug: Climate change itself poses zero threat to capitalism. But the hysteria about it is a big threat. Why? Because the only way to alter something as major as the climate is through the government. You have to force people to do certain things and forbid them from doing other things. Power-hungry statists are using the hysteria as an excuse to do that.
Climate change has got an aura of moral righteousness about it. Marxists, socialists, and leftists are making Greenism into a new religion. Of course, it’s not designated as such; but these things are actually secular religions. They’re sold on the basis of being morally correct. They have dogmas, sins, saints, devils, clergy, heretics, crusades – the whole nine yards.
That’s a major reason why Greenism and global warmism are so popular. People always want to feel morally righteous, and that God is on their side. These things appeal to emotion, not reason. It’s all about psychology, not science.
Some of these people are actually saying it’s going to be the end of life on Earth – so you even have the religious idea of apocalypse. If there’s ever been any excuse for the people that hold these views to take control of everybody else, this is it.
It’s just further proof that there are two kinds of people in the world: people who like to control physical reality, and people who like to control other people.
It’s very clever on the part of these people to have harnessed pseudoscience and herded many scientists – although I don’t think it’s only a tiny but vocal minority – into the belief we’re all going to die because the oceans are going to drown us as the Earth turns into a giant steam bath.
How much warmer can things get than they’ve been since the last ice age ended 11,000 years ago? I don’t know and neither do they. How much longer is it going to be before we go into another ice age? I don’t know – and neither do they.
The real argument isn’t about earth science. It’s about political science.
And it’s very clever on the part of the people who are pushing it.
Justin: Great stuff. Thanks for speaking with me today, guys.
Doug: You’re welcome.
E.B.: No problem. It was a great conversation.
Justin’s note: On Wednesday night, E.B. Tucker and Doug Casey held an investing summit and went on record to reveal:
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If you missed it, we’ve made a free replay available to you right here.
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