Climate Folly

By Las Vegas Review-Journal, Las Vegas Review-Journal - December 21, 2009

Has there ever been a more pitiful example of misguided nonsense, aggressive idiocy and functional stupidity than last week's climate change conference in Copenhagen?

The weeklong orgy of excess -- to which most participants arrived in plush, carbon-emitting private jets and were shuttled around in limos -- was nothing more than another leftist shakedown of wealthy nations on behalf of "developing" countries. This time in the name of saving the planet.

Promoting panic in the name of global warming is the Trojan horse for those who seek to overhaul the world economy by subverting capitalism and advancing collectivism. There is absolutely no evidence that mandating strict carbon emission standards will do anything at all to solve the perceived problem. Instead, we were treated to another U.N. gathering at which Third World hacks such as Hugo Chavez are applauded while Western ideals are dismissed and derided.

Unless, of course, those Western nations agree to cough up cash to dictatorial kleptocrats.

The most significant part of the bogus and nonbinding "deal" brokered by President Barack Obama, for instance, is a $30 billion, three-year program intended to help poor countries address environmental degradation and develop alternative energy. That figure is supposed to rise to $100 billion a year by 2020.

Suffice it to say that none of that money will go toward providing the citizens of "poor" countries with the means to become freer and more prosperous -- and thus more likely to be good environmental stewards.

Instead of offering more and more handouts, President Obama should have stood tall and explained that wealthy nations are wealthy for a reason: They stand atop political and cultural institutions that respect private property, contract law, individual liberty and capitalism.

Instead of sending cash to Chad, Laos, Guyana and Niger under the guise of mitigating global warming, we should send the works of Adam Smith, Edmund Burke, John Locke and the founding fathers. Then toss in tomes by Ludwig von Mises, Milton Friedman and Ayn Rand.

"Want to know the best way to heal the planet?" asked sydicated columnist Jonah Goldberg. "Create more rich countries. Want to know the best way to hurt the planet? Throw a wet blanket on economic growth."

Guess which option most of the Copenhagen "activists" prefer.

Note: Comments made by reporters and editors of the Las Vegas Review-Journal are presented with a yellow background.

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