The progressive Economist magazine has joined the ranks of climate alarmists, proclaiming humanity’s defeat at the hands of anthropogenic “climate change” in its most recent issue.
The UK-based Economist, which some time ago abandoned its mission of serious economic reporting to trumpet popular social justice issues, offers a lazy assessment of summer heat as the result of manmade “global warming.”
“Earth is smouldering,” the essay begins ominously, referencing wildfires in California, Seattle, Athens, and Siberia before announcing that elsewhere “people are suffocating in the heat.”
“Such calamities, once considered freakish, are now commonplace,” the magazine declares with historical conviction.
The article cites an anonymous “early analysis” to make the remarkable claim that “this sweltering European summer would have been less than half as likely were it not for human-induced global warming.” Any student of statistics knows that this assertion is ridiculous on its face, but the Economist can be reasonably certain that its readership will not bother to question the reigning groupthink.
As per usual with such climate stories, the upshot is always political, and it does not take the Economist long to get to its point: the Paris Climate Accord is failing.
Rising investments in oil and gas and greater demand for coal — which one would expect to please a magazine called “The Economist” — have the opposite effect, and the editors rend their garments over this catastrophe. Equally upsetting is that subsidies for renewables, such as wind and solar power, are “dwindling in many places and investment has stalled.”
It is tempting to think that mankind, with its instinct for self-preservation, “will muddle through to a victory over global warming,” the magazine states. “In fact, it is losing the war.”
“Fossil fuels are easier to hook up to today’s grids than renewables that depend on the sun shining and the wind blowing,” the article informs its readers, and the more fossil fuels a country consumes, “the harder it is to wean itself off them.”
While the essay blames “powerful lobbies” for the growing demand for fossil fuels, it fails to address the true underlying cause, which is simply economic. Freed from the ideologies propping up expensive renewable energy, people are turning to inexpensive fossil fuels to drive economic growth.
Undaunted, the Economist declares that “climate listlessness must be tackled head on.”
“Western countries grew wealthy on a carbon-heavy diet of industrial development. They must honour their commitment in the Paris agreement to help poorer places both adapt to a warmer Earth and also abate future emissions without sacrificing the growth needed to leave poverty behind,” it states.
And since averting climate change “will come at a short-term financial cost,” the magazine acknowledges, market forces will not move people to make the necessary sacrifices and government must therefore step in to coerce them.
“Politicians have an essential role to play in making the case for reform and in ensuring that the most vulnerable do not bear the brunt of the change,” the essay notes euphemistically, where making “the case for reform” translates into heavy-handed regulation and state control.
“Perhaps global warming will help them fire up the collective will,” the Economist adds cheerfully.
But if not, there is always force, not the force of argument — which is clearly failing — but the force of ideology backed up by political will.
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