Global Warming has come to be a hotly contested issue. Are there valid concerns that we should consider, or is Global Warming just the latest manufactured crisis to cash in on the public’s fears and generate new support for global governance, global carbon taxes and other oppressive policies?
On November 20, 2008 Ron Paul said in a New York Times / Freakonomics interview:
“I try to look at global warming the same way I look at all other serious issues: as objectively and open-minded as possible. There is clear evidence that the temperatures in some parts of the globe are rising, but temperatures are cooling in other parts. The average surface temperature had risen for several decades, but it fell back substantially in the past few years.
Clearly there is something afoot. The question is: Is the upward fluctuation in temperature man-made or part of a natural phenomenon. Geological records indicate that in the 12th century, Earth experienced a warming period during which Greenland was literally green and served as rich farmland for Nordic peoples. There was then a mini ice age, the polar ice caps grew, and the once-thriving population of Greenland was virtually wiped out.
It is clear that the earth experiences natural cycles in temperature. However, science shows that human activity probably does play a role in stimulating the current fluctuations.
The question is: how much? Rather than taking a “sky is falling” approach, I think there are common-sense steps we can take to cut emissions and preserve our environment. I am, after all, a conservative and seek to conserve not just American traditions and our Constitution, but our natural resources as well.
We should start by ending subsidies for oil companies. And we should never, ever go to war to protect our perceived oil interests. If oil were allowed to rise to its natural price, there would be tremendous market incentives to find alternate sources of energy. At the same time, I can’t support government “investment” in alternative sources either, for this is not investment at all.
Government cannot invest, it can only redistribute resources. Just look at the mess government created with ethanol. Congress decided that we needed more biofuels, and the best choice was ethanol from corn. So we subsidized corn farmers at the expense of others, and investment in other types of renewables was crowded out.
Now it turns out that corn ethanol is inefficient, and it actually takes more energy to produce the fuel than you get when you burn it. The most efficient ethanol may come from hemp, but hemp production is illegal and there has been little progress on hemp ethanol. And on top of that, corn is now going into our gas tanks instead of onto our tables or feeding our livestock or dairy cows; so food prices have been driven up. This is what happens when we allow government to make choices instead of the market; I hope we avoid those mistakes moving forward.”
After additional consideration and analysis and shortly before the release of the Climategate emails in late 2009, Ron Paul identified the artificial panic around Global Warming as an elaborate hoax:
“The greatest hoax I think that has been around for many, many years if not hundreds of years has been this hoax on [...] global warming.” – Ron Paul on Fox Business, Nov. 4, 2009
“[The Copenhagen treaty on climate change] can’t help the economy. It has to hurt the economy and it can’t possibly help the environment because they’re totally off track on that. It might turn out to be one of the biggest hoaxes of all history, this whole global warming terrorism that they’ve been using, but we’ll have to just wait and see, but it cannot be helpful. It’s going to hurt everybody.” – Ron Paul on the Alex Jones Show, Nov. 5, 2009