Reducing Humans to Carbon Ash


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Reducing Humans to Carbon Ash
by Edward Hudgins

November 16, 2009 - The latest morally monstrous proposal out of the environmentalist cult comes from Lord Smith of Finsbury. He suggests that each British citizen be given a government “carbon allowance.”

For any transaction that increases a person’s “carbon footprint” such as using gasoline or taking an airline flight, they would have to “spend” part of their allowance. Once their allowance reaches zero, they would have to pay out of pocket to purchase more credits, assuming that they are available. It is “cap and trade” for the individual.

Appallingly anti-human

The appallingly anti-human nature of this proposal is only surpassed by the appalling ignorance and intellectual laziness of a public that is not appalled by the fact that their politicians are literally leading them to suicide.

An essential aspect of our lives as humans is to employ the materials in our environment for our survival and well-being: converting plants into food; trees into houses; oil into energy; metals into medical equipment, automobiles, and aircraft.

It is often too costly for us to employ carbon dioxide, one of the “outputs” of our act of living, efficiently for our use. We produce CO2 in some of our industrial activities and, indeed, every time we exhale. (As do all animals!) Plants, of course, breathe in our CO2.

The carbon allowance scheme dehumanizes us by teaching us to view ourselves merely as carbon output units, and the less output the better. The implication of this view is that every single human activity—indeed, the very act of living—a sinful indulgence, like some criminal urge for which we should be ashamed and which we should strive to suppress.

Child-haters

Just as our superstitious ancestors tortured themselves with guilt over taking joy in the things of this world, so those who accept the premises of the environmental cult do so today.

The latest example is the rise of couples who refuse to have children because each new child is considered pollution on the Earth. Naturally, it is the choice of each individual whether or not to become a parent. But consider the complete depravity of what the environmental cultists peddle as morality.

There are men and women who long to have children; to cradle newborns in their arms; to hold their babies’ hands as they take their first steps; to watch them play with their friends and their toys; to teach them to say “mommy” and “daddy”; to teach them to read; to play with them in the park; to help them with their studies; to attend their graduations; and to see them become responsible adults and, perhaps, parents themselves.

Now consider those men and women who would give up the challenge and the joy of becoming a parent, who would damn themselves to emptier lives of “if only it could have been” because they ingest the poisonous notion that each new child must be thought of first as a carbon unit that poisons this planet.

This is no joke. For decades eco-radicals have advocated zero population growth with government action to bring about that result. Now they have the ultimate argument for selling suicide, that carbon is bad and that to live as a human is to produce carbon.

So we now find a recent Oregon State University study that argues that the carbon impact of having a child is 20 times greater than any other environmental choice, such as driving a car. Thus it’s not surprising when New York Times columnist Andy Revkin broaches the idea of giving carbon credits for those who have fewer kids.

Combine this notion with the British scheme and the clear implication is that the government will allow couples to have kids only if they can “pay” for the impact of those children out of their carbon allowance.

Totalitarians and tattoos

Like any government program, the carbon allowance idea would only grow. Its inexorable conclusion would be truly totalitarian. How would government control all human activities in the name of reducing human carbon output?

In Britain Lord Smith wants each individual assigned an identification number to keep track of their activities; how about tattooing it to our wrists? The system certainly would expand to track and thus to limit or proscribe more and more of our activities. The system likely would soon become a mechanism to meet the goal, voiced by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s environmental adviser Jonathon Porritt, of cutting the country’s population in half, by 30 million, in order to build a “sustainable” society.

To the extent that individuals accept the eco-cult’s view of humans and accept guilt for living, they will acquiesce as the new puritan politicians claim the right to control and destroy their lives through a new Inquisition.

Yes, the excuse for these sorts of measures is the need to stop climate change; the term “global warming” is falling out of favor since the globe has refused to warm up much over the past decade.

Climates have changed radically throughout Earth’s history before humans were around. Further, science today has not come anywhere close to establishing that the Earth’s climate is dangerously warming up; that humans producing CO2 are the principal cause; that the effects will be catastrophic to human life; that draconian restrictions on human activity can prevent such warming; and that the harm done by these restrictions will not be far worse than the warming.

Yet it’s not with reticence and reluctance but, rather, with recklessness and relish that eco-cultists push their Luddite proposals. In spite of occasional weak claims that such measures are meant to help future humans—those children we’re not supposed to have—the logic behind them implies that in the best of all possible worlds all humans would have their carbon “sequestered,” that is, would become ash in the ground.

Any given individual might back this ideology out of ignorance, ill-intent, or a combination of the two. But whatever the case, those who love their lives and who love the potential of every human being must continue to confront this anti-human ideology and those who promote it, to make clear the ideology’s implications, and to refuse to allow themselves to be destroyed.
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Hudgins directs advocacy and is a senior scholar for The Atlas Society, the center for Objectivism in Washington, D.C.

For further reading:

*Edward Hudgins, “Light Up the World for Humans.” March 27, 2009.

*Edward Hudgins, “Pelosi’s Eco-Totalitarianism.” May 29, 2009.

*Robert Bidinotto, “Green Cathedrals: Environmentalism's Mythological Appeal.” The New Individualist, September 2007.

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Animals will reproduce incredibly rapidly as long as there is a good food supply. When the supply dries up then the population will drop back down to sustainable levels. is this what you advocate for humans too? Is it so wrong to try and manage our population or should we just behave like animals?

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Animals will reproduce incredibly rapidly as long as there is a good food supply. When the supply dries up then the population will drop back down to sustainable levels. is this what you advocate for humans too? Is it so wrong to try and manage our population or should we just behave like animals?

GS:

The use of the term "manage", implies a manager and a managed.

Who do you see in those roles?

Adam

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Animals will reproduce incredibly rapidly as long as there is a good food supply. When the supply dries up then the population will drop back down to sustainable levels. is this what you advocate for humans too? Is it so wrong to try and manage our population or should we just behave like animals?

If the food supply really dries up then starvation and extinction can occur. There is not a single species on Earth that has a platinum coated guarantee of eternal survival (i.e. survival until the sun dies).

No mammalian species has ever survived 30 million years. Not one.

The oldest organisms on earth are one celled archea like the kind that form the stromatylites.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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Animals will reproduce incredibly rapidly as long as there is a good food supply. When the supply dries up then the population will drop back down to sustainable levels. is this what you advocate for humans too? Is it so wrong to try and manage our population or should we just behave like animals?

We humans already produce so much food that obesity, not hunger, is the problem in the U.S. and other advanced countries. Crop yields and the like have increased by many magnitudes over the past century or two with mechanization, better fertilizers, genetically-selected crops and the like. Under 3 percent of Americans work in producing food, compared to around half in 1900.

And it’s not “we” who should manage the food supply. Individual producers and consumers, with market prices providing the vital supply and demand info, make those decisions.

The only way we’ll ever have mass hunger is if governments try to manage markets as they do in Africa to the detriment of the poor inhabitants.

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Animals will reproduce incredibly rapidly as long as there is a good food supply. When the supply dries up then the population will drop back down to sustainable levels. is this what you advocate for humans too? Is it so wrong to try and manage our population or should we just behave like animals?

We humans already produce so much food that obesity, not hunger, is the problem in the U.S. and other advanced countries. Crop yields and the like have increased by many magnitudes over the past century or two with mechanization, better fertilizers, genetically-selected crops and the like. Under 3 percent of Americans work in producing food, compared to around half in 1900.

And it's not "we" who should manage the food supply. Individual producers and consumers, with market prices providing the vital supply and demand info, make those decisions.

The only way we'll ever have mass hunger is if governments try to manage markets as they do in Africa to the detriment of the poor inhabitants.

Ed:

I am always fascinated by the split assumption made by anti laissez faire capitalism folks. On the one hand they argue that since "man" is corrupt, he cannot be trusted to run his own life or his own creations. In fact, "man" will engage in force to expand his creation, e.g., a business. He will pollute. He will abuse the environment for profit, etc.

However, the same "man" can be a government manager who will transform his human nature [as perceived by the anti capitalist person] into a "manager" who will perform like a philosopher king.

Additionally, the "invisible hand" paradigm which has millions of individual transactions by individual humans who have no knowledge of each others actual function at another place in the supply and demand cycle cannot be accepted as the reality that it is.

I can remember Milton Friedman had been asked by his friend to come with him to Indian to evaluate a public works program being proposed by the Indian government.

It was a construction project whose goal was to employ a large number of people. It was going to reduce unemployment to an x percentage. It involved using shovels versus modern machinery. Friedman watched the work for the morning and quietly suggested that they exchange the shovels with spoons and reduce the unemployment rate to 0%. The entire project would cause more unemployment over the medium and long haul.

Great post Ed.

Adam

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Ed:

I am always fascinated by the split assumption made by anti laissez faire capitalism folks. On the one hand they argue that since "man" is corrupt, he cannot be trusted to run his own life or his own creations. In fact, "man" will engage in force to expand his creation, e.g., a business. He will pollute. He will abuse the environment for profit, etc.

However, the same "man" can be a government manager who will transform his human nature [as perceived by the anti capitalist person] into a "manager" who will perform like a philosopher king.

Additionally, the "invisible hand" paradigm which has millions of individual transactions by individual humans who have no knowledge of each others actual function at another place in the supply and demand cycle cannot be accepted as the reality that it is.

I can remember Milton Friedman had been asked by his friend to come with him to Indian to evaluate a public works program being proposed by the Indian government.

It was a construction project whose goal was to employ a large number of people. It was going to reduce unemployment to an x percentage. It involved using shovels versus modern machinery. Friedman watched the work for the morning and quietly suggested that they exchange the shovels with spoons and reduce the unemployment rate to 0%. The entire project would cause more unemployment over the medium and long haul.

Great post Ed.

Adam

Adam - Thanks! The anti-free market folks have always been elitists who see a class of monarchs, avant-guards, philosopher kings, or government managers to run the affairs of we the common peasants. The whole modern America liberal view of society is 1) there are lots of market failures; 2) an educated elite can figure out government programs that will solve these failures; and 3) these elite can implement such programs impartially and "above" politics. It was watered-down Marxism and is a clear failure.

I love the Milton Friedman example!

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We humans already produce so much food that obesity, not hunger, is the problem in the U.S. and other advanced countries. Crop yields and the like have increased by many magnitudes over the past century or two with mechanization, better fertilizers, genetically-selected crops and the like. Under 3 percent of Americans work in producing food, compared to around half in 1900.

And it's not "we" who should manage the food supply. Individual producers and consumers, with market prices providing the vital supply and demand info, make those decisions.

The only way we'll ever have mass hunger is if governments try to manage markets as they do in Africa to the detriment of the poor inhabitants.

Unfortunately, this "mechanization, better fertilizers, genetically-selected crops" is not sustainable. The principle of "supply and demand" is exactly what happens with animals and leads to wild fluctuations in the market place. We humans can do better than that.

Edited by general semanticist
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Animals will reproduce incredibly rapidly as long as there is a good food supply. When the supply dries up then the population will drop back down to sustainable levels. is this what you advocate for humans too? Is it so wrong to try and manage our population or should we just behave like animals?

I don't have a population to "manage." Do you? Do you want one? Do you want to "manage" me?

--Brant

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On the one hand they argue that since "man" is corrupt, he cannot be trusted to run his own life or his own creations. In fact, "man" will engage in force to expand his creation, e.g., a business. He will pollute. He will abuse the environment for profit, etc.

However, the same "man" can be a government manager who will transform his human nature [as perceived by the anti capitalist person] into a "manager" who will perform like a philosopher king.

All men are not equal. :) That is your first mistake. Some men are idiots and will ruin the environment that they depend on to sustain life. This is what "supply and demand" has brought us. As long as there is a demand for something we should produce it, doesn't matter what effects it has on the environment down the road. Let someone else worry about that.

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Animals will reproduce incredibly rapidly as long as there is a good food supply. When the supply dries up then the population will drop back down to sustainable levels. is this what you advocate for humans too? Is it so wrong to try and manage our population or should we just behave like animals?

GS:

The use of the term "manage", implies a manager and a managed.

Who do you see in those roles?

Adam

Certainly not the government.

If we were directed from Washington when to sow and when to reap, we would soon want for bread.

— Thomas Jefferson

Ba'al Chatzaf

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I can remember Milton Friedman had been asked by his friend to come with him to Indian to evaluate a public works program being proposed by the Indian government.

It was a construction project whose goal was to employ a large number of people. It was going to reduce unemployment to an x percentage. It involved using shovels versus modern machinery. Friedman watched the work for the morning and quietly suggested that they exchange the shovels with spoons and reduce the unemployment rate to 0%. The entire project would cause more unemployment over the medium and long haul.

Adam

Great Milton Friedman story.

Bill P

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On the one hand they argue that since "man" is corrupt, he cannot be trusted to run his own life or his own creations. In fact, "man" will engage in force to expand his creation, e.g., a business. He will pollute. He will abuse the environment for profit, etc.

However, the same "man" can be a government manager who will transform his human nature [as perceived by the anti capitalist person] into a "manager" who will perform like a philosopher king.

All men are not equal. :) That is your first mistake. Some men are idiots and will ruin the environment that they depend on to sustain life. This is what "supply and demand" has brought us. As long as there is a demand for something we should produce it, doesn't matter what effects it has on the environment down the road. Let someone else worry about that.

GS:

It is a fact that all men are not equal. How is that statement relate in any way to this argument?

Second, the largest polluters that continue to pollute, are above the "law" and is completely inefficient is government.

Online database provides a global glance at warming gases

By The Washington Post and The Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Developing countries — China, South Africa and India — host the world's five dirtiest utility companies in terms of global-warming pollution, according to the first worldwide database of power plants' carbon-dioxide emissions, while a single Southern Co. plant in Juliet, Ga., emits more annually than Brazil's entire power sector.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/cgi-bin/PrintStory.pl?document_id=2004014933&zsection_id=2003905675&slug=carbonmap15&date=20071115

Now let us see...public utility companies hmmm.

Adam

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Animals will reproduce incredibly rapidly as long as there is a good food supply. When the supply dries up then the population will drop back down to sustainable levels. is this what you advocate for humans too? Is it so wrong to try and manage our population or should we just behave like animals?

GS:

The use of the term "manage", implies a manager and a managed.

Who do you see in those roles?

Adam

Certainly not the government.

If we were directed from Washington when to sow and when to reap, we would soon want for bread.

— Thomas Jefferson

Ba'al Chatzaf

I think we should let multi-national fast food companies decide what and how we should produce our food. They care a great deal about the environment and our overall health. Oh, but it's "free enterprise" and so it's good, I forgot. :blink:

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I think we should let multi-national fast food companies decide what and how we should produce our food. They care a great deal about the environment and our overall health. Oh, but it's "free enterprise" and so it's good, I forgot. :blink:

How about the customer (oh my!) who can get good food from any of a multitude of independent food producers. The local supermarket often gets its veggies and fruit from local growers and out of season can ship from local growers in other parts of the country.

About 80 percent of my diet is fresh and locally produced.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Edited by BaalChatzaf
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Unfortunately, this "mechanization, better fertilizers, genetically-selected crops" is not sustainable. The principle of "supply and demand" is exactly what happens with animals and leads to wild fluctuations in the market place. We humans can do better than that.

What all doomsayers forget is that there is virtually a limitless supply of energy and matter at our disposal. It is the reason, imagination, and creativity of our minds that aloow us to put them to efficient use. It is interesting to look at old accounts of folks in the early 20th century--or pick any time--saying we'll soon run out of oil, trees, whatever. I suggest doomsayers take some time to read Julian Simon's book The Ultimate Resource so they can speak from knowledge.

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Unfortunately, this "mechanization, better fertilizers, genetically-selected crops" is not sustainable. The principle of "supply and demand" is exactly what happens with animals and leads to wild fluctuations in the market place. We humans can do better than that.

What all doomsayers forget is that there is virtually a limitless supply of energy and matter at our disposal. It is the reason, imagination, and creativity of our minds that aloow us to put them to efficient use. It is interesting to look at old accounts of folks in the early 20th century--or pick any time--saying we'll soon run out of oil, trees, whatever. I suggest doomsayers take some time to read Julian Simon's book The Ultimate Resource so they can speak from knowledge.

Better yet ------

http://www.juliansimon.com/writings/Ultimate_Resource/

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I would like to take this opportunity to tell Lord Smith to take his carbon footprint and shove it up his ash.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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Now let us see...public utility companies hmmm.

Adam

Well, you need power for all those reproducing people right? Everybody needs a "high standard of living" right?

GS:

If you wish to miss read my point, be my guest.

Adam

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I think we should let multi-national fast food companies decide what and how we should produce our food. They care a great deal about the environment and our overall health. Oh, but it's "free enterprise" and so it's good, I forgot. :blink:

How about the customer (oh my!) who can get good food from any of a multitude of independent food producers. The local supermarket often gets its veggies and fruit from local growers and out of season can ship from local growers in other parts of the country.

About 80 percent of my diet is fresh and locally produced.

Ba'al Chatzaf

What about a farmer who is adjacent to a GMO farm but does not want to grow GMO crops? Then when his crops get cross-pollinated he gets sued by Monsanto and put out of business? Tell me what is "free" about this "free enterprise"? You people are completely ignoring the strong arm tactics (IOF) used by huge corporations and their lawyers to control the market place. The same is true of chicken, pork, and beef producers where the huge buyers of the product tell the producers how to operate or lose their contracts. So the animals wallow around in the dark in their own shit for their entire lives and are pumped full of steroids and anti-biotics. But why would you care, you believe in genocide so who knows what other crazy things you're thinking.

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Now let us see...public utility companies hmmm.

So are you saying that private utilities do not pollute as much? The only way to stop pollution from power generation is to spend a lot of money on new technology and this means raising power rates to very high levels and people will scream bloody murder when that happens. I am trying to understand the Objectivist position but for the life of me I can't. You seem to think that if only the government would stay out of everything (except protecting rights) then all our problems will be solved. Who knows, maybe you are right, the problem is that is not going to happen, ever. So, from my point of view, we need to deal with the reality of that.

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