Guest essay by Eric Worrall
Anthropology professor Wade Davis wants to declare war on global warming, comparing the battle against CO2 to military conflict in WW2.
Writing in The Globe and Mail, based in Toronto, Canada;
… Why have we not fully mobilized and declared war on global warming?
According to Rajendra Pachauri, former chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the climate crisis could be fully mitigated and the world’s economy transformed with an investment equivalent to 3 per cent of global GDP. By way of comparison, the United States devoted 40 per cent of its GDP to achieve military victory in the Second World War. Shipyards in Long Beach and Sausalito, Calif., spat out Liberty ships at a rate of one a day for four years. Ford Motor Co. alone produced more industrial output than the entire country of Italy. Farm boys of 17, after seven months of training, were flying B-17 bombers over Germany. The U.S. and its allies recognized a mortal danger, reached an inescapable conclusion, and went to work. If climate change is the threat we now know it to be, why has the international response been so fundamentally tepid?
On my last day in Copenhagen, I put this question to Carter Roberts, head of the World Wildlife Fund. The situation, he suggested, comes down to four basic possibilities. If the scientists are wrong, and we do nothing, little changes. If they are wrong and we act, the worst that will happen will be an economic stimulus that will result in a cleaner environment, a more technologically integrated world and a healthier planet. If they are right, and we do nothing, the potential consequences are at best bad, at worst catastrophic, with scenarios so bleak as to defy the darkest imaginings of science fiction. If the scientific consensus holds, and we aggressively marshal our financial resources and technological brilliance to confront the challenge, we will be able to, for a relatively small investment, head off potential disaster and make for a better world. It was difficult to conjure a losing scenario, save that of inaction. …
Davis is wrong about wartime benefits to the economy. War stimulates the economy, in the same way that breaking all the windows in town stimulates business for glaziers. Some sectors of the economy do really well – at the expense of everyone else.
In a real war, defence is the overwhelming priority, so people don’t mind foregoing luxuries to keep their children safe. This is how alarmists want us all to think about global warming.
But wars are also the time of parasites and profiteers. Wars are when criminals who arrange corrupt deals with politicians wielding extraordinary wartime powers grow rich. Nobody has time to scrutinise government expenditure when the enemy is at the gates. An endless war against global warming would be, and in my opinion is, an unprecedented opportunity for the unscrupulous to plunder the wealth of ordinary people.
The truth is the world, or at least the Western world, is already pretty much on a wartime footing against global warming. People are getting fed up with the cost of it all, with the blazing hypocrisy of our jetset planetary saviours. They are also fed up with the fact the problems of global warming are largely imaginary, invented by fools and profiteers.