U.N. Integrity

Dave Killion — April 17, 2011

On the matter of climate change, my position is this: statistics are hard. There is so much data coming from so many different places, and it is far beyond my abilities to filter out what predictions are likely to prove true. What I can say for certain is that during the half-century that makes up my life, global population has doubled. I have been told, incessantly and almost without exception, that we are on the brink of disaster in the form of disease, pollution, resource scarcity, overpopulation, and of course, global warming climate change. All of which, needless to say, has failed to materialize. It seems that markets, shackled even as they are, enable humanity to grow and prosper no matter the challenges we face. Of course, one of the benefits of constantly predicting disaster is that sooner or later you will be right, and can enjoy telling everyone, “I told you so”. Doomsayers also enjoy special status as Very Serious People who know a great deal more than the rest us, and deserve extra attention and generous access to our money. To that end, they work very hard to dismiss and even conceal their failed predictions.

Witness this recent UN scandal, in which a reporter notes that in 2005 a UN organization predicted climate change would create¬†50 million refugees by 2010. Soon after the article, the map showing the prediction was ‘disappeared’ from the internet. Too bad. If only there was something like Google Cache, then we could still see the map. Oh, wait! There is, and we can! It seems the UN is no better at cover-ups than it is at disaster prediction. So why is anyone listening to these folks, much less giving them money?


G says

Good article. I think it is also important to note that when predicting the future, we are never dealing in absolutes but in probabilities and risk. Humans, individually, are constantly economizing and doing just that. However, humans need to know the true cost of their actions. If market prices are left to represent the true cost, without subsidization whatsoever (and if you’re not familiar with this subject, then you’ll need to understand this means private property), of having a child, polluting, or consuming resources, then all of these issues become null as they will represent the combined subjective preferences of each individual as well as the state of resources now and predicted into the future. That is why the true environmentalist should not be advocating for a system of regulation which distorts natural economizing, but lobbying remove all forms of subsidization before (or in addition to) lobbying to change subjective preferences.

— April 17, 2011

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