Monday, February 25, 2008

Johann describes why libertarians should support all attempts to legislate against climate change

Its always been obvious to me that the moral highground dictates that we must sacrifice our own quality of life to protect the actual biological lives of millions in the developing world. But its always been a hard one to spell out in concise, concrete terms to a skeptic. Johann has saved me the trouble.


He got one thing wrong though:

"Just as no libertarian would argue you should have the right to buy and fire a nuclear weapon, no libertarian should argue you have the right to burn unlimited greenhouse gases. Once confronted with this argument, the only people who cling to a libertarian defence of fossil fuels are people who take money from the fossil fuel industry itself, like Spiked Online."

His error is in forgetting that many people profess the creed of libertarianism solely to clothe their conservatism in a cloak of morality. When presented with Johann's argument there is a creed of people who will blithely murmur agreement and then, once out of eyesight and earshot of human beings, will spend their every waking moment seeking the next most viable excuse for perpetrating the status quo (you know, the one where they get everything and people of other skin colours, languages, cultures, etc. get nothing except a nasty ending).

"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."

- John Kenneth Galbraith

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