To the editor:
I read Stefan Schemine’s Jan. 4 Gazette letter (“Common sense tells me to question today’s predictions”) with a great deal of humor. Here is a person that accuses me of being an alarmist, while he is spreading his own fears of “spending trillions of our dollars … taking away our freedoms” … and of the mythical conspiracy “one-world government.” Wow.
I don’t want to spend trillions of taxpayer dollars either. Fortunately, we don’t have to. The recent Paris climate agreement is succeeding, where the 2009 Copenhagen attempt did not, precisely because the cost of renewable energy has decreased so much that it now costs less to solve the man-made climate problem than to perpetuate it. The only “freedom” to be taken away is the freedom to choke to death.
The “one-world government” line really makes me laugh. The idea that there is this conspiracy that apparently has millions of people in on it (maybe even all those liberals) in complete agreement with each other — but no one ever leaks any details — is ridiculous. To use his words, “Common sense tells me to question today’s predictions.” Mr. Schemine, name one person you know who advocates this one-world government scheme! I know of no one who has ever even heard of it outside of the fictional ramblings of conservative talk-show hosts. At least the threat of climate change is real.
There have also been people who thought that climate concerns were a communist plot to take over the government. Seriously? I know a lot of scientists. I know a lot of liberals. I don’t know any communists. Besides, climate science is actually older than communism, it has outlasted communism, and it has nothing to do with political philosophy at all.
However, Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway, in their book “Merchants of Doubt,” tell us that the roots of climate denial were sewn by people with a McCarthy-era fear of communism. The earliest people to obstruct climate science were paranoid of the Soviet Union leveraging any attempt by nations to cooperate and to deal with any global problems (hence their irrational fear of the United Nations). They were hired by people who were afraid of losing business to new technologies (as are the Koch brothers, Exxon Mobil and Robert Murray today), so they set upon obstructing with disinformation the same free markets they claimed to want to protect.
So who is the alarmist trampling on liberty? Is it the person who tries to inform others and to prod them into solving a common problem, or is it the person who labels someone he doesn’t even know as “like a used-car salesman” with an “evil agenda,” and who insists on putting his own words (like “catastrophic”) into the mouths of his ideological opponents?
David W. Carpenter