An energy storm has hit Europe. But to Professor Paul Watchman, a mainstay of the UK climate intelligentsia, the real problem:

is a perfect storm which also brings hurricanes, floods, wildfire, droughts and record temperatures. Wars end, pandemics end but if we don’t achieve 1.5 C and NetZero the planet ends and with it the people!

Professor Watchman is a friendly chap, whom I regularly debate on social media. So, I had to comment: “Paul: Did you really say this? …. Halloween is Monday.”

Halloween is neo-Malthusian Day. Maybe April Fools’ Day too, if you count their half-century-old errant predictions of doomsday.

Anti-humanistic agendas, power-seeking, money-making, and speculative modelling too often trump a sober look at theory and evidence. Despite the vast statistics on human betterment—both in the growing number of lives and the quality of life—the Monsters of Doom are not dissuaded. In “Underestimating the Challenges of Avoiding a Ghastly Future” (2021), Paul Ehrlich et al. double down, claiming that negative environmental trends “will be much more dangerous that currently believed,” so much so that “it is difficult to grasp for even well-informed experts.”

So, the alarmists cannot even comprehend the severity of their own alarm!?

With a wounded climate movement meeting later this week in Cairo, Egypt, for the UN Conference of Parties (COP 27), expect ever more shrill statements about Climate Armageddon. Fear not. A simple review of quotations from climate leading voices then and now can turn the scare into a trick-or-tweet Halloween moment.

More than a half-century ago, Paul Ehrlich and John Holdren (Obama’s two-term science advisor) stated:

We are not, of course, optimistic about our chances of success. Some form of ecocatastrophe, if not thermonuclear war, seems almost certain to overtake us before the end of the century. (The inability to forecast exactly which one – whether plague, famine, the poisoning of the oceans, drastic climatic change, or some disaster entirely unforeseen – is hardly grounds for complacency.)

Thomas Friedman (New York Times: 2009):

We created a way of raising standards of living that we can’t possibly pass on to our children. It has to collapse, unless adults stand up and say, “This is a Ponzi scheme. We have not generated real wealth, and we are destroying a livable climate.”

These quotations are a small sampling. But are free-market optimists bozos who jump off tall buildings and report that everything is nice and breezy on the way down? Or are those who fear and rant bungee-jumping with reality?

If science is prediction, decades of spectacular failure should answer that question. But optimism of a thriving future does not apply to public policies that sabotage free markets and the problems-into-improvement process. The neo-Malthusian agenda of government climate/energy policy can and has created the very disruptions and misery that they relentlessly predict.

The last word belongs to doomslayer Julian Simon, who wrote a quarter-century ago:

The world’s problem is not too many people, but a lack of political and economic freedom…. The extent to which the political-social-economic system provides personal freedom from government coercion is a crucial element in the economics of resources and population…. The key elements of such a framework are economic liberty, respect for property, and fair and sensible rules of the market that are enforced equally for all.

Halloween is for fear mongers. Let every other day be for economic and political freedom from an intellectual/political elite that aims to control the rest of us. May the future belong to human ingenuity for human betterment in freedom, not to haunted thoughts of a soulless march on the road to serfdom.

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