David Strom

If you listen to the Man-Made-Global-Warming proponents, conservatives must be a pretty callous lot.

In fact, they must hate their own children. After all, according to these advocates we "deniers" are selling out the future of the planet just to get a few bucks.

That's funny, because according to the research available conservatives are much more fertile than liberals - in fact, almost 50% more likely to have children.

Yet we know that it is conservatives and not liberals who are most likely to doubt the arguments for man made global warming. And by far they are less likely to call for massive intervention in the economy to prevent the "inevitable" destruction of the biosphere by mankind's profligate use of fossil fuels.

What's going on here? Are conservatives really so callous as to be willing to sacrifice their children's future, or even their lives, just to drive a bigger car and use incandescent light bulbs instead of compact fluorescents? Are conservatives willing to sell their children's future for a few bucks from big oil, big coal, or big auto manufacturers? Or to save a buck or two on the price of gas?

Of course not. What's really going on here is that the debate over global warming is not an argument about the future of the environment, but about the future of the economy. It is about who controls the means of production - people or the government (or "government sponsored entities").

The fight over climate change is primarily a fight about whether big government should control everything from the largest to the most minute aspects of economic activity, or whether our economy should remain at least relatively free. After all, control of energy production and use is tantamount to control of the entire economy.

This is the same battle we have been fighting since before Karl Marx declared that ownership of the means of production should be socialized and incorporated into the State. The Left says yes to socialism in some form or another, the right says no: freedom and free markets are inseparable.

In this context consider Al Gore's proposal to completely eliminate fossil energy from the American economy in ten years-ten years!-at the cost of trillions of dollars and just about all our freedom. Imagine what it would take to replace about 80% of our electricity generation with zero carbon sources-and more importantly, how much government interference in our economy it would justify.

No serious person who understands our energy production believes that Gore's goal is achievable or even desirable. But that's not the point.

David Strom

David Strom is the President of the Minnesota Free Market Institute. He hosts a weekly radio show on AM-1280 "The Patriot" in Minneapolis-St. Paul, available on podcast at Townhall.com.

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