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.

The point is that setting this goal and committing all the resources of the government to achieving it would require a massive restructuring of the U.S. economy, massive government subsidies and penalties, and the picking of winners and losers in the marketplace (and just who do you think would be raking in those trillions of dollars?).

All in all pursuing such a goal would be the greatest leap forward for socialism in the United States since the New Deal. Following Gore's prescription would make the government interference in the economy during the New Deal look miniscule by comparison.

So why have conservatives been-to a great extent-on the losing side of this argument in the political realm? After all, the political (if not scientific) "consensus" behind Man Made Global Warming is strong enough that both major party candidates for President support making massive changes to the American economy to address it.

Conservatives have been, I believe, too afraid as a group to fire back when the so-called "Progressives" accuse them of selling out the environment and our children's future for a few bucks in their pocket today.

Yet how hard would it be? Conservatives have more children and grandchildren than liberals. They in fact have a much greater stake in the future of the planet than a dual-income-no-kids liberal couple. And in reality the average conservative has little or no real financial interest in the fossil fuel industry beyond the need to put fuel in our cars and turn on the lights in our homes.

Can the same be said of the leading liberal proponents of the idea behind man-made global warming? How often do we hear from the proponents of the global warming hypothesis about how there is money to be made in moving to a carbon-neutral economy? Who do you think is investing heavily in biofuels, solar and wind power, and all the other Rube Goldberg schemes being pushed to "solve" the current "crisis?" Who is making money off all those carbon-offset credits and the like?

So tell me: who, really, is willing to sell our future down the river for a few bucks? Or at least sell out our freedoms for a chance to grab control over the energy backbone of the entire economy?

The bottom line is pretty easy to understand: if the proponents of radically changing our economy get their way they achieve two of their most cherished goals: moving our economy dramatically toward socialism, and getting rich off of the inevitable government mandates and subsidies required at the same time.

So getting back to the original question: do conservatives hate their children? Of course not. But do liberals hate Conservatives' children? You be the judge.


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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