And People Really Believe This?

Ted Turner thinks global warming is such a dire and immediate threat that “[w]e have to mobilize the same way we did when we entered World War II in 1941. We have to fully mobilize everything we have and put it into changing the energy system over, and not just here in the United States, but all over the world. . . . not doing it will be catastrophic. We’ll . . . be eight degrees hotter in 10—not 10, but in 30 or 40 years. And basically none of the crops will grow. Most of the people will have died, and the rest of us will be cannibals. Civilization will have broken down. The few people left will be living in a failed state like Somalia or Sudan, and living conditions will be intolerable. The droughts will be so bad, there will be no more corn growing. . . . we’ve got to stabilize the population.”

Stabilize the population? Well, Turner thinks “We’re too many people. That’s why we have global warming. We have global warming because too many people are using too much stuff. If there were less people, they’d be using less stuff. . . . we’ve got to stabilize population. On a voluntary basis, everybody in the world has got to pledge to themselves that one or two children is it.”

This population-control language is awfully unsettling. Sure, Turner’s two-child policy will be “voluntary” at first, but most of his other ideas do not seem so. He wishes to mobilize the nation as it was during World War II? Does he understand what he’s endorsing? (To say nothing of how much of the “carbon footprint” US involvement in that war left.)

World War II was perhaps the closest America ever came to a fascist dictatorship. Forty percent of the economy was devoted to war spending. There were comprehensive price controls and rationing. There were censorship, conscription (massive forced labor) and internment camps. The entire economy was saddled with corporatist command control. Turner apparently believes such “sacrifices” are not only necessary to combat global warming, but would be effective. The alternative is apocolypse. He really believes this?

But let us remember some basic truths about the global warming alarmists. What’s ironic is the rightwing origins of some of this scare. The beloved carbon emissions theory first got traction when the British Thatcher administration wanted a way to shore up public support for nuclear power.

For a more skeptical, less hysterical take on global warming, see Fred Singer. Also see the transcript and information on the Independent Institute’s great event with Michael Crichton. As for World War II and what mobilization for it actually meant for the US economy, see Robert Higgs’s Depression, War and Cold War.

And thanks to Mary Theroux for the Turner link and the title of this entry.

Anthony Gregory is a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute and author of the Independent books, American Surveillance: Intelligence, Privacy, and the Fourth Amendment and The Power of Habeas Corpus in America: From the King’s Prerogative to the War on Terror.
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