Friday, August 7, 2009

The Flip Side of Progressivism

The flip side of thinking you can make the world a better place via a grand plan and political power is that you can break the world pretty much by accident. Much of the environmental movement is based on this idea. I recently mentioned my disbelief in chloroflourcarbons even being able to get into the upper atmosphere, only to be disputed by someone who I thought might actually know more about the specifics because he's a bit more into chemistry. So, I googled and got what he was saying, or a near version of it. Seriously, you'd think someone at Google is intentionally making sure you are hip deep in the mainstream version of things so that the environmentalists can continue to claim consensus on everything. I know for a fact there is not, and they haven't bothered to answer legitimate questions posed in the 1980s let alone come up with any more proof for their position.

The short version: CFCs are pretty stable molecules, heavier than air incidentally, and won't break down unless exposed to ultraviolet radiation. Their version of events has, as the only place this will happen in the ozone layer, where the chlorine from the CFCs supposedly breaks off and goes galivanting about, destroying ozone molecules repeatedly, never, apparently to run into nitrogen or some other molecule that would actually bond with it and effectively take it out of the ozone destroying business.

Now, in the presence of sunlight, especially at that altitude, the newly broken apart oxygen would do one thing; turn back into ozone. This is why the ozone "hole", is a natural phenomenon that occurs over the Antartic (sometimes there is a thinning over the artic too); there is less sunlight there. This thinner area of the ozone layer also grows and shrinks according to the level of output of the sun. The only argument that the anti-CFC crowd ever had was that CFCs might make things worse, and perhaps it would have been a good, free market approach for companies to voluntarily stop using it in their products. Instead we have had coercive bans and in many cases, less effective products (refigerants) being forced on the market before good alternatives were found. The ban is more likely to do more damage than the CFCs did, precisely because of all the things we can't take into account when we try to formulate and enact policies through government coercion.

It's actually far more possible that real damage to the world will be done through government action, through the progressive, socialist agenda. Why? When we engage in trying to change the world through coercive means we take our minds off the realm we can, perhaps just barely handle, and try to deal with a world of variables far beyond our control. These are people who scoff at the Ten Commandments, but recycle, avoid meat, or come up with some other supposedly pro-active world changing action. They also have 1000+ page healthcare bills, which the average human can't even read. The same prideful, worldchanger principle is at work in their heads here, despite plenty of evidence that humility has a far more beneficial effect on the planet than recycling does.

Want to change the world? Start by changing yourself. I know that I could change the world, but I don't know if I actually will. There are a lot of variables in the world, and when we include humans in the equation, free will makes the calculations that much more complicated. The world and all the people in it have their own forms of resistance to whatever actions we take, whether they be good or bad.

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