Action and Activism in Climate Change

I recently received an email from a friend who’s big on climate change. The email consisted of a presentation made by this daughter of a NASA scientist. The general gist of the thing was that they wanted to “take action” and “let our government know” how “we” feel about climate change and what needs to be done. The Congress must pass laws and do this or that to bring the varied companies of the United States in line. In the presentation, the young woman said that she represented so many organizations across the country that all together totaled 50,000 people. So, they could really accomplish something if they all participated.

I’m sure they could, but as a conservative I loathe regulations and government interference in anything unless absolutely necessary.

But interference because of climate change is absolutely necessary.

Is it?

Why is it the default position of activism that a group of people must come together and nag at government until a law is passed to control the behavior of other people? Why can’t you just do something yourself? 50,000 people could accomplish a heck of a lot. If every one of them contributed ten dollars that would be $500,000 and you could set that aside as a prize for some brilliant engineer to come up with some brilliant new environmentally-friendly technology like something that would suck the excess carbon dioxide out of the air. Then, if everybody in the group contributed three hours of time that would be 150,000 man-hours of time available. What could those people accomplish for their cause, if they just went out and did it themselves? 150,000 man hours. 15,000 ten hour days. 300 ten hour days for 50 people. So, roughly, the equivalent of a 50 person company working for one year.

NOBODY wants to destroy the planet, and regulations cost time, money, and aren’t necessarily the best approach anyway. Likewise, awareness of the environmental issue is wide enough that I think some companies will contribute … something—money, maybe—to the cause simply for the asking. You don’t have to beat them over the head with a legal sledge hammer. Nobody likes to be forced to do anything. So, why not try an opt-in approach?

I mean, I want to preserve the environment, too. But I don’t want to force everyone and everybody to OBEY MY WILL! It’s a question of freedom, thank you very much.