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Site Key Topics Guide

Elements of Peace Obstacles to Peace
Human Psychology and Peace The Nature of Reality
The Climate Change Scam The Science of Global Warming

A rose is a rose - really?

In "1984", George Orwell warns us of the dangers of allowing central control of language. Here's an example: The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), defines “climate change” as: “a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods.”

So now, the question: do you believe in "climate change"?

Hmm... Let's say "yes":

Ah ha! So you admit that emissions due to human activity are changing the atmosphere! Clearly we need to DO SOMETHING!!!! (Emissions trading scheme, global world government, shut down the western economies, bankrupt the only viable sources of power generation, you name it, it has actually been both proposed and attempted - whether successfully or not is yet to be seen.)

Okay then, let's say "no":

You are a DENIER! How can you POSSIBLY SAY that humans make NO difference to the atmosphere?

And, of course, that is correct - even an ant exhaling makes a change to the atmosphere, let alone all of human industry; but is it significant and dangerous (or even measurable)? The problem is, of course, that the choice of language definitions makes it impossible to think a simple thought: that human emissions of CO2 are not dangerous (and possibly even beneficial). It relies on a term (in this case "climate change") sounding like one thing (changing climate) and being defined as another (human-caused atmospheric changes). The game is to switch from one meaning to another as necessary to manipulate the argument in your favour. And that is the exact reason why this term is used in the first place.

The Principle of Goodness, justice, and social planning

I am convinced that peace needs more than a political solution - more than ideology, more than changed laws, better social security, and so on. The disgraceful behaviour of the Australian Prime Minister towards a hunger-striking farmer gives us an opportune example. Is the problem the lack of ethics - or the wrong ethics?

I am sure Mr Rudd doesn't think he did anything wrong by allowing someone to almost starve to death (it was good fortune that he didn't) just for want of a meeting with Mr Rudd to discuss his grievances. The 'big picture' undoubtedly demanded the death of one insignificant victim of government policies. Rudd is a utilitarian (or at least he acts and quacks like one). Utilitarianism, the near-universal ethic of our age, is particularly bad at the job most of us trust it for. Peter Spencer went on a hunger strike over de facto confiscation of his land without compensation. Justin Jefferson, writing in Quadrant had this to say about it:

The problem facing the Commonwealth government in Peter Spencer’s case is that on the one hand it’s embarrassing to have him dying of starvation up a pole because they denied him justice after forcibly taking billions of dollars worth of property in violation of the Constitution; and embarrassing to be caught out ignoring him, and lying to the population that it was all the States’ fault. But on the other hand, the Commonwealth has stolen too much property to be able to pay for it; and is too greedy to give it back.

It is no defence of this injustice to say that other environmental and planning laws also restrict people’s private property use-rights. That only begs the question whether they also represent unjust acquisitions.

It does not answer to assert that government acts in the national interest. That is precisely what is in issue. If it’s in the national interest for the government to take people’s property without their consent in breach of the law by threatening them with force, then presumably armed robbery and extortion might be in the national interest too.

Jefferson goes on to list various arguments that don't work: the laws are to protect native vegetation; native vegetation acts were done to protect biodiversity; ecological sustainability; and so on. But read between the text: a common feature in all the arguments that Jefferson demolishes is that they are based on bottom-line, "this is better than that, so do this" thinking. Indeed, we all imbibe this thought pattern from the moment we are born; many will ask: "But what else can there possibly be?"