Commenting as he does from great heights of self-regard, George Will can be pretty insufferable. But he is not always wrong.
He is at his worst when condescending to all those, including the great majority of the world’s scientists, who believe that human pollution of the air is causing global climate change. According to Will, they are alarmists. If a person comes to you to tell you that the building is on fire, and you can smell smoke and feel heat, then that person is alarmed, not an alarmist.
But Will is right — smugly, but right nevertheless — when he characterizes the prospects for reducing air pollution anywhere, anytime as between zero and none. [“Climate Fixers’ Hard Sell.” the Washington Post.] He points out that China told a climate change conference in Bonn recently that it plans to increase coal production by 30 per cent over six years.
The G-8 summit meeting in Italy that followed, as Will acerbically pointed out, was undaunted. Its participating countries (the eight important ones, except for China) promised — promised! — to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent — 80 per cent! — sometime in the next 40 years. One can appreciate why Will sneers, it’s very hard not to.
Will takes the industrialist line, that no one has proved that pollution is bad for us and therefore it would be terrible to impose any costs on industry to do anything to reduce pollution. It would lose jobs, the mantra goes. Never mind that what they are doing is costing people their lives.
The mantra works, thanks to Will and his fellow shills, small in number but very shrill, who worship at the altar of the Church of the Currency and keep the herd moving ever faster toward the edge of the cliff.
Still, you know what they say a stopped clock is, twice a day.