23 Dec 2007

Randians Oppose Carbon Credits and Subsidized Energy Alternatives

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The Alternative Energy Retailer quotes a source offering some trenchant criticism of the entire Alternative Energy movement.

Government incentive programs for adopting alternative energy are totally corrupt,” warns Alex Epstein, business analyst with the Ayn Rand Institute, based in Irvine, Calif. “They consist of expropriating the wealth of Americans, including energy companies that actually produce ample, affordable power, and using it to finance sources of energy that do not produce ample, affordable power – even, in some cases, after decades of subsidies. It makes no more sense than giving Americans liberal incentives to use horses and buggies instead of cars.”

For Epstein, the federal and state governments should play no role in advocating the American usage of alternative energy. He adds that using concerns over global warning to promote alternative energy is inappropriate.

“The purpose of government is the protection of the individual rights of all to their lives, liberty and property,” he says. “For government action to be justified in response to claims of global warming – the cause of today’s alternative energy infatuation – it must be scientifically demonstrable, in a court of law, that individuals’ burning of carbon fuels will do demonstrable harm to specific individuals through some sort of catastrophic change in weather. The state of evidence regarding global warming today is not even close to that. Even the highly politicized, highly speculative United Nations projections of a gradual, 8-degree-average warming over the next 100 years would be easily dealt with by industrialized people, who have sturdy houses, air conditioners, and sunscreen to cope with heat or bad weather, and ample time to migrate if necessary.”

Under the Objectivist viewpoint, alternative energy companies should sink or swim without any assistance from public funding. “If someone has a great idea for a new method of producing of energy, great – let them prove it in the free market,” continues Epstein. “If someone wants to make himself feel good by pretending that he is averting an apocalypse by using unattractive light bulbs, throwing away his clothes dryer, driving an overpriced car, buying carbon offsets from Al Gore, or spending a fortune on solar panels in a free country, he has a right to do so. But he has no right to demand that the government compel others to sacrifice for his unproven claims of doom.”

One Feedback on "Randians Oppose Carbon Credits and Subsidized Energy Alternatives"

T F Stern

Very well stated; unfortunately, it will go unread by those who should understand it the most.


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