Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Study: Climate Change Activists are Hypocrites | The Daily Bell

Posted by M. C. on May 16, 2018

A strange thing happens when you don’t trust the government. You take responsibility for your actions, instead of shirking your duty and handing off the burden to the collective.

I’ve long suspected this. People assume the government will actually do what it says it will. If you think your tax dollars will feed the hungry, house the homeless, and provide for the poor, why bother donating to charity? You have done your part.

This comes down to differences in the collective versus individualist philosophy.

Collectivists favor a top-down approach. They want the government to force everyone to do their part–or at least what the collectivist thinks is their part. But notice the burden tends to be on someone else… It’s the rich that need to pay their fair share, while the collectivist apparently already does pay his or her entirely subjective fair share.

Individualists, on the other hand, value freedom, and don’t want the collective to force its will on people. They believe that individual action can culminate in large-scale solutions. But they also believe in personal responsibility. Yes, people should be free to do what they want, but when their actions harm others, that individual should be held

So an individualist values the principle of personal freedom, but they also may value a clean healthy environment. Yet based on their philosophy, the ends cannot justify the means. You can’t sacrifice personal freedom with the hope of helping the environment.

This difference is why a recent study on attitudes towards climate change should come as no surprise.

A study by Cornell and the University of Michigan researchers found that those “highly concerned” about climate change were less likely to engage in recycling and other eco-friendly behaviors than global-warming skeptics.

Published in the April edition of the Journal of Environmental Psychology, the one-year study broke 600 participants into three groups based on their level of concern about climate change: “highly concerned,” “cautiously worried,” and “skeptical.”

The “highly concerned” cluster was “most supportive of government climate policies, but least likely to report individual-level actions, whereas the ‘Skeptical’ opposed policy solutions but were most likely to report engaging in individual-level pro-environmental behaviors,” the researchers concluded.

Conducting the study, entitled “Believing in climate change but not behaving sustainably,” were Cornell assistant professor Neil A. Lewis Jr. and University of Michigan researchers Michael P. Hall and Phoebe C. Ellsworth.

The skeptics were the more likely than the “highly concerned” to recycle, use public transportation and reusable shopping bags, and buy eco-friendly products.

“Belief in climate change predicted support for government policies to combat climate change, but did not generally translate to individual-level, self-reported pro-environmental behavior,” said the paper.

Why? Even the researchers were stumped, although it’s possible that skeptics may place more emphasis on personal responsibility than government action.

“These results suggest that different groups may prefer different strategies for addressing climate change,” said the paper. “Thus, belief in climate change does not appear to be a necessary or sufficient condition for pro-environmental behavior, indicating that changing skeptical Americans’ minds need not be a top priority for climate policymakers.”

As Pacific Standard’s Tom Jacobs put it, “remember that conservatism prizes individual action over collective efforts.”

“So while they may assert disbelief in order to stave off coercive (in their view) actions by the government, many could take pride in doing what they can do on a personal basis,” he said in a Friday post….

The point is, if you believe in something, prove it. Everyone can talk the talk. But anyone who is not walking the walk is saying through their actions that they expect someone else to take care of the problem.

Environmentalists’ trust in government–and the energy they spend trying to steer it–is sorely misplaced.

Change will happen through individual action, not through trying to force authorities to mandate change. That only leads to oppression and the negative effects which stem from coercion.

Be seeing you

Algore airplane



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