I was utterly stunned to discover something today.
It happened while admiring the energy consumption of Al Gore’s 10,000-square-foot home in Tennessee. You know the place. It’s the one that “uses more electricity in one year than the average TN home does in 21 years,” the one that uses as much energy to heat its pool as six homes would use in a year.
Indeed, while gazing at the palace of hypocrisy, I was shocked to discover that a new study conducted by researchers from Cornell and the University of Michigan has found the unthinkable: Climate hand-wringers are less likely to behave in environmentally conscious ways than the people they harangue and accuse of destroying the climate.
As Valerie Richardson reports for The Washington Times, the study revealed:
'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.
What a stunner! Hypocrisy on the part of those who want government to tell others how to live?
The skeptics were the more likely than the “highly concerned” to recycle, use public transportation and reusable shopping bags, and buy eco-friendly products.
Wait a minute.
Perhaps we need to adjust our perspective. Surely these enviro-hypocrites should be cut some slack. After all, like Al Gore, they’re working hard to make others conform to their enviro-dictates, so they, of all people, should be allowed to relax. C’mon, they need to chill and find ways to let loose, be that by polluting, or being lazy about recycling, or hanging out with Al in his heated Goremansion pool.
They do and do and do for us.
So lay off, will ya?
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… '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.'
There are few things that more perfectly exemplify the difference between collectivists -- who do not believe in private property, and, instead, would throw everything into the Tragedy of the Commons and seek to command others about how to live using the “we all pay” excuse -- and individualists, who would operate by a strict respect for the property rights of others, and who, if they polluted, would be individually responsible for the damage to another’s property or health.
This is a philosophical distinction that has existed since the time of Aristotle, and it is something that even cavemen understood.
You have a right to your stuff and your person, and I have a right to my stuff and myself. The concept of “rights,” be it explicitly spelled out in text, or observable in human relations, goes all the way back to the division of labor, which occurred not in “settled agricultural” locations, as many historians might claim, but in Paleolithic cultures, with the different chores conducted voluntarily by members of families and voluntary groups.
Certainly, the old geezers didn’t hunt mammoth when they became physically unable to do so. Just like the small kids, they stayed in the cave and did other things, like making spears and handling skins. This division of labor was a form of voluntary trade and led to surplus, which, in turn, led to more trade – and, inherent in those trades was a respect for another person. Without this inherent respect for another, the trades could not have been conducted and turned into a habit/tradition.
And so it is that, in their hypocrisy to tell others how to live through the force of the state, contemporary leftists at least remain consistent on one thing:
Their utter disrespect for private property and self-ownership. Even cavemen wouldn’t have hung out with them.
If someone else can tell you how to use that which you acquire through your efforts, that potential “commander” is a slave master, and you are the slave. And if they formulate scientifically flimsy excuses about “anthropogenic climate change”, even as they, themselves, behave in a way that is worse for the environment than your behavior? So be it. Their interest is in the collective. They have no respect for the individual. To them, the ends justify the means. This is not an accusation, this is a matter of fact. It’s called Consequentialist philosophy.
And if that lets collectivists get away with being litterbugs and not respecting the rights of another to possess his property free from someone else’s trash, that’s the way it is. The collectivist doesn’t respect other individuals. He or she melds individuals and melts them into a giant pool of “we”.
I wonder what Al Gore would do if “we” decided to use his pool anytime we wanted, and leave it a holy mess…
Meanwhile, the free market, which offers economic benefits to businesses that decrease waste, is derided by people like Gore and the enviro-handwringers.
Is it any wonder why people don’t trust them?