Thursday, August 18, 2011

Why Rick Perry's Position on Climate Change Makes Him a True Conservative

Rick Perry is a climate-change skeptic. Sure, he says, the world is getting warmer, but the climate has often changed. He doesn't buy in to the idea that human activity has an effect on the current warming trend. Friedrich Hayek would say that makes him a true conservative.
Hayek liked to view the political spectrum not as a left-to-right line with socialist and conservative poles, but as a triangle. Conservatives were at one corner, socialists at another, and liberals at the third. The terminology has changed a little since Hayek's time. Conservatives are still conservatives, but, at least in the United States, those on the left now prefer to identify themselves as progressives rather than socialists. Most of those who, in Hayek's time and before, called themselves liberals, today prefer to identify themselves as libertarians, or sometimes, classical liberals.
In a famous essay "Why I Am Not  Conservative," Hayek identified a number of characteristic tenets of conservatism, including:
  • Habitual resistance to change, hence the term “conservative."
  • A claim to self-arrogated superior wisdom in place of rational argument.
  • A propensity to reject scientific knowledge because of the consequences that seem to follow from it.
  • Use of state authority to protect established privileges against the forces of economic and social change.
All of these tenets feed into Perry's views on climate change. He resists any change to an American path of economic development based on cheap, carbon-intensive energy; a path economists sometimes call extensive as opposed to intensive growth. He proudly claims superiority of faith-based wisdom over rational argument. And, especially in the case of climate change, he is quick to reject scientific knowledge. Read more >>>

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