On the Recycling Myth

We are, on a daily basis, fed the idea that the world is coming to an end – and it is all our fault. Global warming is going to cause a new cataclysm and we are all going to die. And the reason? We use technology, we lead good lives, and we emit CO2 when breathing out.

Al Gore is and has been preaching the end of the world for quite some time, and was recently awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his long and hard work telling us we are destroying the world. He is investing a lot of time, effort, and money in making people believe he is doing everything to not make things worse; he is telling us what to do and wants to be seen as a good example. This is why his contract explicitly states that he refuses to be picked up at the airport in an SUV – he prefers a small car or hybrid – and he tries to avoid first class travel to save the environment through joining the crowd in coach class (or was it business?).

It is therefore not surprising that Gore was proud to announce that he took the electric train from Stockholm airport when having flown from Oslo to attend the Nobel Prize reception in city hall. However, he failed to mention that his luggage was picked up at the airport and transported in a Mercedes. (I guess he cannot carry such heavy luggage to and from the train because it would make him breathe too heavily.)

Also, this prophet of environmentalism, when leaving Stockholm for Brussels, was treated by the Swedish taxpayers to a flight with the Swedish government’s “private” jet. He cannot travel in an SUV because of the emissions, but a private jet for two or three people is probably very beneficial for the environment.

Meanwhile, the Swedish recycling disaster continues. It is definitely a system Mr. Gore would find commendable: it is thoroughly force-based, centralizes power, and distributes the main costs of the basically ineffective measures on common people. People like Gore and his friends in the top tier of government would not have to worry about the costs.

I write about this scam today on the Ludwig von Mises Instiutute‘s web site. In the article, which is available here, I show how this system has at best no effect on the environment (even if we accept the ideological claims that CO2 will effectuate the end of the world) while generating enormous costs for society. The purpose of the recycling system, like most of the current environmental mania, is of course to increase the powers of the state in a way that, at least at first glance, would seem “legitimate.”

After all, the environmental threat has a fantastic potential in causing universal feelings of fear, shame, and guilt – feelings exploited throughout the centuries by religious powers. But even though we have been through all this before, I doubt we have learned from history. It should be obvious from how the environmental threat is propagandized that it is but another “leftist” attempt to have us all give up whatever liberties and freedoms we still have left in order to further increase and centralize power.

As is always the case with centralized planning systems: they are good for one thing only – power and the powerful. And the environmental panic around the world will allow the powerful to look good – in our own eyes! – while stripping us from our liberties. So trust me in that it will not be long until President George W. Bush will “come to his senses” and sign the Kyoto Protocol. After all, he should not be able to resist the obvious temptation.