Leonardo Dicaprio and the inevitability of Global Warming

I recently read an article in which Leo Dicaprio defends himself and other eco-hypocrites. He says that criticism of himself and Al Gore is just shooting the messenger and that he flies commercial as much as possible. In one sense he is right, the personal habits of people such as himself, Al Gore, Arianna Huffington, Laurie David, et al, have nothing to do with whether Global Warming is a serious problem. However, it is illustrative of the fact that whether or not Global warming is a serious problem, it will be next to impossible for anything to be done about it. Dicaprio and Gore are both fervent believers that Global Warming is a catastrophic problem that can be fixed through human action. They are also both so rich that they can comfortably afford to make large changes in their lifestyles to avoid producing any greenhouse gases. Dicaprio could only take roles that are a Prius drive away, and refuse to fly ever again. This might reduce his fees from tens of millions to merely millions, but he could still live a comfortable life. Yet he and the other eco-hypocrites are still flying around the world, and living in huge mansions. If rich people who adamantly believe in Global Warming refuse to meaningfully modify their lives, what hope is there to get skeptical people with modest means to alter their lives?

Share this

You could not be more wrong

Global warming can be easily combated. Maybe not by individual initiative. I'll give you that. But a global totalitarian dictatorship similar to the one Pol Pot imposed in Cambodia would just about do it.

Of course, global warming might be mainly caused by solar changes (see Mars global warming, etc.) or other natural phenomena, in which case a global totalitarian dictatorship may not help. But so what? Impose it anyway.

And there might be alternatives to heavy suppression of free enterprise, but again, so what? The point is mankind is a cancer and must be controlled. It doesn't matter what the latest excuse is. Impose the d-- global dictatorship already.

paranoia paranoia everybody's coming to get me

I'm sympathetic to what Constant wrote above, if only because I think one of the serious dangers of NOT doing something about global warming is that we'll run into a dictatorship problem. I mean, Americans are already scared and depoliticized and isolated. If we try and solve Global Warming now, perhaps we can avert the global crisis scenario in which people readily submit to some horrible dictator to protect them. As it is now though, a person would be verging on a psychiatric disorder to suggest that the Kyoto Protocol is a marxist plot.

On Eco-"hypocrites"... I REALLY hate this trend of "let's ignore the people causing the problem and focus on the personal habits of those honest enough to try and fix it. It's honestly quite disturbing that supposedly intelligent people would allow themselves to be played like this. What do expect to come of this focus on eco-hypocrisy? Do you honestly expect that you're going to shame people into selling their mansions? Of course not. The people who might try and make a difference will just keep it to themselves now.


Oh, that's right

People don't come up with statist solutions to problems at the drop of a hat.

People don't blow up problems out of all proportion to their real significance as an excuse to expand government power.

People don't make up new things to worry about as an excuse to expand government power. Like, "the global crisis scenario in which people readily submit to some horrible dictator to protect them" which we must avert by handing over power to government right now, without delay.

I guess I just forgot that people don't do such things. I am grateful that you, at least, have never suggested that people do any such thing.

let's not force a disagreement here

The real deep problem is when the problem gets out of hand and when someone scapegoats. Have a look at the episodes you're pseudo-referencing. If anything it's an argument for a reaosnable directed solution right now. Once the anti-global warming movement starts being less about solutions like the Kyoto protocol and beyond and more like "murder everyone in a hummer" is when we need start worrying. That day will probably come if people keep fighting tooth and nail against these reasonable pragmatic solutions.


Different probabilities

There's a big difference between what the typical global warming activist says is probably going to happen and what the science says. Furthermore, the government has done and continues to do far more damage to the typical American taxpayer than global warming is remotely likely to do, and I don't see mobs of people attacking social security recipients. Of course, they might some day- who gets blamed for what on what occasion is an iffy, hard to predict thing. In Germany in the 1930s it was Jews. It was hard to predict that the Jews would be murdered in the millions - had it been easy to predict, they would have left Europe and it wouldn't have happened. Nobody really knows whether hummer owners will be the Jew of the 21st century. Probably somebody will, but I wouldn't bet money on any specific group.

Furthermore, Kyoto would not do all that much. If the more extreme scenarios envisioned by the more far-out global warming activists turn out to be true without Kyoto, for instance if people would murder hummer owners without Kyoto, then they probably would murder hummer owners even with Kyoto. Kyoto isn't really the solution to the problem - assuming there's a significant problem. Kyoto is a baby step. Any solution is going to have to be much more extreme - and furthermore everybody knows that. Kyoto is more a testing of the political waters and the establishment of a precedent than an outright attempt to address global warming. So it's not quite an answer to concerns about so-called "reasonable pragmatic solutions" to say that Kyoto is no big deal and only a lunatic would worry about it. Judging by what Kyoto would actually manage to accomplish if implemented, Kyoto is to "reasonable pragmatic solutions" (as envisioned by global warming activists) more or less as a gerbil is to a blue whale.

mostly agree

Yeah, I mean if we can't pass something as weak as effing Kyoto, what hope have we got? Of course the reason Scientists sound different than activists in this case (though you wouldn't know it from listening to the right-wing) is, I think, that Scientists really just don't have a good idea of what'll happen, only that it'll likely be bad. They're just saying "Look, all we know is that ecosystems are delicately, precariously balanced, and that when you throw it out of balance many horrible things can happen that we could never predict without limited understanding."

The plausible sceanrios trumpeted by activists like the reversal of the jet stream, rising tides, etc. are probably just the tip of the, um, iceberg.


  "...They're just saying


"...They're just saying "Look, all we know is that ecosystems are delicately, precariously balanced, and that when you throw it out of balance many horrible things can happen that we could never predict without limited understanding."..."

This has all the appearance of nonsense. It is describing an unstable equilibrium. The very fact that an equilibrium is unstable inevitably means that it is unlikely to persist for long in nature. An observation at any point in time is likely to find orders of magnitude more stable equilibriums than unstable ones.

 Regards, Don


not quite

"Unlikely to persist for very long" can mean different things. We're all familiar with how brief the scope of human history is. Even if we're willing to grant that ours is presently unstable or that we're producing one, I really fail to see how that's much of an argument. I'm not saying they can't predict some harms (the likelihood of more serve storms seems quite telling now) but that the real danger is in uncertain change to the very conditions we depend upon for survival.



Nothing wrong with hypocrisy

The hypocrisy of the the Global Warming celebrities does not bother me, though the dishonesty does slightly. It just shows the futility of most ways of fighting Global Warming. Al Gore has famously said that Global Warming is a moral issue and not a political one. If that is true, we should all buy stock in air conditioning companies. If there is a solution it will be technological. Although I think a pigouvian tax is a policy that could help ameliorate the situation.

Al Gore's Mission Control

Al Gore: Truly a role model for energy efficiency.

As the Church Lady used to say: "Now isn't that special?"

Meanwhile, Manbearpig is still on the loose...