Sunday, November 12, 2006

Change for change's sake

If you know me, you know that I am a pretty staunch fiscal conservative, holding that markets are reasonably efficient and can be trusted to respond not only to financial but even social pressures without the need for governmental interference. I believe that governmental agencies move much more slowly than most markets, so relying on government to push social change is much less effective in general than relying on markets.

I am also an environmental skeptic, taking nearly all the current furor over environmental damage with more than a little salt, figuring that we know way less than anyone is willing to admit about these things, and that many of the suggestions being tossed around are both unlikely to really be effective, and unlikely to be ultimately implemented because of long-term cost. Besides, the progress already being made in this country by industry responding to social pressure is much greater than the prophets of doom are willing to admit (notice I can say all these things without any documentation -- isn't the web wonderful!!!).

All that being said, I am wondering if there might not be some benefit that may come from the current changes in Washington. A recent issue of Scientific American (September 2006) is devoted entirely to climate change, CO2 emissions in particular. And it got me to thinking that there might be some good ideas out there that aren't being considered right now because of core philosophy. And maybe a change in philosophy might open the door for one or two of these good ideas to be tried. This is where the slow pace of governmental movement become a benefit. There is no way all the weird ideas of the environmental left will be able to be implemented, which is fine with me. But this change will let us at least toss some new ideas out and see if any stick. Only a fool would believe that there are no good ideas out there from the left, just like only a fool would believe that there are no good ideas out there from the right. Our presuppositions and filters keep us from seeing even the plainest of truths at times.

So it should be fun. Hopefully, some good things will happen. We will see.

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