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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Was Thomas Jefferson an Environmental Alarmist?

[Cross-posted at Libertas.]

Apparently the most recent fad among environmental alarmists is to enlist the venerable Thomas Jefferson to their cause. This latest bit of nonsense was, I gather, started by Dr. James Hansen of NASA (who is apparently unfazed and unrepentant in the face of his recently revealed Y2K error). Even certain faux market environmentalists are following Hansen's lead. The strategic idea here is to bolster support for the CAGW thesis by attaching Jefferson's respected name to radical environmentalism. The hope, at least implicitly, is that resistance and skepticism of Americans, and for some - also libertarians, to the CAGW thesis will wither in the face of their revered Founding Father's environmentalism. The claim is that he believed currently living generations should not bind future generations to living in an environmentally degraded world; therefore, the state should prevent them from doing so. The method by which this claim is made is, you guessed it, by taking quotes out of context and putting a leftist-environmentalist spin on them. Someone else already beat me to it, so I'll simply refer you to LuboŇ° Motl's debunking of this latest environmentalist farce.

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