How did we end up being ruled by those who simply do not know what they are talking about?
Lord Turner, the chairman of the Committee on Climate Change, said people would be given personal flight limits to lower pollution from the aviation industry.
"We will have to constrain demand in an absolute sense, with people not allowed to make as many journeys as they could in an unconstrained manner," he told the Commons environmental audit committee.
Leave aside for a moment that such limits will clearly not affect the Noble Lord when he flies off to some climate change junket, nor his accompanying civil servants. Let us also accept the entire "scientific consensus" on climate change as represented by the IPCC.
There is nothing, absolutely nothing at all, in any of this that says that aviation needs to be restricted in any manner. It is true that the IPCC says that carbon emissions should be restrained: but that is not to say that aviation must be.
The different sources of emissions provide us with goods and services of differing values. We want, if we are indeed to reduce emissions, to reduce those which produce the least value to us in those goods and services. It might be that the deep and heavy ploughing necessary for organic farming produces the least value, it might be urban car transport, it could indeed be aviation. But value, utility, is in the eye of the beholder, not the supplier and most certainly not the bureaucrat.
Whatever the limits we put on emissions and however we do that, through caps or through taxes, the way to do it is still to allow the individual to decide which method of emitting provides them with the greatest utility. In this manner we solve climate change at the least diminution of our wealth. Rather than, say, an unelected quangocrat forcing us to accord to his values and judgement of our own utility.