ENVIRONMENTAL worshippers believe that increases in energy prices stemming from the 2010 emissions trading scheme are worth the pain. But on what basis?

While the science of global warming has been debated beyond saturation level, the ethics of our obligation to future generations has been assumed, rather than proven. This is a pity, because no one has yet nailed a concrete basis upon which future generations can reach from the skies to command our concern.

Non-existent entities cannot have rights and it is emotional nonsense to assert that people born later in time deserve to live better than those who preceded them. Morality and luck, including the lottery that relates to the timing of one's birth, are mutually inconsistent.

Global warming, and the response to it, has nothing to do with morality. It is all about self-interest, which caused the mess and is now driving measures to fix it. Greenhouse warming concerns have only resonated with the mainstream since climatologists have started making predictions of adverse climate events in our lifetime. In truth, we don't care an inch about future people.

Concrete proof of this is that we live in a community where the only post-womb environment experienced by one in four embryos is the bottom of an abortionist's bucket. This equates to about 90,000 future people being exterminated annually in Australia, normally for the economic convenience of the mother.

Sure mothers have the (non-absolute) right to do as they wish with their bodies. But so do embryos — and you can be pretty sure that none of them would elect for it to be destroyed.

Moreover, hundreds of millions of people are enduring pitiable existences at the margins of life that are far worse than anything that will occur as a result of greenhouse warming — even according to the grimmest projections by green groups.

The fact that their suffering continues to be largely ignored by the Western world exposes the intractable ethical shortcomings of the green movement. In fact, by pushing for measures that consign more existing people to death by starvation (by increasing energy and food prices) in preference to the interests of future people, the anti-global-warming push is morally repugnant.