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November 23, 2009

Even If We Could Reduce Carbon Emissions, Why Would We Want To?

That's the question Nigel Lawson, former Chancellor of the Exchequer (which may be the coolest government title in the western world) asks leading up to the hopefully failing Copenhagen Summit.

The greatest error in the current conventional wisdom is that, if you accept the (present) majority scientific view that most of the modest global warming in the last quarter of the last century — about half a degree centigrade — was caused by man-made carbon emissions, then you must also accept that we have to decarbonise our economies.

Nothing could be further from the truth. I have no idea whether the majority scientific view (and it is far from a consensus) is correct. Certainly, it is curious that, whereas their models predicted an acceleration in global warming this century as the growth in emissions accelerated, so far this century there has been no further warming at all. But the current majority view may still be right.

Even if it is, however, that cannot determine the right policy choice. For a warmer climate brings benefits as well as disadvantages. Even if there is a net disadvantage, which is uncertain, it is far less than the economic cost (let alone the human cost) of decarbonisation. Moreover, the greatest single attribute of mankind is our capacity to adapt to changing circumstances. By adapting to any warming that may occur over the next century, we can pocket the benefits and greatly reduce the disadvantages, at a cost that is far less than the cost of global decarbonisation — even if that could be achieved.

As Lawson lays out, the very real costs of these carbon cap schemes are borne by the world's poor. So much for liberals caring about them.

We've simply been sold a bill of goods (and one that increasingly looks like it was a fraud) and cowered into accepting it based on doomsday scenarios and fear. No dissent allowed.

It's amazing that the Gaia worshipers are convinced evil humans have poisoned the planet (a conceit that boggles the mind) and yet somehow we are to believe we can not put that power to use in ameliorating the 'problem'. We can not even discuss it without be labeled a 'denier'.

I would find the Global Warming enthusiasts somewhat more credible if any of them were open to an option other than the destruction of the world's economy and oh yeah, limits on freedom of people everywhere. The taunt Green on the Outside, Red on the Inside comes to mind.

And oh yeah, they'd also be more credible if their predictive models worked and they weren't hiding data.

Either one of those would help.

It's funny, in a sad and scary way, that not only do we have the Chinese to thank for propping up our economy but they (along with India) are the main obstacle to our committing economic suicide in the name of Global Warming.

Strange times we live in.


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posted by DrewM. at 02:08 PM

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