Thursday, May 15, 2008

How Should We Think About Climate Change?

Once upon a time, central planning of the economy was the greatest threat to freedom and prosperity. Now, it's environmentalism. Having failed in their attempts to manage the economy, large numbers of intellectuals, politicians, and sentimental Gaiaists now want to manage the Earth's climate.

No one ever accused these people of modest ambitions. Hubris, maybe, but never modesty.

What's a thinking person to do? Bjorn Lomborg gives John McCain some advice about global warming at National Review Online. Lomborg says:

"McCain strikes some of the right notes — he says he recognizes the need for clean, affordable alternatives to fossil fuels; he acknowledges that climate change is real (although there are very few leaders these days who don’t) and he says that we need to deal with the central facts.

But then he doesn’t stay focused on the central facts himself, and ends up reaching some conclusions that are not so sound: he pushes for a cap-and-trade scheme which will do very little good while imposing very high costs. In his speech notes, McCain planned to call for punitive tariffs on China and India, but he omitted that from his delivered speech: hopefully because he realized that protectionism for green reasons can be just as harmful as protectionism for plain old economic reasons."

More Lomborg...

In the following video, taken at an "Authors @ Google" presentation, Lomborg makes his case in 30 minutes.

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