Saturday, January 28, 2012

There May be Warming, There is No Crisis

I admit to having vacillated in my beliefs about whether there is scientific basis for a belief in man made causes for global warming. I came to believe that whether or not it is true, the responses proposed by the warmists/alarmists were far out of proportion to the threat. Predictably, the left has seized on the issue to propose any manner of schemes for governments to seize wealth and redistribute it to favored groups, all in the name of "climate justice." Whenever the left argues for some new redistributive scheme to allow their minions in government to get their greedy paws on the wealth created by their betters, they resort to grandiose claims.

Proof that they are insincere is their lack of support for a carbon tax, with an income tax offset. If one conceded that carbon dioxide production was an "externality," impacting the environment, then the most straight-forward, economically sustainable and non-distorting measure would be a carbon tax, with the revenues from that tax used to reduce income taxes. That the left has never supported this approach is evidence that their touting of global warming is a ruse to build bigger government.

In yesterday's WSJ, a group of 16 scientists also believe that catastrophic intervention in the economy is not called for. They do not deny that some warming is occurring, but point to the overblown hysteria about its effects. San Diego's own Roger Cohen, a fellow of the American Physical Society is a signatory on the editorial. Roger's work was featured on Temple of Mut, debunking the lousy science behind AB-23. His outline of how to answer the warmists was also featured on The Daily Caller. From the WSJ editorial.
The lack of warming for more than a decade—indeed, the smaller-than-predicted warming over the 22 years since the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) began issuing projections—suggests that computer models have greatly exaggerated how much warming additional CO2 can cause. Faced with this embarrassment, those promoting alarm have shifted their drumbeat from warming to weather extremes, to enable anything unusual that happens in our chaotic climate to be ascribed to CO2.
. . .
Alarmism over climate is of great benefit to many, providing government funding for academic research and a reason for government bureaucracies to grow. Alarmism also offers an excuse for governments to raise taxes, taxpayer-funded subsidies for businesses that understand how to work the political system, and a lure for big donations to charitable foundations promising to save the planet.
. . .
A recent study of a wide variety of policy options by Yale economist William Nordhaus showed that nearly the highest benefit-to-cost ratio is achieved for a policy that allows 50 more years of economic growth unimpeded by greenhouse gas controls. This would be especially beneficial to the less-developed parts of the world that would like to share some of the same advantages of material well-being, health and life expectancy that the fully developed parts of the world enjoy now. Many other policy responses would have a negative return on investment. And it is likely that more CO2 and the modest warming that may come with it will be an overall benefit to the planet.
H/T Temple of Mut.


  1. I saw that one, too. You only get big bucks funding when there is a perceived crisis.

  2. When in doubt create your crisis.