Will: Inconvenient Kyoto Truths - Newsweek George F. Will - MSNBC.com
Climate Cassandras say the facts are clear and the case is closed. (Sen. Barbara Boxer: "We're not going to take a lot of time debating this anymore.") The consensus catechism about global warming has six tenets: 1. Global warming is happening. 2. It is our (humanity's, but especially America's) fault. 3. It will continue unless we mend our ways. 4. If it continues we are in grave danger. 5. We know how to slow or even reverse the warming. 6. The benefits from doing that will far exceed the costs.George Will is on the money. Read his whole column. I especially love the subtitle of his piece: "Was life better when a sheet of ice a mile thick covered Chicago? Was it worse when Greenland was so warm that Vikings farmed there?". Because really, even if you grant the global warming fanatics that everything they claim about the physics of global climate are true ... I'm left with a big ... "so what?" If the earth continues to warm and the warming accelerates then in a hundred years places like Vermont and Calgary and Scandanavia are going to be a whole lot nicer! Sure, the sahara might be an even worse place to live ... and folks in texas might have to buy bigger ACs ... but so what? should we impoverish ourselves to prevent that end-state?
Only the first tenet is clearly true, and only in the sense that the Earth warmed about 0.7 degrees Celsius in the 20th century. We do not know the extent to which human activity caused this. The activity is economic growth, the wealth-creation that makes possible improved well-being—better nutrition, medicine, education, etc. How much reduction of such social goods are we willing to accept by slowing economic activity in order to (try to) regulate the planet's climate?
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