A New Perspective on the Climate WarsAlan Carlin | November 6, 2015
Matt Ridley has just published an interesting perspective on the climate wars from a lukewarmer’s viewpoint. It is short and concise. Ridley does not mention, however, that the scientific evidence is increasingly going against even the lukewarmers. I do agree with Ridley’s concerns about the damage to science as a result of the climate wars, which I have also written about.
One Major Omission
The major issue I have with Ridley’s essay is that it does not discuss the practicality (or lack thereof) of the alarmists’ “cure.” Their “cure” is to use government authority to deny some or before long likely all fossil fuel use everywhere on Earth. Their “cure” is even more absurd than their scientific conclusions. The problems include the following:
- People are not going to give up the advantages of fossil fuel use to their lives and economic welfare. Politicians who make a serious effort in this direction will be voted out of office in democratic countries.
- The countries of the world are unlikely to reach an effective, binding international agreement for this purpose because the less developed countries understand that this would make further economic development, their primary objective, much more difficult for them.
- The only solution proposed to date is for developed countries to pay the less developed countries large amounts of money in return for their agreement, but this will not happen because any developed, democratic country government that offers this would be voted out of office. And it is far from clear that the less developed countries would actually honor decarbonization commitments they might make anyway.
- Any individual nation or group of nations that attempts to unilaterally pursue decarbonization on its own will soon find itself noncompetitive in energy-intensive goods as long as other nations do not equally decarbonize.
All this is discussed in much more detail with references in my new book, Environmentalism Gone Mad, available from the book website.