The unequivocal faith of the climate change quibblers

Thu, 2009-01-08 15:34Kevin Grandia
Kevin Grandia's picture

The unequivocal faith of the climate change quibblers

An article on the Heritage Foundation’s blog today shows just how little it takes for some people to put their head back in the sand when it comes to dealing with global warming.

Heritage staffer Conn Carroll declares Study Shows Global Warming Will Not Hurt U.S. Economy

Carroll pretty much leaves it at that. Other than including a single self-fulfilling quote cherry-picked from the study and another from US News correspondent James Pethokoukis who comes to this strange conclusion:

So if you do buy into the theory of man-made climate change, the next logical move would surely be to do nothing that would slow growth and technologcal [sic] advancement in rich countries — such as a cap-and-trade regulatory system or onerous carbon taxes — and do more to accelerate growth in poor ones through free trade and the exporting of democratic capitalism.

The paper titled “Climate Shocks and Economic Growth” (pdf) by Melissa Dell, Benjamin Jones and Benjamin Olken is actually very good. It certainly doesn’t draw any ridiculous conclusions like the one by Pethokoukis, nor does it present the evidence to make the claims that Heritage Foundation wants to make. Dell et al. do find that the impacts of global warming on developing nations could be potentially devastating.

They conclude that:

“… our contribution in this paper is to reject views that climate does not matter, show that climate’s effects are substantial, and identify a group of countries where climate appears to have large effects.”

And,

“… Extrapolated over 100 years, this implies that the median poor country’s income will be about 50% lower than it would be had there been no climate change. Moreover, because the effects are large for poor countries – and we estimate no impact on rich countries – the estimates in Table 9 suggest that climate change could substantially widen world income inequality.” [my emphasis]

It’s mind boggling how little evidence it takes for a free market think tank like the Heritage Foundation to be convinced that we should do nothing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. With one paper issued at an annual general meeting and Heritage concludes unequivocally that Global Warming Will Not Hurt U.S. Economy. At the same time Heritage continues to ignore the massive amounts of evidence complied over decades by top scientists of the major negative impacts climate change will have on our way of life and the very nature of our planet.

Of course, it’s easy to take such a blind leap of faith for Heritage considering they’ve been attacking and spreading misinformation about the realities of climate science for years and have reaped the rewards from financially motivated fossil fuel companies like ExxonMobil.

Comments

puts the lie to their faux arguments that we should be more concerned about aleviating poverty in the devoping world than about a little global warming, or that eco-fanatics consigned millions to death and suffering from malaria by banning DDT. (Even though it was not.)

ThingsBreak was kind  enough to post my analysis of the misdirection technqiue being used especially  by Bjorn Lomborg, heartily backed by certain thinktanks.  See:

Lomborg and  Playing the Long Game.

A simple reality check: how often does {generic conservative thinktank} advocate and lobby to raise taxes to help third-world countries?

I sent this comment to the Heritage Foundation - I am taking bets on whether it gets “moderated” or not:

This presumably assumes that the US economy is all that matters.  So as long as the US economy is OK there is no problem with damaging the environment.
This thinking brings new meaning to the concept of short-sightedness. In spite of the cherry-picked quotes that the author is using to try to support his point of view, the fact remains that virtually all scientists are of the view that Climate Change is at least partially caused by human activity (even those working for the Bush administration).  Also, that unless we reduce the emission of greenhouse gasses in both the developed and developing worlds, the climate will be so affected in our children’s lifetimes, if not our own, so as to fundamentally change the availability of water and our ability to grow crops and feed ourselves and our children.
Our continued reliance on fossil fuels adversely impacts US National Security, and unchecked Climate Change will likely lead to more instability and conflict in the World.
To continue with the type of politically oriented thinking espoused by the author is, in my view, at best foolish and at worst, morally bankrupt. Climate Change is not a political issue, it is a moral issue.

Off the top of my head I think the heritage response would be something like this - US wealth generation feeds the world and the world would be  in more trouble without it - climate change is minor and good for growing more food - we’re not out of fossil fuel yet and if we were we wouldn’t be having this discussion - Water availability can be solved by technology.

 

Following my own monitoring, millions of persons all over the world receive the loan at various banks. Thence, there's a good chance to get a bank loan in every country.