A Cato-tonic Response

Two skeptics at the Cato Institute now argue that it's wasteful to spend money addressing the climate crisis because succeeding generations will be so much wealthier that the cost to them will be negligible. What they don't tell us is that if we don't deal with this issue a.s.a.p., succeeding generations will be bankrupt by mid-century.


There are many things wrong with this article but I will only discuss their comments on how AGW supporters are causing death and malnutrition in the developing world. Nothing could be further from the truth. What is causing these problems is the combination of greedy corporations and their corrupt government allies (all governments not just the local government). As long as the primary crops in these areas are cash crops grown by large corporate farmers on the best available land there will be malnutrition. Agricultural subsidies to USA and European farmers allow their crops to be much cheaper in the third world than local crops (when available).

As to the problems with dirty sources of energy, there are ways to overcome this if the desire was there. There has been good progress in India, China and other Asian countries with the introduction of clean biogas for cooking and heating. The health of villagers where these low-tech solutions have been introduced has greatly improved. I am sure that there are other low-tech solutions that can be applied in other areas (low-tech solar for instance) which could provide similar good results.

I always get a kick out of AGW deniers saying that lowering CO2 emissions will result in millions of deaths in the developing world. Nothing could be further from the truth. The effects of AGW will cause untold damage to the health and well being of the citizens of these countries long before similar effects are felt else where. Africa will be the first to suffer.

This is an old argument. Old, tired, and recycled yet again. The denialists have nothing new. Best, D