This is the fifth of seven parts; prior parts are on our website: www.mllg.us. This post outlines the economic, political and religious case against man-made warming.
Economic Considerations Related to Man-made Warming
Even if man is causing most climate change, everything we are doing is wrong. We need honest cost-benefit analysis to prioritize spending to do the most good for the most people. It is lunacy to spend trillions today in the hope of achieving uncertain and infinitesimal benefits in the distant future. Stanford University estimated we will spend $100 trillion to (maybe) reduce temperature by .3 (three-tenths) degrees by 2100.
We must maximize economic growth to better deal with the effects of warming, should they materialize and cause problems many decades from now. We should continue to fund research in an unbiased manner, including for renewables, battery technology and conservation. In a bold move, we could offer $100 million prizes to unleash creativity and to incentivize predetermined technological breakthroughs.
Nobel economist: “We should do nothing at all about climate change.”
William Nordhaus won the 2018 Nobel Prize in economics for his pioneering work on the economics of climate change. He demonstrated that economic policies (including an optimal carbon tax) necessary to limit warming to 1.5 C would do far greater harm to humans in reduced output and it would be better for governments to do nothing at all about climate change. Soon after Nordhaus won the prize, the UN released a report advocating governments limit warming to 1.5 C. The media reported extensively about the UN report but (surprise) ignored Nordhaus.
Political Aspects of Anthropogenic Warming
Voters planet wide reject climate change alarmism, regulations, and carbon taxes; see our 1/27/19 post on our website for a comprehensive discussion. Polls show Americans rank climate change last out of 20 issues. Warmists respond by ramping up the rhetoric: climate change is now climate apocalypse; a denier is now a heretic.
There is an established 5-stage life cycle for political movements like climate change; it is described in detail in our post of 7/15/18 and yes, it is on our website. Stage 1 (problem identified) began in 1988. In stage 2 politicians and media embrace the issue. In stage 3 the public becomes skeptical about costs, benefits and underlying facts; this began with the Kyoto Protocol in 2005. In stage 4 from 2012 to 2017, public interest wanes. We now are in stage 5, the final post-problem phase, when the issue is dead politically; it began with our 2017 withdrawal from the Paris Agreement.
The Religious Dimensions of Climate Change
Progressives and media have proclaimed a new, universal and omnipotent god who threatens to destroy our planet if we don’t obey its every diktat. This god demands total obeisance and commands that we expend all our planet’s resources, abandon all other priorities and slash our living standards to build obelisks – far grander in scale than even the great pyramids – in its honor. Those who resist are heretics. Following are but two examples of religion trumping science; there are many more.
Nuclear power proves definitively climate change is a religion. Proponents of human causation screech that it will destroy life on earth, but they reject out of hand the single greatest solution. Nuclear has zero carbon emissions and offers reliable and cost-effective power. Moreover, it is safe; more people died at Chappaquiddick than at Three Mile Island and Fukushima (from radiation) combined. Even the Chernobyl disaster resulted in few casualties despite incomprehensible commie screwups.
Gas powered cars, along with nuclear power, are sinful objects in the progressive catechism. All cars in the western world could be banned and it would make little dent in carbon emissions. Nonetheless, warmists go to insane lengths to wring meaningless CO2 reductions from cars. But electric vehicles rank high in the progressive pantheon even though, over the life cycle of an EV, there is no appreciable difference in carbon emissions versus gas cars; they just pretend EVs all are charged with wind and solar.
Stay tuned for Part VI of Climate of Confusion on November 6th.