This is the beginning of the heretical article that had someone screaming for the stake and some fire sticks:
Congress is considering global warming legislation to require substantial cuts in emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), the inescapable byproduct of the fossil fuels — coal, oil, and natural gas — that supply 85 percent of the world’s energy. China, India, and every other developing country refuse to limit their emissions because they fear CO2 controls more than global warming. What do they know that our lawmakers don’t?
National Review’s Jonah Goldberg notes that that Earth warmed about 0.7 degrees Celsius in the 20th century while global GDP increased by some 1,800 percent. For the sake of argument, he says, let’s agree that all of the warming was anthropogenic — the result of economic activity. And let’s further stipulate that the warming produced no benefits, only harms. “That’s still an amazing bargain,” Goldberg remarks.
Average life expectancies doubled during the 20th century. The world’s population nearly quadrupled, yet per capita food supply substantially increased. Literacy, medicine, leisure, and “even in many respects the environment hugely improved, at least in the prosperous West.”
This suggests a thought experiment that I recently posed to Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and her colleagues on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee:
Suppose you had the power to travel back in time and impose carbon caps on previous generations. How much growth would we be willing to sacrifice to avoid how many tenths of a degree of warming? Would humanity be better off today if the 20th century had half as much warming — but also a half or a third or even a quarter less growth? I doubt anyone on this committee would say “yes.” A poorer planet would also be a hungrier, sicker planet. Many of us might not even be alive.
So, how much future growth are Boxer and company willing to sacrifice to mitigate future warming? That is not an idle question. Some people believe we’re now smart enough to measurably cool the planet without chilling the economy. But Europe is having a tough time (PDF) meeting its Kyoto commitments, and Kyoto would have no detectable impact on global temperature.
You can and should read the rest here.
For his calmly stated analytical efforts, the author’s article, Marlo Lewis, received the following threatening letter from the Climate Change Inquisition Institution. Um, sorry, I mean the American Council on Renewable Energy:
Marlo –You are so full of cr*p (obscenity redacted).
You have been proven wrong. The entire world has proven you wrong. You are the last guy on Earth to get it. Take this warning from me, Marlo. It is my intention to destroy your career as a liar. If you produce one more editorial against climate change, I will launch a campaign against your professional integrity. I will call you a liar and charlatan to the Harvard community of which you and I are members. I will call you out as a man who has been bought by Corporate America. Go ahead, guy. Take me on.
Michael T. Eckhart
American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE)
If climate change is your God, no rational argument will change your faith. All that’s left is the threat of excommunication and career violence. Pathetic.
Hat tip: Earl
Filed under: Climate change