There is much debate about global warming. Apparently enough skepticism is emerging to change the term to “climate change”, or better yet, “man made climate change.” That way the real problem, “man” can be held accountable no matter which way the temperature goes.
To get beyond the precise scientific facts, which, let’s face it, few of us are capable of understanding; let’s just ask a few skeptical questions.
What is the optimum temperature for man’s well being? It would appear that warmer temperatures are better for growing food and avoiding mass starvation. Is cold weather not more threatening to human life that warm weather? Are we capable of knowing what the “right” temperature is?
How much impact do man’s activities have on our weather? Does not a single volcanic eruption create more atmospheric climate change than all of our industrial output? Does a minor change in the earth’s orbit have greater effect on whether we are in an Ice Age or an interim warming period?
Given the uncertainty of environmental trends and the impact caused by our activities, and the substantial cost required to mitigate this uncertainty, would we not help out our fellow man far more by putting this same amount of money into a cure for AIDS and other diseases, clean water, farming technology and education?
If we place a cap and trade allocation program on our carbon credits, who determines how many carbon credits are the proper amount? Can they be increased or decreased if the economic damage is too severe? How solid is the science that determines the proper amount of carbon credits? Is the science better that the common belief 30 years ago that cooling was a bigger problem?
Who will make the money trading these carbon credits? Enron which promoted the idea eight years ago is no longer around. Will other Wall Street firms trade in these credits? Who will regulate them? Will we be allowed to contract derivatives of carbon credits? Will the regulation be governed by political concerns, financial concerns or scientific concerns? Who will determine which concerns have more merit?
If the temperature becomes stable or starts to cool as some claim it already has, will the market for carbon credits be abolished?
How much impact will our carbon regulations have if most of the rest of the world does not emulate our policy?
Our environmental proposals stand to cost us a fortune. There is uncertainty that there really is global warming. There is uncertainty that it is man made. There is uncertainty that our proposals will have any impact. There is uncertainty that warming is necessarily bad and if so relative to what? There is uncertainty what the optimal temperature is. Without such an objective how do we measure the progress of our actions?
There is great uncertainty whether the cost of mitigating this uncertain problem yields a benefit that justifies the expense, especially given much greater benefits that can be had with less money and greater certainty.
If I was a man who played the odds, I would consider our “climate change” proposals a very bad bet.