Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Better than the panic button

All of the doomsday forecasts (from Malthus on) have been wrong because pessimists underestimated the power of innovation (Julian Simon's "ultimate resource") to deliver -- within a context of property rights and markets.

But what is one to do when every political hack, show biz celeb and network news drone cites a "scientifc consensus" that we are now in a climate change crisis? Read S. Fred Singer and Dennis T. Avery's Unstoppable Global Warming Every 1,500 Years.

Yes, the evidence for warming is complex and discerning cause and effect is (to say the least) complex.

"The Earth is warming but physical evidence from around the world tells us that human-emitted CO2 (carbon dioxide) has played only a minor role in it. Instead, the mild warming seems to be part of a 1,500-year climate cycle (plus or minus 500 years) that goes back at least one million years. " (page 1)

"The next climate event that deserves real concern is the next Big Ice Age. That is inevitably approaching, though it may still be thousands of years away. When it comes, temperatures may plummet 15 degrees Celsius, with the high latitudes getting up to 40 degrees cooler ..." (p. 17)

"Nothing in the Earth's climate history confirms CO2 as a strong driver of climate change." (p. 57)

"It is sheer fantasy to suggest that a huge majority of scientists with expertise in global climate change endorse an alarming interpretation of the recent climate data. In fact the footnoted studies in this book include hundreds of climate-change authors whose work argues against the alarmist view of climate change." p. 65

"Human society should attempt to put binding constraints on human emissions of greenhouse gases only if the advocates of man-made warming can demonstrate three things:

1. That the greenhouse gases are certain to raise global temperatures significantly higher than they rose during previous natural climate warming cycles.
2. That the warming could severly harm human welfare and the ecology.
3. That rational human actions could actually forestall such overheating." p. (29)

An so it goes. Well worth a read -- before reaching for the panic button.