Sunday, April 27, 2008

Messed up climate numbers

Patrick Michaels in the WSJ:

Our Climate Numbers Are a Big Old Mess

President George W. Bush has just announced his goal to stabilize greenhouse-gas emissions by 2025. To get there, he proposes new fuel-economy standards for autos, and lower emissions from power plants built in the next 10 to 15 years.

Pending legislation in the Senate from Joe Lieberman and John Warner would cut emissions even further – by 66% by 2050. No one has a clue how to do this. Because there is no substitute technology to achieve these massive reductions, we'll just have to get by with less energy.
We'll get along somehow? Maybe the US can just stop using autos altogether. Everyone on the bus! How communal, uh, communitarian, uh, community-oriented.

There's a lot more politics than there is science in this global-warming business. Now that's it is becoming the unquestioned, assumed background to more legislation that will damage the economy and hence the country, it must be fought. We are overdue for another ice age, if you look at the cycles. So a whole lot more data should be gathered and integrated before major coercive action is taken. The proposed legislation is not going to benefit the country. It's well-intentioned foolishness.

Michaels concludes this article with
the ultimate question: Why is the news on global warming always bad? Perhaps because there's little incentive to look at things the other way. If you do, you're liable to be pilloried by your colleagues. If global warming isn't such a threat, who needs all that funding? Who needs the army of policy wonks crawling around the world with bold plans to stop climate change?

But as we face the threat of massive energy taxes – raised by perceptions of increasing rates of warming and the sudden loss of Greenland's ice – we should be talking about reality.
Read the whole thing to see why the perceptions that raise the threat of the taxes are questionable. It's politics and self-interested rent-seeking all the way down.

Here earlier: Energy.

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