Climate Change

Sometimes I find Café Hayek rather insufferable.  The posts usually have some good insights, but are heavy on ideological presumption.  But below on Climate change was really pretty excellent.

The evidence for climate change has to be at least taken seriously, but the assumption that a Keyoto style response makes sense is a non sequitor.  Ideological liberals can be insufferable in their unwillingness to think about this issue but use it more as a marker issue for gaining admission into that tribe.

…  I neither deny that climate change is occurring nor that its occurance is the result of human activity.  (I’m no natural scientist, so my ability to judge the science is inadequate.)

What I do deny is (1) the presumption that climate change necessarily has worsened or will worsen human well-being compared to what that well-being would have otherwise been, or will be, under different feasible policies, and (2) the presumed necessity for governments to ‘do something’ about climate change.  From the perspective of an economist, it is a non sequitur to conclude from the existence of made-made climate change that government must take steps to halt, or to diminish, those human activities that contribute to climate change.

But the case for taking such steps would be more plausible, believable, and acceptable were not so many of its advocates prone to write and speak as if the benefits of industrialization, such as those mentioned above by Indur, are unreal or overblown or, more precisely, as if these benefits are not connected with the very industrial and commercial processes that climate-change hawks wish to further rein in.  So much of the conversation by climate-change hawks takes place as if the demonstration of the existence of a cost is sufficient to prove that that cost must be reduced.

And, too, so much of that same conversation takes place as if the political authorities to be charged with reducing this cost will act both wisely and in the public interest.

Both stances are most unscientific.

Climate Change


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