Dedicated to the balanced discussion of global warming
Policy Wise – February 25, 2007
This is a very well written blog entry and I recommend everyone clicking through and reading it. The author does an excellent job of summarizing the issues. It is a complicated problem without definitive science. The solutions are extremely hard to implement (if they are even possible at all) and there needs to be a cost/benefit analysis on this. I haven’t seen the source for the referenced 1 million displaced people due to climate change but if that is the case, should we do anything? It is also not realistic for the affluent West to dictate to the poorer countries what they have to do simply because they started down the modernization path later than we started.
Global warming is most certainly the hot button issue of the day. Recently, a U.N panel held that global warming is ‘most likely’ caused by human activities and concluded that it has become ”a runaway train that cannot be stopped.” Unfortunately, as it usually happens in such cases, the debate has become completely politicized and ideological. Liberals pretend as if global warming is going to wipe out the planet tomorrow while libertarians remain skeptical of the science itself.
Granted, predicting the future on the basis of models is tricky and there are many eminent climatologists who remain skeptical of global warming claims. Either ways, this is an academic debate, non-specialists should ideally stay out if it.
It’s hardly enough to prove that global warming will eventually happen , it’s essential to go beyond it and examine it’s effects, policy interventions and their economic and social impact.
By current consensus, it would require a huge change in our development model, whether it is controlling the production of greenhouse gases or finding alternate sources of energy.
…even if one million people are displaced by global warming (the current consensus) they would only constitute .02% of the current world population.
Much of the resistance is happening because environmentalists are using scare-mongering tactics, it would only damage their own cause. To expect people to give up the fruits of modern civilization entirely and expect them to make wholesome changes to their current lifestyle is foolish.
However, the poor of the world shouldn’t be asked to choose between environment and economic development. It is easy to talk about making sacrifices when the choice is between driving a Humvee and an electric car, it is an entirely different matter when you choice will decide your ability to meet the very basic needs of human survival and dignity.
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