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Tuesday, December 27, 2005

How Much of a Worry is Global Warming?

Not much, if you accept the research reported by Joseph Bast in a report put out by The Heartland Institute. (also see Taken by Storm).

Here is a summary of just a few of the points made by Bast in his commentary on Michael Crichton's State of Fear:

... [T]he message of State of Fear has serious public policy consequences: Most of the environment and health protection regulations in the U.S. ought to be reformed so they address real rather than imaginary risks, and concentrate on what works instead of the liberal orthodoxy of big government solutions to every problem. The U.S. is quite right to stay out of the Kyoto Protocol--the global warming treaty--and ought to be doing more to persuade other countries of the world that the protocol is unnecessary, premature, and unworkable.

For more on global warming, in addition to the books shown above, I recommend this recent post at Cafe Hayek and this one by the ever-vigilant group at London Fog.

Also catch Bill Sjostrom's comments about Bill Clinton' praise of Kyoto:

"In a scathing attack on the Bush administration's negative stance on global warming, the former president said one of the big obstacles to making progress was the "old energy economy which is well-organised, well-financed and well-connected politically". This from a president who signed Kyoto, but three and a half years later still had not bothered submitting it to the Senate.

Recall, too, the positions of Becker and Posner, noted here; also see these comments posted earlier from a research colleague.

Posted by EclectEcon on December 27, 2005 | Permalink


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Hmmmm another global boogyman zealously promoted by some of the most despotic and Kleptocratic regimes on earth....the sole solution they offer us is to claim yet more of our freedom and property to lead us to their world wide bureaucratic dystopia.

Mencken had it right:

"The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary." [H. L. Mencken]

Posted by: WLMackenzie redux | 2005-12-27 8:42:09 AM

This actually hits the nail on the head. We are living in a climate of fear today. And this is planned by those who want to take advantage of it. This applies to "fear" epidemics like the silly bird flu. And have we forgotten about SARS, pig flu, etc? This also applies to the fear of terrorism. Compare all these "fears" with the number of people killed in auto accidents and you get the point.

There are powerful and rich families in the world who are making a huge amount of money out of all the fear that people are feeling today. Who do you think is making money from the silly bird flu scare? The companies making the vaccines, that's who. Do some research into who is on the boards of directors of these companies and you will be surprised.

Many of these wealthy families are also behind the UN by the way. And they "own" politicians. Peter C. Newman once wrote that Paul Desmarais collected politicians like some people collect art?

These fears are simply an orchestrated transfer of wealth.

Posted by: John Crittenden | 2005-12-27 2:55:28 PM

Global warming!!! ---- Follow the money. The pig that squeals the loudest gains the most.

Posted by: Western Canadian | 2005-12-28 8:02:10 PM

We should all remember the hysteria and billions wasted over the Y2K scare. The so called experts were very wrong on that one and, based on the evidence, they are wrong on Global warming as well.

There is a third book on this topic that Ezra recommended as a publisher's pick in the November 28 issue of the Western Standard. Sound and Fury by Patrick J. Michaels, published by the CATO Institute. I have not yet read this book, but trust Ezra and have it ordered. Select Book Picks from the Western Standard home page and scroll to November 28 for more information.

I have read Taken by Storm and can recommend it as a balanced and fair review of the topics related to the Kyoto protocol. I say this as one with two science degress including one in meteorology. Taken by Storm also includes some discussion of the fanciful economic assumptions behind Kyoto, which is a topic not given much coverage by the MSM. When would any reasonable person expect the economy of Africa to become larger than that of the US? About the same time that free and democratic governments are the norm on that continent.

Posted by: Albertan in Ottawa | 2005-12-29 11:55:59 AM

The science on global warming/cooling is immature and incomplete. We know that the earth goes through fluctuations of warming and cooling.

We are presently emerging from the so-called Little Ice Age (13th through 19th c), which does indeed, mean that we are warming up from a cooler phase. But that cooler phase was preceded by a warmer phase..and so on.

The Kyoto is flawed for several reasons. First, and very importantly, it ignores the larger causality and focuses on only ONE cause, that of human beings. Only mechanical systems can be reduced to one cause (flipping a light switch); natural systems are complex and therefore, have multiple causes.

Second, with its focus on only one cause, humans, the system is geared to failure, because it exempts the majority of humans from the agenda. The chief polluters, e.g., China, are exempt. In Canada, the largest polluters, the auto industry, are exempt. That's really quite a remarkable strategy, filled with flaws.

First Flaw:You define a result (global warming) as due to one, and only one, cause.

Second Flaw: Then, you seek to control the result (at least you say you do) by reducing the power of the cause to 'pollute'.
But, you exempt the most polluting countries and industries.

Therefore, to be honest, your agenda can't have anything to do with pollution control. The actual guidelines of your agenda are geared to ensure the failure of pollution control.

So- what's the real agenda?

Posted by: ET | 2005-12-29 1:04:22 PM

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