The Shotgun Blog
Thursday, April 16, 2009
The Fraser Institute goes down market
The Fraser Institute has thrown up (a deliberate choice of words by me) a short video onto YouTube asserting that the climate is always changing and that rational people should question the hype surrounding global warming. Period. That's esssentially the entire message in a video that seems designed to resonate with people for whom a full twitter message constitutes in-depth reading. To me, though, the two-minute video seems garish, vulgar and shallow--not the sort of thing at all that I'd come to expect from the Vancouver-based free-market think tank
Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2009-04-16 5:40:18 PM
Climate change is strictly an economic question.
If the cost of a changing climate exceeds the cost of preventing this change then why wouldn't we not prevent it from changing if it were in our power.
And so the question now becomes: is it in our power to change?
And I say it is within our power to change but the drivers for this change have nothing to do with being green for moral reasons but rather are a consequence of innovation, opportunity and greed.
We are seeing enormous investments into so called green technology. We are getting closer to the point where consumers will switch to so called "green tech" not for moral reasons but for economic reasons. And these economic reasons are fundamental economic reasons without carbon taxes or the failed carbon credits market.
We are seeing this already. Cars that are driven more than 40,000 per year can make a business case for going hybrid. Japan which is 100% reliant on imported oil is leading the world in the development of electric vehicles. We are seeing battery technology exploding with innovation now to the point that EV's could well be less expensive to produce and operate than combustion based cars within a few years.
I could go on with examples but the bottom line is that innovation directed at the "green" market is now touching the point of economic indifference for consumers.
In so doing we save the climate but not for the sake of the environment itself directly but instead for the sake of our pocketbook.
Harnessing human emotional responses, fear and greed to solve economic problems and thereby improve the social condition.
And isn't that what the free market model is all about anyway? So governments, please stay the hell out of the way. Don't tax us, don't subsidize us just let the innovators and entrepreneurs and investors get on with it.
Posted by: epsilon | 2009-04-16 6:31:53 PM
I really wish that the environmentalists were serious about fighting climate change. Everything they've done so far has been counterproductive.
Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2009-04-16 8:27:31 PM
It's ironic that those on the left - especially the CAW unionists - are squawking about the Bush-Harper mismanagement of the economy which has resulted in this Great Recession. Less than a year ago, they were advocating an economic contraction of the size we are currently experiencing as a deliberate policy!
AGW is an untestable hypothesis based on no empirical evidence. But even if it were true, there is nothing at this point we could do to curtail it. Bjorn Lomborg has argued compellingly that we are FAR better off adapting to climate change than trying to delay it for a few years at incredible expense. Read "Cool IT," or if that is too much effort, then look up Lomborg's TedTalk on YouTube.
Posted by: Grant Brown | 2009-04-16 11:43:03 PM
"To me, though, the two-minute video seems garish, vulgar and shallow--not the sort of thing at all that I'd come to expect from the Vancouver-based free-market think tank"
Why bother saying anything more? Al Gore and all the other climate change droids have declared the debate is over and have focused on name-calling as their primary defense of this fantasy.
This is a belief system and lengthy arguments backed with good science and evidence will have no affect on the AGW zealots. Their brains have been washed.
Posted by: Momar | 2009-04-17 9:20:47 AM
Based on the content/style of the video, I'm pretty sure the video was meant to be directed at high school students and the like -- i.e., "designed to resonate with people for whom a full twitter message constitutes in-depth reading."
I don't think the video was meant for high-brow WS readers.
Posted by: PhilipJ | 2009-04-17 12:15:57 PM
As I understand it, the Fraser Institute is a "charitable foundation" and therefore indirectly receives tax payer support. I would hope that as such, 1) they economized as much as possible and 2) they would not waste our tax dollars by joining with the climate change denial kooks and wackos. Oh, and by the way Momar, the debate over climate change is over. You lost. Even Harper and the CONservatives have thrown in the towel.
Posted by: Pat_from_Mississauga | 2009-04-17 1:41:32 PM
Pat -- Harper is not a conservative.
Posted by: K Stricker | 2009-04-17 5:03:52 PM
Actually, to me that video looks more like a SATIRE of anti-climate-change videos. It would certainly seem so to any of the young people at whom it appears to be aimed.
Posted by: Derek K. Miller | 2009-04-23 10:40:16 AM
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