Climate Economics Mnemonics

Remember when I said, “the whole debate on energy and climate is not a purely scientific exercise; it’s an economic one”?

No? Sure you do. I said it right here.

I neglected to follow up on this point because of life etc., but I never forgot about it because it is an important point:

Whether or not the “science” is “established” by the “scientific consensus”, there remain many questions left unanswered before we all go down the hellish road of One World Government in order to stave off Armageddon. The questions go beyond “science” and into the realm of economics, where every action and change has a cost and a benefit. If we intend to react to these changes, then we must find a way to measure these costs and benefits so that we have an adequate comparison before we react.

Luckily for us, Steven Horwitz hasn’t forgotten to post some of these economic questions, which I’ll reproduce in part here:

1. Is the planet getting warmer?

2. If it’s getting warmer, is that warming caused by humans?

3. If it’s getting warmer, by what magnitude?

4. What are the costs of global warming?

5. What are the benefits of global warming?

6. Do the benefits outweigh the costs or do the costs outweigh the benefits?

7. If the costs outweigh the benefits, what sorts of policies are appropriate?

8. What are the costs of the policies designed to reduce the costs of global warming?

This certainly isn’t an exhaustive list, but it’s a good start. An even better start would be to answer the first four questions, which to my knowledge have not been adequately or honestly answered yet. After all, we need to agree on an opening premise before we move into logial debate of an issue of this magnitude.

Even if you disagree with me, we can’t just go from “The sky is falling” to “Let’s all live in caves” in one step. If this is as serious an issue as many claim it is, we have to be able to have a serious debate about the subject and not jump directly to hackneyed solutions without giving any thought to the unintended consequences.

But of course, the solution for One World Government types never changes, just the rationale; whether we’re dealing with the class struggle, social welfare, or the environment, the economy of Western liberal democracy must give way to international socialism.

The global warming debate has always been and remains ultimately about power. Never forget this.


So, should we worry or not about the warming climate? It is far too binary a question. The lesson of failed past predictions of ecological apocalypse is not that nothing was happening but that the middle-ground possibilities were too frequently excluded from consideration


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