Monday, March 30, 2009

Climate change is not settled science

My favorite foe of big government, the Cato Institute, today ran this ad in the New York Times, Washington Post, Washington Times, Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times. They ran a similar ad criticizing the stimulus plan not too long ago. The idea behind the “With all due respect Mr. President, that is not true” headline is to point out that on major issues – economic “stimulus” and climate change -- President Obama seems to try to avoid debate by pretending there is no debate. The 120 or so top experts on climate change who joined the ad, including MIT’s Richard Lindzen, make it clear there is plenty of debate going on over global warming. Coincidentally, the New York Times Magazine ran a cover story yesterday on Freeman Dyson, one of the most brilliant scientists of our time, focusing on his skepticism about the threat of global warming.

Dyson has said he believes that the truths of science are so profoundly concealed that the only thing we can really be sure of is that much of what we expect to happen won’t come to pass.

... climate change has become an “obsession” — the primary article of faith for “a worldwide secular religion” known as environmentalism.

This is an extremely important issue, because Obama and the Democrats seem enamoured of the idea of imposing a significant tax on our use of carbon-based fuels via a cap and trade scheme. As the Wall St. Journal points out today, cap and trade would very likely result in a significant loss of U.S. jobs to countries not willing to join us in imposing a tax on carbon. This in turn would probably lead to a very destructive tariff war. The end result would be a lose-lose for just about everyone, and any reductions in carbon emissions could be either insignificant or nonexistent. This is one of the gravest threats to our economy today: the urge to increase the cost of our cheapest source of energy in the name of global change religion. Because if there is no science behind it, that's just what it is.

HT: Russell Redenbaugh