Monday, May 25, 2009

Global Warming Exaggerated

Global warming is an exaggerated problem says one of the principal contributing scientists to the IPCC report. Which is not surprising, really. I posted the views of one of Germany's leading climate scientists as reported by Der Spiegel way back in 2005.

Global warming may very well be a problem, it may be human caused and it may even be a serious problem. But this is where it is crucial to apply critical thinking skills to the issue - even if these things are true, we must examine the likely motives and intent of the chief proponents of solving the problem of global warming, namely, governments, politicians and scientists in the employ of governments. 

Particularly troubling to me is the frequent use of the phrase "scientific consensus" as if science is a democracy. Science benefits the most from the lone contrarian who happens to be right and can prove it. We should be very wary of language that stifles out-of-favor scientific opinions (so long as they are, really, scientific). Science is rarely, if ever, a black-and-white matter and is usually a matter of competing hypotheses which fit the available data better or worse. As data changes (due to technological advances or advances in experimental methodology), hypotheses that were once in favor can rapidly be falsified and replaced by previously obscure hypotheses.

In the case of the United Nations, the problem of global warming is especially convenient for making the case of global governance and especially global taxation and regulation. Global warming, by virtue of being a global problem, naturally requires international coordination not likely to occur between independent nations. It should not be surprising, then, that the organizations with the best chances of being in a position to exercise global governance power - either directly or indirectly - are the most passionate in making the case for the need to solve the problem of global warming.

Lastly, we should not think about the problem of global warming in terms of the nightmare scenario catastrophes that the Al Gore & Co. alarmists would have us think. Rather, we should think about solving the problem of global warming in terms of costs and benefits. That is, we should apply economic reasoning to the many humanitarian problems facing mankind today. The Copenhagen Consensus has done just this and they rank global warming at the bottom of the list of humanitarian issues in terms of the return-on-investment of lives saved/improved versus dollars spent.

All in all, global warming may be a real problem, it may be caused by human action and it may have very serious consequences over the long term. But these facts, if true, do not in themselves prove the case for massive global government interventions and costly national government measures, especially during this economic downturn.

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