May 052014

Nigel Lawson has an excellent piece on global warming at National Review Online this morning. Lawson’s essay properly identifies catastrophic anthropogenic global warming (CAGW) as a belief system, in fact very much like a religion.

The effort to demonize and marginalize global warming skeptics as “deniers” and other incendiary epithets is shameful. Consider:

  • We have now had a sustained period of no warming that is nearly as long as the sustained period of slight warming around which most of the CAGW hysteria is based. Yet the latter is a mere “pause,” while the former is a clear harbinger of doom.
  • As I wrote at some length a few years ago, Eastern Hemisphere industrial revolutions will pay whatever prissy little regulations we dribble out no mind, nor should they. Therefore, how much do we really expect to move this needle (if indeed it can be moved) when only the fully industrialized First World plays by whatever rules there are? There is one environment, is there not?

In my view, any return to sanity on this debate must assume that we are already, to some significant degree, wandering around on the other side of the problem. Let’s try hard to understand what we really can control, soberly and dispassionately. If global warming resumes, let’s concentrate on maximizing benefits (and yes, there are benefits). Let’s concentrate financial and logistical resources on addressing liabilities as they occur (or can be imminently predicted). Let’s stop pretending that, say, a Nissan Leaf plugged into mains current provided by a coal plant is anything but a possible convenience to its owner.

Let’s be rational.

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