Wednesday, April 11, 2007

George Will: "Fuzzy Climate Math"

George Will with a bunch of interesting statistics on global warming.

For instance: "Compliance with Kyoto would reduce global warming by an amount too small to measure. But the cost of compliance just to the United States would be higher than the cost of providing the entire world with clean drinking water and sanitation, which would prevent 2 million deaths (from diseases like infant diarrhea) a year and prevent half a billion people from becoming seriously ill each year."

Also: "Nature designed us as carnivores, but what does nature know about nature? Meat has been designated a menace" (he goes on to explain why), and "Newsweek says most food travels at least 1,200 miles to get to Americans' plates, so buying local food will save fuel. Do not order halibut in Omaha."

As the saying goes, read the whole thing...


Blogger UGN said...

It would be interesting to know who in the crop of presidential hopefuls would urge U.S. participation in Kyoto.

11:52 PM  
Blogger Irene said...

Good article. Indoctrination is the word I was trying to think of when discussing this subject with my husband. A good word. Like so many other issues in our country, ie;same sex marriage to name only one, people are being indoctrinated by the media, the entertainment industry and so on. When Al (I want to save the world) Gore's movie first came out there wasn't much interest until the entertainment industry (their fawning over him at the Oscars was enough to make one sick)and the media jumped on this band wagon and took off with it. People are like sheep (a good description) being led to the slaughter.

P.S. I sent you a private email a few minutes ago about another topic.

9:12 AM  
Blogger adymdoe said...

George Will writes today that any attempts to avert large-scale global warming would be absurdly expensive, while the "positive impact on the globe's temperature [would be] insignificant." He's also discovered--shockingly--that California can't reduce the world's CO2 emissions all by itself. So there you have it: No use trying. Nothing we can do. Give Bangladesh our regards.
Would it be too much to ask Will to offer numbers here? Yes, it would. (Although he does rattle off a bunch of facts about zinc mining in Canada.) Fortunately, though, Reuters just got its mitts on a leaked copy of the forthcoming IPCC report on mitigation--which deals with this exact subject--so we can put this discussion in context. The IPCC plans to report that it is perfectly possible to prevent global average temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees C (the "dangerous" threshold). It would cost about 3 percent of global GDP--roughly one year's worth of economic growth. Not cheap, but not exactly undoable, either.
Maybe Will would say that a year's worth of economic growth is still too high a price to pay. Or maybe he would start arguing about discount rates and the like. But why not have that debate, rather than rambling on about Ben & Jerry's and then accusing environmentalists of "fuzzy climate math"?

7:52 PM  

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