Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Newly Skeptical About Global Warming

True believers will never change their minds. Anyone who knows enough about science to know that it is never settled will be interested in Matt Ridley’s account of how he came to be skeptical about the emerging dogma of global warmism.

Ronald Bailey’s account of a recent Ridley speech offers some of the data that caused Ridley to change his mind. Link here.

Here is Ridley’s conclusion: “So what’s the problem? The problem is that you can accept all the basic tenets of greenhouse physics and still conclude that the threat of a dangerously large warming is so improbable as to be negligible, while the threat of real harm from climate-mitigation policies is already so high as to be worrying, that the cure is proving far worse than the disease is ever likely to be. Or as I put it once, we may be putting a tourniquet round our necks to stop a nosebleed.”

This blog has reported on other global warming skeptics who have made the same point. Bailey said as much in a prior column.

In his words: “The transaction costs associated with addressing man-made global warming may turn out to be prohibitively high. In other words, the benefits achieved from trying to mitigate global warming will be swamped by the costs of distributing the corporate welfare used to buy the political acquiescence of various industries. You might hope to implement good public policy to deal with a problem, but if good public policy is impossible, policy nihilism is the more rational response.”

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