Guest Essay in the Wall Street Journal
A New Dawn by Bjørn Lomborg
Two of our best hopes to save the US economy are green jobs, and the domestic production of carbon-neutral alternative fuels. Also, by renegotiating trade agreements to include mandates for fair trade and practices - for example, to require that China produce goods with clean energy - we can increase domestic production of goods and help to reduce the trade imbalance.
In the US, ending our addiction to fossil fuels, and in particular, oil, is synonymous with saving the economy.
There is little doubt that energy surety and security are paramount for restoring and maintaining a sound economy. And with a sound economy it should be possible to tackle environmental issues. But the correct policy to get there, should be based on a cool clean methodical analysis, following the scientific methods. Fear and sentiments should not play a role. There is, for instance, a big tendency to be penny wise and pound foolish about fear, like smoking, drinking and blowing but being afraid of radiation from cell phones.
If we cannot demonstrate a clear and convincing link between climate and energy and we cannot determine, even if that link was there, whether it was harmful or benificial, we should not let it play a role in policy making. But we can foresee the limits of fossil fuel and the uncertainty of supply due to political unstability in source areas, it's more than evident that something must be done as soon as possible. But such a change must be based on reason and not on fear, because if the fear proofs to be unfounded then the damage to science and the progress towards the improvement will be hurt significantly.
So we must change but with no regret, should the fear for AGW be proven unfounded.
There can never be certainty, so the interpretation of "enough evidence" is not clear-cut. And there will always be those who demand more evidence no matter how convincing the existing evidence or strength of the consensus. So we certainly can't listen to the predisposed nay-sayers. And whether climate change is caused by humans or not, many of the same actions are required to prevent catastophes. For example, many very expensive homes along the California coastline are doomed to fall into the ocean. This is true whether we are talking about AGW, non-A GW, or centuries long climate cycles. So it certainly makes sense to pass legislation governing building in these areas. Next, clean cars, clean coal, wind, solar, bio-fuels that don't compete with food... that all sounds pretty horrible, doesn't it.
For all of the fear that you fear, I can think of very few actions that we might take that wouldn't have a range of benefits worthy in their own right.
What exactly are you so worried about?
Perhaps he is worried about the creation of government-mandated products that are more expensive than existing ones and generate no real economic value... just economic output. But financed by who? Will we export wind energy or biodiesel or solar heating while we allow domestic coal reserves to sit by idly?
China too is addicted to oil but you don't see their manufacturing base, the real generator of wealth, contracting. I fear that if we go too far down the green path we will only be exporting our 'addiction to oil' and the associated whopping economic benefits to countries all too willing to take that massive generator of real wealth off of our hands.
I just added some ** comments as I read the post.
If we cannot demonstrate a clear and convincing linkwe should not let it play a role in policy making. see thread Proposition 8 and ask the same question. :)
Separate names with a comma.