Ugh… where is the “facepalm” icon?
Isn’t the Internet great… you can just spout any nonsense you want with no substantiation whatsoever and it gets “published” for the world to see. This last one was so bad, made my head hurt.
EDIT: sorry, I shouldn’t get nasty. Let me try to quickly answer the parts of this that have a measure of substance:
In the case of cigarettes and leaded gas (among others), the likeness is that they were examples of real environmental problems denied by pertinent industries and their ideological friends, the free market fundamentalists who believe that there is no such thing as a negative externality. In the case of acid rain, CFC’s and leaded gas, the similarity was that they are examples of problems caused by collective behavior which were dealt with by government action. Never did anyone say that any of these were equivalent to global warming in terms of threat level.
I have to wonder, does this logical pretzel-twisting come naturally to you, or do you have to work at it?
Substantiate these points. I do hope you aren’t calling cigarette or oil/gas companies “honest”.
I’ll quote a friend to answer:
Your underlying assumptions seem to be:
- AGW isn’t real, or isn’t actually that dangerous - so all money spent on it is wasted
- government never does any good, and is therefore a giant sinkhole of money
Go back to my question to Buzzkill back on page 24: scientists discover a huge meteorite is on its way - though we can’t be sure when precisely it’s gonna hit. Wouldn’t we spend a ridiculous amount of money trying to learn everything we could about it? And even if the money being spent were not showing immediate, short-term benefits, would we then consider that money wasted? Along those lines, why do we spend money on near-Earth asteroid detection now? Why do we study earthquakes? Has the money thus spent allowed us to divert any asteroids or prevent any earthquakes, and if not, should we then consider that money wasted? How about money that goes to studying super-outbreaks that so far haven’t materialized?
On top of that, speaking in terms of jobs: there are horrendous costs already being incurred because of climate change. I’ve mentioned the dying shrimp industry in the Northeast, or the ski industry… but these are trivial examples compared to the economic costs of say the drought in the Southwest or the ultimate cost of sea level rise. And if the response will be, ‘Yes but spending money hasn’t stopped those impacts!’, well, true. But who here thinks that because so far investments aimed at understanding and hopefully preventing far worse consequences than these decades down the road is automatically money wasted because it hasn’t yet born fruit? Should we therefore just put our faith in God or The Invisible Hand or Stochasticity to solve the problem?
And of course, none of that considers … (for example) the lives that can be saved as we phase out the burning of coal. Last I remember, roughly 10,000 American lives are lost per year because of particulate-induced lung cancer. What’s the economic cost of that? Nor does the … argument really consider the jobs that are created as entrenched industries are displaced. Isn’t capitalism at least partly about creative destruction?
Finally, Finley has very eloquently brought this up before, but I think it deserves repeating: how much of the money invested in AGW research is spent to satisfy the demands of political pundits swayed by ideologically-driven self-styled skeptics whose skepticism knows no apparent limits (making it unfalsifiable, and thus, not really skepticism)? So isn’t it a little ironic that these same would-be skeptics complain about the cost of the research being done at least partly to convince them of something science has been reasonably certain about for quite a while?[/quote]