Thursday, February 10, 2011

If you thoughty you understood climate change

guess again.  I take that back, don't guess.  Read the most recent post by David Roberts at Grist.  If there is one piece of writing that will change how you think about the climate... or even about politics... this just may be it. 

Roberts clearly lays out the two notions of dealing with the climate changes coming, one from the climate scientists who are panicked about our continued under estimation of the rate of change and the economists who so believe in the power of the market to solve all problems that keep telling us not to worry. 

Humanity has never had to grapple with a problem that measures itself in centuries, threatens our very existence, and requires global cooperation to overcome. We are fairly beset by gaping uncertainties. We know it could get really bad, but we don't know exactly how bad it will get, or how fast, or where. We don't know how much it will cost to re-engineer the world along sustainable lines, or how quickly we can do it, or even whether we can do it at all.
That last phrase is what scares me "whether we can do it at all." Where does the will to act come from?  It surely will not come from those who do not take seriously the lessons of ecology.  I follow Matthew I Kahn's Environmental and Urban Economics blog, He frequently hypes his own view expressed in his book Climatopolis.  I have also mentioned it in my own posts because I don't understand where we find the revenue required by the massive infrastructure re-invention that his Climatopolis would require.  It seems the work of a free market economist who does not understand governmental fiscal policy at any level.

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