Saturday, February 03, 2007
Everyone else is doing it...
So why not give my own (largely unsubstantiated) opinions on the Global Warming debate. After all, the mainstream media, tv pundits, and all political parties are not interested in having an honest debate about it.
1. It is evident to me that on average, the world has indeed been getting warmer lately.
2. It is pretty likely that humans have contributed to this. Anyone who says they can state definitively exactly HOW MUCH we have contributed to it is probably full of shit to some degree.
3. Even if we humans were savages running around the forests and not burning any fossil fuels, the world would still be getting warmer right now.
4. The world becoming warmer has it's pros and cons. Why assume it's all bad? Seriously.
5. Even focusing on just the 'cons' for which WE are responsible, it probably has still been a good bargain for us -- the global economic development of today is a pretty positive thing, and has been worth the environmental cost.
6. Even if I were to agree that global warming is strictly A Bad Thing, it is pretty arrogant to think that it is even possible for humankind to stop or even significantly reduce global warming through emissions reduction at this point.
7. And if it is possible, it would require complete agreement by pretty much all of the world's significant nations (including China, Russia, etc.) to agree to making emissions reduction their absolute number one goal -- a goal that they could not diverge from even when their economies would predictably go into the toilet. Not going to happen.
8. Said economic costs include increased poverty, starvation, death, disease, etc. -- especially in the developing world. (The environmental left likes to gloss over this.)
In other words, my view is that attempting to make the reduction of global warming the overriding concern of humanity is an unrealistic goal, and is a goal that would likely have little beneficial effect anyway, and would be ruinous in many other ways.
What is way more likely to help out our planet is a future technological innovation that can provide a cleaner source of energy at a similar cost. Today, it ain't there.
Having said all that, I am not a purely pro-business, right-wing, screw-the-tree-hugging-hippies type. I am in favour of governments legislating pollution controls to a reasonable degree. This is not because I am scared to death of global warming; but because of the simple selfish reason that I really hate breathing polluted air. I have a difficult time with being outdoors in the smog. I think this is a libertarian view -- your right to unleash crud into the environment stops at my backyard.
I think one can be pro-environment without drinking the Global Warming Kool-Aid.
The quality of the political debate on these issues in Canada at present is hopeless at best.