Monday, February 16, 2009

Three Gems From George Will

1. Gregg Easterbrook's "Law of Doomsaying": Predict catastrophe no sooner than five years hence but no later than 10 years away, soon enough to terrify but distant enough that people will forget if you are wrong.

2. An unstated premise of eco-pessimism is that environmental conditions are, or recently were, optimal. The proclaimed faith of eco-pessimists is weirdly optimistic: These optimal conditions must and can be preserved or restored if government will make us minimize our carbon footprints, and if government will "remake" the economy.

3. According to the U.N.'s World Meteorological Organization, there has been no recorded global warming for more than a decade.

~George Will' s column today


At 2/16/2009 12:36 PM, Blogger juandos said...

Dr. Thomas Sowell addressed this very problem last year with his Global Hot Air...

Sowell noted: 'It is not just the sky that is falling. Government money is falling on those who seek grants to study global warming and produce "solutions" for it. But that money is not as likely to fall on those skeptics in the scientific community who refuse to join the stampede'...

At 2/16/2009 8:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reality isn't stopping Gore or Hansen from carrying on though.

Death trains!

At 2/17/2009 10:03 PM, Blogger Mark said...

Mr. Will's choice of Global Warming expert is no better than yours or mine. I would rather approach the problem as one of game theory: doing nothing and being wrong is a worse outcome than doing something and being wrong. Focusing our efforts on renewable and nuclear energy is, in my opinion, a greater good whether or not GW is true.

At 2/17/2009 11:32 PM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

> doing nothing and being wrong is a worse outcome than doing something and being wrong.

Not true by a long shot, when the "doing something" involves spending TRILLIONS of dollars on bogus "carbon cap" garbage which will accomplish nothing but waste money.

That "better to do something than do nothing" is a hoary urban myth. There are a LOT of times when doing nothing is a vast improvement over "doing something". Not only can "doing something" create greater problems, it can also waste money which might be available for attacking an actual problem when the truth becomes clearer.

There are, for example, plenty of arguments to support the notion that "dealing with the consequences" of GW would be FAR, FAR less expensive than the cost of attempting to abate it, as Gore and many other idiots attempt to promote. If you "do something" by spending money on abating the release of CO2, then you have LESS to spend on the conseqences, such as more power for air conditioning, or for building sea walls to hold back the ocean from critical areas (note that this assumes that GW is far more serious than I think it is, and that the predictions of multi-meter rises are accurate)

Further, "doing something" to eliminate CO2 emissions might actually be highly negative if it turns out that man's CO2 release is, in fact, the only thing holding off a new ice-age, and there IS credible evidence to argue (but not prove by any means) that point.

So, easily, we show two completely different ways in which "doing something is better than nothing" is not just somewhat specious but flat-out wrong.

Actions -- especially those done at gunpoint (and all government actions are, in the end, done at gunpoint) -- and this particularly includes those involving large amounts of money *taken* at gunpoint -- need to be well-justified by the public benefit to be obtained from them.


Putting a gun to someone's head and saying "We're going to do it this way... got that?" should always be the last resort for a rational actor.

At 2/17/2009 11:54 PM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

Oh, and P.S.:

> Focusing our efforts on renewable and nuclear energy is

1) Define "renewable energy". Active solar? Wind? Waste of time AND money. Almost absolutely. And it's not hard to get numbers to prove that. As I've cited in various forums, probably around here -- if you had 100% total conversion solar cells, you'd need to cover not less than a total surface area comprising 3/4ths of the entire land area of the state of DELAWARE. That's with a 100% cell, which you ain't getting. An educated guess would be that the best one could expect would be more like 60%, which means you have to cover more than an entire STATE's land surface with "little blue cells"... with all the attendant toxic waste production required for such an activity -- hardly "trivial" by any measure.

"Sustainability" my ASS. "Ignorant Clueless Stupidity" is the operative term when it comes to anything but specialized local usage of solar power.

There is exactly ONE form of earth-based solar which might possibly produce more power than it takes to produce the equipment, with zero pollution, and that's an option almost completely being ignored: Ocean Thermal. Not arguing it would be a good expenditure, but it's the only one which has any real likelihood in the long run, since the solar collector it uses covers roughly 3/4th of the earth's surface already, so its efficiency levels don't need to be high.

Wind, I'm not going to argue much, here, but it's got largely the same sort of problems in the end, and suffers from being inordinately visible and suffering intensely from NIMBY when it comes to actual deployment.

And the only form of it I've ever heard which seemed to make any REAL sense was limited to a WSJ article about the idea 15 or more years ago, with no further development on the notion anywhere I've seen (granted, not what I'd call an intensive search).

2) I would happily support nukes, but that's not actually being promoted by anyone except by getting mentioned in passing as part of a bait-and-switch con with "alternative" energy as the real goal.

When I hear of anyone in the government actually doing something to streamline development of standardized installations, or to ease deployment of new installations, or even to simplify transport and handling of waste to disposal sites, I'll be amazed.


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