Saturday, August 15, 2009

Climate change freak pining away for natural disasters

Er, don't quit your day job, mkay?

How an economist - even a Nobel Prize winning one - comes to be considered an authority on climate change is beyond me, but apparently The Atlantic believes Thomas Schelling to be just that. But then again, they consider Andrew Sullivan to be an authority on, well, something or another, I guess. Oh, right...Trig Palin's real birth mother.

Anyway, in July The Atlantic ran an interview with Schelling in two parts dedicated to the topic of climate change. Part 1 here, and Part 2 here. The interview is, er, revealing to say the least, in terms of the insights it provides to the fevered mind of the true global warming/climate change believer.

In Part 1, we learn that Schelling isn't happy with the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill, not for the reasons that an economist might be unhappy with it, such as the loss of millions of jobs and the huge cost to consumers, but because it caps energy production in the wrong place:
If you were putting a cap on oil at the wellhead -- and a cap on coal at the minehead, a cap on gas at the wellhead, and on oil and gas at the port of importation -- so that it was essentially a cap on the fossil fuels, rather than trying to put a cap on electricity in the middle west versus electricity in the South. Or a cap on various manufacturing industries. Or a cap on refineries, even. That seems to me a not very serious way to tackle the problem where it originates. And my actual feeling is that the best you can hope for with this Waxman-Markey bill is that it'll take a few years to discover that it's a huge nuisance of the problem, and they ought to find a way to simplify it. And the way to simplify it is to put the cap on the fossil fuels, not on different industries.
In Part 2, we find out just how well he fits in with the climate change crowd, both in terms of exaggerating the threat and in expounding on scientific topics outside his area of expertise:
It's a tough sell. And probably you have to find ways to exaggerate the threat. And you can in fact find ways to make the threat serious. I think there's a significant likelihood of a kind of a runaway release of carbon and methane from permafrost, and from huge offshore deposits of methane all around the world. If you begin to get methane leaking on a large scale -- even though methane doesn't stay in the atmosphere very long -- it might warm things up fast enough that it will induce further methane release, which will warm things up more, which will release more. And that will create a huge multiplier effect, and it could become very serious.
And finally, Schelling wishes death and destruction upon the non-believers in fly-over country:
But I tend to be rather pessimistic. I sometimes wish that we could have, over the next five or ten years, a lot of horrid things happening -- you know, like tornadoes in the Midwest and so forth -- that would get people very concerned about climate change. But I don't think that's going to happen.
Yup...that'll lend a lot of credibility to the climate change movement.

1 comment:

Ayrdale said...

Interesting too, to read about Newsweek's 1975 prediction of a new ice age; an idea that looks a little more credible than runaway warming and methane release. I wonder when the green church will do an about face ?