On Monday Benny Peiser quoted from the teachings of Marcus Aurelius: “The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.”
Benny Peiser publishes CCNet, an e-newsletter with links to various opinion pieces, reports and new technical papers .
Yesterday there was more food for thought:
What is the optimal climate change policy – the one that sets future emissions reductions to maximize the economic welfare of humans? Yale University economist William Nordhaus, perhaps the world’s leading expert on the economics of climate change, has just released a new study, The Challenge of Global Warming: Economic Models and Environmental Policy, which estimates the costs of various proposed trajectories for limiting carbon dioxide over the next couple of centuries. So what did Nordhaus find? First, the Stern proposal for rapid deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions would reduce the future damage from global warming by $13 trillion, but at a cost of $27 trillion dollars. That’s not a good deal. For an even worse deal, the DICE-2007 model estimates that the Gore proposal would reduce climate change damages by $12 trillion, but at a cost of nearly $34 trillion.
–Ronald Bailey, Reason Online, 14 August 2007
Today, the peer reviewed process of funding and validation of scientific research in climatology is equally controlled by the modern equivalent of the Collegium Romanum (the Vatican’s Institute of Research), the Inter-government Panel of Climate Change (IPCC). They in turn answer to the equivalent of the Inquisition, the Green ideologists, who, mercifully, can only torment through derision or denying the heretics research funding, and not the frightening instruments of torture.
–Deepak Lal, Business Standard, 15 August 2007
Some of the hysteric and extreme claims about global warming are also a symptom of pagan emptiness, of Western fear when confronted by the immense and basically uncontrollable forces of nature. Belief in a benign God who is master of the universe has a steadying psychological effect, although it is no guarantee of Utopia, no guarantee that the continuing climate and geographic changes will be benign. In the past pagans sacrificed animals and even humans in vain attempts to placate capricious and cruel gods. Today
they demand a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.
–Cardinal George Pell, Archbishop of Sydney, 2006
Anthropogenic global warming is a scientific hypothesis, not an article of religious or ideological dogma. Skepticism and doubt are entirely appropriate in the realm of science, in which truth is determined by evidence, experimentation, and observation, not by consensus or revelation. Yet when it comes to global warming, dissent is treated as heresy — as a pernicious belief whose exponents must be shamed, shunned, or silenced. The issue of global warming isn’t a closed book. Smearing those who buck the “scientific consensus” as traitors, toadies, or enemies of humankind may be emotionally satisfying and even professionally lucrative. It is also indefensible, hyperbolic bullying.
–Jeff Jacoby, Boston Globe, 15 August 2007
But the overriding reality seems almost un-American: We simply don’t have a solution for this problem. As we debate it, journalists should resist the temptation to portray global warming as a morality tale — as Newsweek did — in which anyone who questions its gravity or proposed solutions may be ridiculed as a fool, a crank or an industry stooge. Dissent is, or should be, the lifeblood of a free society.
–Robert J. Samuelson, The Washington Post, 15 August 2007
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