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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

More global warming rants...

Over at The Economist blog, the various blog posters are in a tizzy over global warming, and seeming American non-action. They're realizing that it'll be truly hard to get Americans to buy into an approach that favors grand policies, vast bureaucracies, new "Pigovian" taxes, and lots of pain.

But, as we say in software, that's a feature, not a bug! If AGW is truly real, and climate mitigation policies can be shown to have a chance of dealing with it, and it doesn't cripple the American economy or damage American power, steps to deal with it can probably be done. But otherwise, why bother? And such extraordinary claims will require extraordinary proof at every level - and not just the "precautionary principle" hand-wave.

As I've mentioned, I'm generally skeptical but willing to consider "two-fers" that reduce CO2 emissions while accomplishing other useful goals such as reducing dependence on foreign oil and "real" pollution. But I'm not interested in bankrupting the country to do it, or in donning a hair-shirt while China and India get a free pass.

And there's no way I'm interested in the UN or any other collection of transnationals imposing "tax harmonization" on us, for whatever purpose; this wonderful idea was floated in the 1990s to supposedly "help Africa", and has returned in the guise of various "green taxes". The "need" keeps changing, but the "cure" stays the same: magic taxes going to mysterious transnational entities that supposedly will do Great Things.

One aside: US CO2 emission change performance during the Bush administration has been surprisingly good - in fact, better than much of Europe during that time.

Amen, preach on!
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