Frank talk on climate change and Cancun
Author: Damien M. Schiff
Here's a forthright piece from the environmentalist camp giving ten reasons why the recently begun climate talks in Cancun will achieve nothing. I found particularly interesting the author's discussion of the economic pros and cons of greenhouse gas regulation:
3. Environmentalists have been disingenuous about the climate issue. They've argued that regulation of carbon dioxide will create green jobs and grow the economy. Typical is this graphic from Environmental Defense. ("Get a step-by-step picture of how a carbon cap will spark new jobs, lift the economy and clean the air.") Uh, no. Most economists agree that dealing with global warming will entail short-term costs. (See Eric Pooley's excellent analysis at Slate.) Their estimates of those costs are generally in the range of 0.5 to 1 percent of U.S. GDP (Harvard's Robert Stavins) or 1 percent of global GDP (The Stern Review, PDF). The costs of inaction will eventually be much greater. But carbon regulation will likely slow economic growth in the short run by raising energy costs. It's not a free lunch, and we should be honest about that.
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