Sunday, December 12, 2004

Global Warming: Who Cares?

In this article, Bjorn Lomborg provides a reasoned (albeit liberal) assessment of the Global Warming issue.
Global warming is real and caused by CO2. The trouble is that the climate models show we can do very little about the warming. Even if everyone (including the United States) did Kyoto and stuck to it throughout the century, the change would be almost immeasurable, postponing warming by just six years in 2100...

...We live in a world with limited resources, where we struggle to solve just some of its challenges. This means that caring more about some issues end up meaning caring less about others. If we have a moral obligation, it is to spend each dollar doing the most good that we possibly can.

So in a curious way, global warming really is the moral test of our time, but not in the way its proponents imagined. We need to stop our obsession with global warming, and start dealing with the many more pressing issues in the world, where we can do most good first and quickest.
I think Mr. Lomborg is spot on. Rather than spending hundreds of billions of dollars trying to put off the inevitable, we should be seeking to do the greatest amount of good with those billions. Then, we can debate what good we ought to be doing.

That is a debate worth having.