Thursday, December 03, 2009

Blowing Hot Air

Since the revelation of "Climategate" emails, it's impossible to write about global warming without acknowledging at least the perception that the data has been "mishandled." Right?

True, unless you are an opinion columnist for the Guardian.

In that storied organ of the left, Jeffrey Sachs does the impossible. The essence of his column, which doesn't bear reading in detail, is that the time to act is NOW.

Well, it doesn't bear reading except for these parts:

We've debated for years about who should control emissions, by how much, when, and according to binding or non-binding commitments. Yet we can't settle these issues without also getting into the details about the deployment of low-carbon technologies, social behaviours and the quantitative realities of energy systems, transport technologies, food production, water scarcity, and population trends. We will continue to go around in circles until we are much more systematic in bringing scientific and engineering realities to the table. Our negotiations need much greater grounding in our true options and their costs. . . .

Let's start by recognising that most of the human-made crisis emerges from a few pivotal human activities: how and what we grow to eat; how we mobilise and distribute energy; how we transport ourselves and our freight; and how we build our buildings and lay out our cities. Each related sector requires its own intensive strategy – to identify the kind of research and development activities, public infrastructure investments and public policy to accompany a positive price on carbon emissions, through permits or taxes. Countries would have a lot to share – for instance in new technological options – and a lot that would distinguish them, according to geography, resource base, development level, and more.

In other words, let's empower the diplomats and bureaucrats at Copenhagen to micromanage the lives of seven billion people. The crisis is here! We need the central planners to get busy to save the world from its awful self!

Recommending response: smirking. Sachs is the equivalent of a French general in 1940 saying the Maginot Line was a good idea.


Statler said...

Now that's calling a spade a spade and communicating the consequences of letting the ism empower the pseudo-intellectuals at everybody else's expense.

Excellent recovery.

Jon A. Alfred E. Michael J. Wile E. SWNID said...

Wow. We are so relieved to have your approval. We can hold our head high again.