For all you who believe that the Earth is flat, that we don't descend from apes, that George Soros caused the financial crisis or that there is no climate change.
Suppose you are right and the unlikely scenario that CO2 has no effect upon the climate is true. All the countermeasures like CO2-taxes or reforestation will have no bad effects:
CO2 taxes substitute conventional labour and capital income taxes, so switching taxes makes no extra bad effect upon business. Furthermore, it creates incentives to invest into new energy technologies, which is not good per se, as the old machines can no more be used anymore, yet in a recession like right now, any incentive to invest is welcome. Check, no bad effect.
What about forestation in a world where overpopulation and food scarcity are big problems? True, the land for trees could be used to plant food even in the other climate heating scenario. But coal and oil runs out in a few decades, so why not plant some trees as energy source? Check, no bad effect.
It's a situation with asymmetric risks: doing something against climate change is good (I think the good effects of "demand side" measures like CO2 taxes or cap-and-trade and "supply side" measures like building trees to convert CO2 into oxygen are obvious)) while doing nothing is bad. Doing something although climate change does not exist is neutral while doing nothing is neutral too. Good or neutral by activity, neutral or bad by passivity.
To use an analogy, if you see thick smoke coming from the neighbour house, do you take a stroll and take a good look until you see flames or do you call the fire station?
Last edited by horatio : 05-27-2009 at 03:38 AM.