“We Are Taking Chemotherapy for a Cold” — Matt Ridley on Climate Policy

by Marlo Lewis on January 28, 2013

in Blog, Features

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The UK-based Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) has published prize-winning author Matt Ridley’s A Lukewarmer’s Ten Tests: What It Would Take to Persuade Me that Current Climate Policy Makes Sense

For coercive decarbonization to make sense, Ridley argues, climate alarmists would have persuade us of ten things, none of which is plausible in light of either recent science, economic data, or moral common sense.

Such articles of alarmist faith include the propositions that the urban heat island effect has been fully purged from the surface temperature record, water vapor and cloud feedbacks will eventually amplify the modest observed warming trend since 1979, mankind will fail to adapt to climate change even though there has already been a 98% reduction in the probability of death from extreme weather since the 1920s, and today’s relatively poor generation should bear the cost of damages that may not materialize until a far wealthier future generation.

Ridley concludes that the UK’s “current energy and climate policy is probably more dangerous, both economically and ecologically, than climate change itself.”

Ridley is well aware of the argument that “even a very small probability of a very large and dangerous change in the climate justifies drastic action.” But he notes that ”Pascal’s wager cuts both ways.” 

To climate alarmists, Ridley would reply that “a very small probability of a very large and dangerous effect from the adoption of large-scale renewable energy, reduced economic growth through carbon taxes or geo-engineering also justifies extreme caution.” Big picture: “At the moment, it seems highly likely that the cure is worse than the disease. We are taking chemotherapy for a cold.”

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