Really? This is all it takes to stop global warming?

OK, this headline from MSNBC really set me off – G-8 agrees to cap on global temperatures.

The article begins, “The Group of Eight industrialized nations joined with developing countries in agreeing Wednesday that average global temperatures shouldn’t increase by more than 2 degrees Celsius in a significant new acknowledgement in the fight against global warming.” Really!

The hubris of people to think that all they have to do is vote and it shall be so is incredible. Do they really think that is all they have to do?

Global warming (or climate change as it is now known – in an obvious attempt to hedge against the globe cooling) comes down to four questions.

  1. Is the temperature of the earth rising?
  2. If it is rising, is that bad?
  3. If it is rising and it is bad, is human activity the cause?
  4. If it is rising, and it is bad, and human activity is the cause, can we do anything to stop it and at what cost?

The answers are: Probably, maybe, no one really knows, and a lot.

I would say that there is some consensus among scientists that the mean temperature of the Earth is rising, but and this is a big but, is that bad? It might be, but it might not be. Far more people, about ten times, die of exposure to cold than to heat. Warming a little would reduce the death tolls.

Despite what you hear in the media, while there in consensus on warming, there is very little to no consensus that it is attributable to human activity. It is all conjecture, there is no scientific proof.

What there is proof is that the costs would be astronomical both in terms of real dollars and in terms of keeping developing countries from emerging out of poverty.

If you are really interesting in reading the Inconvenient Truth spend some time at the Cato Institute’s page devoted to the topic.