No change?

As you are probably aware I am opposed to the hysteria concerning climate change, and strongly opposed to policies that throw all cost-benefit analysis out the window, imposing huge costs on us all without having any clear advantages.

Climate Action Network Europe (CAN) — and I admit I know almost nothing about the organisation — believes it is us individuals who should change lifestyles in order to save the planet. In an interview in EU Observer a representative says we hardly need to change at all, only to then provide a list of changes that might seem small when listed but still require both effort and habits that are less comfortable. These changes might all help a little bit, but in the big scheme of things they will not provide very great benefits to the individual who does them unless everybody else does too, and no matter how trivial these changes (like eating less meat) should be considered as costs.

The only way to have this take effect is for politicians to alter incentives, through changed taxes or new laws, but that is hardly desirable. Expecting people to behave like angels, like CAN, is never a good idea, and the only effect of it is likely to be making people feel bad for not saving the world, while ultimately they realise that they really can’t.

The best way to deal with climate change, no matter why it is actually happening is economic growth and, implied by that, technological progress. By increasing the resources we have available, and by improving our technology and bettering our knowledge, we will both have better tools to adapt to changes — key when it comes to survival — and better data to make a proper cost-benefit analysis to determine what, if anything, should be done.

While hysteria and single minded “do-this-or-die” style thinking dominates we will only manage to hurt ourselves. In ten years I bet this whole thing looks a bit silly.


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