Thursday, December 27, 2007

Climate Change

Let me be honest. I've been following the guys over at the Progressive Economics Forum simply because I wanted to criticize something they've written for awhile. But a recent post on climate change reminded me of something that I find irritating in general.

For some reason, there appears to be a mass aversion to looking at climate change in a reasonable light. Lomborg is bent on attacking any action proposing to remedy it. The linked post is dedicated to the idea of fighting it.

However, it is a fact that any change in global climate confers costs and benefits. Living in Newfoundland, I would say with great certainty that an increased temperature would bring benefits - we spend a lot more on heat and snowclearing than we do on air conditioning and sunscreen. Further, if we accept that being an epsilon away from absolute zero is undesirable, and that anything above 1000 celsius is undesirable, there must be at least one optimum in the middle.

I'm not advocating terraforming (yet), but I think that the debate could use a healthy injection of economic theory, rather than just economic empirics.

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