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Discussion: (27 comments)

  1. I can’t disagree more with this article. Climate change is a dead issue. Cap and trade is just another money grab by the government and more unnecessary government regulation.

    When will Republicans learn that once the government gets involved in a market it’s going to be worse. Also, even if the dire predictions of the future are correct the models used to predict the climate apocalypse suggest we’re heading in that direction even if we go back to the stone age.

    Ceding more control over to the government in hopes that younger voters (the most uninformed voting bloc) will care is incredibly naive.

  2. Larry Jones

    The top 3 voter priorities are economy, jobs, and the deficit. Any sort of new tax to tackle global warming, which is not a priority for voters, will only make it harder for the GOP to tackle real priorities that people care about it.

    This is some terrible advice.

  3. largebill

    I have to ask if this was meant as satire. We are finally getting through to some people that the whole thing was a scam and you’re suggesting that now we sign on to the scam and look like complete idiots? NO! We should continue to press the issue and make it very clear that political hacks mislead them with the clear purpose of funneling tax dollars to political allies. This hoax should be used to remind everyone to be very skeptical of half-wit politicians claiming to be scientists.

  4. LeftCoastObjectivist

    So, if a majority of voters believe in UFO visits to Earth, the GOP should push for government studies to mitigate the problem? What if popular sentiment shifts against the First Amendment?

    Politicians follow public opinion. Statesmen shape it through leadership, chiefly by education and adherence to principle. Does the GOP want to turn us from a republic to a direct democracy?

  5. TFHoffman

    The shortcomings of the approaches suggested in the piece are that they concede the premises that the climate is changing; that man has something to do with it; and (most importantly) that if we choose the right policies, we can get the climate change genie back in the bottle.

    Anthropogenic carbon dioxide is almost universally blamed for the alleged changes in climate, but the left’s (an many scientists’) prescription is to make dramatic reductions in the use of carbon fuels. As a practical matter, that won’t happen. Not here, not elsewhere in the world. It will be decades, if ever, before renewables can shoulder the same load now handled by carbon-based fuels. A carbon tax will make fuel more expensive, but won’t diminish their use much because there are no effect substitutes. In the end a carbon tax simply becomes revenue for the government without serving the purpose for which it was originally enacted.

    I think it is better for the GOP not to get bogged down on the question of whether or not the climate is changing; and on the question of whether fossil fuels play a substantive role in that change. Don’t concede the points, but move to a different argument.

    If I’m correct that the world will not readily or quickly reduce its dependence on fossil fuels, then I suggest the focus should be on how to adapt to the worst case effects of climate change. There’s work being done in that area, but you never hear it discussed.

    Geoengineering solutions may intrigue some, but I think most people will find this approach too risky. And for those who question the robustness of the existing climate models, trying to model climate impacts of some of the geoengineering proposals will seem like a fool’s errand.

  6. Shorter Jim: In the name of science, it’s time to ignore data and embrace environmentalist ideology and economic statism.

    AEI is really becoming conservatives’ indispensable source for pro-money printing/pro-social engineering/pro “management” of technological innovation/pro-global warming alarmism commentary & analysis.

  7. Tom Sullivan

    Jimmy P.: Earth stopped warming in 1998. The predicted location in the atmosphere of extreme warming (6 miles high, at the equator) shows zero sign of warming. The predicted cause of additional warming, positive feedback from increased humidity, has also failed to happen – humidity is in fact down noticably since the late 1940’s. Finally, CO2 has done about 95% of the warming which it is theoretically capable of. In summary, warming is not happening, not where it was predicted, not how it was supposed to happen, and the initial CO2 warming, if there was any, has run its course. I demand unconditional surrender.

  8. “Climate-Change” is a re-branding term and the climate always changes. Let’s get back to the original claims that man-made CO2 (incidentally, a tiny margin of a tiny fractions of the atmosphere) causes warming due to a “greenhouse” effect; and further this warming will be somehow bad/catastrophic – the straight-up original term was “Man-Made-Global-Warming”. But it has failed to continue warming now for probably more than 15 years – I say “probably” because the temperature of the “globe” is impossible to precisely measure; the closest measure we have is the satellite records and they show no on-going warming in direct contradiction to computer modeled predictions.

    And CO2 continues to rise at something like 2 parts/million per year with the only direct observable fact being that Earth is getting greener as more plants and trees benefit from the modestly richer in CO2 atmosphere.

    Man-Made-Global-Warming: just another fad. Remember the ’70s with the “imminent ice-age” caused by Man-Made pollution and the inevitable famines to follow? (see Erlich/Holdren). The GOP should ignore “Climate-Change” as an issue. It is no issue, it is (was) a fashionable fad that has hopefully run its course, and more than likely since the Pacific decadal oscillation is turning negative we will see cooler temperatures.

  9. Eric Johnson

    Then we see a Forbes story like this one that says there is evidence we may be entering a cooling period.

  10. Robb Coleman

    Great posts all. Also ignored by the charlatans of global warming is that the forecasts of warming were done when China and India had tiny economies and when China was not the number one greenhouse gas producer. It should have been off the charts instead of showing no warming. If those obsessing about the North Pole Icebergs and Polar Bears (whose pop quadrupled but whatever) had focused on Antarctic Ice they would have predicted an ice age. We have evidence of farming in northern Greenland in the 1300’s, a few years before SUV’s and hockey stick wielding scientists were around to collect guilt-edged-gilt. Shocked that professors given million dollar grants to study global warming found evidence of man-made global warming and the need for more funding of studies.

  11. The earth has been cooling for the past 15 years. How in the he– is that global warming? It’s not. This is a complete hoax. Remember a few years ago they were calling it man made global warming. Then when that hoax was discovered they changed to “climate change”. What a joke. The climate always changes and always will. These idiots just never give up on this nonsense. I guess there’s just too much money at stake for them to steal.

  12. Why is it that the solution to the world’s problems always seems to involve giving the government more money (as in cap and trade)?

    This is all folly. CO2 is a trace gas that has some limited greenhouse effect, but is by no means a existential threat (it’s all about feedbacks). But even if it was, the greater issue is that except for austerity measures that would take us back to the bronze age, there is no way to do a damn thing about it.

    If for whatever reason the world warms, then get out of the way. All of nature moves to cooler climes when confronted with environmental warming, why can’t man?

    To knuckle under to the politicians desperate to separate you from your money will do nothing more than lower our standard of living which grossly enriching the Al Gores of the world.

    Resist the hogwash.

  13. Ellie Lockwood

    I recycle, I compost, I have 2 rain barrels and reusable grocery bags, but I have no interest in see the Eco-terrorists completely destroy the US economy with their unprovable theories.

  14. We are FINALLY making inroads to educating people on the hoax and now you want to acknowledge the global warming religion as fact? I don’t get it. I want somebody to definitively tell me what is going to adversely happen to our lives and at what global temperature it is going to happen. I want somebody to tell me what the “correct” global temperature is, because how will we know if after spending trillions of dollars, we have achieved our goal?
    And therein lies the rub. Nobody will because they can’t. If in fact our global temperature is rising, I’ll be willing to bet that is has something to do with that big yellow ball in the sky.

  15. Joe Hanson

    Resume the construction of nuclear power plants. We’ll also need to replace existing ones.

  16. David Boudreau

    Sounds like the author wants the GOP to go back to being “me-too” Republicans — never really challenge the left’s ideas, no matter how wrong-headed they are, just propose to move more slowly and avoid the debate. No wonder Democrats win, with the Republicans implicitly agreeing with them.

  17. Making the government ever bigger and more intrusive on the most ridiculous of excuses is pro-GOP, huh? Always nice to hear from another fake Republican.

  18. FranInAtlanta

    While I have great respect for you as an economist, my current understanding of the science (and I have a background in science) moves me away from supporting cap and trade. Am thinking you could understand discussions at and would suggest some reading there. I would like to spend government dollars on how we mitigate climate and less on trying to change it (where I think we can only trim at the edges) and spend fewer dollars overall.

  19. juandos

    There’s nothing “conservative” about making an all-or-nothing bet that climate science is completely wrong“…

    Also you forgot to add there is nothing intelligent about pursuing this fraud unless its to put those attempting to foist this fraud off on the taxpayers as the lying, thieving, scammers they are…

    Watts Up With That?

  20. FranInAtlanta

    While I have great respect for you as an economist, I would suggest that you spend some time at

  21. The title should have read: Reaching across the aisle for the Sun Dial…

  22. Patrick M

    “Republicans would be wise to ignore such triumphalism.”

    There’s nothing ‘triumphal’ about a true scientific skepticism towards the biggest scientific hoax – the “hockey stick” – since Piltdown Man. As of today, in 2013, we have seen prior models like Hansen’s NASA models disputed by empirical data. We’ve seen scary predictions of 3C temperature increases by 2010 debunked and disproved.

    When the facts disagree with models, predictions and fearmongering … change your models, predications and fears. What do YOU do?

    ” There’s nothing “conservative” about making an all-or-nothing bet that climate science is completely wrong.”

    This is an insulting statement on 2 levels. First ‘climate science’ is not some faith-based thing is it? If that doesnt embrace the scientific contributions of the ‘skpetics’ that have been proven more right than the ‘Team Hockey Stick’ scientists, its not science at all but a cult. Claims of ‘consensus’ are scientifically illiterate and factually incorrect. What a dreadful way to make the divisions worse.

    Second, this is not all-or-nothing. Co2 rise is actually benign, both as its plant food and slight temperature increases improve the biosphere and bio-diversity.

    Better approach: Call on Republicans to EMBRACE THE REAL AND HONEST SCIENCE ON CLIMATOLOGY!
    1. That CO2 is benign.
    2. That Co2 increases are happening
    3. That temperature increases are far less than modelled and thus the MODELS ARE NOT RIGHT and we need better models.
    4. Until we get better models any attempts of further govt intervention is wrong, perverse and based on faulty data, faulty science and bad logic.
    So … support science and opposes frauds and hoaxes.

  23. NickDanger

    I used to think that you were brilliant. Now I get it. You regurgitate other’s thinking. I have a PhD in heat and mass transfer, as well as having spent years examining environmental statistics. CO2 is in fact a global warming gas, but the concentration level is far above the point where it has much of an impact. It basically follows Beer’s law. In looking at the absorption spectra, we are well into the point of “diminishing returns” on how well CO2 works as a greenhouse gas.

    In short, you are an idiot. At least when it comes to science. Stick to what you know and we may forget that this idiocy.

  24. Wow. Nothing left for me to say. I especially like the “you are an idiot” comment.

    I’ve noticed over the last couple weeks that your position on almost everything you write about is dead wrong. And this gives me deep doubts about the entire Enterprise Institute

  25. Bruce Stram

    I’m on record for years arguing that that advocates of climate change policy were guilty of overreach and very faulty policy strategy. That said, the ice does keep melting.

    A small carbon tax could provide stable funding for energy research and development that could be directed toward finding lower cost, more secure, and non carbon based resources.

  26. Is it really wise policy? We admit we do not understand the science of climate change sufficient to understand the total effecs of rising carbon dioxide levels. Yet we would sponsor climate modification schemes that could possibly make matters worse (all for only about $20-30 billion per year?).

  27. FranInAtlanta

    Having a background in mathematics and statistics and having gone through many of the papers and stats on global warming, I am a skeptic. To date, much of the funding has been on how to hold back global warming, but if you look at the numbers you will see that most of the suggestions are similar to bailing a flooded canoe with a drinking glass (or, maybe, even a thimble). My take is that we should instead concentrate our research on how we adapt to changing climate.

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