Wednesday, June 06, 2007

NASA Chief Questions Urgency of Global Warming

I love it when people talk straight.

From the interview:
Interviewer: Do you have any doubt that this is a problem that mankind has to wrestle with?

Michael Griffin: I have no doubt that … a trend of global warming exists. I am not sure that it is fair to say that it is a problem we must wrestle with. To assume that it is a problem is to assume that the state of Earth's climate today is the optimal climate, the best climate that we could have or ever have had and that we need to take steps to make sure that it doesn't change. First of all, I don't think it's within the power of human beings to assure that the climate does not change, as millions of years of history have shown. And second of all, I guess I would ask which human beings — where and when — are to be accorded the privilege of deciding that this particular climate that we have right here today, right now is the best climate for all other human beings. I think that's a rather arrogant position for people to take. (emphasis mine)


scout said...

oh the gobbelty goop! clear minds make for clear what does this tell you about this guy :D

Ron said...

Hiya Scout!!!! Pleasure to have you drop by.

I think the guy has a good point.

Mike said...

Good one Ron. while I am quite sure that Global warming is real and is caused by human activity, this raises the real issue that has not been debated:

Can we or should we "do" anything? Are our resources better spent preparing for the consequences of global warming rather than trying to prevent it?

Ron said...

I am quite sure that global warming is real and I have no doubt there is some human component to it. I think there is very little if any evidence that warming is primarily people-caused.

I think it's prudent for us to do what we can in large and small ways; which is to say: I think it makes sense to look at ways we can reduce emissions and other forms of pollution, especially at an individual and corporate level. And I'm all in favour of being able to sue polluters based on violations of property rights.

I'm not at all sure government "solutions" are necessary or will even work. The unintended consequences (Bastiat: What is Seen and What is Not Seen) of government action, especially hastily devised, vote-motivated actions, often make the problems worse, not better.

The situation with corn and ethanol is one example of uninteneded consequences: future generations might be *marginally* better off in some unknown way, but government subsidies for corn grown for ethanol have made it so third-world people are starving today.

Glad to see you drop by.