A Conservative’s Approach to Combating Climate Change

June 11, 2012 • Climate Change, United States, Daily Email Recap

Here is post made in The Atlantic, by Jonathan H. Adler, a professor at the Case Western Reserve University School of Law. You are encouraged to click through to read the article, as it is infused with many hyper-links which may be of interest. See: http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/05/a-conservatives-approach-to-combating-climate-change/257827/

A Conservative’s Approach to Combating Climate Change

May 30 2012, 11:11 AM ET

No environmental issue is more polarizing than global climate change.  Many on the left fear increases in atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases threaten an environmental apocalypse while many on the right believe anthropogenic global warming is much ado about nothing and, at worst, a hoax.  Both sides pretend as if the climate policy debate is, first and foremost, about science, rather than policy. This is not so. There is substantial uncertainty about the scope, scale, and consequences of anthropogenic warming, and will be for some time, but this is not sufficient justification for ignoring global warming or pretending that climate change is not a serious problem.

Though my political leanings are most definitely right-of-center, and it would be convenient to believe otherwise, I believe there is sufficient evidence that global warming is a serious environmental concern.  I have worked on this issue for twenty years, including a decade at the Competitive Enterprise Institute where I edited this book. I believe human activities have contributed to increases in greenhouse concentrations, and these increases can be expected to produce a gradual increase in global mean temperatures. While substantial uncertainties remain as to the precise consequences of this increase and consequent temperature rise, there is reason to believe many of the effects will be quite negative.  Even if some parts of the world were to benefit from a modest temperature increase — due to, say, a lengthened growing season — others will almost certainly lose.

Many so-called skeptics note that environmental activists and some climate scientists exaggerate the likely effects of anthropogenic warming, distorting scientific findings and overstating the extent to which contemporary events (hurricanes, etc.) may be linked to human activity to date.  But the excesses of climate activists and bad behavior by politically active scientists (and the IPCC) do not, and should not, discredit the underlying science, or justify excoriating those who reach a different conclusion.  Indeed, most skeptics within the scientific community readily accept the basic science.  They contest the more extreme climate projections, but accept the basic scientific claims. Take, for example, Patrick Michaels of the Cato Institute.  In one of his recent books, Climate of Extremes: The Global Warming Science They Don’t Want You to Know (co-authored with Robert Balling, another prominent “skeptic”), Michaels readily acknowledges that there is a warming trend and that human activity shares some of the blame.

To read the full article, please click here: http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/05/a-conservatives-approach-to-combating-climate-change/257827/

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