A More-Scientific Approach to Dealing with Climate Change


The suspicious assumption of climate-change hysteria is that if the proclaimed science is accurate, then the policies of the hysterics obviously follow.  We should question whether an economic system that restricts rights and consolidates power would be the solution at a time when the world especially needs ingenuity and progress if we rightly avoid such a system when we aren’t in desperate need of innovation.  (The inference of alarmists’ attitude, of course, is that freedom and inalienable rights are luxuries with which we must dispense once they’ve proven their science.)

In an op-ed in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, David Henderson and John Cochrane of the Hoover Institution suggest a different attitude:

… spread over a century, the costs of moving and adapting are not as imposing as they seem. Rotterdam’s dikes are expensive, but not prohibitively so. Most buildings are rebuilt about every 50 years. If we simply stopped building in flood-prone areas and started building on higher ground, even the costs of moving cities would be bearable. Migration is costly. But much of the world’s population moved from farms to cities in the 20th century. Allowing people to move to better climates in the 21st will be equally possible. Such investments in climate adaptation are small compared with the investments we will regularly make in houses, businesses, infrastructure and education.

And economics is the central question—unlike with other environmental problems such as chemical pollution. Carbon dioxide hurts nobody’s health. It’s good for plants. Climate change need not endanger anyone. If it did—and you do hear such claims—then living in hot Arizona rather than cool Maine, or living with Louisiana’s frequent floods, would be considered a health catastrophe today.

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Some methods of conning people involve a manufactured sense of urgency to whisk the victim past the opportunity for reflection.  Henderson and Cochrane have it right:  “Strategic waiting is a rational response to a slow-moving, uncertain peril with fast-changing technology.”

Especially in sluggard Rhode Island, if time really is of the essence, we should stop binding our people with ideologically derived restrictions and allow dynamism to get us to a surer economic footing.

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  • Rhett Hardwick

    Australian meteorologists have been caught changing temperature data from two crucial weather stations. Would it surprise you that they were altering the numbers to show warmer temperatures?

    Daily Caller:

  • BasicCaruso

    Great, listen to the Dutch…


    “We can’t just keep building higher levees, because we will end up living behind 10-meter walls,” [Harold van Waveren, a senior government adviser] said. “We need to give the rivers more places to flow. Protection against climate change is only as strong as the weakest link in the chain, and the chain in our case includes not just the big gates and dams at the sea but a whole philosophy of spatial planning, crisis management, children’s education, online apps and public spaces.”

    “If there is a shooting in a bar, I am asked a million questions,” [Rotterdam’s mayor, Ahmed Aboutaleb] said of his city. “But if I say everyone should own a boat because we predict a tremendous increase in the intensity of rain, nobody questions the politics. Rotterdam lies in the most vulnerable part of the Netherlands, both economically and geographically. If the water comes in, from the rivers or the sea, we can evacuate maybe 15 out of 100 people. So evacuation isn’t an option. We can escape only into high buildings. We have no choice. We must learn to live with water.”

    • Rhett Hardwick

      The most recent reports from NASA indicate sea levels are falling, not rising.

      Since the North Polar ice cap “floats” we have little to fear there. Antarctica, supported by a continent, is the problem

      Hasn’t Rotterdam already moved itself inland quite a few miles? I think post WWII.

      • BasicCaruso

        We actually agree that glaciers are the bigger concern. NASA reports a current sea level rise of 3.4mm/year, although if you pick a limited enough data set you can draw inferences not supported by NASA or the actual data.

        A new study says that the pace of sea level rise has increased significantly over the past quarter-century, with the thawing of Greenland’s ice sheet playing a major role in the steady rise of the oceans.

        Reporting in the journal Nature Climate Change, a team of scientists from China, Australia, and the U.S. said that the rate of sea level rise increased to 3.3 millimeters (0.13 inch) in 2014 from 2.2 millimeters in 1993. If the 2014 rate were to continue, global sea levels would rise by 33 centimeters (13 inches) this century. But scientists say that as the melting of glaciers and massive ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica speeds up this century as temperatures increase, the rate of sea level rise is expected to jump sharply, with many researchers predicting increases of 3 to 6 feet by 2100.

        The latest study, released Monday, said that Greenland’s ice sheet accounted for more than 25 percent of sea level rise in 2014, compared to just 5 percent in 1993. Melting of glaciers in the Himalayas, the Andes, and Antarctica also added to the faster rate of sea level rise, as did the thermal expansion of water as oceans warm.

        “This is a major warning to us about the dangers of a sea level rise that will continue for many centuries even after global warming is stopped,” said Peter Wadhams of the University of Cambridge, who was not involved in the study.

        • Rhett Hardwick

          “There is no one more difficult to make understand, than someone who is paid not to understand” Upton SInclair

          All of the sources you cite are composed by people who are thoroughly invested in, and draw their pay, from “global warming”.

          ” a team of scientists from China, Australia, and the U.S.” Just this week, Australia was caught altering their data to conform to the desired result.

          • BasicCaruso

            LOL, you cited NASA. That’s the funny thing about scientific research… by and large conducted by professional scientists.

          • Rhett Hardwick

            “by and large conducted by professional scientists”
            The same “NASA Scientist” who pushed the “coming ice age” is now a lead voice for “global warming”. You go where the money is.

          • Mike678

            Faith trumps rationality for some.

  • BasicCaruso

    Meanwhile, more current effects in the news…

    59,000 farmer suicides in India over 30 years may be linked to climate change, study says
    According to one estimate cited in Carleton’s article, India could experience an average temperature rise of 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit (3 degrees Celsius). The study suggests that the implications for India’s mostly rural population could be devastating. “My findings suggest that this warming will be accompanied by a rising number of lives lost to self-harm,” she writes.

  • BasicCaruso

    Contradicting Trump’s claims that climate change is a “hoax,” the draft report representing the consensus of 13 federal agencies concludes that the evidence global warming is being driven by human activities is “unambiguous.” That directly undercuts statements by Trump and his Cabinet casting doubt on whether the warming observed around the globe is being primarily driven by man-made carbon pollution.

    “There are no alternative explanations, and no natural cycles are found in the observational record that can explain the observed changes in climate,” says the report, citing thousands of peer-reviewed studies. “Evidence for a changing climate abounds, from the top of the atmosphere to the depths of the oceans.”

    • Mike678

      More of the same. Yes, Climate changes. Proof that Man is the major driver? Nada. Thanks Russ….