Friday, February 5, 2010

Global Warming

Talking about global warming is in style. We have climate conferences, politicians release new laws (e.g. making CO2 legally a poison), and researchers have funding to study these issues. That is good. A healthy and fair discussion is always beneficial.

Before one makes up one's mind it is also good to hear both sides of the argument. Here is a very eloquent presentation arguing that man-made actions are not the core cause for catastrophic climate change. Warren Meyer who runs the blog has put together this 90-minute video presentation entitled "Catastrophe Denied: The Science of the Skeptics Position". It has been updated in 2010. He presents his case well. Viewing this presentation is highly recommended for anyone wanting to form an opinion on climate change. A more casual discussion is here.

Many people will find it easy to agree with him on some or even many points. There are many factors regarding climate change that we are unaware of, and we should be humble enough to admit that our research and understanding are just scratching the surface and are based on many - possibly arguable - assumptions. That does not mean we should not pro-actively work and act for better environmental protection. I very much agree with the author that the approach currently pushed by US politicians is terrible: a CO2 trading system will favor special interest groups and not lead to true environmental benefits. Such a system will be twisted to make the rich richer and the poor poorer. Direct carbon taxation or equivalent pollution cleanup fees are more productive, easier to implement and more fair. I furthermore agree that money can be spent on lower-hanging fruit in the environmental protection area with more environmental bang for a buck than betting whole economies on a single CO2 card game.

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