Home > Uncategorized > Global warming: let the planet decide?

Global warming: let the planet decide?

Ross McKitrick is a Canadian economist specializing in environmental economics and policy analysis.

In the weeks leading up to COP15 last year, McKitrick put forth a proposal for curbing greenhouse gas emissions that sounds so mind-blowingly sensible to me, there must be something wrong with it. But i haven’t seen any serious rebuttals yet, so i’m crossing my fingers…

The idea is to let planet be the referee: set up a system of carbon penalties that automatically adjust to the actual temperature changes in the Earth’s atmosphere. If temperatures rise, the penalties increase; if temperatures don’t change, the penalties stay small or even disappear.

“Either way we get a sensible outcome,” Dr. McKitrick argues. “The only people who lose will be those whose positions were disingenuous, such as opponents of greenhouse policy who claim to be skeptical while privately believing greenhouse warming is a crisis, or proponents of greenhouse gas emission cuts who neither understand nor believe the I.P.C.C. projections, but invoke them as a convenient argument on behalf of policies they want on other grounds even if global warming turns out to be untrue.”

New York Times article here.
McKitrick’s wikipedia page here.
McKitrick’s bio here.

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  1. February 17, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    If you are looking for a serious rebuttal, here it is.

    The Earth is warming. So the tax will be instated regardless if the warming is not man made.
    It is unclear whether man is causing it.
    CO2 levels follow the temperature of the Earth – Not the other way around.
    It is unfair to tax carbon emitters because the Earth is in a natural warming cycle.
    Once a new tax is in place, historically it is never repealed or reduced.
    Once the governments of the world start programs to spend the tax money, it will be politically impossible to stop the programs if the earth starts a cooling cycle.

    The argument McKitrick makes about people being disingenuous is a false argument because it assumes that people who believe that there is a warming trend also believe that it is caused by man. There are many people who believe in the warming trend, but think it is natural. I believe that Al Gore is one of these people because if he truly believed what he is preaching, he would be leading a greener lifestyle.

    If this is the case the people who lose are the people who are taxed for an effort that is insignificant.

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