Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Researchers: "Global Warming Has Stopped"

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee have come up with another theory to explain climate change -- "synchronized chaos." (Too complicated for here; read the article to get the gist.)

Among other comments, researcher Dr. Anastasios Tsonis said this: ""The research team has found the warming trend of the past 30 years has stopped and in fact global temperatures have leveled off since 2001."


Bhuvan Chand said...

Combating climate change may not be a question of who will carry the burden but could instead be a rush for the benefits, according to new economic modeling presented at “Climate Change: Global Risks, Challenges & Decisions” hosted by the University of Copenhagen.

Contrary to current cost models for lowering greenhouse gases emissions and fighting climate change, a group of researchers from the University of Cambridge conclude that even very stringent reductions of can create a macroeconomic benefit, if governments go about it the right way.

“Where many current calculations get it wrong is in the assumption that more stringent measures will necessarily raise the overall cost, especially when there is substantial unemployment and underuse of capacity as there is today”, explains Terry Barker, Director of Cambridge Centre for Climate Change Mitigation Research (4CMR), Department of Land Economy, University of Cambridge and a member of the Scientific Steering Committee of the Congress.

wordkyle said...

Let's finish Barker's statement: "There is some evidence [emphasis mine - kw] that harder greenhouse gas targets and regulation may actually increase benefits through improved innovation and distribution of low carbon technologies, and increased revenues from taxes or permits."

This statement bears scrutiny. The main question is "benefits" to whom? The clear answer above is "the government." The reference to "increased revenue from taxes" confirms that the consumer is the benefactor, not the one who benefits.

Barker continues: "These revenues can be spent to further support new technology and to lower other indirect taxes, ensuring the fiscal neutrality of these measures."

This assumption is incredibly blind and naive. The first self-deception is that governments would spend the entire savings (if any) on more R&D, instead of social programs and entitlements (not to mention graft and corruption.) Next, he suggests that governments would abandon the very tactic -- raising taxes -- that gave them power in the first place. Doubtless, another crisis would arise that required more money.

Government has historically shown itself to be incredibly inefficient at accomplishing the simplest tasks. The effort could more effectively be exerted in providing incentives to the private sector -- not punishments ala increased regulations and taxes.

The entire argument is moot. The point of my original post is that, according to researchers, factors other than manmade emissions determine if the planet warms or cools. Allowing governments to increase taxes and fees because of a theory that is being increasingly disputed by reputable scientists is a political cause, not a scientific one.