28 October 2009

Bret Stephens' Superfreakonomics Review: 'Climatologists, Like Everyone Else, Respond To Incentives In A Way That Shapes Their Conclusions'

Spot on, per usual (h/t Scott L.).

This week, Stephens takes aim at the Holy Church of Climate Change (formerly the Holy Church of Global Warmism). In it, he reviews Steven Leavitt & Stephen Dubner's follow-up to their smash-hit, Freakonomics.

In Superfreakonomics, they point out, very clearly, the way climate researchers respond to incentives like everyone else--that they aren't entirely disinterested observers. Additionally, they provide an honest look at some of the real costs and real possible solutions to global warming. Theirs is a small foray into a cost/benefit analysis of the global impacts of warming.

The response has been predictable. For Gore and other members of the Holy Alarmist Church of Climate Change, the solutions cannot possibly be based on a cost/benefit analysis or be relatively easy (even if they are). Stephens:
All these suggestions are, of course, horrifying to global warmists, who'd much prefer to spend in excess of a trillion dollars annually for the sake of reconceiving civilization as we know it, including not just what we drive or eat but how many children we have. And little wonder: As Newsweek's Stefan Theil points out, "climate change is the greatest new public-spending project in decades." Who, being a professional climatologist or EPA regulator, wouldn't want a piece of that action?

Part of the genius of Marxism, and a reason for its enduring appeal, is that it fed man's neurotic fear of social catastrophe while providing an avenue for moral transcendence. It's just the same with global warming, which is what makes the clear-eyed analysis in "SuperFreakonomics" so timely and important.
For them, global warming is a chance to reorder society entirely, earning huge profits (for Gore in Green Venture Capital and others in government rent-seeking--but it's all tied up together) and most importantly, acceding to themselves ever-greater amounts of power and control over the lives of men & women around the world.

Because they know better. Because they are smarter & more talented & more sophisticated & better educated & above all, more righteous than you.

So, if you don't want to be in the first group sent to the re-education camps (aka public schools where you're served small bits of reading, writing, & arithmetic, in between out-and-out global warming & other liberal indoctrination), you better prostrate yourself before the prophets of climate change destruction.

Oh, and don't forget to buy your carbon indulgences offsets

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