Category — Dessler, Andrew ( vs. Perry)
I try not to play favorites between Republicans and Democrats when it comes to supporting or undermining the ideal of what Ludwig von Mises called the free and prosperous commonwealth. To this end, I have criticized Gov. Perry for his unfortunate windpower positions in Texas (see here and here), and I will do so again to the extent he buys into a government role in “green energy.”
Dessler Weighs In
A current spat is ongoing between Texas A&M climatologist Andrew Dessler and Perry, a front-runner for the Republican nomination for president of the United States, over global warming science and policy.
Dr. Dessler has written two opinion-page editorials published by the Houston Chronicle in recent months (July 10th and September 2nd) arguing that the science is settled in favor of climate alarm, meriting proactive public policy. And he takes pains to argue that he is an expert and real experts agree with him–knowing that the majority of the public does not trust his view. (The majority of nonclimate scientists, at least judging from the 37,000+ signatories here, also do not trust the climatologists, an interesting story in itself).
And with his out-there views, Dessler goes right after Gov. Perry, a fellow Texas Aggie and climate ‘skeptic’ (or ‘ultra-skeptic’).
In response to Dessler’s second op-ed, the Houston Chronicle published my letter-to-the-editor last week. My (necessarily brief) submission read:
Climate scientist Andrew Dessler of Texas A&M makes a lawyer’s brief for climate alarmism and public policy activism. Gov. Perry would do well to make these points in refutation.
One, there is much we do not know about natural and/or human effects on climate, much of which points toward a benign if not positive view of future climate change.
Two, higher atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide have many positive economic and ecological benefits, not only costs.
Three, economists cannot make a case for regulating carbon emissions short of (falsely) assuming the problem, the solution, and perfect government implementation of the solution.
And four, political attempts to curb fossil fuel usage are all pain and no gain.
In place of Big Brother, a far better approach would be to employ carbon-based energies to make us wealthier to deal with whatever future problems may arise—climate, weather or otherwise. [Read more →]
September 12, 2011 51 Comments