“We created a way of raising standards of living that we can’t possibly pass on to our children. It has to collapse, unless adults stand up and say, ‘This is a Ponzi scheme. We have not generated real wealth, and we are destroying a livable climate.’”
– Joe Romm, quoted in Thomas Friedman, Is the Inflection Point Near?, New York Times, March 7, 2009.
“Is there any more single-minded, simple pleasure than viewing with alarm? At times it is even better than sex.”
—Kenneth Boulding (1970), p. 160. 
Are free-market optimists the dumb ones who jump off tall buildings and report that everything is fine, even breezy, on the way down? Or are those who fear, rant, and make this analogy bungee-jumping with reality?
The optimists have been jumping off buildings ever since Robert Thomas Malthus’s An Essay on Population was published in 1798–and not hitting the ground.…
The anti-industrial “green” movement, which once played nice with natural gas, is at war against hydraulic fracturing (fracing). Peak gas fears may be gone, and parasitic wind energy would crash without gas-fired generation to fill in, but an anti-energy agenda rules. What should be good news is parlayed into bad by the enemies of modernism.
Technology Jump–Societal Benefits
Horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing have boosted shale gas production from zero a few years ago to 10% of all U.S. energy supplies in 2012, observes energy analyst Daniel Yergin. Fracing has also increased U.S. oil production 25% since 2008 – almost all on state and private lands, and in the face of more federal land and resource withdrawals, permitting delays and declining public land production.
In the process, the fracing revolution created 1.7 million jobs in oil fields, equipment manufacturing, legal and information technology services, and other sectors.…
The Cato Institute’s Center for the Study of Science (which I am part of) will soon release the final version of its major report examining the potential impacts of climate change in the United States.
Addendum: Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States grew from our desire to show how the government report, after which the Cato report was modeled, could have/should have looked if the original scientists involved had included a more thorough (less narrow) review of the scientific literature and had not been obviously predisposed towards climate-change doom-and-gloom.
Cato’s “Addendum” title draws attention to the fact that the original 2009 report from the U.S. Global Climate Change Research Program (USGCRP) was incomplete and insufficient on the day it was published–and is out-of-date given peer-review studies of the last several years.…