The innocent layperson may have gotten the idea that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) represented the “consensus” view that urgent government action is needed to avert catastrophic impacts on humanity.
And yet, as Jim Manzi’s recent exchange with uber-alarmist Joe Romm makes perfectly clear, even the latest IPCC report punctures holes in the alarmist claims. Perhaps without realizing it, Romm implicitly admits that the IPCC AR4 report never supported the alarmist view.
Manzi Uses the IPCC to Take Down Al Gore
In his relatively new position as “in-house critic” at The New Republic, Manzi criticized a characteristically alarmist piece that Al Gore had published in the same venue. Manzi wanted to show that Gore was misleading the public on what the “scientific consensus” actually had to say about the risks of climate change.…
Jim Manzi has a very good post introducing the analysis of costs and benefits of Waxman-Markey. Here I want to follow up on Manzi’s great start, by showing that Chip Knappenberger’s estimate of the climate benefits of Waxman-Markey (W-M) actually erred on the side of optimism in its assumptions.
Specifically, Knappenberger very conservatively ignored the problem of “leakage”–he didn’t model the fact that unilateral U.S. carbon caps would actually increase the rate at which other countries’ own emissions grow. What’s worse, even if the entire world signed on to the aggressive emission schedule in W-M, the resulting environmental benefits would be achieved at a staggering cost in terms of lost economic output.
No matter how you slice it–whether the U.S. goes it alone, or the rest of the world signs on too–the environmental benefits of W-M are swamped by its economic costs.…