Wednesday, December 10, 2014
John Stossel, after interviewing
Alex Epstein of the Center for Industrial Progress, treats us to an evisceration
of many of the anthropogenic global warming-based arguments used to justify the
state crippling our economy:
Let's agree for the sake of argument that this recent warming was partly caused by humanity. Let's also agree that there are some negative effects, including more frequent coastal flooding or longer droughts.I have noted before that cost-benefit analyses of improper governmental actions almost always fail to account for the cost of lost freedom, but what an example!
If we agree that those are costs, shouldn't we also look at the benefits? Much of modern civilization owes its existence to our use of the fossil fuels that produce the greenhouse gasses.
I don't see that civilization as misfortune. I wish climate alarmists would weigh its accomplishments against the relatively small downsides of climate change. One of industry's biggest accomplishments is creating a world where far fewer of us are likely to die because of weather.
Alex Epstein's book The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels documents the rapidly shrinking number of human beings killed by storms, floods and other climate events thanks largely to ever-growing industry, fueled mainly by oil, natural gas and coal. [minor format edits, bold and link added]
Epstein has not just called the AGW alarmists on this omission, but has shown us how big an error this really is, in the form of what free men have succeeded in doing.
As the title of Epstein's book indicates, cost-benefit analysis is not enough to fight global warming hysteria. That said, it is clear that what these scare-mongers have been misusing is, in fact, an important part of making the case against them.