Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Solutions Not from Copenhagen

John Tierney, myself, and a few others are showing how green we are by NOT flying to Copenhagen to discuss global warming. Ross McKitrick, an economist at the University of Guelph in Ontario has a better solution. From Tierney's article:

"To end this political stalemate, Dr. McKitrick proposes calling each side’s bluff. He suggests imposing financial penalties on carbon emissions that would be set according to the temperature in the earth’s atmosphere. The penalties could start off small enough to be politically palatable to skeptical voters.

If the skeptics are right and the earth isn’t warming, then the penalties for burning carbon would stay small or maybe even disappear. But if the climate modelers and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are correct about the atmosphere heating up, then the penalties would quickly, and automatically, rise.

'Either way we get a sensible outcome,' Dr. McKitrick argues. 'The only people who lose will be those whose positions were disingenuous, such as opponents of greenhouse policy who claim to be skeptical while privately believing greenhouse warming is a crisis, or proponents of greenhouse gas emission cuts who neither understand nor believe the I.P.C.C. projections, but invoke them as a convenient argument on behalf of policies they want on other grounds even if global warming turns out to be untrue.'"

This way everyone puts their money where their mouth is.