Re: the usual hysterics over storms like Sandy “proving” that we need to drop carbon-based fuel like hot potatoes and throw all our hopes into wind/solar/unicorns
Now, it’s not that I don’t believe that the earth’s global temperatures aren’t affected by human action. Of course they are; it’s that I simultaneously doubt that human action has a deterministic role in the global climate, and that a few degrees of extra warmth is going to lead to any more natural disasters than would have occurred otherwise. It’s not like major storms and droughts and flooding never occurred before the Industrial Revolution – heck, we even had a Mini Ice Age in recorded history, why couldn’t we also have a Mini Warm Period? The thing is, I don’t believe in stability; I believe in the power to adapt. Conditions will always be changing, no matter what humans do – we can’t freeze the current climate conditions in place without damaging the planet’s natural rhythms, even if it would be convenient for our agriculture and coastal developments if we could.
That’s why I’m kind of amused by greenies who think that the position on the Right is to use carbon fuel forever and ever into the future. It’s not that we think we should be using coal and oil forever, it’s that the alternative technologies are simply not ready yet. If they were ready, they wouldn’t need massive government subsidies to get off the ground and then still die! Whereas coal and oil, if stripped of their own government subsidies (which they should be), would still be the primary fuel sources for the next decade or so. That’s the thing. We don’t need coal and oil to last for centuries, any more than 19th century industry needed whale oil to last for centuries. Eventually the Next New Thing will get its kinks worked out, and the old fuel source will be phased completely out. There’s no pressing need to pour tons of taxpayer money into making that happen a few years faster – if there were, Al Gore, et al. wouldn’t be jetting around the world and building massive, luxurious (carbon-fueled) homes. Put that money into adaptability instead, so that when the storms come, fewer people are hurt by them!