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March 07, 2013


Douglass Holmes

In order to get voters to sacrifice, they must be motivated. Unfortunately, those who are best at motivating us (by scaring us, or appealing to our moral interests) are probably not good at deciding what sacrifices will actually result in a beneficial result. President Bush made the case for war in Iraq which certainly called for sacrifice. Some think the result (no more Saddam) worth it. Others question if the benefits were quite worth the treasure and blood spent. Still others think it a complete waste of money and human life that left us worse off. But, we all expected the war to come to an end in a few years!
In the war on global warming, how likely are we to make the decisions that will achieve a benefit for the costly sacrifices that we must make? How long will the war last?
I am more skeptical of anyone's ability to allocate resources in the war against global warming than the most anti-war activist was about our war in Iraq. Windmills? Money wasted. Carbon capture? Just a way to make electricity more expensive. Carbon taxes? Just a hindrance to the economic growth that the world needs to lift the less developed countries out of poverty.
I vote for economic growth, even if it means a little more CO2 now. It will mean a lot less pollution in general in the future. And, it will bring us more options in dealing with future problems.

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