by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Ian Tuttle of National Review Online explains why climate alarmists are all wet when they attempt to link their pet cause to unusual weather events like the storms that have devastated parts of Texas and Oklahoma.
… [I]t should be clear just how insupportable are the easy links being drawn by climate-change alarmists in the media. And, more important, the ignorance of scientists is the reason that sweeping public-policy addressing climate change is wrongheaded.
By linking the storms in Houston and climate change, Slate and ThinkProgress and their ilk are implicitly claiming that changes in public policy could spare Americans similar devastation in the future. But that is nonsense. Science is not yet capable of predicting when El Niño will occur, let alone what consequences it is likely to have on human populations. There is not much reason to think that even the most dramatic public-policy changes would reduce the intensity or frequency of catastrophic weather events — and even if we suppose that public-policy changes could make a difference, it is quite possible that the cost would far outweigh the benefit. Those advocating policy changes should ask themselves: According to their own hypotheses, how many power plants would need to be shut down to turn Houston’s next perilous deluge into a tolerable drizzle?
Among the great triumphs of scientific inquiry over the past 300 years is the ability of man to insulate himself against nature’s vicissitudes, and even to channel, to an astonishing degree, the forces of nature to his benefit. Perhaps our understanding of climate will rise to the same heights someday. But that day is not now, and those who believe that they can legislate solutions to problems they do not fully understand are certain to create more troubles than they will prevent.