by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
You’ll be shocked — shocked! — to learn that some enterprising souls stand to make big money from the alarmism associated with climate policy. Rubert Darwall writes about the issue for Real Clear Energy.
In normal times, before the Climate Emergency, it would be up to financiers and investors to ask the tough, unsentimental questions, such as: What’s the return on investment? How long is the payback period? But not when it comes to climate change. In its 2018 1.5? Special Report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) declined to conduct a cost-benefit analysis of the net-zero target. The target, the IPCC declared, implies “risk assessments and value judgments” – as if this nullified the need to assess whether the benefits of net-zero outweigh the costs.
At the end of his Reith lecture, [Mark] Carney was asked by historian Niall Ferguson if he’d read Bjorn Lomborg’s most recent book, False Alarm. Lomborg calculates that each $1 spent on cutting greenhouse gas emissions yields only 11 cents of future climate benefits. With trillions being spent on climate change, this estimate implies that a colossal burden is being placed on the current generation – especially those who can least afford to bear it – for little climate gain. Ignorance is no defense; nonetheless, Carney tried it. No, he hadn’t read Lomborg’s book, Carney answered Ferguson. He dismissed Lomborg’s as a “classic economic approach,” though he offered no data or evidence to show why Lomborg was wrong. …
… A February 2021 paper by David Rode and Paul Fischbeck of Carnegie Mellon University examines the pervasiveness of apocalyptic forecasts of climate change. “The only observations we have of prior apocalyptic forecasts are of forecast failures,” they note. “There is no rational model of decision making that attributes increasing credibility to forecasts upon successive failures.” By the end of 2020, 61% of the predictions had already expired. The average time horizon before a climate apocalypse for the predictions made before 2000 was 22 years; for those made since 2000, it was 21 years. Across half a century of forecasts, the apocalypse is always around 20 years out.