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Global Warming and Reckless Precaution

Global Warming and Reckless Precaution

3 Mins
September 20, 2013

But this has not deterred European Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard from sticking to public policies meant to combat this shrinking problem, while she ignores the real and present catastrophic effects of those policies.

She argues that "Let's say that science, some decades from now, said 'we were wrong, it was not about climate' [i.e., global warming is not a problem], would it not in any case have been good to do many of things you have to do in order to combat climate change?" Further, “In a world with nine billion people … at the middle of this century, where literally billions of global citizens will still have to get out of poverty and enter the consuming middle classes, don't you think that anyway it makes a lot of sense to get more energy and resource efficient?"

But Hedergaard’s arguments promoting anti-global warming policies—even if there is no global warming problem—fly in the face of reality. Consider the assumptions of Hedergaard and all others who take the Al Gore party line on this issue:

First, the atmosphere is warming up significantly.

Second, this warming poses serious and highly probable threats to the health and safety of large numbers of people.

Third, the probable benefits of warming—e.g., longer growing seasons—are minimal.

Fourth, human activities are in large part responsible for the warming.

Fifth, there are policies that have a high probability of stopping the warming.

Sixth, the probable benefits of such policies will more than outweigh the probable adverse effects.

All of these assumptions are highly questionable. And with the first assumption thrown further in doubt by the U.N. report, the others are even more problematic.

But what is beyond doubt are here-and-now downsides to “green” and anti-global warming policies. Germany is phasing out nuclear power—even though it contributes far less to alleged global warming than fossil fuels—and substituting “green” energy alternatives.

But an August 2013 article entitled “ How Electricity Became a Luxury Good ” in Der Spiegel, Germany’s top news magazine, reports that the renewable energy surcharge will increase the electricity bills for Germans by 20 percent, just to start; Germany already has the highest electricity prices in Europe. Germans also must cover the €20 billion costs of generating €3 billion worth of electricity via solar, wind, and biogas plants. (Gee, I thoughts Germans were good at math!)

Further, the flow of “green” electricity can vary erratically depending on weather. Thus, German factories have been asked at times to shut down when the electricity supply didn’t correspond properly with use. Germany is recklessly, bit by bit, destroying its economy and harming its own citizens as precaution against an improbable future harm.

The “green” policies of Commissioner Hedegaard and her allies will impoverish citizens of the industrialized world. And by substituting very expensive, unreliable “green” tech for reliable, cost-effective forms of energy production, they will hinder rather than help the impoverished billions to rise into the middle class.
Hudgins is director of advocacy and a senior scholar at The Atlas Society.

For further information:

*Bradley Doucet, “ Why Are We So Worried About the Planet? ” April 18, 2009.

*Edward Hudgins, “ Energy and Environment: The Moral Battle of Our Age. ”  August 8, 2008.

*Robert Bidinotto, “ Death by Environmentalism. ” March 2004.

Edward Hudgins


Edward Hudgins

Edward Hudgins is research director at the Heartland Institute and former director of advocacy and senior scholar at The Atlas Society.

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Edward Hudgins
About the author:
Edward Hudgins

Edward Hudgins, former director of advocacy and senior scholar at The Atlas Society, is the founder of the Human Achievement Alliance and can be reached at ehudgins@humanachievementalliance.org.

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