Saturday, September 20, 2008

Climate change heroes' sham case

Bjorn Lomborg Sept 15 2008

ONE commonly repeated argument for doing something about climate change sounds compelling, but turns out to be almost fraudulent. It is based on comparing the cost of action with the cost of inaction, and almost every major politician in the world uses it.

European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso, for example, used this argument when he presented the European Union's proposal to tackle climate change earlier this year. The EU promised to cut its CO2 emissions by 20 per cent by 2020, at a cost the EC's own estimates put at about 0.5 per cent of gross domestic product, or roughly €60 billion ($100 billion) per year. This is obviously a hefty price tag - at least a 50 per cent increase in the total cost of the EU - and it will likely be much higher (the EC has previously estimated the cost to be double its present estimate).

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