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Friday, January 28, 2005

 "Flat Earth Award" nominees announced

Yesderday students at Middlebury College announced the creation of the first annual Flat Earth Award. The award will be presented to the public figure who has been the most vocal climate change naysayer over the course of the previous year. It is named for doubters who continued to insist that the Earth was flat even after years of scientific research established that the planet was round.

This year’s nominees are talk show host Rush Limbaugh, bestselling novelist Michael Crichton, and S. Fred Singer, president and founder of the Arlington, Va.-based Science and Environmental Policy Project.

You may vote in the online election; the winner be announced on April 22, which is Earth Day.


Blogger Dezakin said...

This is absoloutely assinine. While some political pundits are truely stupid and latch onto whatever figure is avaliable that can support party philosophy, there is ample reason to be suspicious of climate change in terms of 'public policy' rather than an environmental phenomenon.

The entire debate has been wrapped up in politics, and science riding with political motivation is little better than politics riding with religeous motivation.

First: Is climate change occuring? Who knows. Many, with not­ just a little twinge of partisanship claim it absolutely isn't, and­ many others claim it is. Lets assume it is.

Second: Is it detrimental to the global economy? This is muc­h harder to calculate. There are winners and losers in this, from inc­reased crop yields, to lost coastline, higher air conditioning pric­es, to increased shipping opportunities in the northern passage. Le­ts assume its a net cost, why not. We can even assume that the cost is­ huge.

Third: Is there anything that can be done to mitigate the ef­fects? Maybe. Some people argue that reducing carbon emitions by im­mense amounts, or at least agreeing to not raise them will have so­me effect
of slowing climate change and its economic effects, though b­y how much is also quite debatable.

Fourth: Are the costs of the mitigations _after_ applying th­e discount rate (opportunity cost) less than the cost of dealing with t­he supposed immense economic harm that we will supposedly have ­to endure by not making any policy changes. Good luck actually coming ­up with a definitive answer on this one. You have to come up with a ve­ry small discount rate and absolutely immense economic costs for clim­ate change for this to be worthwhile.

So you have to have very accurate data to have public policy­ that isn't just appeasing alarmism. In my opinion, climate change is oc­curing, it doesnt matter if its our fault, and we shouldnt do anything ­about it
except work on policies to _deal_ with climate change rather­ than to mitigate it.

12:42 PM  
Blogger Nanovirus said...

Alright, look: the Earth is not warming, OK? It's actually cooling. There are studies that prove it! And even if it was warming, that would be a good thing for humans, and we'll easily adapt. Anyway, aren't all those environmentalists the real problem, what with their "actions" and protests and hysteria? I wouldn't be surprised if they're buying enormous drilling machines on the black market to cause earthquakes and tsunamis and raise heaps of cash for their shady nonprofit organizations!

9:50 AM  

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