Phillip W. Magness

U.S. Economic & Political History

A few thoughts on Global Warming and “climate justice”

My positions on global warming, in brief:

Is it happening? Probably.

At what rate is it happening? Very gradually, due in large part to the earth’s resilient absorption capacity.

What about the climate change models? All the alarmist ones have failed to pan out, and quite a few of the alarmist ones are politicized beyond any repair at the direct expense of their scientific value. The more tempered non-alarmist ones showing a gradual rise over many centuries are probably accurate though.

Is there statistical manipulation, or other unethical behavior, in the climate science community? Yes.

Is all climate science junk because of it? No.

Is there anything we can do to stop global warming? Probably not.

Is there anything we should do to stop it? Absolutely not, or at least not anything that will drastically alter human behavior. Drastic things will almost certainly make life substantially worse for billions of people for a gain that is entirely political in nature.

Is global warming the cause of particularized extreme weather events? Only if I can also blame every single snow day on the failure of your global warming model.

Is global warming detrimental to social justice? No, and you’re an idiot if you believe otherwise.

Is global warming a good thing? Mostly. The world is too cold, and cold is more detrimental to life than warm.

Are there bad effects associated with global warming? Yes – marginal effects, mostly consisting of gradual sea level rise on low lying coastal areas. That will suck for people who build houses at 3 feet elevation on a beach front, but you also should not expect *any* house built in such circumstances to have a lifespan of more than a few decades.

What about flooding in area/country/region X? If global warming is contributing at all, it is likely a distant third behind (1) coastal erosion, which is a natural inescapable process so long as oceans exist, and (2) subsidence due to groundwater removal, which is a human-induced problem that could actually be mitigated unlike global warming. So if you care about these things and especially their localized harms, focus your efforts on combating subsidence.


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