16 February 2007

No Free Lunch

Just a quick pointer to this bloggingheads tv dialogue between Megan McArdle (aka Jane Galt) and Henry Farrell. Megan makes the important but almost unmentioned point that global warming is being sold dishonestly. The believers always present the steps to be taken as all being on the supply side. Energy companies, automobile companies, companies in general, will have to sacrifice while normal people will live their lives more or less as usual, except with higher carbon taxes, fewer cars and shorter commutes all made possible by magical new technologies. In fact, as Megan points out, any serious attempt to cut carbon emissions by 20% will necessarily mean a steep fall in western standards of living and comfort. Megan is rightly skeptical that the political and popular will exists to force and endure these changes once the sacrifices involved become clear. For example, if I didn't want to shower daily, I'd move to France.


erp said...

David, move to France? Think of the children.

Peter Burnet said...

I'm still waiting for a poll where people are asked the following questions:

"What portion of the value of your home equity would you be prepared to sacrifice to combat global warming?"

"What activities would you ask your children to give up? Would you agree to send them to the closest school no matter how good?"

"Would you be prepared to give up winter holidays in the south?"

And so on.

Susan's Husband said...

Mr. Burnet;

Didn't you have a post just a few weeks ago about a very similar poll, in which people proclaimed their willingness for all sorts of sacrifices?