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Reblogged:Lacking Ingenuity, Alarmists Fail to Account for It

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Bjorn Lomborg recently wrote a valuable column in the New York Post that eviscerates a half-century of leftist scare-mongering about climate. Regarding that efficiently-chronicled half-century, Lomborg makes a good case that the alarmists fail to account for human ingenuity and human agency. Regarding the former:
AVvXsEhpdEG4Y95FvkPBLV3L4dkPUtnn--zclVKQi4cqzrcJWfGJY8-RMFfKtSr-aOY9bWyVRatPJuC4ScWwLoMeOwt0KZ_op-u-KOQ7z2dSDDUl-kWR1_Fl2jab-BkJRw6Rs5BdLPLvMGC5iVUTCH4xMKlNHU6TSS-_2Vr4sAyabCxoS7SCv1nm5j8=s320
Image by Emil Jupin, via Wikipedia, license.
... Life magazine expected "urban dwellers will have to wear gas masks to survive air pollution" by the mid-1980s.

The scares were, of course, spectacularly misguided on both counts. They got it wrong because they overlooked the greatest resource of all, human ingenuity. We don't just use up resources but innovate ever-smarter ways of making resources more available. At the same time, technology solves many of the most persistent pollution problems, as did the catalytic converter. This is why air pollution in rich countries has been declining for decades. [bold added]
Here we have: (a) a ridiculous scenario memorialized, (b) its happy ending in easily-retainable form, and (c) an equally memorable highlight reel of why Doomsday missed its latest appointment. Again.

Lomborg's discussion of the importance of human agency is likewise timely, although it would be funnier if so many people didn't obviously need to hear it. Lomborg continues:
Nonetheless, after 50 years of stunningly incorrect predictions, climate campaigners, journalists and politicians still hawk an immediate apocalypse to great acclaim.

They do so by repeatedly ignoring adaptation. Headlines telling you that sea-level rise could drown 187 million people by the end of the century are foolishly ignorant. They imagine that hundreds of millions of people will remain stationary while the waters lap over their calves, hips, chests and eventually mouths. More seriously, they absurdly assume that no nation will build any sea defenses. In the real world, ever-wealthier nations will adapt and protect their citizens ever better, leading to less flooding, while surprisingly spending an ever-lower share of their GDP on flood and protection costs.
This isn't the first time someone has pointed out the litany of failed predictions and calls to rush headlong into an agenda central planning based on the premise of human stupidity -- but this column is notable for laying these things out with good word economy and in such a way that the arguments will be persuasive and easy to remember.

This is one I'd recommend pointing out to thoughtful, persuadable people who, perhaps because of the torrential flood of doom and gloom from media and politicians, might have become unduly worried about the climate.

-- CAV

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