Another Note on Global Warming

by Don Boudreaux on April 14, 2006

in Environment, Politics

MIT Professor of Atmospheric Science Richard Lindzen has this to say about global warming.

I found the most intriguing paragraph to be this one:

If the models are correct, global warming reduces the temperature differences between the poles and the equator. When you have less difference in temperature, you have less excitation of extratropical storms, not more. And, in fact, model runs support this conclusion. Alarmists have drawn some support for increased claims of tropical storminess from a casual claim by Sir John Houghton of the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that a warmer world would have more evaporation, with latent heat providing more energy for disturbances. The problem with this is that the ability of evaporation to drive tropical storms relies not only on temperature but humidity as well, and calls for drier, less humid air. Claims for starkly higher temperatures are based upon there being more humidity, not less–hardly a case for more storminess with global warming.

(Hat tip to Vernon Smith.)

I’m not an atmospheric scientist, a climatologist, a meteorologist, or any other kind of hard scientist you care to name.  (By the way, I’ll bet that the vast majority of people who opine on global warming are just like me.)  But I do know a thing or two about economics and the economics of politics.  Regardless of the scientific merits of claims of global warming and claims of humankinds’ role (or not) in promoting global warming, it is unscientific in the extreme to assume that government can or will handle whatever problem there is wisely.  Simply to assume that, if problem X exists, giving power to government to solve problem X will actually solve problem X, or will do so without creating even worse problems Y and Z, is to ignore history and our scientific knowledge of politics.


Add a Comment    Share Share    Print    Email

Previous post:

Next post: