The editors at NR summarize very nicely.
The president and his partisans insist that these measures are necessary to prevent catastrophic global warming. But global warming is, famously, a global issue, and even steep cuts in one sector of one country’s economy many years in the future will have only a minuscule effect on global atmospheric conditions, especially given the fact that developing nations such as India have made it clear that they will not artificially lower their peoples’ standards of living to satisfy a moral panic in the affluent world. China, for its part, promises that it will freeze its emissions right where they are — someday — in exchange for certain concessions, a promise with about as much credibility as the Iranians’ insistence that they want enriched uranium to supply a new plant powering a national fleet of Chevy Volts because they’re on a jihad to comfort the polar bear.
That is problematic because the United States already is a relatively clean and efficient producer relative to other big emitters such as China and India. For every ton of carbon dioxide emissions, the United States produces four times the economic output that India does and nearly five-and-a-half times what China does. As a practical matter, any substantial reduction in global emissions would need to come from the low-efficiency/high-volume emitters such as India and China, but these are poor countries that are unlikely to be willing or able to take on such burdens. The most efficient economies tend to be small and highly financial (Switzerland) or desperately poor and undeveloped (Chad, Afghanistan), neither of which is a realistic long-term model for the struggling half of humankind. The more sensible analysis is that long-term adaptation and mitigation is much more likely to be effective and economically feasible than enacting immediate radical restrictions on affluent and developing countries alike.
In other words, it’d be folly to punish our poor in the hopes the bigger polluters will follow our lead and punish theirs.
Ted Cruz – not my cup of tea – summarizes nicely too. It’s a funny election season in which candidates who “speak reality to narrative” get traction. I think it’s a reaction to all the Alinsky-ite stuff that motivates low-info voters on the other side and pi$$es off the base.
The Texas senator, who dominated his time on stage, leaning into Allen and at one point waving off a question from the moderator, went on to deliver a full-throated denial of global warming and a scathing evisceration of its proponents. The riff showcased Cruz in all of his rhetorical glory – relentless, uncompromising, and witty, talking about an issue on which many Republicans have softened. Cruz at times grate on conservatives, but the off-the-cuff riff was something his supporters will surely point to as a high-point of the campaign season and a reason why this is their guy.
Allen asked Cruz if he is concerned by a Boston Globe story published on Saturday that suggests Republicans will pay a price in 2016 for their skepticism about climate change. Cruz’s response? “Not remotely.”
He went on to recall the 1970s panic over global cooling and a coming ice age. “The solution they proposed was massive government control of the economy, the energy sector, and our lives. Then the data disproved it,” he said. ”Then it became global warming. Interestingly enough, the solution was identical: massive government control over the economy, the energy sector, and our lives. Then the data didn’t support it, so they entered theory number three, climate change. Now, to any power-greedy politician, this is the perfect theory, it can never, ever, ever, be disproven, if it gets hotter, if it gets colder, if it gets wetter, if it gets drier.”