Global warming skeptics

05Nov07

I read a blog post by an IPCC member yesterday (sorry, forgot the link) that claimed that many IPCC scientists don’t buy the anthropogenic CO2 emissions story. First and foremost, I don’t believe this argument, sounds like a guy whose perceptions of the opinions of others are clouded by a personal bias. But I probably have a similar bias in the other direction, so I’m willing to look past it.

But here’s a question: why are global warming skeptics so ardent? If we’re wrong about global warming, but we take actions to reduce CO2 emissions anyway, is that really so bad?

The only negative implication (that I can conceive) of such action is the economic impact — I guess the argument would go that we would stop using certain “efficient” technologies in favor of greener ones. But few argue that coal and oil reserves will last into the indefinite future, so in turning towards greener production techniques, we really just get an early jump on the R&D that would be necessary to replace older technologies at some point anyway. And if that R&D ends up making factories, cars, etc. more efficient, we win in either case.

Right? This is something that I never understood about the global warming debate.

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