In light of recent discoveries from NASA about the nature of global climate change, Robert P. Murphy’s article on “The Costs of Carbon Legislation” at Mises.org is particularly relevant. Murphy seeks to counter arguments from Keynesian economist and Nobel laureate Paul Krugman, who claims that carbon-controlling legislation will have little in the way of significant costs but will make great strides in preventing continued decline of the environment.
In the present article, I want to show the fragility of Krugman’s position. For one thing, the true economic harms of “global-warming” legislation could be much higher than his own cited figures. For another, the benefits of such measures — in terms of averted climate-change damage — are quite negligible, unless other countries follow suit.
Finally, Krugman’s strategic position on carbon legislation — “this bill is better than nothing” — is inconsistent with his own views of Obama’s “inadequate” stimulus bill and Geithner’s plans for revamping the banking sector. In short, if the world really is on the verge of catastrophe — which many alarmists tell us it is, and that’s why we need to take immediate action — then why are so many of these same activists supporting legislation that their own models show will do virtually nothing?
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