Caps on Fossil Fuels Would Be Devastating
By Alex Epstein (September 26, 2007)
The UN Secretary General echoed a common sentiment Monday when he claimed that the failure to take dramatic action in response to global warming would bring "devastating" consequences. But the truly devastating thing about the global warming issue is the proposed response to it: a severe cap on carbon emissions. The supposed "crisis" of manmade global warming is completely overblown. Even if the United Nations' incredibly speculative projections of an 8-degree warming occurred, they would easily be dealt with by industrialized people with ample energy, transportation, sunscreen, air-conditioners, and sturdy houses.
But this ability to cope with any negative weather patterns depends on utilizing our most plentiful, practical sources of energy--including fossil fuels. Yet this is precisely the value that drastic caps on fossil fuels would destroy. Such a cap would stunt development of every facet of industrial civilization through energy shortages and higher energy costs in the industrialized world--it would deprive the Third World of the ability to generate desperately needed energy. Nothing could be more devastating than that.