It's highly uncertain whether carbon emissions cause global warming, but if they do, the best cure is strong economic growth rather than excessive regulation, according to a Wall Street Journal editorial
"The wealthier the world is in 50 or 100 years, the more resources and technology it will have to cope if the worst predictions come true," the editorial says.
"But that requires free-market, pro-growth policies that are the opposite of the statist fixes pushed by the climate alarmists."
These alarmists are trying to use bogus claims of global warming to shackle the coal industry, stop the Keystone XL oil pipeline, and halt natural gas drilling, the editorial says.
In addition, they seek expensive efficiency requirements for cars, light bulbs, washing machines and refrigerators, the editorial says. They want "to subsidize technologies that even after decades can't compete on their own in the marketplace," it says.
"All of these involve giving more economic control to political actors whose interventions make the world poorer than it would otherwise be."
From 1998 to 2012, the world sent more than 100 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the sky, the editorial says. But global temperatures are little changed.
"That's the mystery: if emitting CO2 into the atmosphere causes global warming, why hasn't the globe been warming?" Journal editors write.
That question goes unanswered in the latest report from the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), published Friday, they say. "Warming of the climate system is unequivocal," the report states
In dealing with the 1998-2012 period, the IPCC's explanation essentially boils down to this, the editorial says: "temperatures have been flat for 15 years, nobody can properly explain it (though there are some theories), and the IPCC doesn't want to spend much time doing so because it is politically inconvenient and shows that the computer models on which all climate-change predictions depend remain unreliable."
The real takeaway from the IPCC report is uncertainty, the editorial says. "There's little evidence to suggest that climate change caused by man has had much to do with the duration of droughts or the intensity of hurricanes, although it might in the far future."
Given all that, "it's no time for panicky rearranging of the global economy," the editorial says.
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