Tuesday, May 31, 2011

On Twisters, Markets, & Climate Change

More Weather Deaths? Wanna Bet? -WSJ May 31,2011

 ...because of modern industrial and technological advances—radar, stronger yet lighter building materials, more reliable electronic warning devices, and longer-lasting packaged foods—we are better protected from nature's fury today than at any other time in human history.

While time and resources are wasted trying to *design* a pricing or regulatory framework (with all of the requisite handouts to corporate and special interests that killed Waxman-Markey) to combat climate change, the price mechanism seems to have the lead on actually dealing with it. Consider also that green technology breakthroughs in food production (like biotechnology and growth enhancing pharmaceuticals) and the consequent reductions in greenhouse gas emissions have dwarfed the impact of wind, solar, and hybrid cars. All without regulatory mandates or putting an official price on carbon. In fact, from a regulatory perspective, we've done much to limit these breakthroughs (for example recent restrictions on biotech alfalfa, sugar beets etc. while giving tax credits an subsidies to the former) likely accompanied by the applause of some of those most vocal about combating climate change.

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