Day Eight: Everything You Need to Know About Global Warming in Thirteen Days

"8) A special word on the right-leaning think tanks: As libertarians, they abhor the need for government spending or even governmental leadership, which in their opinion is best left to private enterprise. In general, this may be an excellent idea. But global warming is a classic tragedy of the commons – seeking your own individual advantage, for once, does not lead to the common good, and the problem desperately needs government leadership and regulation. Sensing this, these think tanks have allowed their drive for desirable policy to trump science. Not a good idea."

Some have written that climate change is the "ultimate tragedy of the commons." (Peter Jumars, Jeffrey Simpson and others).  Many of the think tanks mentioned above take an anti-science viewpoint on climate because of their ideological stance. In the end, though, should climate change be as severe as seems likely if we continue on our current path, then more oppressive government is almost certain to be the outcome.  People will be clamoring for governments to save them from the effects of storms, floods, droughts, etc. as well as protect them from the political chaos that is likely to result.  Not only that, but once it's clear how bad it's going to be, the only possible realistic, good response is for governments to get stronger and work more closely together.  So those opposed to a worldwide government are more likely to get one if the climate goes all weird on us.  Ironic, eh?

For more on that, read The Weather Makers by Tim Flannery, particularly Chapter 33 - 2084: The Carbon Dictatorship.

[This one of a series of daily posts I am drawing from Jeremy Grantham's Summer 2010 Investment letter.  Mr. Grantham is on the Board of Directors of GMO LLC, a global investment firm with over $100 billion under management.  Mr. Grantham takes a large, worldview perspective on investments--with an eye toward long-term trends.  He is right-on about the impact of global warming.]

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