Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Costs outweigh benefits says global warming skeptic

For those of you feeling guilty that you've not done enough to curb greenhouse emissions, relax. That is if you agree with one of the country's leading global warming skeptics, Robert Balling, who appeared before NC's Legislative Commission on Global Climate change earlier this week. Balling said any action NC might take would have no impact good or bad on global warming:

“By no means do I lay in bed tonight believing that by riding my bicycle to school every day, I’m helping to fight global warming,” Balling told the state’s Legislative Commission on Global Climate Change on Tuesday...“With all respect, you could announce today that North Carolina is about to vanish from the face of the Earth, and we’ll never see it on this diagram [plotting global temperatures],” said Balling, a professor in the climatology program at Arizona State University. “Or you could announce tomorrow that we’re going to buy everyone in North Carolina their own SUV and have everyone double their amount of coal burning, and it just doesn’t show up on the diagram.”

One panel member asserted that passing state legislation aimed at curbing global warming ultimately would be seen as too costly:

Balling’s ideas drew interest from some panel members. “My take on what you said is for North Carolina to do anything significant in terms of what happens here would be all cost and no benefit,” said Edward Erickson, an economics professor from North Carolina State University...Balling agreed with that assessment. “Of course, there can be benefits of having technology that’s cleaner,” he said. “North Carolina can benefit a thousand ways from great ideas of the group. But to sell the idea that you’re fighting global warming becomes absurd.”

There were also skeptics of the skeptic on the panel. Read it all at the Carolina Journal.

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