John Kerry, in his commencement speech at Boston College this week, had this to say on
the greenhouse effect anthropological global warming climate change climate disruption climate variability the weather:
If we make the necessary efforts to address this challenge – and supposing I’m wrong or scientists are wrong, 97 percent of them all wrong – supposing they are, what’s the worst that can happen? We put millions of people to work transitioning our energy, creating new and renewable and alternative; we make life healthier because we have less particulates in the air and cleaner air and more health; we give ourselves greater security through greater energy independence – that’s the downside. This is not a matter of politics or partisanship; it’s a matter of science and stewardship. And it’s not a matter of capacity; it’s a matter of willpower.
(H/t Weekly Standard)
Apart from the fact that the 97% figure is, not to be too delicate, a baldfaced lie, there is a lot of harm that would be inflicted on the world’s population if world governments take action and it proves that it was a false alarm, or if whatever actions they take do not stop climate change. So much harm, in fact, that most developing nations–including the world’s worst climate offender, China–refuse to in any way limit their carbon output. Indeed, China is increasing its construction of new coal plants at a rapid pace, and India is increasing coal imports. Without cost-effective forms of energy, there can be no real economic development in these countries. As the Wall Street Journal notes succinctly,
The “worst that can happen” is that we spend trillions of dollars trying to solve a problem that we can’t do anything to stop; that we misallocate scarce resources in a way that slows economic growth; that slower growth leads to less economic opportunity for Boston College grads and especially the world’s poor, and that America and the world become much less wealthy and technologically advanced than we would otherwise. All of which would make the world less able to cope with the costs of climate change if Mr. Kerry is right.
Of course, someone like Kerry–who has never really had to work for a living and who married a ketchup heiress–would be largely unaffected by such problems, as would most of the political elite. Perhaps this is why he can see no downside to restructuring the world’s economy so that billions of people would be forever doomed to poverty.