So reports Cato’s Jerry Taylor. And here are the reasons he comes up with:
The public has only limited patience for “end of the world” prognostications. If the world isn’t visibly ending from whatever boogey man is said to menace said world, most of us begin to lose interest. We’re all well aware that Earth has been sentenced to doom hundreds of times over by activists of various stripes but has somehow gained a reprieve time and time again.
I finds this one fairly plausible. The sky isn’t falling and warmer weather isn’t all that bad – and the alternatives that are being presented still look awful. Also, there’s bigger fish out there – terrorism, weakening economy (especially this one – it usually is the economy, stupid), you name it. Global warming just doesn’t rank that highly.
The time horizon of most voters is very, very short. Getting people to voluntarily sacrifice for “the grandkids” or whomever is a near-impossible task. It would probably take a Katrina-a-year … and even then, that might not be enough.
Only partly true, in my opinion. There’s certainly far more than a 0% discount rate at work here but I think the main reason why people don’t think the way they are “supposed to” is more based in the fact that predictions just aren’t very accurate. Who knows what’s going to happen, what technologies scientists will come up with, what wars will be fought, how many recessions, who’ll be president – just too many variables included to fully trust the predictions made by the alarmists and therefore embrace their solutions. And yeah, that discount rate really is at work.
Global warming, if it plays out as the IPCC suspects, will be a slow-moving event. Panic over climate change has to compete with panic over Islamic terrorism, panic over housing markets, panic over globalization, panic over energy prices, panic over immigration, and episodic panic over dozens of other (usually dubious) worries. Simply put, global warming has a hard time competing with all of the other items on the policy agenda.
Kinda related to number one and again, good point.
This is why I’m not that terribly worried – I’m not worried about global warming, as I’ve already mentioned, as I don’t think it’s going to work out the way it’s being predicted and even if it does to some extent, we can handle it. The “solutions” proposed, however, could do real damage. But seeing how they are fairly unpopular I can’t see them getting their way in a way that truly hurts. Hopefully.