The case for neglecting global warming
Donald J. Boudreaux, an economics prof at George Mason makes some good points. Did you know:
Over the past 100 years, says one researcher, Robert W. Fogel of the University of Chicago, humans in the industrialized world have undergone "a form of evolution that is unique not only to humankind, but unique among the 7,000 or so generations of humans who have ever inhabited the earth.Why? Capitalism.
The difference does not involve changes in genes, as far as is known, but changes in the human form. It shows up in several ways, from those that are well known and almost taken for granted, like greater heights and longer lives, to ones that are emerging only from comparisons of health records.
The biggest surprise emerging from the new studies is that many chronic ailments like heart disease, lung disease and arthritis are occurring an average of 10 to 25 years later than they used to. There is also less disability among older people today.
Capitalism produces so much food that we are never malnourished; it produces ample clothing and sturdy homes to protect us from the elements; it produces the soaps, shampoos, toothpastes and detergents that we use every day to cleanse our bodies and living spaces of bacteria and other dirt. And by continually substituting machines for human labor, capitalism progressively makes our work less backbreaking and less perilous.
These gains are significant and real. And they are continuing; no one knows where, or even if, they will stop.
Those of us who recognize these important benefits of capitalism -- those of us who understand that capitalism's true greatness lies not (as many critics insinuate) in producing oceans of pointless trinkets and baubles but in making the lives of ordinary people richer and fuller and longer -- are reluctant to yield power to governments to tackle global warming. We worry that this power will kill the goose that's laying this golden egg.