An article on the Heritage Foundation's blog today shows just how little it takes for some people to put their head back in the sand when it comes to dealing with global warming.
Heritage staffer Conn Carroll declares Study Shows Global Warming Will Not Hurt U.S. Economy.
Carroll pretty much leaves it at that. Other than including a single self-fulfilling quote cherry-picked from the study and another from US News correspondent James Pethokoukis who comes to this strange conclusion:
"So if you do buy into the theory of man-made climate change, the next logical move would surely be to do nothing that would slow growth and technologcal [sic] advancement in rich countries -- such as a cap-and-trade regulatory system or onerous carbon taxes -- and do more to accelerate growth in poor ones through free trade and the exporting of democratic capitalism."
The paper titled "Climate Shocks and Economic Growth" (pdf) by Melissa Dell, Benjamin Jones and Benjamin Olken is actually very good. It certainly doesn't draw any ridiculous conclusions like the one by Pethokoukis, nor does it present the evidence to make the claims that Heritage Foundation wants to make.
Dell et al. do find that the impacts of global warming on developing nations could be potentially devastating. They conclude that:
"... our contribution in this paper is to reject views that climate does not matter, show that climate's effects are substantial, and identify a group of countries where climate appears to have large effects."
"... Extrapolated over 100 years, this implies that the median poor country's income will be about 50% lower than it would be had there been no climate change. Moreover, because the effects are large for poor countries - and we estimate no impact on rich countries - the estimates in Table 9 suggest that climate change could substantially widen world income inequality." [my emphasis]
It's mind boggling how little evidence it takes for a free market think tank like the Heritage Foundation to be convinced that we should do nothing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. With one paper issued at an annual general meeting and Heritage concludes unequivocally that "Global Warming Will Not Hurt U.S. Economy." At the same time Heritage continues to ignore the massive amounts of evidence complied over decades by top scientists of the major negative impacts climate change will have on our way of life and the very nature of our planet.
Of course, it's easy to take such a blind leap of faith for Heritage considering they've been attacking and spreading misinformation about the realities of climate science for years and have reaped the rewards from financially motivated fossil fuel companies like ExxonMobil.
Follow Kevin Grandia on Twitter: www.twitter.com/kgrandia