The Copenhagen summit doesn't appear to have achieved much. Not a surprise.
Malcolm Turnbull, the leader of Australia's Liberal Party was recently deposed due to his support for a carbon emissions trading programme. He writes about this in the Times. He is highly critical of the sceptics and deniers (I don't like the word in this context given its connotations but I am assuming a denier here means someone who is convinced that global warming is not happening whereas a sceptic is simply someone unconvinced that it is happening). He is surely right about an emissions trading scheme being the rational response because it restricts the output of CO2 and the creation of a market encourages CO2 emissions to be reallocated in the most efficient manner.
Scepticism about climate change is fine, I would define myself as reasonably sceptical in that I don't accept the claims that "the debate is over" and the idea that AGW is as solidly proven as the spherical shape of Earth or evolution. The behaviour of individual advocates of AGW has not inspired confidence, as is pointed out here the scandalous aspect of the leaked University of East Anglia emails wasn't that they tried to evade a Freedom of Information Act request, but that an FOI request was necessary in the first place. The denunciations of anyone who questions AGW also serve to undermine the cause, when even someone as committed to rationalism as James Randi can be attacked in really quite distasteful terms- "Could it be that the fact he is currently suffering through chemotherapy for intestinal cancer explain the lapse?"*- for simply arguing that we should keep an open mind.
However the fact remains that it is the view of the overwhelming majority of people who have studied this have concluded that CO2 emissions lead to an increase in global temperatures, so at the very least it is quite probable that AGW is real. Therefore even if one thinks that instead of being an incontrovertable fact that CO2 emissions are contributing to environmental damage, that it is actually something that is only 90%, 75% or 40% likely, it still makes sense to calculate the expected cost of CO2 emissions and set a price that will reflect that.
In fact anyone who doesn't believe with 100% certainty that global warming is not man made should support some kind of price for emitting greenhouse gases, shouldn't they?
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