That’s the moral in my latest IER post. (Thanks to Josiah Neeley who helped me find some of the stuff in the IPCC reports.) Here’s the conclusion, but if this is “your thing” I really encourage you to follow the link:
Romm and his interventionist allies can’t have it both ways. The IPCC is reporting that whatever the economic costs of immediate stabilization policies are, they will increase by 28 to 44 percent (as best guesses) if governments around the world wait until 2030 to begin implementing them. So which is it, Romm & Company? If you are telling us that waiting until 2030 would mean humanity is screwed, then that means we’re screwed right now: We might only make ourselves 28 percent better off by starting now, rather than in 2030—what’s 0.72 times “totally screwed”?
On the other hand, if it’s true as Romm says that taking immediate action will be “super cheap,” then delaying until 2030 will only raise the price tag of those “super cheap” climate fixes by 28 to 44 percent, and so our best guess is that Romm’s climate fixes would be—what?—“still pretty darn cheap” or maybe “hey, not too shabby” at that time.
To repeat, this is the rhetorical corner into which the alarmists have painted themselves. They want to scare everybody into thinking that governments need to take immediate and aggressive action to avoid the literal disruption of human life as we know it. On the other hand, they want to assure us that their draconian policy proposals—if implemented next Tuesday—will only cause a slight hiccup in our present standard of living. Those two pictures do not fit together, and that’s why Romm & Company have to cherry-pick from the IPCC’s reports on the published literature.