Taking a Stand on Climate Change Cost-Benefit Analysis
- by J. Scott Armstrong
On November 24, 2012, the New York Times published an article titled “Is This the End?,” which warned that man-made global warming is likely to destroy our civilization.
The article was published nine days after the NYT published Cass Sunstein’s article advocating that policies on dangerous man-made global warming should be based on cost-benefit analyses, that the government had calculated a net benefit for costly policies and that Ronald Reagan once agreed with a cost-benefit analysis.
I was unable to contact Professor Sunstein to find the sources of the “cost-benefit analyses.” In an effort to calm panic-stricken readers, I wrote a letter to the editor at The New York Times, revealing that while cost-benefit analysis is indeed the proper method, none has shown likely net harm arising from global warming. Evidence-based forecasts of dangerous warming and of the effects of alternative policies are missing.
Strangely, my evidence-based forecasts that our civilization is not threatened by dangerous warming did not meet the NYT criteria of “all the news that’s fit to print.” If you know any NYT readers, please inform them that they are safe.
Wall Street Journal readers were spared panic. They had read “No Need to Panic About Global Warming” in January 2012.