NRO Vs. Slate Re:Global Warming

There’s a very strange article in the National Review by James Robbins about global warming. Here’s a snippet:

But if the world is warming, I say “bravo.” People in most parts of the globe should have no objection to a warmer, wetter climate. If the aliens were watching they’d conclude we were making our planet more habitable on purpose.

Hmmm… Interesting point, Mr. Robbins. That presents, I think, a healthy contrast to Slate’s William Saletan’s own piece. Here’s what Saletan has to say:

Have you heard the news? Scientists have found a planet that can support life. Its atmosphere is too hot for year-round habitation, its gases impede breathing, and surface conditions are sometimes fatal. But by constructing a network of sealed facilities, tunnels, and vehicles, humans could survive on this planet for decades and perhaps even centuries.

The planet is called Earth.

The whole article is a pretty severe downer, the basic point being that we fight the effects of global warming by turning on our air conditioners, which in turn increase our energy consumption and contribute to global warming. I have to say, I prefer Robbins’ whimsical view on the subject – he’s not even sure global warming is real at all.
And if it is real, Robbins believes there are “strong reasons to doubt that humans have anything to do with it,” which is comforting. Instead, he argues that the panic about global warming has more to do with the character flaws of liberals: hatred of the market, the need to feel superior, and fear of change. What’s more, he thinks these liberals are being totally inconsistent anyway:

Think of the other advantages the Left is ignoring. A warmer wetter world could very well mean more rain forests — hence more biodiversity! We are supposed to value that for some reason, right?

Yes! I think there is some reason we are supposed to value biodiversity. I wonder what that reason was. Perhaps some day I will meet a scientist, and I can ask him. And while I’m at it, if I ever meet someone from New Orleans, I should ask why this is a bad idea:

But the waters will not rise so quickly, if they do at all. And if this threatens our cities one would think some form of sea wall would be in order. The Dutch have been doing this for years, there is no reason why we can’t copy them.

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