Global Warming Pragmatism

By Dane Sherrets on November 18, 2013

Global warming is shaping up to be one of those divisive issues like abortion or guns:  Either you fall into one camp or the other.  It shouldn't be that way. Washington Post columnist Robert Samuelson makes a nice argument that a modest carbon tax makes sense in the face of all the uncertainty around climate change.

He cites the work of MIT Economist Robert Pindyck, who has waded into the computer models predicting the effects and costs of climate change. Like any intellectually honest person, Pindyck acknowledges how much we don't know. However, that is no reason to do nothing.

Samuelson writes, "True, he thinks climate change and its adverse economic consequences could be wildly overstated. He also thinks they could be wildly understated. The effects might ultimately be catastrophic. We simply don’t know. Ignorance reigns. The best course, he says, would be to adopt a modest carbon tax — because there are certainly some ill effects of global warming — and adjust it as we learn more."

Read Samuelson's full column here.