Register for an account

X

Enter your name and email address below.

Your email address is used to log in and will not be shared or sold. Read our privacy policy.

X

Website access code

Enter your access code into the form field below.

If you are a Zinio, Nook, Kindle, Apple, or Google Play subscriber, you can enter your website access code to gain subscriber access. Your website access code is located in the upper right corner of the Table of Contents page of your digital edition.

Environment

Nordhaus & Shellenberger Make a Crappy Argument

Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

This op-ed in today's New York Times, by "End of Environmentalism" prophets Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger, is seriously weak. Actually, I would go so far as to call it lame. To wit:

We can agree to disagree on the causes of climate change. What we all must agree on, though, is that it poses a risk -- one for which we are woefully unprepared.

Yeah, right. If what we're seeing is natural that implies that it will go away. If what we're seeing is human caused that means it won't go away unless we clean up our act. The risk is therefore not the same, not by a long shot. That makes the issue of causation crucial--and it makes Nordhaus & Shellenberger's op-ed pretty pointless. Incidentally, and as Stoat pointed out, a similar illogic was apparent in President Bush's recent remarks on whether GW is natural or anthro. After raising the question, Bush then said, "Put that aside" as if it doesn't matter. Well, from the standpoint of determining what risks we're facing in the future, it matters a very great deal indeed.

    2 Free Articles Left

    Want it all? Get unlimited access when you subscribe.

    Subscribe

    Already a subscriber? Register or Log In

    Want unlimited access?

    Subscribe today and save 70%

    Subscribe

    Already a subscriber? Register or Log In