Joe asked a good question; how would reducing carbon emissions injure or kill people? The answer is simple; cost/benefit analysis. If I spend my money reducing carbon emissions, that is money I don't have for other, possibly more vital, needs.
In the case of "remedying" global climate change, the cost of implementing the Kyoto accords is currently closing in on $400 billion, while the benefit is an estimated temperature reduction (IPCC estimate) of 0.004C by 2050. More or less, $100 trillion might reduce global temperatures by 1C.
Put simply, alternatives to fossil fuels are currently more expensive than fossil fuels, and any bureaucratic attempts to "change" the economics and physics of the situation will necessarily increase the costs endured by customers--just ask anyone looking for an apartment in New York City, for example.
Now consider what else that $100 trillion might be used for. Maybe it could be DDT to keep mosquitoes out of tropical homes--and save half a million lives annually. Maybe it could be for bigger cars and the gasoline to run them--and save 3000 lives annually, according to the NHTSA. Or maybe it could be for air conditioning for senior citizens in France--which could have saved 15000 lives a few summers back.
The reality is that energy use enables our prosperity and our health. Sometimes we can do better with less energy--and we'll be rewarded with lower utility bills. However, when government gets into the act (CAFE standards, DDT bans, and so on), the result is generally not so benign. All too often, it kills.
Good Intentions - Seventy years ago today, a 500-pound bomb from an American bomber that dropped its payload miles short of its intended target fell 20,000 feet, and landed ...
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