Monday, April 27, 2009

Selling the green economy

Robert Samuelson:
The selling of the green economy involves much economic make-believe. Environmentalists not only maximize the dangers of global warming -- from rising sea levels to advancing tropical diseases -- they also minimize the costs of dealing with it. Actually, no one involved in this debate really knows what the consequences or costs might be. All are inferred from models of uncertain reliability. Great schemes of economic and social engineering are proposed on shaky foundations of knowledge. Candor and common sense are in scarce supply.
President Obama wants to bet hundreds of billions in tax dollars armed with far more ideology than solid information. One could be pardoned for wondering whether he is running a government or a venture capital fund.

Update: Oh boy:
"I believe it is not in our character, American character, to follow -- but to lead. And it is time for us to lead once again. I am here today to set this goal: we will devote more than 3 percent of our GDP to research and development," Obama said in a speech [today] at the annual meeting of the National Academy of Sciences.

..."The commitment I am making today will fuel our success for another 50 years," he said. "This work begins with an historic commitment to basic science and applied research."
Three percent of GDP, by the way, is about $415 billion or $1,400 per American.

Update: Meanwhile, over in the private sector actual science continues apace.

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