The High Cost Of Weather
Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach
I saw a few headlines today that got me to thinking. One said:
THIRD-STRONGEST HURRICANE AT LANDFALL IN RECORDED U.S. HISTORY
The second said:
HURRICANE MICHAEL PROJECTED TO CAUSE $30 BILLION IN DAMAGES
The third said:
155 MPH WINDS, 490,000 WITHOUT POWER, TWO DEAD
Two dead? Two? I was reminded of a joke from my younger days, that went like this:
Did you hear the Third-World hurricane report?
26,413 dead … ten dollars and thirty-six cents in property damage …
So … what is the difference between those two situations, thousands dead versus two dead, in the developed and the developing world?
Two things. Money and fossil fuel.
As a young man, I spent a couple of nights sleeping on the sidewalks of New York in the winter. There’s an art to it. You put on every piece of clothing that you own. You line your pants and your shirt with old newspapers. You find a piece of cardboard to keep the cold of the concrete from seeping through to your bones. If you don’t have a hat you wrap a t-shirt around your head. You sleep with your hands in your pockets.
And doing all of those things makes about as much difference as you might imagine to how cold you get.
I don’t recommend it … not a good party. For some folks in that situation, a few degrees colder in winter may make the difference between living and dying.
But these days, I don’t care if it is a few degrees colder in winter. Why not? Because I have money with which to buy propane for my home furnace. Money and fossil fuel …
Money and fossil fuel are what insulate us, not just from cold winters, but from all of the vagaries of the weather. Air conditioning keeps us from frying in the summer. Coal and heating oil warm our houses. Gasoline in our cars lets us drive away from hurricanes … and we drive on roads paved with fossil-fuel-derived asphalt by machines that run on … yep, fossil fuel.
Now, the UN IPCC, the United Nations Incredibly Patronizing Climate Catastrophists, have just told us in their most recent report that to solve the “climate problem” we need to have a “carbon tax” on gasoline rising by 2100 to $240/gallon in today’s dollars.
And Eric Holthaus, a meteorologist and Grist staff writer who describes himself as an “ecosocialist”, just let us know his interpretation of what the IPCC says to do about “climate change”. He refers to the latest IPCC recommendations as follows
If you are wondering what you can do about climate change:
The world’s top scientists just gave rigorous backing to systematically dismantle capitalism as a key requirement to maintaining civilization and a habitable planet.
I mean, if you are looking for something to do.
… protip—if you are “looking for something to do”, don’t ask an “ecosocialist” …
Both of these UN IPCC ideas have the solution totally backward. Both of those “solutions” will make people poorer and make fossil fuel more expensive … and that, of course, will make the world more vulnerable to the weather, not less vulnerable.
Here’s what a lot of folks forget. Everything that the climate catastrophists are warning us about, droughts, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, heat waves, and all the rest, every one of those dangers are with us today. We’ve been doing battle with them for millennia. So there’s no need to wait for 2100 to do something about them. We can do something about them today.
And the very best thing we can do about them, the thing that will make the most difference in the shortest time, is to increase the amount of money and the amount of fossil fuels that are available to the poor.
Finally, if the economic history of the planet has taught us one thing, it is that the very best way to do those things, the most efficient and effective way to lift the poor out of poverty, is capitalism.
Money and fossil fuel. Keep’m coming …
Best to everyone, with wishes that you stay safe and warm in the inevitable storms of the future,
PS—As always, I ask everyone when you comment to quote the exact words you are referring to, so that we can all be clear about exactly what you are discussing.
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