thou dost protest a bit too much
On the other hand, opponents of global warming find any nook and cranny to disprove global warming. If New York City had an unusually cold week there is all the proof they need that global warming doesn't exist.
To me, the global warming debate has been mostly framed by two separate events in my mind. First, there was this debate between John Kerry and Newt Gingrich on the topic. Second, I went to an event featuring the CEO of Exelon last year on the topic of global warming. There, the CEO, much like most proponents of global warming, framed the issue as one that was resolved. After he cited a couple of studies that purported to prove that global warming exists, he went on to enumerate a plethora of regulations that he felt were absolutely vital in order to combat it. He was in favor of nuclear power (and as one person pointed out likely in self interest as Exelon was a leader in the field). He enumerated the many benefits of nuclear power and glossed over the one and only problem. The problem is one of cost. It costs a "mere" five billion dollars to set up one nuclear power plant and he figured the country would need 100 in order to be effective. Only the government is in a position to spend such money and so I can only assume he expected the tax payers to pick up that tab.
To me the debate shouldn't be about whether or not global warming is or is not real. First, whether or not it is or isn't, we all must strive to be eco friendly. Furthermore, attacking global warming often means finding alternative sources of energy which is vital in the GWOT. The debate must move to how we attack global warming.
Now, those like Exelon's CEO and John Kerry would have the government force government regulations that would exponentially increase energy bills. Those like Newt and myself would use targeted tax cuts to encourage private industry to create energy that is eco friendly and doesn't contribute to global warming.
The issue really comes down to whether or not this is a settled matter. That is the crux of the arguement for proponents of the phenomenon of global warming. I was stunned by how calmly John Rowe, Exelon CEO, enumerated regulation after regulation and proceeded to calmly proclaim that yes this would increase energy bills by three and four times. To him, this was of small issue because we are working against the clock before we all melt.
In much the same way, John Kerry saw regulations as necessary to beat the ticking clock. He felt that we simply didn't have time to wait for entrepeneurs to come up with solutions. Government, in his opinion, must mandate solutions and force them upon the population before we melt away.
I am struck by how symmetrical the global warming debate is to the general economic debate. The same folks that proclaim the reality of global warming and subsequentally propose a plethora of regulations to solve it also propose a plethora of solutions to solve much everything else. Most of the same folks that believe the free market is the best solution to other problems also believe the free market is the best solution to this problem.
That is where the debate must be moved. We need to stop arguing over whether or not global warming is real. Unless you are a scientist, that is not a debate you are qualified to have. On the other hand, debating whether or not the free market is the best source of solutions to global warming, eco friendly, and alternative energy sources is one that needs to be had. The nexus between the free market and whether or not global warming is a settled matter has been reached, and now it is time for a vigorous debate on how we move forward to deal with these issues. Free market believers everywhere had better heed my warning. End the debate on the existence of global warming and begin the debate on whether or not the free market is the best place to resolve it.