Pessimist Alarmism vs Optimist Realism

David Ignatius is worried about the planet’s vulnerability to climate change, citing futurist Peter Schwartz. I see David’s Peter Schwartz and raise him an Indur Goklany. Things aren’t as bad as he suggests.

Yet even if they were, as a colleague noted, “Interesting that he makes the point that the poorest people of the world are most vulnerable to climate change but still seems to conclude that the usual tax & regulate plans will help these people more than wealth-building (ie less gov’t corruption, more focus on reliable justice system, free markets, etc).”

Precisely – the most vulnerable people on the planet are vulnerable not because of climate but because they have either rejected or haven’t been allowed to put in place the institutions that build resiliency. It’s no surprise that Katrina had more of a lasting effect in poor Louisiana than in poor Mississippi, because Louisiana is more corrupt.

The best solution to reducing these vulnerabilities is to build resiliency through the institutions of liberty, rather than trying to work out how to change the weather in a hundred years’ time.

And Indur Goklany’s meticulous data provides strong support for that hypothesis.