The Truly Conservative View of Climate Policy

A nice column in the Washington Post about why conservatives should change their views about climate policy:

When faced with uncertainty and the possibility of costly outcomes, smart businessmen buy insurance, reduce their downside exposure and protect their assets… And when military planners assess an enemy, they get ready for a worst-case encounter.

When it comes to climate change, conservatives are doing none of this. Instead, they are recklessly betting the farm on a single, best-case scenario: That the scientific consensus about global warming will turn out to be wrong. This is bad risk management and an irresponsible way to run anything, whether a business, an economy or a planet.

The great irony is that, should their high-stakes bet prove wrong, adapting to a destabilized climate would mean a far bigger, more intrusive government than would most of the “big government” solutions to our energy problems that have been discussed so far.

Conservative opposition to cap-and-trade as a technique is even more out of sync with their general beliefs — what’s wrong with a market-based solution that avoids the need for government micro-management of business??

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