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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

No war for oil! No war over coal, either!

Concerns over climate change have led to various forms of "climate action". One wonders: will climate action include military action? Here's NY Times columnist Paul Krugman:

As the United States and other advanced countries finally move to confront climate change, they will also be morally empowered to confront those nations that refuse to act. Sooner than most people think, countries that refuse to limit their greenhouse gas emissions will face sanctions, probably in the form of taxes on their exports. They will complain bitterly that this is protectionism, but so what? Globalization doesn’t do much good if the globe itself becomes unlivable.

It’s time to save the planet. And like it or not, China will have to do its part.

-- from "Empire of Carbon" by Paul Krugman (May 14, 2009) at http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/15/opinion/15krugman.html?adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1242655327-hSzWhIT0UpgdpL/0apoSpQ.

In response to Krugman, GMU economist Russ Roberts writes as follows:
The implications of Krugman's certainty is much more frightening than he is willing to admit. If you think China is destroying the planet, a tariff is just the beginning of what you will do.

-- from "Fooled by randomness" by Russell Roberts at http://www.cafehayek.com/hayek/2009/05/fooled-by-randomness.html.

Lovers of peace need to pay attention to this. Once some countries feel--as Krugman says--"morally empowered to confront those nations that refuse to act", climate action could lead to military action and war.

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