Chicken Little Insurance
By Paul Homewood
There’s a good article from Lawrence Solomon in the Financial Post.
Insurance is the last refuge of the global warming true believer
Climate change models that claim the world will suffer great harm in future are “close to useless,” pronounces a prestigious new study by Robert S. Pindyck, a physicist, engineer, professor of Economics and Finance at MIT’s Sloan School of Management and true believer in perils from global warming. Pindyck is speaking of the gold standard in climate change models — Integrated Assessment Models (IAM), which combine data from both climate models and economic models.
“I couldn’t agree more,” says Tom Rand of Toronto’s MaRS group, another true believer. He has dedicated a chapter in an upcoming book to “eviscerating” the same models that Pindyck shreds. “The IAM models are garbage.”
So what, says Connie Hedegaard, the EU’s Commissioner for Climate Action. “Let’s say that science, some decades from now, said ‘we were wrong, it was not about climate’, would it not in any case have been good to do many of things you have to do in order to combat climate change?”
So, it’s come down to this — we now have widespread agreement from numerous true believers that the models — the only source of scary scenarios — are junk. But the true believers want us to take action on climate change regardless, out of prudence, on the mere possibility that the sky could be falling. It’s an “insurance policy,” Pindyck explains, with other true believers nodding in agreement.
This is a peculiar species of insurance policy, one where the premiums that we’re being asked to pay total literally trillions of dollars, where the perils that we’re being protected against are ill- or undefined, and where — should any of the perils ever materialize — no benefits will be paid out to us policyholders.
This is also a peculiar species of insurance because the insurance industry has traditionally insured on the basis of past experience — this is the tradecraft of actuaries, who ground their assessment of risks on the likelihood that “actual” events that have occurred will reoccur. But in all of known human history — some 5,000 years — and even what’s known of human pre-history — some 200,000 years — none of the many periods of global warming that we’re aware of has led to human harm.
To the contrary, without exception all past periods of warming have been accompanied by advances in human progress. This was true in the Roman warming, at the time of Christ, in the Medieval warming of 1,000 years ago, which ushered us out of the Dark Ages, and in the warming of the last century which has seen unprecedented material wealth and a near-doubling of our lifespans. Indeed, most scientists I’m aware of – some 32,000 of them – believe that carbon dioxide and the natural global warming we’ve recently experienced provide mankind with benefits, not harms, as no self-respecting insurance actuary could deny.
Read the rest here.