Sunday, December 28, 2014

Holiday Reading

Belated Christmas Wishes!

The following one of the items of our Summer reading list....

Hot Stuff, Cold Logic by Richard Tol

Just as there is no logical or scientific basis for thinking that climate change is new, there is no self-evident reason to assume that the climate of the past is “better” than the climate of the future. With just as little logic, we might assume that women’s rights, health care, or education were necessarily better in the past. Any such judgment also contradicts Hume’s Law and, perhaps worse, is grounded in a fallacious appeal to nature understood in a very slanted way.  


In sum, while climate change is a problem that must be tackled, we should not lose our sense of proportion or advocate solutions that would do more harm than good. Unfortunately, common sense is sometimes hard to find in the climate debate. Desmond Tutu recently compared climate change to apartheid.1 Climate experts Michael Mann and Daniel Kammen compared it to the “gathering storm” of Nazism in Europe before World War II.2 That sort of nonsense just gets in the way of a rational discussion about what climate policy we should pursue, and how vigorously we should pursue it.

1 comment:

  1. In case you missed it ...

    Gerard Henderson
    There is no war between Israel and a nonexistent nation

    IN mid-December I travelled from Jerusalem to Ramallah for meetings inside the territory presided over by the Palestinian Authority. I was accompanied by an able young diplomat who heads the Australian Representative Office in Ramallah.

    All was quiet on the border between the area of the West Bank presided over by Israel and that governed by the PA. Despite some tensions between the administrations in Jerusalem and Ramallah, the PA’s President Mahmoud Abbas had decided to continue the security agreement that exists between the PA and Israel. This protects both entities from terrorist attacks from Islamists including those who express allegiance to the so-called Islamic State.

    So it came as some surprise when ABC News Breakfast presenter Beverley O’Connor introduced a segment on the Middle East on Thursday with a reference to what she termed the “Israeli-Palestinian war”. O’Connor later referred to the “very costly and brutal conflict between Israel and Palestine that seems to have no end”.

    Contrary to O’Connor’s editorialising, there is no war between Israel and Palestine. Nor has such an entity as Palestine ever existed. Jordan was in control of the area between Israel and the Jordan River between the creation of the State of Israel in 1948 and the 1967 war, which saw Israel occupy the area. In almost two decades Jordan did not establish a state of Palestine.

    There is reason to hope that there will be a two-state solution in the region that will see a state of Palestine established next to Israel. It may also be possible that a similar agreement may be reached with Gaza, ruled by Hamas, which has links to the Muslim Brotherhood.

    But all of this depends on whether Israel can find a peace partner from within the Palestinian Authority. Israel is in election mode and it is not clear whether Likud’s Benjamin Netanyahu will remain prime minister after the March poll. However, it seems certain that no elected Israeli leader, on the right or the left, will agree to the creation of a Palestinian state without a watertight security agreement.


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