From an email sent July 2, 2009
Recently (serendipity is swell) Paul Krugman had an article that blatantly accused those of us who “deny” anthropogenic global warming (AGW) with “…treason against the planet”. (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/29/opinion/29krugman.html?_r=1)
In a subsequent paragraph he stated what he believes is the outcome of AGW. It is my presumption that most AGW proponents (if not all) have a similar expectation hence their willingness to traumatize the US economy to reduce the US carbon emission levels.
Krugman: “The fact is that the planet is changing faster than even pessimists expected: ice caps are shrinking, arid zones spreading, at a terrifying rate. And according to a number of recent studies, catastrophe — a rise in temperature so large as to be almost unthinkable — can no longer be considered a mere possibility. It is, instead, the most likely outcome if we continue along our present course.”
It is my understanding that part of Japan’s logic in attacking the United States in 1941 was the US cutoff of energy – oil – which greatly threatened Japan. Japan of course was a major importer of raw materials. Their logic was that cutting off the supply of oil was an effective declaration of war. Whether this is totally accurate or not isn’t really my point. My point is that an economic sanction of one sort or another could be considered as an act of war.
If Krugman and cohorts are correct then worldwide carbon emissions are the causative element of AGW, not just the US emissions. What happens if the US reduces its emissions as AGW proponents desire (we could include much of Europe as well) but the major developing countries (BRIC – Brazil, Russia, India, China) do not do so?
It seems eminently reasonable to expect that so-called developing countries will not reduce their emissions. In fact, they are explicitly stating that they will not do so. This is their rationale for being excluded from the Kyoto treaty. Their position is that the first world developed countries created the carbon emission problem so they should shoulder the responsibility to fix it. At the same time these countries are demanding the right to use carbon based energy to develop their economies, presumably to first world status. So what happens to the planet if the Western and developed nations reduce emissions but the combined efforts of the remaining countries obviates that effort and total world-wide carbon emissions continue to grow?
If the planet – not just the United States – is in peril from AGW and if developing nations are not curbing their carbon emissions doesn’t that give the US (and feckless Europe) the right – a self defense right – to use military force to curb carbon emissions in the offending countries? Yeah sure we can try moral suasion but that doesn’t seem to have as much impact as one might think. At least, it hasn’t so far in human history. And as for economic sanctions? See Japan above.
So, what rights does the US have if AGW is in fact a threat to the entire planet? A corollary is what steps are the proponents of AGW willing to take if they truly believe AGW is a global threat? Does the US have the self defense right to use military force to curb carbon emissions if the planet is at risk? And will AGW proponents have the political courage to execute such a war? This all assumes moral suasion fails of course.
Note to self – how long do we try moral suasion before we attack?