Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Liberais e aquecimento global

First, I’m a bit surprised to find libertarians on the wrong side of this debate. Global climate change is one of the few instances where lots of environmentalists (not all, by any means) are supporting a property-rights based solution (tradeable emissions permits), despite starting from a position (in the leadup to Kyoto) of almost uniform opposition to anything that didn’t rely primarily on direct and detailed regulation. it seems as if the ideological opponents are upset because the government-created nature of the property rights in question will be self-evident, rather than obscured by a century or two of history.

I’m struck by the reliance of most libertarian critics, such as Indur Goklany, who debates Adler here, on consequentialist benefit-cost arguments in favor of climate inaction. As Adler says, it seems odd to find libertarians saying that it’s OK, for example, to completely wipe out the property of Pacific Island nations, on the basis that there will be a net social benefit for the world as a whole from doing so.

If emission permit trading is rejected on ideological grounds (I can’t exactly figure out what these are, but I’m not well equipped to arbitrate on ideological disputes among libertarians) it doesn’t seem as if any the other solutions commonly proposed by the FME camp are applicable. Take for example the Coasian favorite of tort action. For a global congestion problem, this would require everyone in the world to sue everyone else, presumably in some newly created world court (Goklany disputes this, saying, in effect “let he who is without sin cast the first stone”, a principle that renders any sort of response to pollution impossible)

Parece-me que o argumento de muitos liberais é de que o aquecimento global não estará cientificamente provado, mas isso é um bocado "chutar para o canto"; afinal, mesmo que o aquecimento global não esteja provado, isso não resolve a questão de como é que eles lidariam com ele se estivesse provado (como o autor escreve "it’s surely a big problem for a political viewpoint if its viability depends upon assumptions about cloud feedbacks")?

No comments: