Friday, October 10, 2008

Climate Change

Here's an interesting interview with Roy Spencer, a team leader on NASA's Aqua satellite and a skeptic of human-caused global warming. it's worth reading the whole thing - you don't have be a science geek to understand it (which is why I could read it to begin with).

"Congress gives money to study problems. If manmade global warming is a problem, that's what the money goes to. If manmade global warming isn't a problem there's a risk of losing a lot of funding."

I think this argument has legs. My much-reviled Con Law professor, Lino Graglia, talked a lot about this issue in relation to other things. His point: government agencies (and government funding) is self-perpetuating. If you establish a Department of Red Ant Control, you can be pretty certain that there will always be red ants. Because if they were completely eradicated, the department would have to be shut down and power and jobs would disappear. So the Department of Red Ant Control, even if it happens (accidentally) to kill every last red ant, will suddenly declare that termites are within their purview and a much greater danger than the ants ever were - and by the by can we have more government money? It's human nature - never work yourself out of your job is a lesson we learn quickly and tend to hang onto pretty tightly. Self-interest does so much more harm than good in the long run - but that's something we'll never learn, at least not in this lifetime.

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