While the poorer countries squabble with the richer ones at the Copenhagen global-warming jamboree, at least some of those in attendance have given a passing thought to how much the grand schemes being cooked up there will cost the rest of us. The New York Times reports that the International Energy Agency estimates that the tab for the goals set at the conference for energy infrastructure alone “will cost more than $10 trillion in additional investment from 2010 to 2030.”
If you think that’s a scary number, the Times’s advice is don’t worry about it. After all, while it is “a significant sum,” it’s only “a relatively small fraction of the world’s total economic output.” Which means that while the environmental alarmists are planning to place crippling handicaps on a global economy in the throes of a historic slowdown, it’s no problem because there will be at least some money left for the rest of us after Al Gore’s favorite “green” companies reap gigantic profits.
But the alternative isn’t pretty for those of us who are still reluctant to fork over the dough and trust those who say the Climategate e-mails are meaningless chatter, not an insightful look at the closed and corrupt world of climate science. Kevin Parker, the global head of Deutsche Bank Asset Management, who is in Copenhagen to track climate policy for the bank, has views about the issue that make Gore look like a conservative. According to Parker, those who worry about how to pay for all the Copenhagen plans aren’t looking “at the cost of inaction, which is the extinction of the human race. Period.”
So much for reasoned argument and analysis. Not even the most alarmist and far-fetched scenarios envisioned by Gore and company pose any such threat. But that’s the spirit of Copenhagen for you. As the global-warming crowd escalates demands for support of the various ploys they claim will help the situation, they are forced to keep raising the temperature of the fears they are stoking, no matter how unreasonable they might be.
But the bottom line here is that the plans being discussed represent a major drain on world capital as well as the pockets of taxpayers, while simultaneously enacting measures that will limit the ability of the economy to recover. Copenhagen’s ultimatum to the world is to stop thinking critically about the issue and just pay or die.