Rare common sense on climate change

In: Uncategorized

18 Nov 2009

Some all too rare common sense on climate change from Nancy Birdsall and Arvind Subramanian of the Center for Global Development in an opinion piece in today’s Financial Times. The two authors go against the conventional wisdom in arguing against the primacy of cutting carbon emissions in the developing world:

“But emissions are not the primary issue. People do not consume emissions, they consume basic energy services. In the developing world, billions of people are now cooking over health-harming wood fires in shanty towns (rather than receiving piped gas and electricity), doing backbreaking hoe farming (not operating tractors) and walking or cycling to work (not driving small cars, let alone gas-guzzlers). Cutting emissions would push them from just above subsistence back, literally, to the dark ages.”

I do not agree with the entirety of their article but in rejecting the overwhelming priority given to reducing carbon emissions they deserve a loud round of applause.

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