I ran across this post over the weekend, and found it to be disappointing, simply because the writer chose to spin and distort someone else’s words, rather than deal with the validity of his target’s assertions. From the post:
Questioned yesterday at an AEI-sponsored discussion of green jobs, Smith admitted that her modeling actually shows that even with the climate policy in place:
“When you look out to 2050 there’s a doubling of the GDP.”
Wow. I’m not sure how “a doubling of GDP” amounts to the suicide-bombing induced economic meltdown the Chamber likes to portray. Was this a momentary aberration on Smith’s part?
I’ll answer this one. A doubling of GDP over the next 40 years would correspond to an annual average growth rate of about 1.75%. Over the past 40 years, the annual average growth rate has been about 2.93%. Using that as a baseline, a doubling of GDP by 2050 would correspond to a complete failure– the cost of climate action would, on average, subtract almost 1.2 percentage point from annual growth, year after year.
Fortunately, there’s good reason to believe that this wildly overestimates the actual cost. So why not just refute Smith’s claims? Doing so would avoid this:
Apparently not, since Smith went on to say that:
“The real issue isn’t whether we’re going to tank the economy. Its, is this something we’re willing to spend for? You’ve got to look at what are we getting for that and is it worth doing?”
In other words, all of Smith’s research and damning presentations aren’t about saying we shouldn’t do a climate policy, or that it will kill the economy. Rather, that we should make sure we get the best value we can.
Hmmm…I’d have to say that if the cost of getting the US to fight global warming is that we double the GDP, well, that sounds like a pretty good value to me.
No. She’s saying that maybe action on climate change isn’t worth doing. She’s probably wrong– but address that, don’t distort her words– and don’t try to spin a dismal growth rate as a positive, especially when you have good reason to believe that the real cost of action on climate change would be far lower.