It`s kind of nice to hear an expert in the field making the same observation I often have about the economic arguments that swirl around the climate policy debates.
Specifically, opponents to mitigation policy have no trouble relying on the magic of the market and technology to rescue us from any possible difficulty climate change might visit upon us. This of course includes the loss of huge services nature provides us for free. You know, things like rain and sea food and forests.
Yet, make a suggestion that CO2 emissions need to be forced lower and the Pollyanna`s instantly become the most shrill alarmists, predicting total world collapse and millions of deaths. Changes to energy consumption, either in intensity or in sources, is something this magic market just can not begin to handle.
As Krugman puts it:
Opponents of a policy change generally believe that market economies are wonderful things, able to adapt to just about anything — anything, that is, except a government policy that puts a price on greenhouse gas emissions. Limits on the world supply of oil, land, water — no problem. Limits on the amount of CO2 we can emit — total disaster.
Funny how that is.