- The Washington Times - Friday, September 19, 2008

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Bryan Mignone, the author of Monday’s Commentary column “Insuring the climate,” apparently doesn’t have a clue how car insurance or life insurance work. Either that, or he’s afflicted by hubris the size of Hurricane Ike, which is what it takes to claim that the defeated Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act, at an annual estimated cost of $21 billion for the next 22 years, would be an “insurance policy” against the damaging effects of Mother Nature’s temper tantrums.

An insurance policy is a contract that requires specific performance on the part of the insurer in exchange for the insured’s payment. Neither auto accidents nor death are prevented by insurance contracts. Mr. Mignone’s leap of Olympic proportions is that the taxpayers’ annual investment of $21 billion toward diminishing global warming would serve as a prophylactic against the tremendous damage wrought by hurricanes and tornadoes and the ensuing flooding.

Mr. Mignone’s logic is: Global warming causes more intense storms. Mankind causes global warming. Therefore, mankind can stop global warming. When mankind stops global warming, storms will be less intense.

One can easily drown in the vast assumptions underlying such “logic.” What if, as many scientists contend, global warming and cooling are natural processes of the earth and human activity has a trivial effect? Against whom do coastline residents make a claim when, say, after five years and the expenditure of more than $100 billion of taxpayer dollars, their homes are flattened by a hurricane-induced tidal surge? Carriers for their normal homeowners’ policies surely will have exempted from coverage incidents that were to be prevented by the government’s global-warming “insurance policy.”

If a “public sacrifice” to which Mr. Mignone refers is to be undertaken, better that taxpayer dollars be funneled directly into protective devices for storm-challenged homeowners - or better yet, into real insurance policies - than devoted to harebrained schemes based on dubious science and leftist political agendas.

SAMUEL R. LEWIS

Oak Hill, Va.

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