Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Your Tuesday story “GDP hit found with cap, trade” (Nation, Politics) states: “A cap-and-trade system would decrease the amount of carbon dioxide in the air to a level that researchers say is safe.” The piece cites no such researchers making any such claim because no researcher on record says any such thing.

CO2 is, of course, a marginal greenhouse gas, with all GHGs combined still a marginal climate driver behind the sun, clouds and oceans. Even among those claiming that there is some particular and climatically “unsafe” level of atmospheric CO2, none says the marginal reductions that any U.S. legislation would provide would under any scenario impact the climate in any way that even our most sensitive instruments could detect.

More precisely, this agenda is premised entirely on computer models, and no model output finds any such claim as the one the story attributes to “researchers.” The legislation is all pain and no gain, and The Washington Times’ claim is unsupported because it is unsupportable.


Senior fellow

Competitive Enterprise Institute


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