You ain’t seen nothin yet

If you thought that the Copenhagen jamboree moderated the ambient hysteria, the following items may reassure you that worse is yet to come.

JACOB ARFWEDSON (Paris)

According to researchers at King’s College (London) future natural disasters are bound to increase strongly stress levels and anxiety among our fellow citizens. The authors did demand that these concerns be addressed by delegates at the COP-15.

This is no scoop and hardly Nobel Prize stuff: being afraid of the future has long been a staples of our kindred. The question should then be: could government possibly and reliably relieve us of this task? No: but let’s look at the evidence.

Where is the proof of imminent worldwide disaster? If you are an avid newspaper reader, you may be already be in a state of constant anxiety.

Hypothesis: should the global temperature rise by 1 or 2 degrees centigrade (where is the evidence?), fish in tropical climates could easily become as aggressive as pirhanas according to Australian scientist Peter Biro. (Well, if you submit humans to the same treatment, the results would probably be similar; just watch any crowd in urban transport in the evening).

That’s almost what governments agreed on in Copenhagen in terms of controlling the rise in temperature (assuming this is possible). But the hypothesis seems remote from empirical observations. With unreasonable premises, anything is possible. Be wary of such predictions, especially when politicians promise you benefits from unproven risks in a 50-year perspective.

Does this sound strange? Please look in your bank account and ask yourself it you can make predictions on the same scale, and remember that you do not wield the same power as our leaders who claim they can regulate the climate.

Happy New Year all the same!

Pictures: freedigitalphotos

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About the Author: Jacob Arfwedson

Jacob Arfwedson first worked on environmental issues with the ICREI (Paris) in the early 1990s (www.icrei.org). He has published extensively on various free market issues, working with some 20 think tanks in Europe and the US for the past 20 years. He received his MA from the Catholic University of Paris before studying at the Catholic University of America (Timbro Capitol Fellowship). His articles have been published by the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, le Figaro and AGEFI Switzerland.