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Coming up with a policy to deal with “climate change” (assume we need one for now) requires that we come up with some estimate of how much we care about future generations. There is simply no avoiding that. In all the sciency-goodness out there, I see very little discussion of this – it is merely implied. But, then I have questions:

(1) Given that many folks think we’re going to nuke ourselves to death, or that MRSA is going to wipe us out, or that we have anti-population people out there, don’t we need to think about who may be around in the future, or even if ANY of us will be around?

(2) Does our expectation about future income matter?

(3) Finally, if the future matters, shouldn’t it ONLY be parents that get to decide the fate of climate policy?

…(3a) can anyone help me think harder about what types of people along the ideological divide on climate change are more or less likely to have children and families?

Inquiring minds want to know.

One Response to “I Ask This in All Seriousness”

  1. Harry says:

    Yes, WC, these are serious frequently unexamined questions.

    I have never understood the argument that we should leave all the hydrocarbons in the ground to save them for future generations living, say, five hundred years from now, or whenever they predict we will all of a sudden run out. (That is one argument.)

    Forget for a moment the economic fallacies in that argument, for example that one day the heating oil truck would just not show up with 250 gallons of fuel priced at $3.23 in 2013 inflation-adjusted dollars.

    But what do we owe to our children and our their grandchildren?

    Here in our happy country, the best thing I can think of is freedom. Of course, that assumes such things as not having events that intervene, like world suicide to end time.

    In that way I guess I am a narrow thinker, focused on the short term, maybe 80 or a hundred years, long after we are gone. Not hundreds of years when the sea has risen to flood the northeast end of Long Island.

    Freedom brings prosperity, and prosperity lets us adapt, whatever the weather.

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