For some time now I’ve been trying to convey just how ludicrous it is that the US government’s anti-carbon policies are based on computer simulations of the global economic/climate system through the year 2300. A recent piece by David Kreutzer and Kevin Dayaratna (an economist and computer programmer, respectively, at the Heritage Foundation) is the best I’ve yet seen:
When you switch on the kitchen light tonight, how will it affect Captain James T. Kirk and the intrepid crew of the Starship Enterprise?
Captain Kirk is a fictional character, of course, but the question — thanks to the EPA — is all too real. The agency calls it the “Social Cost of Carbon.” In the SCC they claim to have an estimate, measured in dollars per ton of CO2, for all the damage that your free-and-easy light-switching today will impose on the world from now until the year 2300, at which point Captain Kirk would be 77. To save Kirk and the rest of future Earth from a panoply of speculative, incremental horrors, the EPA has plans to nudge your carbony little fingers away from that switch and many others.
The two authors then go on to describe their results when they tweak 2 of the 3 computer models that the Obama Administration’s Working Group used to calculate the “social cost of carbon”:
(For the rest of the article, click the link.)