NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


June 18, 2009

Global warming is a reality, but many proposed solutions would be "much more costly to society than the danger it seeks to avert," according to a June report by National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA).

"The world will surely regret it if billions of people are mired in poverty because resources are diverted to solve a nonexistent or trivial problem.  On the other hand, the world would regret doing nothing if human-made global warming is a serious problem," says the report authored by Iain Murray, of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and H. Sterling Burnett, a senior fellow with the National Center for Policy Analysis.

They suggest "no regrets" programs that would prove beneficial whether or not human activities are creating a global warming problem without sacrificing living standards.  These policies would reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase energy efficiency, reduce harms associated with global warming or increase the world's capabilities to deal with climate change associated problems.

Here are 10 of them:

  • Eliminate all subsidies for fuel use.
  • Reduce regulatory barriers to new nuclear power plants.
  • Reduce wildfires through alternative forest management institutions.
  • Liberalize approval of biotechnology.
  • Repeal the National Flood Insurance Program.
  • Increase use of toll roads with congestion pricing.
  • Remove older cars from the road.
  • Reform air traffic control systems.
  • Remove regulatory barriers to innovation.
  • Encourage breakthrough in new technology.

Favoring an "X" prize competition that rewards successful independent research -- like the government and private competitions that encouraged early development of the automobile and the airplane -- could be a solution, say Murray and Burnett.

Source: Editorial, "'No regret' warming solutions," Oil & Gas Journal, June 17, 2009; based upon: Iain Murray and H. Sterling Burnett, "10 Cool Global Warming Policies," National Center for Policy Analysis, Study, No. 321, June 3, 2009.

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