Associated Press Accidentally Extols Benefits of Global Warming

June 4th, 2007 2:55 PM

Think global warming is a bad thing?

Well, not according to Seth Borenstein of the Associated Press.

In an article published Saturday entitled “Blame Coal: Texas Leads Carbon Emissions” (h/t NBer dscott), the AP writer, whilst trying to point fingers at certain states for being bigger polluters than others, accidentally suggested that global warming might actually be a good thing.

Don’t believe me? Take a look at paragraph eight (emphasis added):

The disparity in carbon dioxide emissions is one of the reasons there is no strong national effort to reduce global warming gases, some experts say. National emissions dipped ever so slightly last year, but that was mostly because of mild weather, according to the Energy Department.

Hmmm. So, the mild weather in 2006 – in particular, a warmer than average winter – must have reduced demand for heating oil and coal, thereby dropping emissions of greenhouse gases.

That’s a good thing, right?

As such, doesn’t this suggest that warmer winters across the globe might actually be beneficial to the planet rather than a disaster as it would reduce the world’s usage of polluting fossil fuels?

This kind of goes hand-in-hand with what NASA Administrator Michael Griffin was saying during his NPR interview last week:

To assume that [global warming] is a problem is to assume that the state of Earth's climate today is the optimal climate, the best climate that we could have or ever have had and that we need to take steps to make sure that it doesn't change…I guess I would ask which human beings — where and when — are to be accorded the privilege of deciding that this particular climate that we have right here today, right now is the best climate for all other human beings.

This was similar to a point being made by economist Julian Moore of the International Policy Network on “Larry King Live” back in February:

When it comes to climate change, many, many economists have looked at this problem and the majority have said, well, and actually a small amount of warming is probably good for the world. It will increase agricultural production. You might, if you melt a bit of the arctic, open up the Northwest Passage. There are all sorts of benefits that would happen from a small amount of warming.

Taking this further, since a far greater number of people die from cold temperatures around the world rather than heat, wouldn’t a warmer planet save lives, too?

So, with a little bit of warming, we’d have less cold-related deaths, increased agricultural production, and less burning of greenhouse gas-producing fossil fuels over the winter.

Add it all up, and this actually sounds like something the left ought to be advocating rather than hysterically trying to prevent.