Magazine June 8, 2009, Issue

Dunce Cap-and-Trade

Henry Waxman (Darren Gygi)
The Waxman-Markey global-warming bill cannot survive cost-benefit analysis.

Democrats in the White House and Congress are now making the most serious push ever for legislation to force reductions of U.S. carbon-dioxide emissions. The stated purpose is to reduce potential future harm from human-caused climate change, and the vehicle is a climate-and-energy bill commonly referred to as Waxman-Markey. But the reasoning behind this proposal is innumerate, even if we accept the scientific and economic assumptions of its advocates. 

According to the authoritative U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), under a reasonable set of assumptions for global economic and population growth, the world should expect to warm by about 2.8°C

Jim Manzi is CEO of Applied Predictive Technologies (APT), an applied artificial intelligence software company.

In This Issue


Politics & Policy

The Parent Problem

In late March, the Urban League issued its 2009 “State of Black America” report, which declared that “African Americans remain twice as likely as whites to be unemployed, three times ...
Politics & Policy

Trust the Afghan Army

Along the Durand Line, Northeast Afghanistan — The view from the Karir Pass on the Durand Line separating Afghanistan from Pakistan is spectacular. To the west, a river meanders toward ...


Politics & Policy

Dunce Cap-and-Trade

Democrats in the White House and Congress are now making the most serious push ever for legislation to force reductions of U.S. carbon-dioxide emissions. The stated purpose is to reduce ...

Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

Waste Watching

There are very few directors in Hollywood — below the Steven Spielberg league, that is — who can make absolutely any film they want. Consider Ron Howard and Steven Soderbergh, ...
The Straggler

Office Manners

The question going round the dinner table was: Do you have any secret pleasures of a mentionable kind? The subsequent confessions displayed various degrees of weirdness: the lady who sings ...
Politics & Policy

Of Beauty and Loss

Late in 1914 four young Englishmen, just out of school, met and decided it was their mission to reform their country morally, through poetry. The odds of this quixotic enterprise’s ...
Politics & Policy

The Hot Seat

This brisk history of the Supreme Court’s constitutional decisions contains much that is admirable and interesting. Nevertheless, the main lesson advanced by the book has been commonplace at least since ...
Politics & Policy

Shelf Life

The problems of mainline Protestantism in our time — the collapse of what used to be called “the Protestant Establishment” — can make for depressing reading, so it helps that ...


Happy Warrior

Raw Deal

Well, the Speaker has resigned. No, not Nancy Pelosi, but Michael Martin, Speaker of the House of Commons at Westminster. It’s seven-and-a-half centuries since Sir Peter de Montfort served as ...
Politics & Policy


For the Birds In the picture accompanying Richard Brookhiser’s most recent column (“Bright Wings,” May 25), the bird identified as a phoebe is a phoebe. The bird identified as a crow, ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ This vice-president, by nature, cannot be in an undisclosed location. ‐ Dick Cheney is the madwoman in the attic, the crazy voice that Republicans ought to stifle. So says the ...
The Long View

Ask Nancy Pelosi

The Speaker of the House responds to your questions. Dear Nancy: I’m a long-time reader, first-time writer. I’ve loved your work in the House of Representatives and have been reading your column ...
Politics & Policy

Postcard From Hubbard Hall

The actresses here fit their parts. Mother, daughter, student, nurse. This play concerns a farm In decline. The barn roof collapses. Chickens die, mysteriously. Gwen plays a concerned daughter. The farmer’s daughter: You know all the jokes. I want to act the traveling salesman, driving, ...

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