You know how the left likes to go on and on about how Republicans are “anti-science”? Well sit back and take in this story, which reveals this claim to be another example of leftist projection.
Way back in 1993, David Brower, the late “arch-druid” (John McPhee’s phrase) of environmentalism, placed this full page ad in the New York Times:
What you can’t read in the small print is that this phrase came from an environmental activist named Hazel Henderson, who added, at the 1992 “Earth Summit” in Rio, that come the green revolution, economists would be sent to camps.
The rest of the text is a letter to the new president, Bill Clinton, saying “please please get rid of that evil cost-benefit analysis” that the evil Reagan-Bush regime forced on us to make our regulations make sense! Significantly, neither the Clinton Administration nor the Obama Administration junked the cost-benefit reviews Reagan instituted, and the ins-and-outs of that story of bureaucratic intrigue is a subject for another day.
Now, Brower died in the late 1990s, and even the most ideological environmentalists grudgingly recognized that economics is essential to any sensible environmentalism. Their grasp of economics was often at a kindergarten level, but like Samuel Johnson said, it was like the novelty of a woman preaching or a dog standing on its hind legs.
It couldn’t last, of course. Behold Rolling Stone‘s amazing backsliding:
The article, by leading climatista hack Andrew Dessler, is behind a paywall, but I gather it is an attack on cost-benefit analysis. So the climatistas are backsliding. They have to, because even the most preposterous discount rates (the cornerstone of long-range economic analysis) reveal climate policy measures to be huge losers. So guess who wants to “ignore the science” now? Brain damage you say?
Memo to climatistas: if a cost-benefit analysis shows that your measures deliver meager benefits, you are wasting resources. Once upon a time, environmentalists were against wasting resources.