Monday, February 20, 2006

Malkin emulating RP Jr.?

Michelle Malkin reprints an argument that climate-induced, rising sea levels are minor problems compared to land subsidence from groundwater depletion. This sounds to me to be very much like Roger Pielke Jr.'s argument that economic growth will be responsible for more hurricane damage than climate change, so we should "decouple" climate change and hurricane concerns.

Relative scale of impacts is fairly close in both cases - RP Jr. uses a 10% increase in damages from hurricanes, and a half-meter sea level rise is maybe 20% of the subsidence in some of the worst areas (Bangkok was terrible when I was there, and it's been over a decade for things to get worse).

I think "decoupling" climate policy from ocean flooding in subsiding cities is as problematic as decoupling it from hurricanes. These ten percent, twenty percent impacts add up (not literally, but in the sense of societal costs), and they all trace back to climate change.

Meanwhile I need to follow up more thoroughly on Roger's reply to my original post, but that might take a while.

FWIW, Michelle Malkin is one of the stranger right wing bloggers. She's famous for insane, anti-immigrant rhetoric, but she can on occasion be reasonable. She dislikes John Lott, for example. I'm not going to try and figure her out....

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