Matt Ridley writes:

Here is a simple fact about the world today:

• climate change is doing more good than harm.

Here is another fact:

• climate change policy is doing more harm than good.

These are both well-established facts, supported by a great deal of data, as I will demonstrate. Do these facts surprise you? It’s certainly not the impression most politicians, scientists or journalists give. Yet the well-informed ones would not deny it if pressed. They would merely insist, instead, that this position will reverse later in the 21st century and that by then climate change, unchecked, will be doing more harm than climate policy. The eventual ends will begin to justify the painful means.

They may be right; we will see. But, today, we are deliberately causing suffering in partly futile efforts to stop something that is currently doing more good than harm, mostly to poor people.

And that should give us pause, at the very least. Is it right to ask today’s poorest people – on whom the pain of climate policies fall most heavily – to make sacrifices for the sake of tomorrow’s probably much richer people? Yet even to ask this question is to run a gauntlet of abuse from people, mostly paid by taxpayers, who accuse you of moral failings.

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