If you wanted a prime example of the kind of blinkered, circular dumbassery that passes for right-wing thinking on global climate change -- or for that matter, any kind of science issue -- check out the discussion that emerged this weekend over this absurd contribution from economist Stefan Karlsson in the Christian Science Monitor:
What has always troubled me the most with the view that we needs to stop "climate change" in the form of "global warming" is the idea that it would be bad if the Earth became warmer.
Sure, that could be negative in some areas for some reasons, but it would also be beneficial in other areas for other reasons. Suppose for example that Antarctica, or at least parts of it, would become habitable due to a warmer climate, wouldn't that be a good thing that could possibly outweigh possible problems elsewhere
... Note that some "climate change" theories argue that "global warming" could lead to colder weather in for example northern Europe. But even assuming that this is really true, it begs the question of why colder weather is bad there but good everywhere else. And this cold weather will largelly undo the initial warming effect, leaving us with little to worry about, assuming "global warming" is bad.
Fairly typical of an economist to only consider the surface economic effects of global climate change with nary a word about the far more significant biological impacts that are heading our way like a big runaway train careering down the tracks.
Sure enough, the usual half-thinkers of the wingnutosphere were happy to promote this nonsense, including Glenn Reynolds and Ann Althouse, who remarked: "The reason is that when [IF!] global warming sets in, there will be winners and losers, and those who predict that they will win understand the value of circumspection and restraint." (Even more absurd is the outright denialism that dominated the comments to this post.)
Actually, the reason to be concerned is that EVERYONE loses -- every species on the planet will suffer, including human beings. Even wealthy, conceited, arrogant conservative human beings.
But this is fairly typical right-wing cant when it comes to climate change -- believing that the only impacts of global phenomena are to be found in the obvious manifestations they can see. Remember how, last winter, everyone on Fox was trying to argue that the heavy East Coast snowstorms somehow disproved that global warming was occurring?
So let's leave aside the reality that rising ocean levels will seriously impact the globe's coastal populations, particularly those in the Third World. Leave aside the certainty that many of the world's forests (and thus their oxygen-producing capacities) are going to be burning up and dying because of climate change. And leave aside the likelihood that the world's storms -- hurricanes, tornadoes, rainstorms and snowstorms -- likely will be increasing significantly in intensity, killing many more human beings than they already do.
Let's consider instead simply a small spectrum of the impact global warming will have on the world's oceans -- our coral reefs. Because the evidence is nearly indisputable that, because of climate change, the world's coral reefs are rapidly dying.
This isn't even being seriously contested by anyone, and we've known it for awhile. In 2006, there was this National Geographic report, based on a study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, describing how global warming is devastating the world's coral reefs. It has been borne out by numerous studies, including one published in Science in 2007.
No one is even attempting to claim that this effect is not happening. Indeed, the concern has only been intensifying in more recent years. See, for instance, the maps showing the loss of calclifiers in the oceans, which inevitably is leading to a significant loss of biodiversity within the world's oceanic ecosystems.