All throughout human history, our civilization expanded when energy became cheap, simpler to use and ubiquitous. And it shrank when energy became expensive, clunky to use and hard to get. Why is an expanding civilization a good thing? Well, it betters the human condition. 300 years ago, the vast majority of humans have lived in conditions there were so appallingly bad, they would be considered unlivable today. Only the “less than 1%” of the super-rich could afford things that anyone on food stamps can afford today. A side effect – richer people have spare cash and spare time to worry about the environment and its true, the richer a country became, the clearer it became and the better protected was the wildlife. Proof, look at environmental protection efforts in poor countries. Taxing the bejesus out of everyone will be bad for the environment, and bad for us.
One of the main themes of my writings on climate change at IER has been warning the public that the “consensus science” they are hearing from the media, pundits, and certain political figures is utterly divorced from the actual published literature, especially when it comes to the economic analysis of government policy.