This is easily my favorite paragraph of the day:
Artificial climate change is real; even skeptics now call the danger scientifically proven. But Friedman, Al Gore, James Hansen of NASA, and others present climate change as some kind of super-ultra emergency. Global warming is a problem, one that must be managed via greenhouse-gas restrictions and a weaning away from fossil fuels. But in a world of poverty, disease, dictatorships, terrorism, nuclear proliferation, lack of girls' education, and more than 1 billion people without cleaning drinking water or electricity—climate change barely makes the Problem Top 10.
That's from Gregg Easterbrook's review at SLATE.com of the new Thomas Friedman book, Hot, Flat, and Crowded. In an amazing election year in which both major party candidates promise to implement cap-and-trade on carbon emissions, you would think this issue is essentially resolved. But Easterbrook concludes with a policy insight:
Greenhouse gases are an air-pollution problem. Smog and acid rain, the two previous serious air-pollution problems, once were viewed as emergency threats. Then federal standards were imposed, and inventions and new business models were devised; now smog and acid rain are way down in the United States and declining in much of the rest of the world. And no international treaty governs smog or acid rain!