The Arctic boom reminds us that global warming, like most every macro phenomenon, has good and bad effects. The pace of warming has slowed down in recent years and it’s uncertain what the long term effects of climate change will be. But even if we grant that some of the greens’ fears will be realized, there are still countervailing benefits to consider. It looks to us as if the affects of climate change are much more complex and harder to predict than green publicists claim; the earth’s climate system has surprised us before and is likely to surprise us again as the interactions and interrelations of different factors lead to unexpected changes in the world around us.

Given that climate change is a mixture of curses and blessings, any policy addressing it is going to involve trade-offs. Slowing it down, for example, would hurt some, help others. It’s not clear why a cold, Arctic-reliant country like Russia whose economy is linked to the oil and gas trade would find a benefit in cooperating with efforts to stop climate change. It also appears that human activities like farming are better able to adjust to temperature variations than some pessimists would have us believe. Crops like soya, corn and wheat can be bred (or genetically modified) to grow in warmer and dryer conditions at a modest cost.

Greens, many impelled by emotional overreactions or a deep inner belief that unfettered capitalism is a terrible thing, have tried to simplify the discussion about the earth’s changing climate into a morality play.

That’s because environmentalism is better understood as a religion than a scientific movement. Meanwhile, better to face global warming than a Fallen Angels scenario, which is also noted here.