Settled Science: Keystone XL is *NOT* “game over” for climate

August 8, 2013

An article appearing this week in the journal Nature takes a close look at the debate over the building of the Keystone XL pipeline.  There is a scientific consensus that the development of the Alberta oil sands and the pipeline necessary to support it would not be the unmitigated disaster that hyperbolic catastrophists such as Bill McKibben are claiming.  This in not to say that there is a scientific consensus in favor of building Keystone – quite the contrary.  However, this article clearly re-frames the debate as a political/ideological one and not a scientific one.

“As a serious strategy for dealing with climate, blocking Keystone is a waste of time,” says David Victor, a climate-policy expert at the University of California, San Diego. “But as a strategy for arousing passion, it is dynamite.”

Rational people should tune out the shriekers and the shouters and make a cost benefit analysis based on their own weighting of the values – whatever they may be – and  not on fear.


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