Rather than engage with the issues [regarding developing nations' refusal to commit economic suicide], eco-pundits are grasping for all kinds of fanciful pseudo-scientific theories to explain why Obama's sweet-talking ways are leaving the rest of the world cold. New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, for instance, recently blamed
the lack of progress on the faulty circuitry evolution has wired into the human brain. According to Kristof, evolution has programmed us to be alert to immediate threats, such as snakes, or enemies with clubs, but not for vastly greater but less imminent dangers that require forethought. If this sounds like a warmed-over, 21st-century version of the Calvinistic crooked-timber view of human nature, that's because it is.
But this psychologizing only exposes the inability of climate activists to take seriously the rational case for inaction. In fact, there is a perfectly good reason developing countries are unwilling to act on climate change: What they are being asked to do is more awful than climate change's implications--even if one accepts all the alarmist predictions.Shikha Dalmia
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