Outside the box

Will Wilkinson wants to know whether climate change worriers are as interested in abatement as they are in prevention:

Also… from Warren Meyer I see this: “[Some climate scientists] claim now that man-made sulfate aerosols and black carbon are cooling the earth, and when some day these pollutants are reduced, we will see huge catch-up warming.”

Has anyone in the Pigou Club advanced the argument for subsidizing sulfate aerosols and black carbon (and whatever else has cooling effects)?

That's a good question; there's no reason that global warming has to be fixed through conservation, and in part the focus on conservation has a lot to do with what the environmentalists would say is a broader worry about outstripping the planet's sustainable carrying strategy, and what their critics would call an aesthetic fixation on a low-consumption lifestyle. Me, I think it's probably a little bit from column A, a little bit from Column B. But either way, using AGW as a stealth way to advance your other agendas is a little bit disingenuous.

As to the particulars of Will's question, however, I certainly hope no one's arguing in favor of subsidies for suflate aerosol emission, since we just implemented a massive emissions trading program to remove the damn things from the atmosphere. Sulfate aerosols are what cause acid rain.