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A still from the movie 'Ideocracy': $10,000,000 bill
Whatever keeps the checks coming, I guess
I continue to be impressed at just how devoid of sentient thought you can be and still land a gig at a "think tank." In this case, the Koch-founded, hypothetically libertarian Cato Institute:
The atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) has recently reached a “milestone” of 400 parts per million (ppm). In some circles, this announcement has been met with consternation and gnashing of teeth. The proper reaction is celebration.
Hooray! The announcement that our planet's atmosphere has now been bent to something not previously seen in all of human existence should be heralded, you see, because it means we're getting really, really awesome at using fossil fuels. It's like when your house catches on fire and you beam in pride at all the smoke because hey—that just means you had a lot of expensive crap in there. Celebrate your success, fella. Soak it in.

It's not just the planet is getting warmer and that that's an awesome thing because woo, free heat; the even more awesomer thing is that fossil fuel pollution HAS GOT WHAT PLANTS CRAVE!

There are two primary externalities that result from our emissions of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere—1) an enhancement of the greenhouse effect, which results in an alteration of the energy flow in the earth’s climate and a general tendency to warm the global average surface temperature, and 2) an enhancement of the rate of photosynthesis in plants and a general tendency to result in more efficient growth and an overall healthier condition of vegetation (including crops).  There’s incontrovertible evidence that the planet is both warmer and greener than it was 100 years ago.
Point (1) is a rather sterilized way of saying that millions upon millions of people are about to see their homes go away, but point (2) is super-better. Dumping all those greenhouse gases into the air is practically like turning the whole planet into, well, a greenhouse—just think of how great all our crops are going to grow now! I mean sure, maybe they won't grow anywhere we're currently planting them, but where they do grow, look out. We're talking serious, serious photosynthesis, baby. Shale oil HAS GOT WHAT PLANTS CRAVE! The Koch brothers, who help produce the stuff and who coincidentally are the driving force behind the Cato Institute, are practically gods among men for their work in making our future planet so lush and green!

This is so awesome, in fact, that we can barely stand it. Did you know that hitting the 400ppm threshold, a milestone marking the beginnings of serious climate change that could "result in an alternation of the energy flow in the goddamn earth's climate itself," changing weather patterns in unpredictable and possibly nation-shattering ways, means that we are no longer so beholden to that stupid weather? Of course you don't—but that's because you don't realize changing the atmosphere of the planet HAS GOT WHAT PLANTS CRAVE!

400ppm of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere should remind us of our continuing success at expanding the global supply of energy to meet a growing demand. That  success which ultimately leads to an improvement of the global standard of living and a reduction in vulnerability to the vagaries of weather and climate.

400pm is cause for celebration. “A world lit only by fire” is not.

Wooo! Now that we have accepted climate change is happening, we also realize that it is awesome! We have the ability to affect the atmosphere of the entire planet, and that means we have been doing awesome! Party time! All you people in coastal cities, the Koch brothers are gonna spring for free inner tubes for the lot of you (not really) so you can enjoy your new backyard pools, complements of Mother Nature and our Most Awesome and Well-Heeled Energy overlords! Release the nukes, the radiation will make our newly awesome super-green mega-crops f--king glow! BIGGER BOOM GOT WHAT PLANTS CRAVE!

Cough—excuse me. Anyway, the very serious Cato Institute, often hailed as the very pinnacle (snicker) of libertarian/conservative "thinking" (snicker), was recently the subject of an intense power struggle between the staunchly Republican Koch brothers and the more traditionally libertarian members of Cato's board. The essential battle was over Cato's continued independence or whether they would evolve, as the Koch faction desired, into a more reliably conservative, Republican, corporatist and nakedly partisan outfit. There was a lawsuit and everything.

I'd tell you which side won, but really, does it matter?

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