August 29, 2007

Now We're Skeptical!

When the Bush administration was preparing to invade Iraq, hawks aplenty talked about the "humanitarian benefits" of liberating all those Iraqis from Saddam's clutches. They never stopped to ask whether all the money that would be spent on the war could have been put to even better humanitarian ends elsewhere. It certainly could've, though: Even if the war hadn't been a total fiasco, spending those hundreds of billions of dollars on malaria nets and vaccines in the Third World would've helped far more people and saved more lives, if that was your main concern.

Then we have the War on Drugs, a multi-billion dollar endeavor that has accomplished absolutely nothing of value. Again, few conservatives ever ask whether it would be "more cost-effective" to spend that money elsewhere. The same goes for the hundreds of billions of dollars we spend each year on enough military hardware to destroy the earth ten times over. The most efficient use of our resources? Of course not. Is there a big outcry about this fact? Not really.

But wait! Liberals are now talking about trying to tackle climate change. And all of the sudden conservatives are rallying around Bjorn Lomborg and saying, "Dear god, man. Stop! Don't you know that spending money to prevent global warming isn't the absolute most cost-effective use of those dollars? Why, it would be immoral to proceed." Now isn't that a cute trick?
-- Brad Plumer 12:34 AM || ||