My Bold Prediction on Global Warming

From the Economist's blog, Democracy in America:

Almost everyone agrees in theory that something should be done about global warming, but this may be because almost everyone grossly underestimates what would be actually involved in using 20-30% less energy, or develops a blind spot about their own uses. Faced with a law that made them actually [pay more for gas/fly less/turn down the central heating and air/live in an apartment/buy less produce from far flung lands/etc], I confidently predict that most would develop reasons that their use is all right, and the laws should be targeted at some other fellow who is wasting energy, rather than trying, like me, to make a better life for his family.

Given this kind of inevitable attitude, what will happen? My bet is that the politicians and the scientists will get together and decide how much money they can realistically extract from consumers/tax payers. After that is determined, they will impose new "carbon taxes" on anything energy related. The resulting revenue will go to universities and public research institutions to build nice fat bureaucracies which will chug along in perpetuity.

After that is accomplished, the politicians and scientists will declare Global Warming under control. The press will be encouraged to slow the publication of lurid stories about melting ice caps and rising sea levels. Hollywood actors will bore of the whole affair, fly back to California and do what they do best - which involves fighting like children about who makes the next block buster movie. Eventually, they will find some other imminent danger (most likely something to do with cute animals), allowing them an air of seriousness that we all know is ridiculous.

Far fetched and cynical you say? If I hadn't seen it ten times before, I'd agree.