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InsiderOnline Blog: October 2008

“Necessary” Doesn’t Equal “Possible”

In recent testimony, Sterling Burnett identifies a major flaw in the case for regulating carbon dioxide emissions:

… one of the most common logical fallacies philosopher’s catch people violating is the principle that “ought implies can.” All too often citizens call on politicians to do the impossible, however, governments – and this should apply to regulatory agencies as well – surely only have a duty to do something, if it is possible that they can actually have an effect. Futile actions ought not be required by law. Since no actions contemplated by the EPA would, in fact, have any measurable impact on overall greenhouse gas concentrations and thus on either global temperature and or future sea levels, assuming for the sake of argument that the former are related to the latter, the EPA ought not to regulate CO2. The judicial system refers to this point as the issue of redressability. Any regulations proposed or implemented ought to be likely to redress, prevent, correct or reduce the harm from the action being regulated. This condition is not met and for this reason alone, the EPA ought not to regulate CO2 emissions.

Posted on 10/20/08 02:29 PM by Alex Adrianson

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