18 June 2008

Politics and the Weather

Do you ever notice that floods, food poisonings, terrorist attacks, celebrity deaths lead to a rash of hasty legislation on the matter? The same thing happens with investments -- where people invest in "last year's wonder" or decide to become conservative after a stock market crash or aggressive in a boom.

The trouble with these hasty actions is that mistakes made in the heat of the moment often take years or decades to emerge and/or reverse.

Bottom Line: Urgent is not the same as important, and we should be careful when taking urgent actions on important matters.

4 comments:

Bob said...

Bottom Line: Urgent is not the same as important, and we should be careful when taking urgent actions on important matters.

Like climate change?

David Zetland said...

Bob, after 15 years (1992 to now), I think we've left the realm of urgent. Nice try :)

Bob said...

If I weren't so scrupulous I would start a new blog post at my site claiming, "Environmental Economist Admits: 'Climate Change Not Urgent'!"

David Zetland said...

...and you would be wrong to attribute that to me. I mean that we are not taking "urgent" action on CC. We are taking LONG OVERDUE action on CC. We've had years of study (and blockade by the CTTs), so nobody can claim that action today is action in haste. (That doesn't mean that action today will be as good as possible. I am in favor of the tax -- not C&T -- because it's the least-harmful action when action WILL be taken...)