Una luz tenue sobre el calentamiento global

COPENHAGUE – En medio de una creciente ola de preocupación por el cambio climático, muchos países -incluidos Brasil, Australia, Estados Unidos y los miembros de la Unión Europea- sancionaron leyes en los años 2000 que prohibían o restringían sustancialmente el acceso a las bombillas incandescentes. La intención era entendible: si todos en el mundo cambiaran la mayoría de las bombillas por lámparas fluorescentes compactas (CFL por su sigla en inglés) de bajo consumo, podríamos ahorrar el 3,5% de toda la electricidad, o el 1% de nuestras emisiones de  CO2.

El intento actual por parte de los republicanos en el Congreso norteamericano de volver atrás en el esfuerzo de Estados Unidos por prohibir las bombillas incandescentes reanimó esta discusión. Muchos sostienen que la agenda está siendo impulsada por los negadores del cambio climático y su actitud cavernícola. Pero vale la pena revisar la premisa de que prohibir cosas es la manera más inteligente de abordar el calentamiento global.

Seamos claros: efectivamente necesitamos hacer algo para enfrentar el cambio climático. Pero esto no significa que debamos simplemente recortar todas las emisiones. Quemar combustibles fósiles también tiene beneficios importantes, y deberíamos sopesar esos beneficios en relación con los costos.

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