I once found myself in a debate with someone advocating the precautionary principle, that we should abate all CO2 production "just in case" it might cause a catastrophe. The person I was debating with said, trying to be reasonable, "you buy car insurance, right?"
I answered, "Yes, but I wouldn’t buy insurance on my car if the insurance itself cost more than my car." The point is that in most forecasts, the cost of CO2 abatement with current technologies tends to outweigh even some of the more dramatic catastrophic costs of warming, particularly since the best defense against climate disaster is wealth, not less CO2. Here is another example:
Climatologist Patrick Michaels thinks it would have virtually no effect on the climate, an additional 0.013 degrees (Celsius) of "prevented" warming. That’s another little bitty fact that will never see the light of day on most press reports. Instead what we’ll get is the usual hot air, except this time it has the price tag of 660 hurricanes.
Update: "the sexiness has gone out of the movement…AGW was fun … as long as nobody lost an eye." Or as long as no Senator had to put his name on a $4 a gallon gas tax (about what they have in Europe, an amount that is still way insufficient to force compliance with Kyoto goals).