Treason Against Reason

by Don Boudreaux on June 29, 2009

in Environment, Myths and Fallacies, Regulation

John Stossel challenges Paul Krugman's over-the-top assertion that oppostion to climate-change legislation is "treason against the planet.

I also challenge Krugman in a different, but complementary, way.

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Methinks June 29, 2009 at 5:28 pm

Krugman is treason against humanity.

muirgeo June 29, 2009 at 5:41 pm

Is it treasonous to worry about the influence of interest-groups on regulation? Is it treasonous to fear that centralizing more power in Washington will result in unforeseen negative consequences? Is it treasonous to believe that the threat to our well-being posed by further constraints upon markets is worse than is the threat posed by higher temperatures?

Don B.

None of it is treasonous but can you provide supporting evidence?

We heard the same arguments of economic catastrophe over getting lead out of gas, over reducing sulfate emiisions from coal, and replacing CFC's to prevent the ozone whole from enlarging. Many more expamples exist of government intervention fixing what the market mechanism are unable to account for.

muirgeo June 29, 2009 at 5:47 pm

Predictably John Stossal chooses business and marketiing professors as his source for climate change science.

Dr. Kesten C. Green is a senior research fellow of the Business and Economic Forecasting Unit at Monash University in Australia. Dr. J. Scott Armstrong is Professor of Marketing at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

In March the biggest climate conference of the year took place in Copenhagen: 2500 participants from 80 countries, 1400 scientific presentations. Last week, the Synthesis Report of the Copenhagen Congress was handed over to the Danish Prime Minister Rasmussen in Brussels. Denmark will host the decisive round of negotiations on the new climate protection agreement this coming December.

SIGHH… here's the real science.

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/06/a-warning-from-copenhagen/#more-690

S Andrews June 29, 2009 at 5:52 pm

Muirgeo,

This post is not about science, it is about a fascistic notion that dissent is treason. Yes, there is plenty of disagreement on global warming – which was the original name of the religion – changed due to inconvenience of having to deal with the "speed bump" on the global warming super highway.

Here is another post on mises blog by William Anderson

here is the most interesting part of that blog post: Holocaust "denial" in parts of Europe is punishable by prison, and I guarantee you that people like Krugman and his zealot friends will want similar legislation in the USA for "global warming denial." I wish I were exaggerating, but I see this coming.

S Andrews June 29, 2009 at 5:57 pm
S Andrews June 29, 2009 at 6:22 pm

Dr. Kesten C. Green is a senior research fellow of the Business and Economic Forecasting Unit at Monash University in Australia. Dr. J. Scott Armstrong is Professor of Marketing at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

And what is Krugman's area of expertise?

I added four words to Krugman's last paragraph and that can be used against Krugman's economic policy recommendations, using Krugman's own standard's we should call him a traitor based on it.

"Yet the deniers are choosing, willfully, to ignore that threat, placing future generations of Americans in grave danger of untenable debt burden, simply because it’s in their political interest to pretend that there’s nothing to worry about. If that’s not betrayal, I don’t know what is."

I also posted the following comment to the mises blog entry:

"
EES says…

Okay, so Krugman is a True Believer. But what has he done about it? What has he given up?

He wants to stimulate spending! He wants to break windows and rebuild them. He wanted a housing bubble, earlier this decade, where by vast tracts of farmland would become suburbia with mcmansions sitting on them
"

Cheers June 29, 2009 at 6:44 pm

"SIGHH… here's the real science."

I don't get it muirgeo, all the link says is that a bunch of people got together and talked about a bunch of potential responses to warming over 2 degrees. There wasn't any science there.

Suitable science would include a climate trace that didn't fail then obscure an intentional r2 test, or a demonstrated cause and effect in an inclusive, closed environment that demonstrates a causative, non-converging relationship between CO2 and warming.

Dave June 29, 2009 at 7:34 pm

I wrote the following email to Dr. Krugman:

re: Betraying the Planet

Dr. Krugman,

In your recent column, you criticized opponents of the "cap and trade" legislation as committing "treason against the planet" and acting with "immorality" and "irresponsibility". You go on to mention researchers at MIT who are predicting a 9 degree rise in global temperatures by the turn of the next century.

While you don't mention whether there is competing research detailing various other potential scenarios, or what sets the particular research you cite apart from competing climate models, I think a more central question is this, based on your claims specifically against those in opposition to the Waxman-Markey bill: precisely how many degrees would that bill lower temperatures? One degree? 5 degrees? 0.1 degrees? How, specifically, does passage of the cap-and-trade bill alter the computer models on climate change? What percentage of arctic tundra will now not defrost, what percentage of polar ice caps will not now melt? How much less in "grave danger" are "future generations of Americans" now in as a direct result of this legislation?

Failure to be able to answer this central, overarching question, seems to be laden with the same hyperbole and "politics as usual" you find so distasteful and immoral on the part of the dissenters.

Sincerely,
Dave Smith
Houston, TX

seanooski June 29, 2009 at 7:36 pm

Krugman is crying treason because that's all he's got. It is one of the weakest arguments for GW hysteria. How lame.

muirgeo June 29, 2009 at 7:39 pm

Here is a chart of the temperature of the lower troposphere from 1978 onwards.

Posted by: S Andrews

Your chart from a noted climate skeptic shows ZERO trend over the last 30 years.

This graph ( see figure 7 top graph) shows the corrected data revealing a warming trend of 1.54 C/decade.

Now… who to believe?

Well I happen to be in Alaska. Just returned from the bush (no bears ate me and no moose stomped me…sorry!). Having returned here year after year I have seen glaciers receding on a yearly basis and on a long term basis. I've been to Exit Glacier and Portage glacier and many more in Alaska and in Canada, the lower 48 and in Europe. They are all melting before my eyes.

So S. Andrews …pardon me if I believe the latter graph along with all the other mountains of supporting evidence and question why you choose the former graph.

Krugman is dead on people like you are if nothing else treasonous to logic and science in favor of political ideaology.
And that goes not just for the scientific argument but the bogus economic argument that we've heard shrilly over and over and over as governnmment intervention resolves market foul ups and uncovered externalities.

Yeah treason of reason! Such people along with Wacko Jacko fanatics should not be allowed to vote if we are to be consistent in deciding some basis to determine voting elgibility other then a pulse and 18 years of age.

Gary June 29, 2009 at 7:43 pm

As a non expert (in anything but teaching artistic principals), I've settled on believing the general consensus of the scientific community with regard to climate change and hating the policy implications. I'm surprised there don't seem to be more like me, and why it feels like many people have to doubt the science to make an argument against bad policy.

I think this guy makes points that make sense to me, anyway:

http://reason.tv/video/show/621.html

muirgeo June 29, 2009 at 7:55 pm

I applaud Gary for a great post. That's objectivity meeting honesty as opposed to the ussual cognitive dissonance that is normally on display with this issue.

The reason most people don't believe the obvious science on climate change is exactly the same reason creationist don't not believe the evidence of evolutioinary biology. Al Gore was dead on AN INCONVIENT TRUTH. At some point one's opinion of how the world is meets up with the hard cold defiant facts.

John June 29, 2009 at 7:57 pm

muirgeo,
Out of curiosity, do you believe Nostradamus?
Will the world end in 2012 as predicted by the Mayans?
Would you stake the economy of your country on Nostradamus or the Mayan Calendar?

This is no different.

Just another doomsday cult.

Pass the cyanide laden Kool-Aid, it's got a faint hint of almond…

muirgeo June 29, 2009 at 7:59 pm

I don't get it muirgeo, all the link says is that a bunch of people got together and talked about a bunch of potential responses to warming over 2 degrees. There wasn't any science there.

Posted by: Cheers

Of course you don't get it. Because your cognitive dissonance didn't allow you to click on the obvious link titled "Synthesis Report" which has a simple summary page on page 6 outlining the dramatic findings of the 2500 participants , their 1500 scientific presentations and the 100 scientific citations referenced with in the report.

You have no abitlity to "GET IT" because you are not interested in the inconvienent truth. It's that simple so quit pretending you have some interest in the truth and maybe look to Gary's post as a possible out for your situation of denying reality to feed your fantasy view of how the world should work. Reality does not bend to your whim!

John June 29, 2009 at 8:03 pm

muirgeo,
The tiniest change in solar output has more of an effect than the worst case greenhouse gas computer model.
Look it up.
The vast majority of those arguing against anthropogenic global warming are arguing that the cause is a bright as the light of day.
In fact it is the light of day.
The sun.

John June 29, 2009 at 8:09 pm

muirgeo,
Even Einstein said that it took only one experiment to prove him wrong.
He was a scientist, nor a politician.
Like lawyers, some scientists are whores who will seek to prove whatever their clients want them to prove.
This anthropogenic global warming bullplop is politicians, their whore lawyers, and their whore scientists, seeking to "prove" something that gives the government a "reason" to take total and complete control over your life.

If you are someone who believes that government is the solution to all of our problems, and that the government being in total control over everything will mean they can fix every problem in our lives, then I can understand why you love Owl Gore.

S Andrews June 29, 2009 at 8:11 pm

Dyslexic(by your own admission) Muirgeo,. You have a severe reading comprehension problem or a problem of conscious deception. THis is not what Krugman said

Krugman is dead on people like you are if nothing else treasonous to logic and science in favor of political ideaology.

Instead he said this…

And as I watched the deniers make their arguments, I couldn’t help thinking that I was watching a form of treason — treason against the planet.

That is dead on fascist.

Quack Doctor Muirgeo goes on to say…

This graph ( see figure 7 top graph) shows the corrected data revealing a warming trend of 1.54 C/decade.

Now… who to believe?

Here is another proof of your deception. The page you posted refers to 0.154 K/decade. That's Kelvin, not celsius, and that's 0.154 and not 1.54. Comprende?

BTW, did you get to Alaska by foot or by air? How much is the "carbon footprint" of your annual pilgrimage to Alaska?

Now go light a candle in front of the poster of Marx hanging on your wall.

indiana jim June 29, 2009 at 8:14 pm

Krugman is the same genius who argued that Keynes was great for having freed us from having to look at causes in resolving depressions and recesssions. Roger Garrison has a nice article highlighting this entitled "Mainstream Macro in an Austriam Nutshell."

Would a physician worth his/her salt argue that a sore throat should be treated with cough drops regardless of cause? Neither would an economist worth his/hers agree with Krugman contra Garrison.

The more Krugman says the better everyone will know him for the stooge for the left he has morphed into.

S Andrews June 29, 2009 at 8:19 pm

Your chart from a noted climate skeptic shows ZERO trend over the last 30 years.

Could you name him, especially since he is a noted skeptic? WHat data is he using? Since you seem to be too incapable of reading charts, I recommend that you take someone's help in checking if 0.154 K/decade will show up on that chart i posted!

Also, since you claim to be such an expert on climate change, point out where the data looks tampered with.

Liar, liar, pants on fire.

S Andrews June 29, 2009 at 8:21 pm

Would a physician worth his/her salt argue that a sore throat should be treated with cough drops regardless of cause? Neither would an economist worth his/hers agree with Krugman contra Garrison.

Muirgeo would. He will administer a "stimulus" to a drug addict who ODed on a dangerous drug.

S Andrews June 29, 2009 at 8:30 pm

I've been to Exit Glacier and Portage glacier and many more in Alaska and in Canada, the lower 48 and in Europe. They are all melting before my eyes.

You should get your eyes checked out.

Here is the global sea ice area ( trend line at the bottom )

yet another Dave June 29, 2009 at 8:36 pm

On this one, Krugman is an idiot.

Isn't it amazing as the evidence for AGW grows ever weaker that the political rhetoric and doomsday fear-mongering grows ever stronger. There is no proof of AGW. The predictions of global climate change have proven completely false. And the village idiot would have us all believe the same folks who spewed all that nonsense!!?!??! And claim the mantle of science!!!?!?!?

Of course the climate is changing – it always does. Why don't we focus on ways to deal with the inevitable changes to climate that humans have no way to control?

Paul Zrimsek June 29, 2009 at 8:41 pm

One of the traditions honored here by Krugman is that you're only anti-science if you bust the lower bound of the "consensus" forecast; if you want to spook people with a prediction far beyond the upper bound, the science can be as unsettled as you need it to be.

Dave June 29, 2009 at 9:10 pm

re: muirgeo

Since you're convinced that cap-and-trade is the answer, I'll ask you the same question I ask of Dr. Krugman: how much will the cap-and-trade bill that passed in the House last Friday decrease global warming?

Also, as for glaciers receding, I have no doubt that they probably are. Glaciers wax and wane over periods of time. Remember, the Great Lakes were formed by receding glaciers, and that was without debate NOT caused by man-made CO2 emissions.

I think the problem here is not that people are doubting science per se, but rather people are doubting data analysis and the conclusions drawn from it. Two things happening around the same time don't necessarily mean that they are related from a cause/effect standpoint.

dg lesvic June 29, 2009 at 9:24 pm

The Air Quality Control people in Los Angeles once fined my manufacturing company for some mysterious violation, and when I called to find out what it was all about, was advised that it would be cheaper just to pay the fine than contest it. I took their advise, and never heard from them again. Nothing was done to improve the environment, but the regulatory agency was richer. And that's all they're there for, not for the environment, but highway robbery.

dg lesvic June 29, 2009 at 9:24 pm

The Air Quality Control people in Los Angeles once fined my manufacturing company for some mysterious violation, and when I called to find out what it was all about, was advised that it would be cheaper just to pay the fine than contest it. I took their advise, and never heard from them again. Nothing was done to improve the environment, but the regulatory agency was richer. And that's all they're there for, not for the environment, but highway robbery.

Babinich June 29, 2009 at 9:50 pm

Posted by: muirgeo on 06/29/09 @ 5:47:02 PM

"SIGHH… here's the real science."

Weak…

As for Krugman he's a carnival barker out to make a buck on an ignorant electorate.

http://anhonestclimatedebate.wordpress.com/2009/04/10/heaven-and-earth-ian-plimers-new-book/

Babinich June 29, 2009 at 9:57 pm

Where I come from ideas are debated not dismissed out of hand.

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2009/06/023915.php

TrUmPiT June 29, 2009 at 9:58 pm

Of course, I know that human exploitation and activity is roasting and toasting the planet. What else is new about greedy, small-brained humans plundering the planet we call home? The fish, out of the once blue sea, are being depleted and driven to extinction at an alarming rate, and the fish is mostly contaminated with mercury, pcbs, pesticide residue, and what have you. The great forests of the world, home to a vast array of species, are being clearcut and burned down for short term gain at an alaming rate. What took eons for nature to assemble will most likely be all gone in a hundred years. Treason against the planet is a most mild categorization of what your fellow earthlings are up too and guilty of. Krugman just doesn't get it. There is no hope for mankind and the rest of life on Earth is being taking on a rollercoaster ride into the depths of hell on earth from which there is no disembarking or returning. Thanks folks for being a contributing element (one of roughly 7 billion others) in the slash and burn mentality of homo sapiens. Treason is for children compared to mass murder and nuclear war that the fight over water and other resources will lead to in a thirsty, parched planet. Why do vampires suck blood? If you can answer that question, you are on the path to understanding why we as a species destined for the dustbin of failed evolutionary history, right along with the pea-size brained dinosaurs. Non-treasonous Dinosaurs deserved a better fate. Treasonous, murderous humans deserve the defiled, uninhabitable planet they alone are and were responsible for creating.

brotio June 29, 2009 at 10:07 pm

Thanks, Dave, for asking Yasafi the same question you posed to Krugman. Let's see if our dear Ducktor can answer it?

vidyohs June 29, 2009 at 10:11 pm

It seems the GW envirowhackos are so confident that their science and knowledge will prevail that they are refusing to allow a top expert researcher on Polar Bears to attend a conference in Copenhagen on Polar Bears; Because, his research shows exactly the opposite of what the others want to present to the world.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherbooker/5664069/Polar-bear-expert-barred-by-global-warmists.html

Dr Mitchell Taylor has been researching the status and management of polar bears in Canada and around the Arctic Circle for 30 years, as both an academic and a government employee. More than once since 2006 he has made headlines by insisting that polar bear numbers, far from decreasing, are much higher than they were 30 years ago. Of the 19 different bear populations, almost all are increasing or at optimum levels, only two have for local reasons modestly declined.

brotio June 29, 2009 at 10:20 pm

Well I happen to be in Alaska. – Yasafi

Here we go again, Hypocrite. How many of the poor uninsured can afford (annual!) Alaska vacations. Yet here's our compassionate, profit-bashing Ducktor making so much money in the health care industry that he can afford to go every year!

You never answered Methinks, so here it is again: You believe health care is a right. Why are you charging such an exorbitant amount for your services that you can afford Alaska, Mexico, and constant excursions to Yosemite? Give that money back to those who deserve it, you greedy profit-monger! How dare you live in such opulence when people are (in your own words) literally dying for the knowledge you have. But, heartless Ducktor that you are, you'd rather gallivant with the grizzlies.

Ray Gardner June 29, 2009 at 10:55 pm

People are always going to classify their sources according to their own beliefs.

My next door neighbor is from Eastern Europe and failed to check his trust for government power at customs. We get along well, but he deals only in vague soundbites gleaned from the mainstream media, but pooh-poohs everything I say or show him as biased info regardless of how documented the information might be.

Point being is that only time will kill this whole Global Warming hoax, and thankfully, it is already dying. The rapidity of the legislation is mostly to keep the contents from public view until it is too late, but I believe it also has to do with the fact that trends are cooling, and they can't afford any more "freak" weather patterns to convince the masses of their lies.

SheetWise June 29, 2009 at 10:57 pm

"Al Gore was dead on AN INCONVIENT TRUTH. At some point one's opinion of how the world is meets up with the hard cold defiant facts." — muirgeo

I think I agree. It really depends on how you parse the sentence.

brotio June 29, 2009 at 11:00 pm

LMAO @ SheetWise!

LowcountryJoe June 29, 2009 at 11:23 pm

Great post SheetWise. I second what brotio wrote. I've got just a little more to add but did so on the Ducktor's own blog in order to limit the amount of exposure he gets over here.

Increase Penis Size June 30, 2009 at 12:07 am

More & more people know that blog are good for every one where we get lots of information any topics !!!

Sam Grove June 30, 2009 at 12:41 am

There are no climate change deniers.
It is widely understood that the climate changes all the time.

The second deceit of the AGWC proponents was to misrepresent the critique of skeptics as "denial" of global warming, when in fact the skepticism is about the significance of anthropogenic CO2 in climate change reality.

Gil June 30, 2009 at 1:58 am

Here's a simple scenario: let's suppose global warming was true in the mild sense of some are going to suffer, whilst most will see no change and some will benefit from it. Do those who suffer have any claim to compensation? Or is it a 'tough luck' negative externality?

In other words, the Industrial Revolution imposed hardships and pollution but then you have to break eggs to make an omlette? The positive externalities of technology and industrialisation more then outweigh any negative externalities? That to give people any power to stop negative externalities (which isn't the same as direct criminal behaviour) will force people back into the Stone Age?

geckonomist June 30, 2009 at 5:45 am

I think the climate is too complicated to model, and therefore policies based on such models are bound to be a disaster. After all, the other sector relying on such "complex" models, the banks, got burned badly by them, didn't they.

However, I do think it is sensible behaviour not to waste energy. And to cut waste, I have the impression there's a lot of low hanging fruit in this world.

Stephen June 30, 2009 at 6:07 am

I don't understand why those who are against government must be anti-science. There is a good case to be made that the government shouldn't intervene in global climate change. There is a very bad case to be made that global warming is a "natural cycle". This leads me to believe that John Stossel is motivated primarily by ideology rather than logic and reason, and any rational person will see that and discount John immediately, despite the very good things he has to say.

vidyohs June 30, 2009 at 6:09 am

Ray G.,

Consider this. The envirowhackos, represented in power by the democratic party, no longer need to generate hysteria or pay attention to the "deniers" by bashing them in the MSM. That part was over with the election of Barry O, and a democratic majority in both houses.

They have the power to push through any legislation they want to, a president that will sign that legislation, and as a backup they have a president that will issue Executive Orders to accomplish what legislation will not.

You're sunk, my friend, along with the rest of us. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

Just because you see less and less of the hysteria peddling media doesn't mean that the danger posed by the envirowhackos is over. You're going to feel the pain of what they do for a very long time.

Randy June 30, 2009 at 6:33 am

According to the "science", the worst case scenario is that Colorado will be lke New Mexico, Wyoming will be a great place to live, and a bunch of Progressivess on the coast who are too stupid to move inland a few miles would get wiped out. In short, there is no problem.

John June 30, 2009 at 7:22 am

I wonder how many of the people crying over the death of M.J. are also caught up in the AGW hysteria?

Dave June 30, 2009 at 8:41 am

re: Stephen
You do realize that there is considerable dissent among scientists on whether or not man-made CO2 emissions are the driving force behind climate change. It isn't a matter of being anti-science, it's a matter of understanding that contrary to the rhetoric, there's still plenty of debate.

LowcountryJoe June 30, 2009 at 9:06 am

>>There is a very bad case to be made that global warming is a "natural cycle". ~ Stephen | Jun 30, 2009 6:07:58 AM<<

Very bad? What's this show, then?

>>Here's a simple scenario: let's suppose global warming was true in the mild sense of some are going to suffer, whilst most will see no change and some will benefit from it. Do those who suffer have any claim to compensation? ~ Gil | Jun 30, 2009 1:58:22 AM<<

Let's suppose any natural occuring disaster occurs and affects many people in a locale…do those who suffer have any claim to compensation? Nevermind. And forget I wrote that. As it turns out there's precident (2955 federally declared natural disasters since January 1900) here!

Martin Brock June 30, 2009 at 9:25 am

Krugman saves the planet, just like Superman.

I want free consumers organizing resources through the market, but the truth is that most people are sheep, and megalomania sells. Tell some people that the sky is falling, and they'll follow you anywhere.

Daniel Kuehn June 30, 2009 at 9:51 am

S Andrews -
Muirgeo is exactly right. The reason why you always see the University of Alabama, Huntsville data series passed around so much is because it's the ONLY data that contradicts all the other decades long warming trends… and as muirgeo has pointed out, it's been corrected since satellite errors were discovered.

Often the question of what qualifies as "science" comes up on this blog. Science is corroborating lots of data and seeing how it all fits together, and trying to explain contradicting data. Politics is finding the one graph that's published that butresses your beliefs, and posting it.

Daniel Kuehn June 30, 2009 at 10:06 am

indiana jim -
RE: "Krugman is the same genius who argued that Keynes was great for having freed us from having to look at causes in resolving depressions and recesssions. "

I never understood this – could you explain it a little more? The General Theory is entirely about the causes of depressions and recessions. It has relatively little on how to resolve it. I never understood this criticism a bit. It's as if people disagree with his argument for the cause of recessions, so they pretend he didn't even make an argument (or perhaps they just care more about arguing over his solution than arguing over the causes he has identified???).

I personally hate it when the word "treason" gets tossed around so casually – so I wasn't a fan of this op-ed when I read it. It's an irresponsible accusation to make.

JasperPants June 30, 2009 at 10:11 am

What happened to muirgeo?

He was an enthusiastic poster until S Andrews called him out.

I think we need to have a national debate on AGW. Give each side a half hour to make their case, followed by a televised debate.

I think such a program would pull in more viewers than the recent ABC/Obama healthcrae informercial

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