The Will to Think Unclouded by Romantic Foolishiness

by Don Boudreaux on November 8, 2009

in Environment, Myths and Fallacies

George Will is a national treasure.

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Anonymous November 9, 2009 at 2:04 am

Wasted day and wasted night,
whipping pony with delight,
pony lies there draws no breath,
pony has been beat to death.

Will speaks truth it is plain,
Evil liberals treat with disdain,
Control not climate is the action,
speak truth to get what traction?

Anonymous November 9, 2009 at 4:05 am

George Will is a right-wing fool.
/muirbot

I thought I’d just pre-empt that.

Anonymous November 9, 2009 at 6:59 am

Nice try ArrowSmith. But that doesn’t resemble one of my post. I always provide citations to back my claims.

Anonymous November 9, 2009 at 6:57 am

Well again George Will was the guy who called the predictors of the economic collapse “worriers” as well. And he is no expert on the matter of climate science.

http://www.agu.org/outreach/science_policy/pdf/Climate_Letter.pdf

Also George Will should be informed that 57% means MOST or the majority … in spite of the industries negative information campaign, of which Will is basically a part of.

Also a Gallop poll shows that 39% of Americans believe in evolution. So I guess it didn’t happen!

http://www.gallup.com/poll/114544/Darwin-Birthday-Believe-Evolution.aspx

OK … and the he brings up the tired “Global Cooling Consensus”, which is just at best intellectually lazy and at worst intellectually dishonest.

http://ams.allenpress.com/archive/1520-0477/89/9/pdf/i1520-0477-89-9-1325.pdf

Gil November 9, 2009 at 7:54 am

Appparently it’s “consensus doesn’t prove anything unless it’s in your favour”.

Anonymous November 9, 2009 at 4:11 pm

More accurate would be “consensus doesn’t prove anything.”

Consensus is a political activity, we need to keep the politics out of science.

Anonymous November 9, 2009 at 10:58 am

At one time the idea that the world was flat was the predominant view. It is only after exploration and science explained the physical world that ideological “laws” were torn down.

Science, and not ideology, should be used to settle the climate change question.

I’d like to see the percentage of global warming adherents that trumpet the science behind their position that feel that science cannot be pursued to:
-create clean coal
-drill for oil in an environmentally friendly manner
-build nuclear power plants

Anonymous November 9, 2009 at 6:45 pm

“Science, and not ideology, should be used to settle the climate change question.” Babinich

Alright … we agree for once. So which peer reviewed scientific article have you read that cast doubt on the theory of anthropogenic climate change?

Anonymous November 9, 2009 at 7:16 pm

Peer reviewed??? You mean peer reviewed like this example?

“South Korean scientist Hwang Woo Suk and his research team reported several major breakthroughs in the science of human cloning. In 2004, they claimed to have produced the first cloned human embryos. In 2005, they claimed to have vastly improved the efficiency of their technique, producing embryonic clones of individuals with serious diseases and then disaggregating the embryos for their stem cells.

Both papers were published in the journal Science and welcomed enthusiastically by embryo research advocates around the world.”

http://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/human-cloning-and-scientific-corruption

Peer reviews mean nothing; empirical results mean everything.

Sam Grove November 9, 2009 at 3:58 pm

I rarely read George Will, and I certainly don’t rely on him to bolster my skepticism.

I am rather conversant with evolution theory and I accept it as a consistent, reliable, and accurate explanation of biological evolution.

Anonymous November 9, 2009 at 6:56 pm

Yeah sure…. genes, genetic variation, phenotypic variation, variable survival, gene pool shifts, natural selection, evolution… The world outside confirs the process

Then …. 7 billion people burning lots of things, burning things creates carbon dioxide, atomspheric carbon dioxide levels increase, carbon dioxide is a green house gas, increases in greenhouse gases trap heat, the planet warms.

Paleoclimatic evidence suggest ghg’s are a major driver of climate. They also suggest current levels are higher then they’ve been since at least 600,000 years… observations of the trends outside in the real world confim the suspected warming.

What’s so hard about that? Well except for the ideological implications for free market thinkers… just as evolution had implications for creationist.. as did a round Earth, a heliocentric solar system, flower reproduction…

Sam Grove November 9, 2009 at 7:08 pm

YASAFIIt is well known that without an atmosphere, earth would have no climate.Paleoclimatic evidence suggest ghg’s are a major driver of climate.Paleoclimactic evidence suggests nothing, it provides data for people to interpret, interpretations which, of course, spring from their assumptions.The early ice core evidence led some to conclude that increasing CO2 levels caused warming. Later examination of ice core evidence at a higher temporal resolution actually suggested that warming preceded rising CO2 levels, by about 800 years.I’ll restate that for you: warming came before CO2 increase.The explanation for this is that warming of the ocean caused it to release CO2 (it is well known that cold water will hold more dissolved CO2 than warm water). The ocean holds many gigatons of dissolved CO2, so it would not be surprising that it can affect atmospheric CO2 levels.The observations of which you speak also show that warming has leveled, contrary to the predictions of the models.

Then too, it has been learned that the surface station data is not reliable. Many stations have suffered neglect, even the paint on the stations can affect the readings.For the most part, we’ll just have to wait and see.If you want to really worry, you should consider the possibility of severe cooling. That would be much worse for humanity than observed warming trends.

More for you to chew on.

Justin P November 9, 2009 at 8:47 pm

Don’t forget to add, that when you put the raw data, not the fudged Hansen data back into the climate models…they are below 95% confidence….you know what a real scientist would do to that model? Chuck it out! But not those in the Cult of AGW. There must be something wrong with the data!
I do love it when Don posts about AGW. I think he does it just to get a laugh at what Muir writes.

Sam Grove November 9, 2009 at 9:15 pm

The science is distinct from policy prescriptions, but since you mention it, why is it the most avid believers in AGW doom are also such avid supporters of political control of people? Maybe there is a link.

Maybe some people believe in AGW doom because that is their ideological bent rather than because of the actual evidence.

Anonymous November 10, 2009 at 12:46 am

So Sam, you look at this graph;

http://www.sierraclub.ca/national/programs/atmosphere-energy/climate-change/vostok-ice-core.jpg

And you presume CO2 had no part in the warming?

A good experiment to check for this would be to increase CO2 first

http://cdiac.esd.ornl.gov/trends/co2/graphics/lawdome.gif

and then see how temperature responds…

http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/info/warming/

Of course thats the experimant we are currently running on our childrens future climate.

mcwop November 9, 2009 at 6:09 pm

Too bad Obama will not sign Kyoto, which begs the question why hasn’t he signed it yet? Why didn’t Clinton? Oh yeah, they really don;t want to.

Justin P November 9, 2009 at 7:40 am

The AGW movement will never go away. It has jumped the shark and is now religious in nature. Like Statism, no amount of evidence will ever be enough to convince the true believer the folly of their ways.

Anonymous November 9, 2009 at 6:58 pm

Yes our religion praises the spectrophotometric properties of the carbon dioxide molecule.

Anonymous November 9, 2009 at 7:40 pm

George, what is the most significant greenhouse gas? What percentage of that gas in the atmosphere is a result of human activity?

Anonymous November 10, 2009 at 12:16 am

Carbon dioxide… NOT water. You need to understand why that’s the right answer rather then repeating things that have been spoon fed to you.

Anonymous November 10, 2009 at 1:08 am

If I remember right, CO2 accounts for about 4% of the greenhouse effect. Please explain to me why “that’s the right answer.”

Also, you didn’t answer part 2 for either water vapor (the #1 greenhouse gas) or CO2 (a very distant second). Why not?

Justin P November 9, 2009 at 8:45 pm

Too bad it isn’t the main greenhouse gas. So why aren’t you bowing down before the might of the H2O?

Anonymous November 10, 2009 at 12:21 am

H2O bows to CO2. H2O does as CO2 commands.

Anonymous November 10, 2009 at 12:27 am

Says the resident expert with a degree in chemistry.

Anonymous November 9, 2009 at 9:58 am

What happens after another 10 years of grandstanding and foot dragging? When China and India double CO2 and…nothing happens, except hundreds of millions living better? It will be interesting to see how the left/religious environmentalists manage that!

Anonymous November 9, 2009 at 12:07 pm

How many times is George Will going to be able to rewrite his global cooling references and still impress you? These read like stock articles. The immediate danger of global cooling was only a “consensus” in the Time and Newsweek boardrooms that thought it would attract readers. And even they admitted farther down in their stories that it was a process that would unfold over several centuries. There was never a scientific consensus that this was an imminent problem – the way there is an actual scientific consensus now that over the next century we’ll see dramatic temperature increases attributable to human activity (note: when I write “dramatic temperature increases” that is not a doomsday scenario – I’m not claiming New York will be under water and southern Europe will be a desert).

Sam Grove November 9, 2009 at 3:51 pm

the way there is an actual scientific consensus now that over the next century we’ll see dramatic temperature increases attributable to human activity

I keep hearing about this scientific consensus. Everyone keeps hearing about this scientific consensus. Maybe that’s why so many people think there is a scientific consensus.

Are there no significant exceptions to the consensus, like maybe John Cristy: While he supports the AGU declaration and is convinced that human activities are one cause of the global warming that has been measured, Christy is “still a strong critic of scientists who make catastrophic predictions of huge increases in global temperatures and tremendous rises in sea levels.” (wikipedia)

There are actually a number of qualified persons who take exception to the AGW catastrophe theory.

Anonymous November 9, 2009 at 4:01 pm

Certainly – as I said, the consensus isn’t around the doomsday scenarios.

Sam Grove November 9, 2009 at 4:04 pm

But the doomsday scenario is currently driving policy debate.

Anonymous November 9, 2009 at 4:09 pm

Is it? What do you mean? I think a carbon tax is justified even if you don’t support the doomsday scenario.

I think one of the problems is that the political debate is dominated by voices that are more extreme than the scientific community on either side. I see half the Congress pretending that there is no problem at all, and you see people like Al Gore. Does that mean it’s driven by alarmists who think that a carbon tax will sink the economy or does it mean that it’s driven by alarmists who think NYC will be under water? I don’t know. I personally haven’t seen even the most liberal members of Congress making the sort of dire predictions that Al Gore has been making.

But it’s hard to take you seriously when my concern – that has never included any doomsday scenarios – and my support of a carbon tax (which is supported by conservative economists as well) is taken as “alarmism”.

Anonymous November 9, 2009 at 1:53 pm

I believe in AGW for a few reasons – We know an awful lot about how the climate works and we have reams and reams of actual, reliable historical data from which to model future scenarios with a high degree of confidence and accuracy, and the entire research and prediction process is completely devoid of the all too human influences of authorship bias, career risk, groupthink and politics.

Plus, it’s an amazing coincidence, but literally every observation supports the theory. More storms? AGW. Fewer storms? AGW. Higher temps? AGW. Lower temps? AGW. Models turn out to be inaccurate? Just means AGW was worse than we thought!

Anonymous November 9, 2009 at 2:47 pm

The alleged scientific “consensus” about human-induced global warming is difficult to reconcile with the existence of over 31,000 American scientists who’ve signed this petition: http://www.petitionproject.org/

The appearance of a “consensus” is created largely by the United Nation’s “Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change” — the IPCC — and by the mainstream media that treats IPCC reports as gospel.

It is important to understand that this organization does not do any actual research itself — rather, it simply claims to conduct an independent review of all the published research every few years and publishes a summary that allegedly reflects the “consensus” of the research. Trouble is, the organization is hopelessly agenda driven and biased.

Let me give you just one example.

In the field of paleoclimatology — the field wherein researchers attempt to use things like tree-ring data to assess past climate and determine whether the recorded warming of the twentieth century is unusual or not — there are many studies published that reach differing conclusions. Some studies show the 20th century warming to be “unprecedented” in the last 2000 years — whereas other studies show greater warming in the distant past, long before man was emitting significant amounts of CO2.

In addition to the conflicting studies, there are many unanswered questions about using tree rings as temperature indicators. Tree growth is affected by more than just temperature — it is also affected by rainfall, by the fertilization effect of CO2 in the atmosphere, by competition from other trees, etc. So the science of paleoclimatology is hardly “settled”.

But when the IPCC conducts its ” independent survey” of the paleoclimatology research, who do they select to do this survey and write this report? They select one of the author’s whose published studies show this allegedly “unprecedented” warming!

In the last IPCC report, the person selected for this “independent” review was Keith Briffa, whose tree-ring studies always show such warming — even when studies conducted by other researchers using different trees within shouting distance of the trees that Briffa has sampled show completely different results. Somehow, Briffa always manages to sample trees that show “unprecedented” warming and miss all those pesky trees that show otherwise.

And what studies does Briffa then cite in his IPCC “summary” to justify his conclusions? He cites his own and those other studies that agree with his. And what about the studies that disagree? He simply ignores them — he pretends they don’t exist.

Thus the IPCC makes it appear as if an independent review of all the available data shows a “consensus” when, in fact, no such independent review has occurred. For an example of how Briffa simply ignores data that contradicts and/or conflicts with his data, go to this link at ClimateAudit.org: http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=7310#more-7310

What you will see at that link is how Briffa simply “blows off” the various points raised by Steve McIntyre, who was one of the appointed IPCC “reviewers” whose comments Briffa was supposed to take into account in his “review” of the data.

Does this mean that Briffa’s studies are wrong and the conflicting studies are correct? No — it just means the science isn’t nearly as “settled” as the IPCC would have you think.

Do you think the mainstream media will ever report that IPCC selects the pro-global warming researchers to do its “independent” reviews and then permits them to ignore contradictory data? Don’t hold your breath.

For additional information about the biased nature of the IPCC, see this article by Ross McKitrick, another IPCC reviewer who took part in the last IPCC report process: http://ross.mckitrick.googlepages.com/McKitrick.final.pdf

My point in this comment is not to change anyone’s mind on the global warming issue. My point is that the claim of consensus largely evaporates when one digs into the details of how these studies and reports are compiled. If you want to know the true scientific status of global warming research, you will have to do much more than simply take the media’s word for it — for they clearly are not telling you the whole story.

Try reading ClimateAudit.org for a while. I think you’ll be surprised at what is known and what is still very much in doubt.

mesaeconoguy November 10, 2009 at 12:25 am

Outstanding survey, Michael, and the Briffa piece is exceptionally “disquieting” (to borrow a phrase from S. McIntyre).A major contention of skeptic criticism points at how statistically poor AGW modeling is – for more on that, see Briggs’ website:http://wmbriggs.com/blog/?p=1269 As a shameless plug, coyote (whose blog is linked to above) is giving a skeptic lecture tomorrow night in the Phoenix area:http://www.climate-skeptic.com/2009/11/reminder… I’ll report back any and all details.

Anonymous November 10, 2009 at 4:18 am

“The alleged scientific “consensus” about human-induced global warming is difficult to reconcile with the existence of over 31,000 American scientists who’ve signed this petition: http://www.petitionproject.org/

What’s interesting is that you would choose, for your argument from authority, a petition project that has random names, mostly the membership of the Competitive Enterprise Institue as oppsed to the Consensus statements from Professional Organizations like the AGU, NSA, AAAS and AMS.

http://www.agu.org/outreach/science_policy/pdf/Climate_Letter.pdf

Please note…. my name George Balella MD is on the petiton project.. I signed it years ago just to show there was no screening to see who signed. It’s not a list of any authorites… it’s like I said mostly a membership list.

If climate change where shown to be a hoax, or a fraud or to be way off the mark it would be a massive condemnation of our scientific institutions…. a failure far more grand at than the failure of our economic institutions to predict the current economy from the obvious trends that showed it to be heading off a cliff.

Sam Grove November 10, 2009 at 10:42 pm

Weasling words. Nobody disputes “climate change”.

That’s what AGW doomsayers came up with to cover their butts of events don’t match their forecasts.

Change is a known characteristic of planetary climate and I am not aware of anyone who suggests that climate is static, but apparently AGW doomsayers think it should be.

Anonymous November 11, 2009 at 2:32 am

Yes this is true. There was a day in 1957, April 10th to be exact that I wanted to last forever.

Damn the bad ………whatever.

Sam Grove November 13, 2009 at 3:01 pm

Well George,
You’ve proved one thing by this; your personal integrity means so little to you that you practically brag about perpetrating a fraud by signing on to a statement with which you disagree.

What am I to assume now, that the other signers also have the same lack of integrity?

I agree with the statement, yet I never thought to sign on to it as I don’t consider my name an asset to the petition.

If I ever disagreed with a petition statement such as this, I would never think to fraudulently sign on to it in an effort to undermine its credibility.

Whose credibility has been undermined by your actions?

Randy November 9, 2009 at 8:03 pm

I wouldn’t care if the world showed signs of melting tomorrow, I don’t trust politicians, nor so-called scientists who mingle with politicians. When its cold, I burn some gas or put on a blanket. When its hot I put on short pants and startup the fan. Neither being hot nor cold gives me any desire whatsoever to run out and give money to a politician.

Justin P November 9, 2009 at 8:43 pm

I’m more about being able to control other peoples lives.

Sam Grove November 9, 2009 at 4:13 pm

Apparently you think the current burden of government spending is insufficient.

So you will claim you only support a neutral revenue carbon tax, to which I say that the politicians will use any excuse to increase taxes and any legislation in regard to a carbon tax will likely result in an increase in government spending (the relevant factor).

Anonymous November 9, 2009 at 4:58 pm

How is a carbon tax justified without a doomsday (or at least very bad) scenario? Where is the proof of the externality you would use to justify such a tax? I suggest you spend a little time studying the science – it’s not nearly as settled as you seem to think. The consensus is political, not scientific. The science suggests that human activity plays only a minor role in global climate – only supposition and severely flawed computer models lead to stronger conclusions.

Sam Grove November 9, 2009 at 5:38 pm

Making a little room:

BS, the old charge that libertarians would force people to live without the ability to force others to pay for THEIR desires.

So it’s OK for you to force me to live under a political regime but not OK for me to refuse to live under YOUR preferred regime.

Seems a bit one sided.

I don’t advocate a fiscal “policy”, I advocate for liberty from collective political agency.

Sam Grove November 9, 2009 at 6:00 pm

Is it? What do you mean?

Has not the public been urged frequently that we must take drastic measures soon or all is lost?

Anonymous November 9, 2009 at 4:19 pm

I never said anything about current government spending. When I bring the carbon tax up I usually stipulate that you can rebate every penny of it back for all I care. The point isn’t to raise revenue it’s to internalize some of the costs of carbon.

If you’re always going to play the “tax and spend” card there’s no way to talk about reasonable policy with you. The “tax and spend” specter is always able to trump anything you don’t agree with but don’t want to argue with.

Sam Grove November 9, 2009 at 4:28 pm

What you advocate and what politicians do are always going to be two different things.

I can even agree with you on carbon tax proposals, but the political process turns good ideas into sausage, or a Ringo Starr put it, “Government turns everything into crap.”

I’m amazed at your grasp of political reality. You speak as though there’s the equivalent of a French cook in the policy kitchen.

In reality, they make slop for the trough.

IAC, I disagree that there is sufficient evidence to justify a carbon tax based on the assumption that anthropogenic CO2 is a net negative.

All calculus behind the proposition excludes the benefits.

I think I prefer Martin’s consumption tax.

Anonymous November 9, 2009 at 6:05 pm

The problem is that we are not going to get a carbon tax. Since that is the case then the best place to be is in the opposition.

Indeed, I think it is perfectly reasonable to argue that cap and trade will not really do anything accept encourage rent seeking.

Mark November 9, 2009 at 9:02 pm

“I never said…”

Dan! You’re true to form!!!

Dan the Dan-ier!

Anonymous November 9, 2009 at 4:33 pm

Of course not. If they pass a carbon tax I support I’ll support it. If they pass one that’s terrible, I’ll be with you. And if they pass a bad one but one that’s still better than the alternative of doing nothing I won’t be with you.

I’m amazed that you still interpret anyone who advocates a policy that actually tries to address a problem as somehow romanticizing politicians. It’s precisely because I don’t romanticize politicians that I think a carbon tax – an easy, transparent tax rate that everyone can see and comment and vote on – is the best way to go.

A consumption tax has it’s merits too – I’d agree with that. Does that mean that you think politicians are French cooks for prefering that?

This is why it’s so hard to argue with you, Sam. It’s your way or the highway. If people disagree with you it must be because they romanticize politicians. Because you don’t romanticize politicians you infer that anybody who disagrees with you must.

Sam Grove November 9, 2009 at 4:38 pm

Just pointing out that your intentions will not translate through the political process.

A carbon tax, being near universal in impact, can be adjusted at will by politicians whenever they want to increase revenue.
Something like a VAT.

IAC, I disagree that there is sufficient evidence to justify a carbon tax based on the assumption that anthropogenic CO2 is a net negative.

sandre November 9, 2009 at 6:07 pm

Guys, get a room. Have any of you read Bjorn Lomborg’s criticism of carbon taxes? How is stimulating economy with “shovel ready” projects consistent with the fear of a hot disaster in our future? Who is going to tax our military escapades all over the world? What are they going to do with the resulting loot?

Anonymous November 9, 2009 at 4:42 pm

1. They can increase the income tax “at will” now too. When you say “at will” what you mean is that elected representatives have to vote on a change. Revenue from the income tax as a percent of total income has stayed surprisingly constant over the last century. Why are you expecting a carbon tax to be any different? And like I said – if that still bothers you, rebate it.

2. So if we decide that carbon is a net positive, we can always turn it into a credit, because you’d have the same externality problem of benefits that aren’t being internalized into the price of carbon.

Sam Grove November 9, 2009 at 4:49 pm

Revenue from the income tax as a percent of total income has stayed surprisingly constant over the last century.

But spending has increased as has the debt.

What’s really needed is a way to make spending reflect taxes or vice versa, so that people realize the actual cost of what they vote on.

This is the root problem of government, the ability it gives the people, via the political process and centralized banking, to defer payment on debt by creating more debt.

Anonymous November 9, 2009 at 4:54 pm

The debt has increased as a percent of GDP? You might want to check your numbers, Sam. It’s increasing now, sure – but it’s been a roller coaster.

See – it sounds simple to say you want spending to reflect taxes, but that precludes, or at least inhibits any kind of countercyclical fiscal policies. Your attempt to objectively take policymaking out of the hands of politicians has a greater political bias than you let on.

Sam Grove November 9, 2009 at 4:59 pm

Your attempt to objectively take policymaking out of the hands of politicians has a greater political bias than you let on.

That I let on?!

I’m libertarian, that’s a political bias, OBVIOUSLY. Get used to it.
I don’t think there should be a class of people that can manage fiscal policy.

I think the main reason to give politicians the ability to issue counter cyclical fiscal policy is to fix problems they cause in the first place.

Let us have the occasional natural downturns and let us avoid having an agency that can postpone them into an inexorable cascade.

Mark November 9, 2009 at 9:09 pm

“Your attempt to objectively take policymaking out of the hands of politicians”

It pains Dan to think of missed opportunities for politicians to wonk it up and tell everyone else what to do.

Anonymous November 9, 2009 at 5:08 pm

RE: “I don’t think there should be a class of people that can manage fiscal policy.”

And yet you insist we all kowtow to your fiscal policy in the interest of keeping “the politicians” from meddling with it. I have nothing wrong with a political bias. I have a problem with feigned concern about political bias that slips your own political bias in through the backdoor, rather than talking about tax rates, spending, and borrowing out in the open.

Anonymous November 9, 2009 at 5:10 pm

I’ve spent a little time with the science (emphasis on “a little”). I know about your concern with modeling, but you know what – that’s why we build error terms into those things. I don’t put a lot of faith in forecasts either which is precisely why I’m not an alarmist on climate change. But I don’t think there imperfections is evidence against the science. Why do you think there needs to be a doomsday scenario to justify a carbon tax?

Sam Grove November 9, 2009 at 5:37 pm

BS, the old charge that libertarians would force people to live without the ability to force others to pay for THEIR desires.

So it’s OK for you to force me to live under a political regime but not OK for me to refuse to live under YOUR preferred regime.

Seems a bit one sided.

I don’t advocate a fiscal “policy”, I advocate for liberty from collective political agency.

Anonymous November 9, 2009 at 5:45 pm

Anonymous November 9, 2009 at 5:46 pm

A good idea – I’m cutting and pasting this, but honestly I’m not sure I have anything else to say:

———–

Essentially the old charge that any sort of collective action on the part of the state is theft. You DO advocate a fiscal policy, Sam. You’ve stated it as some sort of balanced budget, and a small balanced budget. That’s a fiscal policy. And until you go anarchist on us (which I understand libertarians aren’t anarchists) you need to argue out that fiscal policy in a deliberative, representative body. Stop pretending that slipping your prefered fiscal policy through the back door is anything other than what it is – forcing your conclusions on the rest of us.

When you stop being a libertarian and become an anarchist and advocate the end of government completely, then you can tell me with some logical consistently that I’m forcing something on you but you’re not forcing something on me. But at that point we’ll have much deeper philosophical issues separating us. Until then, don’t feed me the “but I just love liberty” line, as if I don’t love liberty. So long as you advocate some form of a state you’re going to have to deliberate with your fellow citizens about how it should be run, and not insist that your position gets to be the default position.

Anonymous November 9, 2009 at 5:55 pm

If you put any faith at all in computer model forecasts it’s too much. How do they model clouds (you know, those pesky things that help cool the planet)? As they exist today, the computer models aren’t evidence of anything either way – they’re useless. Building error bands into them doesn’t fix the fundamental flaws (unless those error bands are so large they render the predictions meaningless, which is exactly what they are).

I asked you how a carbon tax justified without a doomsday (or at least very bad) scenario. I’m assuming you believe some kind of negative carbon externality to conclude taxing carbon makes sense. I also asked you where’s the proof of this externality. Is there any proof at all without relying on computer models or conjecture?

Sam Grove November 9, 2009 at 5:57 pm

Essentially the old charge that any sort of collective action on the part of the state is theft. You DO advocate a fiscal policy, Sam. You’ve stated it as some sort of balanced budget, and a small balanced budget. That’s a fiscal policy. And until you go anarchist on us (which I understand libertarians aren’t anarchists) you need to argue out that fiscal policy in a deliberative, representative body. Stop pretending that slipping your prefered fiscal policy through the back door is anything other than what it is – forcing your conclusions on the rest of us.When you stop being a libertarian and become an anarchist and advocate the end of government completely, then you can tell me with some logical consistently that I’m forcing something on you but you’re not forcing something on me. But at that point we’ll have much deeper philosophical issues separating us. Until then, don’t feed me the “but I just love liberty” line, as if I don’t love liberty. So long as you advocate some form of a state you’re going to have to deliberate with your fellow citizens about how it should be run, and not insist that your position gets to be the default position.I don’t have the guns, so I’m not insisting on anything.

It’s my recommendation that the state should be kept very small if “the people” have any hope of managing it, otherwise, it takes on a life of its own.I recommend, in promotion of a small government, that its ability to spend be limited solely to those functions over which there is very little disagreement.I also recommend, in promotion of small government, that its ability to tax us be strictly related to those few function over which there is little disagreement.I don’t insist at all. I promote and recommend. Meanwhile, the government insists that I pay for warfare on people in other countries and occupation of other countries and subsidies to agribusiness so that the poor have to pay more for food, and subsidies to prop up tyrants in other countries who are willing to mouth support for the U.S..And so on, and so on.It is you who insists that I and others pay for all sorts of things that if they were aware of, they would prefer not to pay for.

Mark November 9, 2009 at 9:11 pm

” don’t put a lot of faith in forecasts either which is precisely why I’m not an alarmist on climate change.”

But Dan can’t pass up an opportunity for a new tax, so let’s get one passed and work out the details later.

Anonymous November 9, 2009 at 6:02 pm

You have to have the guns to insist on something? Maybe I’m confused. All I meant was “promote and recommend” as you say, if you think “insist” requires force.

Besides, you advocate a small balanced budgeted state. And you would enforce that state with the monopoly that the government has on force, would you not? As long as you’re not an anarchist you’re in the same ethical boat that I am, Sam. That’s the way it is.

Re: “It is you who insists that I and others pay for all sorts of things that if they were aware of, they would prefer not to pay for.”

I don’t insist on those things you list. I’m as opposed to our adventurous wars and our farm subsidies as you are. But as long as I argue that there should be some sort of budget and some sort of taxation (as you do), I’ve accepted the fact that I have to argue with others about my opposition to wars and subsidies. I don’t get a free pass out of that debate.

Sam Grove November 9, 2009 at 6:04 pm

Are you familiar with “the iron law of oligarchy”?

This is not a government by “the people”. There is no “the people” of one mind on many things. There are wide divisions amongst the people which makes collective agency on behalf of the people BY the people an illusory edifice.

Anonymous November 9, 2009 at 6:14 pm

I cannot read your comment (it is squeezed off the page). Could you please repeat it as its own post?

Sam Grove November 9, 2009 at 6:14 pm

If I promote a small government with a balanced budget, then it is only because others insist on having a government and insisting that I help pay for it.I’m willing to accept that, as long as most people persist in having government, then I think I am within my rights to promote minimizing that government to those functions upon which there is near universal agreement.I can argue for having no political hierarchy to perform the functions of government, but as the world is not ready to entertain alternatives, then I am left with arguing for minimizing the power of that hierarchy so that it does not exceed the restraint of sensibility.I know that you acknowledge the danger of the state, but I wonder if you realize the nature and significance of that danger.I certainly think it is more dangerous to humanity than CO2 emissions.

Sam Grove November 9, 2009 at 9:09 pm

Some people just don’t understand the nature of the beast.

Seth November 9, 2009 at 10:07 pm

Great question Sam. Because they’re right and its they’re way. We must listen to them. They’re the smart ones.

Anonymous November 9, 2009 at 10:31 pm

Well, as we all know, all politicians are very wise planners and they know exactly what we need and when we need it.

Policymaking of course belongs in the hands of individuals, not politicians.

Sam Grove November 9, 2009 at 11:38 pm

They are also the only ones that aren’t evil.

Sam Grove November 10, 2009 at 12:51 am

I guess you didn’t read the part about higher resolution ice core data shows warming preceding CO2 increases.

There is no way to experiment with the actual climate, the other variables are not under our control.

Again, the models predicted warming for the past decade, the models failed against actual observations. They can come up with all the excuses they want. If the models were accurately depicting the real world, then they should have shown the flattening of the trend.

The models incorporate erroneous assumptions.

Sam Grove November 10, 2009 at 1:12 am

You need to understand something about me muirgeo, I’m a science nerd from way back in the ’60s.
I breezed through my biology class, and other science classes, until I found how boring many science teachers can be.

Since then, I’ve kept abreast of developments in all the fields of science. Science is my second interest after political economy.

I’ve made whatever career I’ve had in electronics and taught myself how to write software for the electronic devices I’ve been creating.

So when you try to compare me to creationists, it just doesn’t fly.

Anonymous November 10, 2009 at 12:56 am

Of course we should use half-baked models approved by socialists to wreck the economy. It’s for the children after all.

Anonymous November 10, 2009 at 4:27 am

Wrong! There’s not been any cooling trend and the models don’t negate or ignore natural variability that could dampen the overall trend.

http://www.realclimate.org/wp-content/uploads/GISStrends.jpg

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/10/a-warming-pause/#more-1265

Anonymous November 10, 2009 at 1:10 am

muirdog is desperately flipping through his colossal stack of AGW studies. The ones that “prove” AGW is very real.

Sam Grove November 10, 2009 at 5:36 pm

Because he assumes that the water vapor content and resultant cloud types are a constant. Why do the AGW doomsayers make this assumption?
Because it allows them to blame humankind, and particularly, those in the U.S. for threatening the planet, that is their initial assumption.

Anonymous November 10, 2009 at 4:34 am

Yeah I could buy it that you’re probably a nerd but you still don’t know climate science as well as I do.

There’s no doubt that CO2 is a strong driver of climate, there has been no recent cooling that debunks the climate models, the surface record is accurate as depicted by the IPCC report and supported by loads of ancillary findings. You’ve simply parroted all the well warn debunked climate denier talking points you’ve been spoon fed from isolating your self to agreeable sources.

That website you linked to “The Resilient Earth” took about 2 seconds to figure out how full of crap its to authors were seeing how they completely mis-represented the results of recently published article in Science Magazine.

Sam Grove November 10, 2009 at 4:40 am

Where did I say anything about a cooling trend?
The trends were flat. The models predicted warming.
Models do not accurately account for natural variability.

The positive feedback assumption in the models is not proven or the negative feedbacks not adequately accounted for.

Sam Grove November 10, 2009 at 4:43 am

Here, try this hack.Question his credentials if you will.

And the surface record is questionable.

Took you 2 seconds eh? That’s what I would expect from a believer.

I assume that you claim you know more than I do because I am disagreeing with you. I don’t know what you know and you don’t know what I know.

I have found that there are credible, credentialed and authoritative scientists who question the AGW doomsaying. Including John Cristy and Dr. Spencer.

Good enough for me to remain skeptical of the hyperbolic claims about looming disaster.

Sam Grove November 10, 2009 at 4:51 am

There’s no doubt that CO2 is a strong driver of climate

Not nearly the strongest and the effect diminishes as the CO2 content increases.

Mark November 10, 2009 at 4:57 am

Are you personally carbon neutral yet, Muirgoo?

Anonymous November 10, 2009 at 5:31 am

Hell no he’s not.

The little hypocrite keeps telling us that unless we cut back on CO2 emissions, Mother Gaia will surely perish.

If one reads closely; what Yasafi has said is that we must cut our CO2 emissions. He’s a Priest in the Church of AGW, and his carbon-spewing vacations to the far reaches of the globe are just too important for him to cut back on CO2.

Anonymous November 10, 2009 at 8:19 am

Roy Spencer??? That’s your guy??? You know I can find a few reputable scientist who don’t believe in evolution. Does that prove anything against evolution?? No. Now the sad part for you. Did you realize your hack is himself a creationist as well. LOL LOL

On the subject of Intelligent design, Spencer wrote in 2005, “Twenty years ago, as a PhD scientist, I intensely studied the evolution versus intelligent design controversy for about two years. And finally, despite my previous acceptance of evolutionary theory as ‘fact,’ I came to the realization that intelligent design, as a theory of origins, is no more religious, and no less scientific, than evolutionism. . . . In the scientific community, I am not alone. There are many fine books out there on the subject. Curiously, most of the books are written by scientists who lost faith in evolution as adults, after they learned how to apply the analytical tools they were taught in college.”

He further states “I finally became convinced that the theory of creation actually had a much better scientific basis than the theory of evolution, for the creation model was actually better able to explain the physical and biological complexity in the world… Science has startled us with its many discoveries and advances, but it has hit a brick wall in its attempt to rid itself of the need for a creator and designer.”

http://www.tcsdaily.com/article.aspx?id=080805I

http://theevolutioncrisis.org.uk/testimony2.php

Spencer is a right wing religious loony bird nut job! ON top of that his satellite data is also showing the warming trend.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Satellite_Temperatures.png

Anonymous November 10, 2009 at 11:00 am

Why do you say we’ll never get a carbon tax? Are you indicating that if we could you wouldn’t be in the opposition?

Anonymous November 10, 2009 at 2:55 pm

Typical – attack the person rather than the position. Kinda makes you look like an idiot who has no argument, George. Why not engage the data and the science?

Sam Grove November 10, 2009 at 5:30 pm

I have a brother-in-law who is a practicing Christian and is also a plasma physicist. I know another person who is a physicist working at SLAC who is mormon. I may disagree with their religious views and perhaps their thoughts on evolutionary theory, but I do not believe it affects their qualifications as physicists.As is typical with you, you do not address the science. In fact a fair part of my skepticism regarding AGW doomsayers is their frequent habit of attacking their critics rather than addressing the science of the criticism. Makes me very suspicious.I suspect that if Dr. Spencer was on board with AGW doomsayers, you would have little objection to his other beliefs.Just about everyone accepts that there has been warming since the ’70s. that what all the data shows. The question is about the “why” of it.Funny that you would attack an AGW doom critic then reference a chart produced by that same critic as evidence in support of your position. You like to have it both ways.That’s another characteristic that makes me skeptical of AGW doomsayers; all evidence is good if it supports their claims and all evidence that suggests a little skepticism is to be disregarded.You claim to know more about climate science than I do, but since neither you nor I do actual climate research, it’s not about who knows more, it’s about critical examination of the discussion between the doomsters and the skeptics.If your comprehension of the climate science is anything like your comprehension of economics, you’ll have a hard time impressing me in that regard.Why don’t you dig up some dirt on John Cristy now?

Sam Grove November 10, 2009 at 5:41 pm

I think it safe to assume that human activity impacts climate.

I think it erroneous to assume that the impact is a net negative.

And I think it unwise to proclaim any certainty on the net contribution of AG emissions to climate trends.

Anonymous November 10, 2009 at 10:33 pm

It has to be something stupid like that – I just have no use for politicizing science, it’s never been a good idea, but that’s what these AGW alarmists do constantly.

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