Cap and Scam

The trouble with the new Kerry-Lieberman bill

Were you aware that Americans have a collective obligation to stop kicking challenges to the next generation and join the White House in supporting "sweeping" and "transformative" legislation? I thought so.

These days, there are few higher callings in Washington than pretending to save the environment. Authoritative "leadership" is sorely needed in this area—and quickly, before the three-cornered-hat-wearing Visigoths storm Washington's barricades this midterm election.

Reporting for duty are John Kerry and Joe Lieberman, armed with a new cap-and-trade "energy" bill -- christened the Newspeak-esque "American Power Act"—that is so inclusive it nearly secured the support of a single radical right-winger (as if there were any other kind) in Republican Lindsey Graham, before he had a temper tantrum.

Praising the legislation, President Barack Obama made his customary case, twinning the fictitious economic benefits of statism with freshman-class utopianism, claiming that "we will put Americans to work in new jobs that pay well and can't be outsourced—jobs building solar panels and wind turbines; constructing fuel-efficient cars and buildings; and developing the new energy technologies that will lead to even more jobs, more savings and a cleaner, safer planet in the bargain."

Like most parents, I, too, hope my children one day toil in a nonproductive factory assembling taxpayer-subsidized wind turbines rather than turn to imported Canadian fossil fuels and constructive high-income professions. Unlike profits, you see, dreams never can be outsourced.

We are only in the "discussion draft" phase of the bill—entailing tons of discussions on how to entice Western Democrats and circumvent Republicans—which would make efficient energy more expensive, put non-energies on the dole, and slap a layer of crony capitalism on the entire energy industry.

And seeing as we never waste a crisis, the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has given cap-and-trade supporters another hammer to add to the debate. Though, as Newsweek summed it up, "considering that the Kerry-Lieberman bill contains a little something for everyone, it's likely to pass."

A little something for everyone except you, that is. The fabricated cap-and-trade "market" is a well-documented concoction of rent-seeking corporations that will work diligently with Washington to ensure taxpayers always foot the bill. As the legislation stands now, oil companies would also have to pay emissions allowances—outside the cap-and-trade market—which are nothing more than another gas tax.

This bill not only is loaded with obvious costs but also features underlying protectionist expenses that would benefit the usual industries (agriculture and steel) and, of course, unions. For example, the legislation would force nations "that have not taken action to limit emissions to pay a comparable amount"—in other words, to pay for having the good sense not to engage in slow-motion economic suicide. (Hey, I thought we weren't supposed to impose our values on other nations.)

What do we expect from these countries and ourselves? The bill would mandate we reduce emissions by 83 percent by 2050. Roll up your sleeves, because we all will be doing organic farming. Or, as Pat Michaels of the Cato Institute points out, we "will allow the average American the carbon dioxide emissions of the average citizen back in 1867, a mere 39 years from today."

Though an energy breakthrough could make all this possible—and that would be wonderful—solar panels, carbon sequestration, and the fertile imaginations of political opportunists who make demands before they have solutions will not.

And remember, these legislators were supposed to be the grown-ups.

David Harsanyi is a columnist at The Denver Post and the author of Nanny State. Visit his website at www.DavidHarsanyi.com.

COPYRIGHT 2010 THE DENVER POST
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  • Max||

    Harsanyi does doctrinaire loyality to the party line so well. What a nice commie aparatchik he would have made.

  • ||

    Now Max, you need to put a little more effort into it. Remember, "Quality Troll" is not just a label. It's a passion. If you want to be passionate about trolling, don't just dump some line that privacy bot would belch out. At least read a paragraph from the article and whine about that. I'm afraid this another "F" for you.

  • Ragin Cajun||

    Speaking of "F"....not even an F-bomb this time. I feel let down.

  • ||

    sage, I served with Neil, I knew Neil, Neil was a friend of mine. Max, you're no Neil.

  • ||

    Yes, but you have been joe-boated, Epi-spadias.

  • Max||

    Getting a "F" in the catechism class is a badge of honor for a non-believer, fuckwit.

  • Ragin Cajun||

    Thank you. My hope is restored.

  • Max, simplified||

    I do doctrinaire loyalty to the party line so well. What a nice commie apparatchik I have been.

  • Soonerliberty||

    I think Max is bending over at the front of the apparatchik line, taking it like a good plebe.

  • ||

    Unless the Congress goes mad duck after the election, I don't see how this passes. Even the Republicans are not stupid enough to vote for it and that is 41 votes right there. Then add in the Democrats from coal states and there is no way they get to 60 votes.

  • Evil Teabagger||

    Do we need 60 votes these days? I thought if a bill doesn't have enough votes, we just use reconciliation to get it through. Remember, the American people aren't concerned with process.

  • ||

    Even the Republicans are not stupid enough to vote for it and that is 41 votes right there.

    I wouldn't be a bit surprised if some the squishy RINOs couldn't be induced to vote for this. Since it raises revenue, they may think they can call it the "fiscally responsible" thing to do.

  • ||

    Not after they read the polls. Maybe they could get someone like Bob Bennett who has nothing to lose. But even a nitwit like the Susan Collins is smart enough to realize this bill is political poison. The Republican who votes for it's career is over.

  • Tman||

    Lindsey Graham would vote for this in a heartbeat if the Dems would offer him something of value on say, Immigration.

    I'm absolutely petrified that this will pass, and soon become law. This will plunge our economy in to a double-dip recession and we will look like 1990's Japan in no time.

    Anything that John Kerry is in favor of is most likely a horrible, disastrous, no-good very bad idea that will screw up the economy.

  • ||

    If they pass this piece of shit over the objection of the American people like they did healthcare, there will be a revolution. People will go crazy. I think that it is a bit below the radar right now because most people think it is dead. Once it gets some attention the pressure on the Republicans to kill it will be intense. Also, the Administration won't be able to give Graham shit on immigration. Immigration reform is less popular than this piece of shit.

  • Tman||

    Never underestimate the stupidity of Congress, especially if Kerry is involved.

    I am not convinced that this won't pass.

  • Tony||

    John just because your sources of 'information' have been doing the bidding of their corporate puppeteers and have been shitting all over any potential climate legislation doesn't mean the rest of America feels that way.

    61% favor a bill

    52% of Republicans/conservatives support a bill

    Other polling shoes 70% of Americans want a fast-track bill in the wake of the oil spill disaster.

    Support dipped between last year and the disaster, right alongside an increase in misinformation about climate change. It is beyond any doubt that if all people were truly informed of the costs of fossil-fuel energy, they would be in favor of a strong climate bill.

  • ||

    That would explain Obama's criminal negligence in responding to the Gulf issue. But, I don't buy those polls. One of them is by Zogby who hasn't been right in about ten years. And the others are by environmental groups and are nothing but push polls.

    Nice try though. And further, as the debate goes on people are going to understand what this will do to their energy bills and the economy as a whole and turn against it even more. The same thing happened with health care. The more people found out about the bill the more they hated it. It had to be passed by a one time parliamentary trick and over the objection of every Republican. That won't happen again. And it also ensured that the Democrats are going to get killed in November.

  • Tony||

    Dear lord John why don't you just use the phrase "Obama's Katrina." I know, I know, you've never heard of FOX News, you come up with these dishonest partisan bullshit talking points all on your own.

    By "the more people find out about" do you mean "the more people are deliberately misinformed by partisan hacks and their talking points"?

  • ||

    Tony,

    * U.S. Said to Allow Drilling Without Needed Permits - "Those approvals, federal records show, include one for the well drilled by the Deepwater Horizon rig, which exploded on April 20, killing 11 workers and resulting in thousands of barrels of oil spilling into the gulf each day."

    * Gulf Spill May Far Exceed Official Estimates - "The amount of oil spilling into the Gulf of Mexico may be at least 10 times the size of official estimates, according to an exclusive analysis conducted for NPR."

    * Size of Oil Spill Underestimated, Scientists Say - "The figure of 5,000 barrels a day was hastily produced by government scientists in Seattle. It appears to have been calculated using a method that is specifically not recommended for major oil spills."

    * Giant Plumes of Oil Found Forming Under Gulf of Mexico - "The discovery is fresh evidence that the leak from the broken undersea well could be substantially worse than estimates that the government and BP have given."

    White House Allowed BP to Keep Video of Gushing Pipe from Public for Three Weeks - "The White House allowed BP to hide its video feed of a gushing oil pipe in the Gulf of Mexico from the public for three weeks, all the while that same video played live in the White House Situation Room, ABC reports. This startling revelation comes just as Obama prepares to get really angry in public about the spill – just in time to cover up his administration’s collusion with BP to hide the true extent of the massive disaster in the Gulf."

    http://legalinsurrection.blogs.....a-yet.html

    I would say it is worse than his Katrina.

  • Tony||

    John,

    Part of the blame is with government on the oil spill. But that culpability is entirely in its not regulating and enforcing enough. (Nice of reason to mention the oil spill, if only in passing, btw.)

    Whoever is to blame it is still a repudiation of your worldview. The industry did not self-regulate. This was a preventable disaster.

  • ||

    why should they self reg.,thats the publics job, if they(the public) really cared. they could put BP out of biz in couple weeks. but the truth is the public doesn't care about these issues much, so they hand it off to washington

  • Tony, simplified||

    When Democrats have all the power, the only mistakes are caused by the party not in power. Especially when the President is a Democrat. Because they're perfect. And we are not worthy.

  • Tman||

    It is beyond any doubt that if all people were truly informed of the costs of fossil-fuel energy, they would be in favor of a strong climate bill.

    Yes Tony, people are too stupid and all you liberals know what's best for us if we would just listen to you.

    John is right. Liberal arguments are farking pathetically weak these days. I could put up a better argument for you than that.

  • Tony||

    Before I bother responding, do you believe that anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions are causing a rise in average global temperatures?

  • Tman||

    do you believe that anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions are causing a rise in average global temperatures?

    Yes. How much they are causing, how much influence they have over other factors including other non-anthropogenic sources of increased greenhouse gasses, or for instance how much the Sun plays a part in our understanding of global temperature change remains to be seen and it most certainly is not a "settled science".

  • Chad||

    Tman, what significant evidence do you have for non-thropogenic sources of greenhouse gases?

    And the affect of the sun on temperatures is actually well understood, and anyone who has actually looked at an IPCC report would know this. The sun's output isn't all that hard to measure, and the variations are very small relevative to those caused by the CO2 increase.

  • Tman||

    Chad,

    Total human greenhouse gas contributions add up to about 0.28% of the greenhouse effect. Water Vapor has far more influence on the Greenhouse effect than CO2.

    Testimony of Roy W. Spencer before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on 22 July 2008-

    One necessary result of low climate sensitivity is that the radiative forcing from greenhouse gas emissions in the last century is not nearly enough to explain the upward trend of 0.7 deg. C in the last 100 years. This raises the question of whether there are natural processes at work which have caused most of that warming.
    On this issue, it can be shown with a simple climate model that small cloud fluctuations assumed to occur with two modes of natural climate variability — the El Nino/La Nina phenomenon (Southern Oscillation), and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation — can explain 70% of the warming trend since 1900, as well as the nature of that trend: warming until the 1940s, no warming until the 1970s, and resumed warming since then…

    While this is not necessarily being presented as the only explanation for most of the warming in the last century, it does illustrate that there are potential explanations for recent warming other that just manmade greenhouse gas emissions. Significantly, this is an issue on which the IPCC has remained almost entirely silent. There has been virtually no published work on the possible role of internal climate variations in the warming of the last century.

    Also, Solar irradiance changes have been measured reliably by satellites for only 30 years. To say that this is a "settled fact" ignores this reality.

  • Chad||

    Ahh, back to the old "water" argument.

    First, your facts are simply wrong. I have no idea where you get the .28% number, but it surely fails my "wiki test".

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenhouse_gas

    CO2 is 9-26%, and man is responsible for over a quarter of the CO2. You seem to be off by at least a factor of ten.

    In any case, you seem to miss a blitheringly obvious fact: water is in fast equilibrium with the oceans. Therefore, it cannot *cause* a temperature increase, it can only amplify it. The temperature determines the amount of water in the atmosphere, not vice versa.

    Yes, it solar irradiance has only been reliably measured for thirty years...and it is heading in the exact wrong direction. Also, if it WERE the sun, the stratosphere should be warming, not cooling. Also, whatever solar changes DO occur are very small (~.1 W/m2), which is small relative to the CO2 forcing we have already inflicted (~2W/m2).

  • Tman||

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....145840.htm

    ScienceDaily (Feb. 1, 2010) — A 10 percent drop in water vapor ten miles above Earth's surface has had a big impact on global warming, say researchers in a study published online January 28 in the journal Science. The findings might help explain why global surface temperatures have not risen as fast in the last ten years as they did in the 1980s and 1990s.

    hmm. Who to believe? Chad or Authors of the study Susan Solomon, Karen Rosenlof, Robert Portmann, and John Daniel, all of the NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL) in Boulder, Colo.?Authors of the study are Susan Solomon, Karen Rosenlof, Robert Portmann, and John Daniel, all of the NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL) in Boulder, Colo.; Sean Davis and Todd Sanford, NOAA/ESRL and the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado; and Gian-Kasper Plattner, University of Bern, Switzerland?

    Tough call.

    And 30 years of measurement is inadequate to fully determine the nature of irradiance to global temperature. Whoever told you otherwise is an idiot.
  • ||

    Chad|5.17.10 @ 8:57PM|#
    "I have no idea..."
    Yep.

  • Wegie||

    Aaahhh, Chad the fucking idiot!

  • Tony, simplified||

    I love to parrot Chad's AGW talking points. It's so much easier than thinking.

  • ||

    It is interesting how Tony (and his ilk) speaks about anthropogenic global warming in terms of belief.

    It's a religion, I take it? Admit it, already.

  • ||

    i'd rather burn oil than step over manure in the street

  • Michael Ejercito||

    Before I bother responding, do you believe that anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions are causing a rise in average global temperatures?


    Who gives a fuck?

    Carl Sagan and four others proved we can fix it with 1980's technology.

  • Wegie||

    No!

  • Mr. FIFY||

    The opportunely-timed oil spill disaster, you mean, Tony?

  • Tony||

    FIFY,

    You caught us. I happen to know the very treehuggers who donned scuba gear and planted a bomb under that rig. You and Rush Limbaugh are so wise!

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Hey, if Bush can be blamed for having explosive charges planted in the World Trade Center buildings... why not sabotage an oil rig in the name of AGW?

    Come on, Tony... we're talking about modern American presidents here. Either they're all slime, or they're not.

  • ||

    "Other polling shoes 70% of Americans want a fast-track bill in the wake of the oil spill disaster."

    What the hell do oil spills have to do with "climate change." Maybe the oil spill is a good sign that we need to remove the cap on liability of oil drillers and let the courts sort out the true costs of energy production, but I don't see what the oil spill has to do with carbon emissions at all.

  • Soonerliberty||

    I heard Democrats are now the party of Wall Street and big oil. It must feel good to be taking it like the good corporate hack you are, Tony. You want some lube with that double talk your masters pulled on you.

  • Chinny Chin Chin||

    if you care about global warming, and you're reading or posting on this thread, you're part of the problem.

    turn off that computer and become part of the solution.

  • Chad||

    But I HAVE to be on my computer, just as Al Gore (PBUH) HAS to fly in jet planes and ride in single-digit gas mileage limousines! It's the only way we can get out The Word!

  • Kroneborge||

    "The opportunely-timed oil spill disaster, you mean, Tony?"

    The oil spill is 5000 feet below. It requires million dollar submersibles to get that far down.

  • T||

    It doesn't require a submersible to set a drilling rig on fire, Kroneborge. The explosion and fire aboard the Discovery Horizon is what started this mess.

  • Tony||

    Ha! This did not start with a fire, it started with a large explosion. But that's some pretty pathetic grasping to blame an environmentalist conspiracy there.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    So, Tony... was the WTC fiasco caused by planes flying into the buildings, or did GW have explosive charges set in them?

    If Bush was capable of causing an, ahem man-made disaster, then so is Obama.

  • Chad||

    Tony, if liberals have actually pulled off even 10% of the wild conspriacies that the wing-nuts have accused us of, it only would prove that we are so damned smart that we DESERVE to be their eternal overlords.

    Grovel before us, grunts!

  • Mr. FIFY||

    So... Bush was capable of orchestrating the WTC disaster, but Obama wouldn't engineer an oil-rig disaster. Got it.

    BTW, Chad, are you still driving a gas-powered automobile?

  • Chad||

    The most efficient one around, and I offset the rest (nearly twice over, just in case).

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Oh, and I call bullshit on Chad. No way can he live such a pious carbon lifestyle AND still consume fossil fuels.

    If he REALLY gives a shit, he'll give up all luxuries... including breathing.

  • Tony||

    FIFY,

    I have never once claimed that Bush was responsible for the WTC event. I don't believe in stupid conspiracy theories.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    I didn't say YOU did, Tony - just pointing out that, if Bush WERE capable of setting up the WTC disaster, then Obama COULD BE capable of setting up anything else that would produce a desired outcome.

  • ||

    “Nobody ever went broke underestimating the taste craven stupidity of the American public Congress.”

  • Xeones||

    Max is real into comparing libertarians to communists today. His 6th grade social studies class must have finally gotten to the Bolshevik Revolution.

  • ||

    Sometimes I think that this site needs more liberals to keep it become agreement fest. But then real liberals show up like Max, or Pete on the health care thread. And they make nothing but insipid childish arguments. I don't think liberals are capable of making reasoned arguments anymore.

  • ||

    Anymore? When did they start?

  • ||

    Jesus you could do better than this. You could make an argument for this crap bill. It would be an untrue one. But you could do better than the shit they put out.

    I think I am going to sell out and start writing liberal opinion. The intellectual competition is so low, I would probably have a spot on the NYT in a year or so. Really, it is just pathetic.

  • ||

    John, you would make a really poor David Brooks and you have higher standards than sleeping with Maureen Dowd. Also, I would have to kill prescribe you a murderous courtesan for your own good: I personally could not bear to see you sell out, even though I am part of the cartel (less than 30 days till out of CMS).

    I do notice you are in an usually dour mood today and Kerry Howley is nowhere is sight.

  • ||

    I couldn't be David Brooks. I could never be that wimpy. I would have to go all out and be an angrier Thomas Friedman.

  • ||

    Freidman? LOL. Shit. Go for gusto, John. Go full blown Andrew Sullivan (pun intended). If you are going to the dark side, you might as well go all the way. Be the AntiJohn and your apostates will follow.

  • ||

    I guess there are worse things than obsessing about Sarah Palin's vagina. Better hers than Maureen Dowd's.

  • ||

    Dowd's vagina is a shriveled mass of flaccid catfish stink bait. Why do you think Micheal Douglas left the gin soaked sot?

  • ||

    Fuck you! You're all just Republicans who smoke pot! You hate the poor and love corporations! Also, you look like Ron Jeremy after a severe beating!

  • ||

    Odd. I thought all American Jews were Democrats.

  • ||

    Are you trying to start a shemozzle, you shmendrik goyim?

  • ||

    Goy??? Nice try schmuck. I light the menorah by proxy of maternity. Schtupp this, O Greasy Schlameel Bieberphile!

    Who do you think I am, Underzog?

  • The Art-P.O.G.||

    Rhoemites.

  • unPC||

    That guy from the Cato Institute is exagerating. He says the bill will put our per capita energy use back to 1867 levels.

    Why, according to a Wall Street Journal columnist, it will only put us back to 1875 levels.
    http://online.wsj.com/article/.....53820.html

  • ||

    Well that makes it all better then.

  • Mark||

    "Were you aware that Americans have a collective obligation to stop kicking challenges to the next generation and join the White House in supporting "sweeping" and "transformative" legislation? I thought so."

    You mean Obama's finally going to make sweeping and transformative cuts to federal spending to stop kicking the debt problem to the next generation? I'm on board.

  • Libertarian douche||

    Were you aware that Americans have a collective obligation to stop kicking challenges to the next generation

    It is our right, nay--duty, to use up as many resources as we can right now and to make our grandchildren pay for the damage.

    Only by aggressively maximizing profit can we be clear-headed enough to handle any problems that may come along.

  • ||

    It is our right and duty to use up as many resources as is economical to use up and to leave our grandchildren the overwhelmingly wealthier world those resources will build.

    When you consider that natural resources in wealthy countries account for only 1 to 3% of their total wealth -- compared to 17% of their wealth in tangible capital and 80% in intangible social capital -- you quickly find that we are remarkably poor stewards of our progeny's well being when we behave like we're resource poor.

  • ||

    Don't feed the troll Mike. They need to have a moderator on this site. If an argument doesn't rise to a certain level of cogency and contains nothing beyond invective and hyperbole, the comment gets deleted. That would eliminate nearly all of the troll comments on this board. Hell, Juanita puts up better arguments than that.

  • Libertarian douche||

    Indeed. We'd all be better off if douchey libertarian know-it-alls were the sole arbiters of argument cogency, not to say every other aspect of our lives.

    The massive unpopularity of libertarian doucheness is no reason people shouldn't benefit from our eternal wisdom. Libertarian despotism now!

  • ||

    And if you had a decent argument it would go through the filter. But you don't or you wouldn't be putting up the stuff you do. Seriously, you are worse than Tony. Tony can at least link to a poll to support his position. That may not be the best form of argument but at least it is something.

    There isn't a liberal on this site who can make a cogent argument. MNG or Chicago Tom can. But they only do so when they are arguing a libertarian point. Whenever their position slips back to conventional liberal, they sound just like you.

    I don't mind people who disagree with me. I am an apostate on a lot of issues on this site. I have horrible arguments with resident Libertarians like Episiarch and Fuffy. But, as wrong as I think they are about some of their positions, they at least have some ideas and can make a cogent arguments. Liberals cannot seem to do that. It all seems to be based on emotion and invective for them.

  • Libertarian douche||

    I beg your pardon, I did not realize the quality standards for Hit&Run; were so high. I was thrown off by the comments on every single article ever posted.

  • ||

    There is some quality argument on here. There are some very smart and interesting regular posters. It is a shame none of them are liberal and able to do justice to the liberal position.

  • Soonerliberty||

    *Position* As in bent over taking a big greasy subsidized lube cake to the backside while begging for more state and then remitting it back out to us in the form of liberal demagoguery, aka a "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and god darn it, people like me" emotional philosophy otherwise known as a shit sandwich.

  • ||

    There are some very smart and interesting regular posters.

    Whose ranks, IMO, you currently occupy. I enjoy reading your posts John. You cite history that I have either forgotten or a different POV that I had not considered.

  • Rich||

    John, I would say that several of the regulars (albeit non-liberals) regularly "do justice" to the liberal position.

  • Libertarian douche||

    There is some quality argument on here.

    Such as the nuances of Maureen Dowd's sexual organs.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    "Libertarian" and "despotism" do not belong together, Douche.

  • Libertarian douche||

    But you must realize, anywhere and everywhere free market fundamentalism has been achieved has been via imposition. People never vote for it on their own, and when they do experience the glories of a free market, when able they inevitably respond by voting in socialist dictators, obviously not knowing that stark poverty for 99% of the people and no national infrastructure are good for them.

  • ||

    Yea because socialist countries like Zimbabwe and Venezuela are so much richer than capitalist countries. And certainly the growth of world trade and free markets in the 19th and 20th Centuries brought nothing but poverty to the world, as opposed to creating the richest civilization in history.

    Seriously, have you ever picked up a history book? Do you know anything?

  • Average Cuban||

    I love it here in Cuba! And I am not just saying that because I was told to!

  • Astrid||

    Yea because socialist countries like Zimbabwe and Venezuela are so much richer than capitalist countries.

    Of course they are! That's why all those Americans in Florida try and get to Cuba in make-shift boats.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    when able they inevitably respond by voting in socialist dictators like Obama and his gang, you mean?

  • Soonerliberty||

    It is a difficult task to convince voters to steal from others. It probably takes a Harvard education, subsidized by the government, to pull that off.

  • MWG||

    Is that you Naomi Klein?

  • Fiscal Meth||

    Well said Mike P.

  • π||

    It really does break it down to it's elemental form. We fight on behalf of those yet to be born to leave them a better, wealthier, freer world. While the opposition fights to create a statist authoritarian hell in which all not descended from the political class and it's cronies suffer impoverished lives as subjects and property of rulers. No battle could ever have more importance. We'll all be gone soon, but while we were here all it took was a small speck of decency to easily know which side we belonged on. There's nothing redeemable in a being willing to take freedom from others. They are the lowest possible life.

  • ||

    WHy can't these jobs be outsourced? It seems to me that if you really think that green technology is the only thing that can save this planet, it makes sense to purchase the windmills and solar panels from the countries that can produce them for the lowest amount. That means importing them from China or India (or wherever they can be produced for less). If you really believe this shit, you should be in favor of subsidizing China to produce green tech, rather than expensive, American producers. To me it seems glaringly obvious that the left wants to use environmentalism for economic ends more than anything else.

    If government subsidized jobs made the country more successful, we would have been living in a utopia by now. The whole "green jobs" argument is just the old Keynesian job creation theory repackaged. Until the day somebody creates a solar panel that is efficient enough to make energy from fossil fuels seem downright silly, green tech will be a money loser, not a wealth creator.

    I'm sure a leftist would argue at this point, "But if we create a market for green tech, we will be able to create an incentive to innovate in such fields." To that I would point out that most, if not all of the money is going towards subsidizing the proliferation of windmills and solar panels, that we know are unproductive, rather than subsidizing the research and development of better solar panels and wind mills. Truthfully, any of the money that we spend on green tech should be going towards research and development, with maybe a small subsidy for experimental markets in key areas. Having a really big experimental market doesn't necessarily encourage more R&D, because no matter how big the green tech market becomes in the near future, it will be the taxpayer funding the profit margin (the true source of incentives). The bill that the left is hammering together right now is a "jobs" bill pure and simple.

    The economics of a cost benefit analysis of taking action on "climate change" is far from settled. Most studies show a small, non existent, or negative return from any action. Most of the positive cost benefit analysis comes from people who include job creation (and not the job destruction) as part of the benefits of legislation and oversell the dangers of climate change.

  • Astrid||

    It seems to me that if you really think that green technology is the only thing that can save this planet, it makes sense to purchase the windmills and solar panels from the countries that can produce them for the lowest amount.

    Because those countries are busy making thing of value.

  • Astrid||

    Things of value, I mean.

  • ||

    LOL.

  • ||

    I really like that. We wanted to have windmills but the Chinese told us to fuck off they were too busy making things people wanted.

  • Kroneborge||

    Of course the Chinese are actually making a lot of wind farms to install in China too. Something about the air pollution from too many coal plants, or some other sissy bullshit.

    I mean who cares if people are getting sick. It's the cheap energy that's important.

  • Astrid||

    Yes, I often lie awake at night over the plight of all that cheap energy that has allowed so many of the world's poor countries improve so far beyond what all those "clean" energies could, how they live longer, healthier lives now than they once did when they were agricultural nations. It is a tragedy that so many in China now live long enough to die of lung cancer.

  • Kroneborge||

    Yes, but after a point diminishing returns isn't there. Especially, as the number of people increase.

    A coal plant here or there isn't that big of a deal, but build hundreds (or thousands) and it can turn into a big deal. Build enough of them, and all those gains you got are overwhelmed by the other externalities.

    One final thought, it nations without an electric grid, RE is often the most cost effective choice. For example, building an electric grid out to the small towns is expensive, it's often cheaper to go with solar. And of course as RE goes down, but carbon based goes up (because of the fuel prices), it will get cheaper yet.

  • Astrid||

    If "renewable" energy was so cost effective poor nations would be lining up for windmills and solar farms, not carbon based energies. Sorry, but even as heavily subsidized as those "renewable" energies are they still aren't cost effective. And really, that we have to subsidize them at all is a big neon sign that they're a bad deal.

  • Brian R||

    but build hundreds (or thousands) and it can turn into a big deal.

    Which is exactly where China is. You have a totally valid point here, but note that "ordinary pollution" such as particulates, sulfur dioxide, etc are not a significant part of the climate change argument, and are already controlled without need for a "climate change" bill.

    in nations without an electric grid, RE is often the most cost effective choice

    Also a good point, but most of those small RE setups are only good for consumer use. You need a LOT of solar panels and windmills to run an industrial plant.

    And of course as RE goes down, but carbon based goes up (because of the fuel prices), it will get cheaper yet.

    At which point everyone switches to RE without the need for massive government subsidies. Libertarianism works! ;)

  • Michael Ejercito||

    I mean who cares if people are getting sick. It's the cheap energy that's important.


    Before the availability of cheap energy, people did not live long enough to get cancer from pollution.

  • Chad||

    The economics of a cost benefit analysis of taking action on "climate change" is far from settled. Most studies show a small, non existent, or negative return from any action. Most of the positive cost benefit analysis comes from people who include job creation (and not the job destruction) as part of the benefits of legislation and oversell the dangers of climate change.

    Agreed, but even for hacks like Lomborg, the numbers almost always come out positive. It is only a question of HOW positive.

    He then falsely conflates charity spending (on, say, AIDS or malaria) by rich western nations with spending our money on something that both benefits us AND is our responsibility in the first place. They are not interchangable.

  • ||

    Chad|5.17.10 @ 7:10PM|#
    "He then falsely conflates charity spending (on, say, AIDS or malaria) by rich western nations with spending our money on something that both benefits us AND is our responsibility in the first place. They are not interchangable."

    Care to put that into English? Brain-dead is a language I chose not to learn.

  • Chad||

    Ron: Imagine you have a young son, and he kicks a ball through your neighbor's window.

    Do you say to him "Well, son, I was going to withhold your allowance this summer and use it to pay for Mr Smith's window, but on second thought, I ran a cost-benefit analysis and determined that since Mr Smith is pretty wealthy, the money would be better spent if we donated it to the local shelter instead".

    Of course not. Your son has a RESPONSIBILITY to fix the window. It is totally irrelevant if the money would hypothetically be better spent on a charity.

  • ||

    Your son may have a responsibility to fix the window, but he doesn't have a "responsibility" to never throw a ball again. Climate change mitigation is not about "paying for damages," but paying to prevent future damages. It seems to me that we will be screwing over the world's poor ten times over by not purchasing their products and raising their energy costs. The poor will largely bare the brunt of climate change and climate change legislation.

    In the case of the son breaking the window, their is a clear damage being done by a specific party. Climate change is being caused by everyone for the benefit of everyone, however. There is no clear way to assign culpability to any party. If I was going to run a community action group whose sole purpose was to go from door to door, making sure that no children were throwing balls near windows, that would be a waste of resources that could be doing something more beneficial to the community.

    I would agree that climate change mitigation is not as expensive as some of our higher profile wastes of money. It might not even be a complete waste of time. But it is one more thing to divert our attention away from more productive endeavors, and adding it to the pile of government expenditures doesn't solve our root problems.

    Global per capita income will double six times in the next hundred years. Today, it is about 8,000 dollars per person. Doubling six times will bring it to 512,000 dollars per person. If global warming lowers that number to 450,000 dollars per person, I hardly consider that a reason to cry into my pillow every night. Also, most of the economic growth will occur in the poorest countries on earth.

    If you were living in a small house in Africa, what would you rather hear?

    "Guess what! We were able to prevent a degree or two of warming at a cost of billions of dollars, so malaria levels only increased slightly in your town over a fifty year period!"

    Or,

    "Guess what! We spent a few thousand dollars and sprayed trace elements of DDT on the outer walls of buildings, and now the chance of contracting malaria in your town is virtually zero! And we built a new schoolhouse and hospital, too!"

  • ||

    I'm pretty sure that plenty of studies have shown a negative cost benefit, at least the ones that don't pretend that the "green jobs" themselves, which actually destroy more jobs than they create, as an intrinsic benefit. Plus, once you consider the cost of loss of freedom and individuality, any benefits are small and a long way away.

  • ||

    I've scoured the internet looking for any sort of reasonable cost benefit analysis in terms of mitigating climate change. However, the only thing that I could find were collections of hugely biased reports one way or the other. The stern report is the most cited literature on the subject, but he places the costs of climate change at 5-20 percent one hundred years from now. This scenario seems quite unlikely, however, considering that stern used an incredibly small discount rate and applied a higher cost rate to damages to poor countries. It seems to me that the developing world is exploding economically at the moment, and I think this will make them much more capable in terms of dealing with climate change. As water levels have risen over the last two hundred years, the landmass of Manhattan has actually expanded, for example. Any negative effects of climate change will most likely be easily dealt with thanks to better technology and higher economic output. The solution to climate change according to many on the left however is to block imports from countries with less green production methods, such as the very poor countries that cannot afford the higher cost green technology. Basically, in order to save the poor countries of the world from climate change, we have to doom them to future poverty. THis is utter insanity, to me.

    ALso, the reports that assume huge damages from global warming, make the assumption that greener technology will never come about without anti-climate change legislation. I disagree. The rising costs of fossil fuels as well as the naturally diminishing costs of green tech will mean that assumptions based on agw related emissions spinning out of control are highly dubious.

    Global warming is about jobs and socialism, plain and simple. I have read several articles on the internet that leave it hanging out all pink and naked. Several times they argue that the costs of mitigating climate change are not really costs, because the benefits of green jobs and green investment will be huge. Of course, these investments wouldn't exist without subsidy that has to be taken from productive parts of the economy that actually produce benefits in excess of resources consumed. Green jobs can only be created by destroying more productive labor elsewhere.

  • Chad||

    tkwelge: as I noted, you can read Lomborg's own babble. fighting climate change almost always pass CB analysis. His argument has always been that fighting aids or malaria or feeding starving people (all purely charities) do even better under his analysis conditions.

    As I noted above, this is simply irrelevant. Responsibilities come before charity.

  • Apogee||

    You choose to see it as irrelevant. The CB 'analysis' of 'fighting' 'climate change' utilizing models that can't predict climate with any reasonable certainty even ten years out renders the entire effort a fallacy.

  • ||

    Who decides what one's "responsibilities" are? TO me, climate change is being caused by ALL of us, and we all benefit from production that comes as a result of carbon emitting energy sources. It is hard to argue who has a responsibility for what. Global warming is different from even regular pollution. It is impossible to attribute guilt to any party. You can throw around words like "responsibility" all you want, but it won't make anything you say a definite truth.

    There has only been a handful of shitty cost-benefit analysis thrown together. None of them are terribly trustworthy, and all seem to be mostly biased. Scientists and economists can make predictions about how the government could act, but the governments of the world screw up everything they touch. Costs always spiral out of control, and more regulation and subsidy always creates crony capitalism. Lomborg is completely correct that we are better off financially adapting to changes rather than trying to control the climate, which is a spotty proposition at best. There is too much bias on the side of the AGW pushers to trust a word of what they say. I'm not saying that I don't agree with them on anything, I just don't share the religiosity.

    WHen you argue that it is our "responsibility" to mitigate climate change, you bring everything back to religiosity.

    So far, climate change mitigation has been about socialism first, religiosity second, the environment third, and the individual fourth (if at all).

  • ||

    Who decides what one's "responsibilities" are? TO me, climate change is being caused by ALL of us, and we all benefit from production that comes as a result of carbon emitting energy sources. It is hard to argue who has a responsibility for what. Global warming is different from even regular pollution. It is impossible to attribute guilt to any party. You can throw around words like "responsibility" all you want, but it won't make anything you say a definite truth.

    There has only been a handful of shitty cost-benefit analysis thrown together. None of them are terribly trustworthy, and all seem to be mostly biased. Scientists and economists can make predictions about how the government could act, but the governments of the world screw up everything they touch. Costs always spiral out of control, and more regulation and subsidy always creates crony capitalism. Lomborg is completely correct that we are better off financially adapting to changes rather than trying to control the climate, which is a spotty proposition at best. There is too much bias on the side of the AGW pushers to trust a word of what they say. I'm not saying that I don't agree with them on anything, I just don't share the religiosity.

    WHen you argue that it is our "responsibility" to mitigate climate change, you bring everything back to religiosity.

    So far, climate change mitigation has been about socialism first, religiosity second, the environment third, and the individual fourth (if at all).

  • ||

    I refuse to fret over Lieberman, Kerry and Obama tilting at carbon windmills.

    No way does this piece of shit get passed. None, zero, nada, zip point shit, not a snowball's chance ...

    Ain't.
    Gonna.
    Happen.

    Any questions?

  • Tony||

    Yeah, why do you seem so gleeful at that prospect?

    Could it be because you selectively disbelieve in science when it doesn't present a solution that fits your dogma?

  • Al Gore||

    The science is settled! Death to non-believers!

    I have taught you well, Tony.

  • ||

    Because a program that destroys wealth, while doing virtually nothing to addreess the purported problem, being stillborn is pleasing to me.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Don't forget, J sub, the regressiveness of such a program that will fuck the poor in the pocketbook with higher gas, electric, and other prices.

  • Apogee||

    What's even more amusing is the use of the word 'dogma' by those who adhere to their belief systems no matter how many times their ideas are destroyed in an open forum.

  • Soonerliberty||

    If science told you that one race is inferior to another, would you take that line? Even if science supports your positions, it doesn't mean you have the right to expropriate and destroy the wealth of the citizenry and the progress of technology to appease your troubled mind.

  • Tony||

    Fortunately science doesn't say that about race, though it's an interesting question.

    There's no evidence that any scheme to deal with climate change would "destroy the wealth of the citizenry and the progress of technology." And I don't see how hanging onto 19th century energy technology solely to keep industry profits on the rise is the way to progress technology.

  • Soonerliberty||

    Because you never see the deleterious effects of regulation. You only see the government taking from one hand to give to another, but you refuse to see what was lost by taking from that first hand initially. Any regulation whatsoever is destructive of wealth for that very reason. And capping what a business can do is exactly that. And before you say the leftist line that pollution destroys wealth, which I would never deny, it's much better to leave this to the market, which will develop better technologies to fight this, if in fact it is settled science. Until then, use the power of media to push businesses in this direction. That's completely legitimate, but using the big hand of big brother to smash businesses is simply immoral and ineffective. Do it voluntarily.

    Besides, big businesses will eventually join government in this effort to squash out competition, because they are the only ones that can bear the costs of increased regulation.

  • Tony||

    If this problem could be solved voluntarily then it would have been solved by now. Instead we have industries spending millions upon millions of dollars to make sure the status quo stays in place--a status quo very friendly to them.

    So as long as you're okay with pricing emissions accurately--meaning taking into account environmental harm--then I'd be all for the market solving the problem, as it would simply be too expensive to continue burning fossil fuels. And this is all anyone is talking about with respect to climate legislation.

  • ||

    I assure you that raising the price of gasoline by 25 cents won't make it too expensive to burn.

  • Kroneborge||

    No it wouldnt'. Although, raising it will make people use it more effiently. And the higher you raise it, the more efficient they will use it.

    I used to commute about an hour to work, and it was amazing how as gas approached $4 a gallon, how all those SUV's and full sized trucks started to disapear, and commuter cars reapear. Moreover, some people started carpooling (I know the horror)

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    it would simply be too expensive to continue burning fossil fuel which winds up being a regressive tax on the poor.

    You left that part out, Tony.

  • Apogee||

    ...a status quo very friendly to them.

    Yes, the current administration is very friendly to their donors.

    Of course that's why you support them.

  • Apogee||

    If this problem could be solved voluntarily then it would have been solved by now.

    Unless of course you factor in the possibility that the 'problem' is exaggerated, and then add the fact that collusion with your almighty government crowds out competition, and thus solutions to these 'problems'.

    There doesn't seem to be many lefty complaints regarding the government regulating away BP's responsibility for the oil spill, or their failures with enforcing their own regulations. But you keep on with that self-flagellation about the need for 'more regulation'.

  • ||

    well said Milton

  • ||

    Fortunately science doesn't say that about race, though it's an interesting question.

    You never read The Bell Curve Tony?

    And come to think of it, the argument of Nature v. Nurture is far from resolved, and continually confounded by exception.

  • Tony||

    Groovus what decade are you typing from?

  • ||

    The 21st. Same as you, Tony. In fact, I have a feeling our zip codes may be pretty close. By your espousing liberal do-gooder fixes, you are essentially admitting that the Bell Curve is valid by proxy that certain groups are helpless without progressive intervention, and you have made the repeated claim this is along the lines of racial disparity.

    Answer the question: Nature or Nurture?

    Show your work.

  • MNG||

    I'm glad to hear someone bring up the Bell Curve. I think the reaction of many on the right to climate science claims is much like the reaction of many on the left to claims about IQ being largely inherited: both sides think accepting the scientific fact will lead to the fact being used to put through some policy they disagree with, and so they oppose it.

  • ||

    both sides think accepting the scientific fact will lead to the fact being used to put through some policy they disagree with, and so they oppose it.

    Best comment I have ever seen you post MNG. Thought provoking.

  • MNG||

    Thanks.

    Murray had an excellent discussion in The Bell Curve about how his findings could just as likely be used to justify a Rawlsian welfare state as to oppose it. Liberals just reacted out of fear.

    People on this thread may have long noted I am a huge fan of Murray's work.

  • ||

    Charles Murray's work is concise, well researched, and his argument is compelling. Hernstein and Skinner's approach to psychology, using empirical mathematical "matching law", is IMO, the strongest school of behavioral psychology and supported by recent breakthroughs in both genetics and neurobiology.

  • MWG||

    "nd I don't see how hanging onto 19th century energy technology..."

    Yes, you prefer to give that old technology up for... windmills?

  • Chad||

    Actually, the evidence suggests that our economy will be just fine. After all, Japan and Germany have much higher energy prices than we would under C&T, and they have strong economies and are among the world's leading exporters.

  • ||

    Lacking a Wermacht can do that Chad. If those nations were responsible for their own defense, I submit those wonderful economies you tout would implode rather quickly. How's Greece and Spain, btw, Chad?

  • Tony||

    Groovus,

    How messianic of America to spend on guns rather than butter for the sake of the free world. The next time the USSR threatens world war, we'll be ready! Uneducated, unhealthy, and destroying the environment, but militarily strong. You know, to face all those other massive armies that are threatening our shores.

    Fact is, we could have a strong economy too if we spent less on the war machine and more on useful things.

  • ||

    Wow Tony, your army of strawmen is indeed populous!

    How messianic of America to spend on guns rather than butter for the sake of the free world.

    Indeed. It is those guns that enabled freedom and liberty from England. An armed and vigilant populance is a free one Tony. I am a pretty big fan of Natural Law, from which I believe our inherent rights emanate, and one of the premises is rights are inherent but must be defended. As Tulpa is fond of saying "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance."

    The next time the USSR threatens world war, we'll be ready!

    The then-USSR drove the arms race Tony. They were more interested in guns at the expense of butter for it's populance. And yes, we were ready and will be should Russia now decide to restart it's expansionist ways. Again, Natural Law. And the last time I checked, Russia has no real interest in reduction of arms, nuclear or otherwise.

    Uneducated, unhealthy, and destroying the environment, but militarily strong.

    Well, the fruits of Progressivism are what they are Tony. A dumbed down (or brainwashed), weak, hostile to private property populance is easily maintained by a strong military. If that military can be used to defend, it can be used to inwardly too. Again, Natural Law; if it's important to you, you will defend it.

    You know, to face all those other massive armies that are threatening our shores.

    There are a lot (I daresay millions) of hostile radical Islamic Jihadist and terror sponsoring countries that would like to see you and me reduced to rubble. Again, Natural Law. If their interpretation of Sharia law states they can inflict Jihad and Fatwa, then we are permitted to defend against it.

    Fact is, we could have a strong economy too if we spent less on the war machine and more on useful things.

    National defense is an enumerated power granted to the Federal government. Contractors not only produce those for governments, but private actors as well. Everyone should have the right to defend themselves and weapons provide a means to do this. I would call that a "useful item". Natural Law: if you cannot defend what is yours, do you have a claim to it?

    BTW Nature or Nurture? You never answered the question. And please show your work.

  • Chad||

    What does the military have to do with anything? Are you saying that how they divert money from their military to social programs makes their export economies strong enough to overcome their high taxes and energy prices?

    Thanks for conceding everything liberals could wish for!

  • ||

    Please see my response to Tony. Very difficult to keep that Panacea if you cannot defend it. As John is fond of saying, "The world is full of assholes; it's a very dangerous place full of people that would like to see us dead."

  • Tony||

    Groovus,

    The US does not maintain its military strength to defend against any foe that exists in the real world. It is farcical for a libertarian to defend the massive amounts of interventionism and corporate welfare that goes into our military might.

    Germany and Japan do owe the US. When we rebuilt their countries they ended up with strong social protections, stronger than the US did. We got the short end of the stick--less useful spending and more bloated military protecting us from a threat that no longer exists.

    If a strong state found it useful to attack the US or those under its supposed military umbrella then we should talk about ramping defense spending. Until then we have real things killing real people to worry about. I say we let the other countries off the leash and have a strong economy here for a change. We won a world war without having a military to speak of before it started. We are more than capable of stepping up for that kind of threat. Are we capable of being a modern, competitive society in peacetime?

  • ||

    The US does not maintain its military strength to defend against any foe that exists in the real world.

    Really? So Radical Islamic Jihadists are a figment, a boogeyman? Let's ask Daniel Pearl about that (one of a plethora of examples).

    It is farcical for a libertarian to defend the massive amounts of interventionism and corporate welfare that goes into our military might.

    Ask Woodrow Wilson about interventionism, Tony. A progressive icon who made that style of policy en vogue. We are still arguably paying for his "League of Nations" and WWI.
    As far a corporate welfare of military contractors, it is much more efficient for the government to contract than produce it itself for a specified enumerated power.

    Germany and Japan do owe the US. When we rebuilt their countries they ended up with strong social protections, stronger than the US did. We got the short end of the stick--less useful spending and more bloated military protecting us from a threat that no longer exists.

    Considering they provoked us, yes they do. We helped them nation build and whatever "social protections" they have (please define) is dependent on protection from hostile actors. Please don't tell me you believe threats are non-existent, because you and I both know that is untrue.

    I say we let the other countries off the leash and have a strong economy here for a change.

    That is not unreasonable. However, I would stipulate that our government also keep it's mitts off out of our affairs as well. We have a strong economy inherently; the unsustainable social spending is more crippling than defense spending. And there is no enumerated power for social spending, despite the claims of the "Silly Putty Living Breathing Document" interpretation of "General Welfare."

    Are we capable of being a modern, competitive society in peacetime?

    We already are Tony and could be even more if a smothering Nanny Government would get out of the way. Are you referring to positive peace (an unrealistic goal in unicorn land) or realistic, if unromantic, negative peace (peace through strength)?

  • ||

    Check wikipedia for PPP adjusted per capita income rates, and then tell me that Japan has a robust economy. NOt to mention Japan's high rate of debt that is actually a ticking time bomb.

  • ||

    Tony|5.17.10 @ 4:36PM|#
    "There's no evidence that any scheme to deal with climate change would "destroy the wealth of the citizenry and the progress of technology.""

    Oh, there's plenty, but you'd have to devote thought to the matter to understand.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    Could it be because you selectively disbelieve in science when it doesn't present a solution that fits your dogma?


    The political proponents of AGW are deliberately ignoring the obvious quick fix.

  • Evil Teabagger||

    That's what many said about the health care bill. How are you so sure this is different

  • ||

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/comm.....e-my-heart

    This is the funniest thing I have read in years. This little bastard's tears are just yummy.

  • Astrid||

    Even now, however, I cannot completely shake off my fondness for him, nor have I lost the instinct to defend him – once you have invested that much hope in one person it is extraordinarily difficult to let it go.

    He only beats me because he loves me.

  • ||

    He will change some day. I just know it.

  • Maverick||

    Does Chavez have an opening for a catamite? If he does, then this besotted fool, Sami Kent, is a shoo-in.

  • Jersey Patriot||

    Hey, he's 19. We all believed stupid things at 19. For Christ's sake, I was a Republican.

    This kid's honest, he has real principles, and he pays attention. That's a lot more than I can say for msot folks twice his age. Someone needs to put The Triumph of Conservatism in his hands to really mindwipe him.

  • Xeones||

    That was hilarious, John. I foolishly went on to read the comments, though, and now i feel kind of nauseous.

  • ||

    Sorry. Should have warned that the comments are depressing. But article is hysterical.

  • G-Love||

    That poor boy went full retard in that article.

  • ||

    Holy shit. That is some Level 1 RDF.

  • Rich||

    Unlike profits, you see, dreams never can be outsourced.

    Why, David -- that's *beautiful*!

  • MNG||

    The bill looks horrible to me, but that is to be expected.

    Anything that Joe Lieberman has largely created is going to be tepid at best, a disaster at worst.

  • Jersey Patriot||

    I think we could create green jobs by having terror suspects run in giant hamster wheels until they collapse of exhaustion.

  • MNG||

    Lieberman would love this, it hits all his key points:
    Hyper-patriotism
    Disdain for the rights of the accused in the War on Terror
    Green energy

  • π||

    "Hyper-patriotism" ah... so this can be defined by his support for the Iraq war and the detainment of POWs. So for you a politician can be a model leftist his whole lengthy career, but fall out of lock-step in the goose march with the rest of you one time and he's "one of them."

  • T||

    Throw the dangerous sex offenders in there, too, since they're never getting out.

  • Kroneborge||

    Even though I one, thing climate change could be a serious risk, and two think that we should do something about it. I have a hard time supporting the current pork bloated bills.

    Cap and trade although theoretically a decent idea, seems to have too many problems in the implementation.

    For better to go with a net zero carbon tax.

    Since John has been making a big issue about coherent arguments I will attempt one (even though I don't consider myself a liberal, and don't support the current bill).

    But here's the rational for a net zero carbon tax.

    Even though there are still questions to be answered about climate change, the evidence at this point still suggests that there is a risk (not certainty) of detrimental effects from climate change. Thus realizing that we have to make decisions all the time in the face of uncertainty, I believe that we should use a small amount of resources to reduce that risk. I believe it's similar to buying insurance. Maybe your house won't burn down, maybe it will. Either way, I would rather have insurance.

    In addition, I believe that buy instituting a gradually increasing carbon tax, you could use the price mechanism to allow the market to develop the solutions to climate change. Moreover, I believe that even if you discount climate change, that burning carbon fuels have a number of other externalities that are not reflected in the current price. These include things like increased healthcare costs for asthma etc.

    Finally it should be noted that many green projects that are shown to be too pricing only appear to be that way because of the practice of net present value discounting. This practice works fine for families and business, but not as well for societies. For example, there are hydro dam's that are producing electricity right now that were built 50+ years ago. From a present value perspective, this electricity is worthless. But from a society perspective it certainly has value today. I think as a society we shouldn't be as quick to dismiss projects that have higher up front costs, but longer benefits.

  • Chad||

    You make a good point at the end, Kroneborge. Discounting at a societal level just doesn't make a lot of sense.

    The market rate for discounting is based on the discount rate of individuals setting on the save vs spend margin. What factors determine this rate? Well, we discount because we might not be around to collect, the borrower might not repay, because we are likely to be richer in the future than we are today, and because we are simply irrational and tend to focus too much on immediate benefits. Do these really apply at the societal level? The first doesn't, and the second and third not so much, while the fourth we should be actively avoiding. I generally agree with N. Stern, who keeps his discount rate lower (~1.5%) than the market rate, because he realizes that societies are not individuals, and have fundamentally different reasons for discounting.

    The choice of discount rate has an overwhelmingly large impact on any cost-benefit analysis of combatting climate change, making the analysis itself more of a philosophical exercise than anything technical. I don't think it is a particularly useful tool.

  • OMG||

    "Finally it should be noted that many green projects that are shown to be too pricing only appear to be that way because of the practice of net present value discounting. This practice works fine for families and business, but not as well for societies."

    Can you give me a concise explanation of what you believe NPV is and how it is used to analyze a future benefit?

  • Kroneborge||

    From an investment standpoint is how you value an amount (or string of amounts) in the future.

    So if I had a thousand dollars right now, how much would I need to get in the future to make me hold off from consuming that $1000, IE how much do I discount things in the future.

    So an an indvidual, I might need a 10% interest rate to make me give up my current consumption, so that I could get $1100 in one year.

    This of course makes perfect sense, because people value consumption more now than in the future. This is often called the time value of money.

    So for a family, or a business that's trying to decide if they should make an investment capital budgeting says you should apply NPV to both your expenditures, and revenues. If the result is postive, then you should take the project.

    But societies have a much longer time frame that people. I'm not saying we shouldn't still consider NPV when making these decisions, but I would argue it shouldn't be the sole determiant.

    Especially when you are looking at projects that generate benefits for 50-100+ years.

  • Chad||

    It's even worse when you look past 100 years. Imagine we learned that some terrible disaster was going to befall the earth 1200 years from now, and luckily, if we act before year's end, we can prevent this disaster for a dollar. If we fail to act, there is no other way to prevent earth's destruction.

    Should we stop the disaster, or just let it happen?

    Well, if you are an economist, you would start blathering about discount rates, and depending on the one you chose (say, 5%), could very well come to the conclusion that the whole planet 1200 years from now is worth less than a dollar in today's money.

    If that doesn't show how absurd discounting is at the societal level over the long term, I don't know what does. Lomborg et al like to stick to 100 years, because anything beyond that magnifies the absurdity of discounting so much that it becomes too obvious that the problem lies therein.

  • Chad||

    NPV is simply the total value of future cash flows, discounted at whatever rate we have settled on. The whole problem revolves around what rate we choose, and that is a philosophical debate, not a technical one. Frankly, this methodology is just not all that illuminating for long-term problems.

    We should be asking ourselves more fundamental questions, like what kind of world would our children want us to leave them, and asking ourselves if we are leaving our community, nationa, and planet better off than the one we inherited. The answer to the latter is rapidly becoming "no".

  • π||

    Surprise! Climate has never done anything EXCEPT change. The only thing disturbing that's changed is the increase in the number of imbeciles who believe humans can change it. We are a much smaller presence on this planet planet than you obviously must believe we are. You really need to get out more often, see it for yourself.

  • MNG||

    "Cap and trade although theoretically a decent idea, seems to have too many problems in the implementation."

    +1

    Who in the world would think with our political institutions such a weighty and complicated problem could be addressed? Here is really where trusting the market to address things is the best any rational person could hope for. At most the govt should engage in a educational campaign (explaining the dangers of not lowering our carbon footprints, or whatever).

  • Tman||

    Who are you and what have you done with MNG? You seem far too logical and even-keeled to be MNG. Unless you fell and hit your head or something.

  • Chad||

    MNG, the whole point of C&T is to let the market decide things.

    Why aren't libertarians calling for fully auctioned permits (which will eventually happen anyway). Wouldn't that address your concerns?

  • Kroneborge||

    Yes, and if the C&T that was being proposed was done in the proper way, it has merits.

    Determine the amount of carbon that should be realeased scientifically, and aution those amounts of permits.

    BUT....

    the current bill isn't anything like that. It's a mass of pork, and extra regulations.

    I would be willing to support a net zero C&T or net zero carbon tax. But we are no where near either.

  • Chad||

    Again, why don't I see the far right insisting on their ideology: that the permits should be auctioned in full?

    THAT is exactly what textbook economics calls for. Anything else (except an equivalent carbon tax) is just the government picking "winners and losers", even if that picking is done by letting polluters pollute for free. Is that your alternative?

  • Kroneborge||

    I guess because most of the right, just like most on the left arent' economists, OR don't like the conclusions the economists generate.

    Worse, the electorate REALLY doesn't like thos conclusions.

    "you mean we have to pay taxes for all those benefits we were promised??? "

  • Joshua||

    Well this libertarian is advocating a Pigovian tax if you're going to do anything at all. MUCH MUCH simpler.

    I've looked at the math behind the blowhard warming & and a lot of it is just REALLY REALLY BAD. Howzabout let's just keep on keepin' on & pay for any consequences as they occur, until we can get some good solid science behind the AGW & its true costs.

  • Chad||

    Btw, I am sure you guys are all keeping up on the science, right?

    Temperatures are still off the charts. "Global cooling" is dead, R.I.P.

    http://climateprogress.org/201.....re-record/

    Every one of you who babbled about "global cooling" was WRONG. Dead wrong. 100% completely wrong.

    Does even one of you have enough balls to admit it, and apologize to humanity?

  • Astrid||

    In 4.5 trillion years, give or take, it really won't matter what humans did or didn't due to the planet anyway. The Sun will make our efforts seem like child's play.

  • Libertarian douche||

    Stars burning out is just a market correction.

  • Chad||

    Btw, this just in:

    NOAA confirms NASA's result.

    http://climateprogress.org/201.....est-april/

  • π||

    As someone involved in science from a family of scientists with a long tradition of involvement in the sciences I find your question as ludicrous as you are. It's not humanly possible to keep informed on "all" the science. Just thought you'd like to know that you pretentious fraud.

  • Chad||

    It all depends on the level of detail one is talking about. It is actually impossible now to even come close to keeping up with all the publications in even one tiny little speciality. Of course, this is not what I mean when I say "keeping up with the science". Rather, I am implying familiarity with the gist of the most important publications. That can be done by the layman.

  • Apogee||

    Wow, a link to climateprogress.org.

    How about this link?

    We can all link to things.

    You can also argue statistics endlessly.

    What you don't get to do is collect money to 'save the planet' until you can accurately predict the 'changes' to climate that you assert.

    Do you have the balls to admit that you've been pushing what amounts to a scam with religious like orthodoxy?

  • ||

    Why aren't libertarians calling for fully auctioned permits

    Why haven't you been paying atterntion?

    (which will eventually happen anyway).

    BULLSHIT.

  • Chad||

    P Brooks:

    I have never seen a libertarian call for a fully auctioned C&T. Occasionally, I see one admit that such a policy would be OK, but only if you back them into a corner about it. Even that is rare.

    There is a wide gap between "calling for a policy" and "admitting it wouldn't be so bad in the depths of some message board, but actively working to undermine any bill that actually contains such a policy".

    The only thing stopping a fully auctioned C&T is the right wing.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Well, Chad, this libertarian wants NO cap-and-tax, auctioned or otherwise.

    So, GFY.

  • π||

    All cap and tax amounts to is a wealth redistribution scam designed to divert billions of dollars into Democratic party politicians and their cronies personal pockets.

    Of course unicorn riders like Chad can't see it. Not surprising, cult members seldom have a clue they are being ruthlessly used by those who manipulate and control them like brainless little puppets.

  • Chad, simplified||

    Whine! Snivel!

  • π||

    The NYT columnist Tom Friedman who stated during the 2008 that: "I'm looking for them to tell the truth, which is everywhere in the world, gasoline is taxed except us. You know, gasoline in Denmark is $10 a gallon." appeared with George Stephanopoulos on the May 6 Good Mourning America show where he said this about Obama: "George, it's really hard. You look at this guy's bio. He came to America. He went to school in America. He became an American citizen. He really symbolized, I think, the new challenge for our age."

    I'm becoming confused here. Alright, I've accepted Obama was born in Hawaii despite there being no evidence of that. Yet Obama's grandmother states he was not, his own wife says Kenya is his "homeland," and many of his cult of worshipers openly state he he was born elsewhere.

    Discrepancies in statements are always unsettling to me, they indicate either someone is lying, or speculation is involved and being presented as knowledge. It's dishonesty in both cases, and dishonesty is very offensive.

    This keeps up and I'm going to have to join the Tea Party where I will sell tee-shirts emblazoned with the words "Obama lied and freedom died!"

    By the, Tom Friedman, you hack and ignorant cull, gasoline is taxed here, just not highly enough to be to your liking.

  • π||

    *2008 elections, **by the way

  • Tony||

    The only one lying here is you. If you were really interested in knowing whether Obama was born in the US, you'd know it by now. The grandmother tape is nothing but editing fraud. The birth certificate is all over the internet. Grow up.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Unfortunately, Obama WAS born in the United States.

    If he hadn't been, the Clintons would've used it as a campaign issue, and they would be president again.

  • ||

    The only thing stopping a fully auctioned C&T is the right wing.

    That is complete and utter bullshit.

  • π||

    Seems the only thing stopping it are the moderates and those not wishing to commit political suicide within the Democratic party.

  • Chad||

    If the right wing supported it, one would neither need moderate Dems nor fail to get their votes anyway. The "right wing" is at least twenty Senators are the moment.

  • ||

    this article could have been written much shorter,like, "The trouble is that its written by people that don't believe in freedom". why spend time criticizing socialists, their doing what they are supposed to do, steal freedom. action to restore freedom is whats needed, read the Declaration.

  • π||

    Carry a copy with me everywhere I go, alongside my copy of the Constitution of the United States. The biggest problem causing us to turn onto the path to certain ruin is the amnesia about where it is we came from.

  • π||

    That and a dangerous ignorance of history. You may find this article interesting. It's a bit off topic, but if you consider the bigger picture it's very relevant.

  • ||

    a few years ago i would have agreed with you. now i've realized Jesus, the author of freedom, can reveal it to you without knowing history.

  • Chad||

    The trouble is, the bill is opposed by those who hate the government so much that they would prefer to grant industry the "freedom" to pollute rather than have the government actually enforce property rights.

    Get your CO2 off my property, now, jackhole.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Still driving a gas-powered car, Chad?

    If so... shut the fuck up, hypocrite.

  • ||

    INPEACH OBAMA In democratic societies like the United States, the voting process is a means by which citizens hold their government accountable, conflicts are channeled into resolutions, and power transfers peacefully. Our system of representative government works only when honest ballots are not diluted by fraudulent ballots. When elections become corrupted, democracy becomes threatened.
    The FBI has a limited role in ensuring fair and free elections in the United States. Election crimes become federal cases when:
    The ballot includes one or more federal candidates;
    The crime involves an election official abusing his duties;
    The crime pertains to fraudulent voter registration;
    Voters are not U.S. citizens.
    First Name: kenyan born at the white house
    Last Name: TRUTH
    Address: AMERICA
    Address: INPEACH OBAMA
    City: USA
    State: usa THE END OF AMERICA
    NPR archive describes Obama as 'Kenyan-born'
    Michelle say Barack born in Kenya
    Obama's grandmother say he was born in Kenya
    Subject: OBAMA SAID approval ratings are still very high in the country of my birth.
    Message: INPEACH OBAMA TO THE WEAK-KNEED REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRAT
    obama people have no idea of the extent to which they have to be gulled in order to be led." "The size of the lie is a definite factor in causing it to be believed, for the vast masses of the nation are in the depths of their hearts more easily deceived than they are consciously and intentionally bad. The primitive simplicity of their minds renders them a more easy prey to a big lie than a small one, for they themselves often tell little lies but would be ashamed to tell a big one." "All propaganda must be so popular and on such an intellectual level, that even the most stupid of those towards whom it is directed will understand it. Therefore, the intellectual level of the propaganda must be lower the larger the number of people who are to be influenced by it." "Through clever and constant application of propaganda, people can be made to see paradise as hell, and also the other way around, to consider the most wretched sort of life as paradise. "pelosi don't see much future for the Americans ... it's a decayed country. And they have their racial problem, and the problem of social &^% ...obama feelings against Americanism are feelings of hatred and deep repugnance ... everything about the behaviour of American society reveals that it's half &^%, and the other half &^& How can one expect a State like that to hold TOGTHER.They include the angry left wing bloggers who spread vicious lies and half-truths about their political adversaries... Those lies are then repeated by the duplicitous left wing media outlets who “discuss” the nonsense on air as if it has merit… The media's justification is apparently “because it's out there”, truth be damned. State: *usa Obama chuckles at America*
    If YOU PASS THE NORTH KOREAN BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU GET 12 YRS HARD LABOR, YOU PASS THE AFGHAN BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU GET SHOT. Under the Mexican law, illegal immigration is a felony, punishable by up to two years in prison,Mexicans who help illegal immigrants are considered criminalsThere is no immigration allowed in China, India, Bangladesh, Russia, Japan, Cuba, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Syria, Turkey and MOST other countries YOU PASS THE AMERICAN BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU GET A JOB, DRIVER'S LICENSE, ALLOWANCE FOR A PLACE TO LIVE, HEALTH CARE, EDUCATION, BILLIONS OF DOLLARS SPENT SO YOU CAN READ A DOCUMENT. WE CARRY PASSPORTS IN OTHER COUNTRIES OR FACE JAIL TIME. REPOST THIS IF YOU AGREE!! ((STOP COMMUNIST OBAMA)) THE COMMANDER

  • ||

    Maybe these people aren't familiar with
    Scott Adams Theory of Predictable Disasters

    Which basically says if something is big and forseeable there are already engineers working on it so they will be able to fix it. Think Y2K disaster.

  • ||

    President Obama Tells Mexican President "We are Not Defined by Our Borders"INPEACH OBAMA In democratic societies like the United States, the voting process is a means by which citizens hold their government accountable, conflicts are channeled into resolutions, and power transfers peacefully. Our system of representative government works only when honest ballots are not diluted by fraudulent ballots. When elections become corrupted, democracy becomes threatened.
    The FBI has a limited role in ensuring fair and free elections in the United States. Election crimes become federal cases when:
    The ballot includes one or more federal candidates;
    The crime involves an election official abusing his duties;
    The crime pertains to fraudulent voter registration;
    Voters are not U.S. citizens.
    First Name: kenyan born at the white house
    Last Name: TRUTH
    Address: AMERICA
    Address: INPEACH OBAMA
    City: USA
    State: usa THE END OF AMERICA
    NPR archive describes Obama as 'Kenyan-born'
    Michelle say Barack born in Kenya
    Obama's grandmother say he was born in Kenya
    Subject: OBAMA SAID approval ratings are still very high in the country of my birth.
    Message: INPEACH OBAMA TO THE WEAK-KNEED REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRAT
    obama people have no idea of the extent to which they have to be gulled in order to be led." "The size of the lie is a definite factor in causing it to be believed, for the vast masses of the nation are in the depths of their hearts more easily deceived than they are consciously and intentionally bad. The primitive simplicity of their minds renders them a more easy prey to a big lie than a small one, for they themselves often tell little lies but would be ashamed to tell a big one." "All propaganda must be so popular and on such an intellectual level, that even the most stupid of those towards whom it is directed will understand it. Therefore, the intellectual level of the propaganda must be lower the larger the number of people who are to be influenced by it." "Through clever and constant application of propaganda, people can be made to see paradise as hell, and also the other way around, to consider the most wretched sort of life as paradise. "pelosi don't see much future for the Americans ... it's a decayed country. And they have their racial problem, and the problem of social &^% ...obama feelings against Americanism are feelings of hatred and deep repugnance ... everything about the behaviour of American society reveals that it's half &^%, and the other half &^& How can one expect a State like that to hold TOGTHER.They include the angry left wing bloggers who spread vicious lies and half-truths about their political adversaries... Those lies are then repeated by the duplicitous left wing media outlets who “discuss” the nonsense on air as if it has merit… The media's justification is apparently “because it's out there”, truth be damned. State: *usa Obama chuckles at America*
    If YOU PASS THE NORTH KOREAN BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU GET 12 YRS HARD LABOR, YOU PASS THE AFGHAN BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU GET SHOT. Under the Mexican law, illegal immigration is a felony, punishable by up to two years in prison,Mexicans who help illegal immigrants are considered criminalsThere is no immigration allowed in China, India, Bangladesh, Russia, Japan, Cuba, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Syria, Turkey and MOST other countries YOU PASS THE AMERICAN BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU GET A JOB, DRIVER'S LICENSE, ALLOWANCE FOR A PLACE TO LIVE, HEALTH CARE, EDUCATION, BILLIONS OF DOLLARS SPENT SO YOU CAN READ A DOCUMENT. WE CARRY PASSPORTS IN OTHER COUNTRIES OR FACE JAIL TIME. REPOST THIS IF YOU AGREE!! ((STOP COMMUNIST OBAMA)) THE COMMANDER

  • ||

    TO ALL THE COMMUNIST IN THE IG,FBI,CIA,AND U.S. Senators and the left wing media outlets ,, Mmslim Barack Hussein Obama , threatens friends and bows to enemies INPEACH OBAMA THE COMMUNIST ,GOD OPEN YOUR EYES.///For us there are only two possiblities: either we remain american or we come under the thumb of the communist Mmslim Barack Hussein OBAMA. This latter must not occur; TO THE WEAK-KNEED REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRAT .THE COMMANDER REPOST THIS IF YOU AGREE

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  • ปลวก||

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  • RAN||

    The trouble is, the bill is opposed by those who hate the government so much that they would prefer to grant industry. | RAN ran ran แรน แรน แรน |

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