Republicans vs. the Environment

Does the GOP have any solutions for environmental problems?

Kicking off her recent bus tour, Sarah Palin attended a motorcycle rally and took a deep breath. "I love that smell of the emissions," she exulted.

Her comment reflected a common attitude in the Republican Party: Exhaust fumes are as American as apple pie. Cool kids don't need clean air. Arctic ice is overrated.

Republicans like Palin often compete to see who can sound most indifferent to the environment. So someone taking a different tack stands out. Mitt Romney got grief from Rush Limbaugh and others for saying, "I believe the world is getting warmer, and I believe that humans have contributed to that."

This is like noticing that bananas are yellow. Mainstream scientists have said the same thing for a long time. But the consensus has spread.

Bjorn Lomborg, a conservative hero for his 2001 book The Skeptical Environmentalist, now writes, "We have long moved on from any mainstream disagreements about the science of climate change. The crucial, relevant conversation of today is about what to do about climate change."

In Climate of Extremes, published by the libertarian Cato Institute, scientists Patrick Michaels and Robert Balling Jr. assail various plans to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. But they admit, "Humans are implicated in the planetary warming that began around 1975. Greenhouse gases are likely to be one cause, probably a considerable one..."

Most GOP candidates, however, don't care. Rick Santorum dismisses such claims as "junk science." Michele Bachmann derides the notion that carbon dioxide could be harmful. Tim Pawlenty's campaign declined to answer when asked if he agrees with Romney.

During last year's campaign, the National Journal reported, "Of the 20 serious GOP Senate challengers who have taken a position, 19 have declared that the science of climate change is inconclusive or flat-out incorrect." (The exception: Mark Kirk of Illinois.)

Conservatives fear liberals will use climate change to justify heavy-handed intrusive regulation and wasteful subsidies, and they are right to worry. But that's no excuse for pretending global warming is a myth or refusing to do anything about it. It's an argument for devising cost-effective, market-based remedies that minimize bureaucratic control.

If today's Republican attitude had prevailed four decades ago, Americans would not have such vital measures as the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act. Then, many people worried that environmentalism would strangle economic growth and personal freedom. But both have survived and even flourished.

Conservatives once understood that corporations are not entitled to foul the environment, any more than individuals have the right to dump garbage in the street.

Barry Goldwater, the 1964 GOP presidential nominee, wrote, "When pollution is found, it should be halted at the source, even if this requires stringent government action." As governor of California, Ronald Reagan signed major environmental bills and called for "all-out war against the debauching of the environment."

But modern Republicans think the environment is big enough to take care of itself. They decried President Barack Obama's moratorium on new deepwater drilling, which was imposed to prevent a repeat of last year's catastrophic spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Bush administration gave a green light to mountaintop coal mining, which it admitted would mean burying more than 700 miles of rivers in debris. They see preventing pollution as an unaffordable luxury.

But that's intellectually untenable and politically dangerous. What's more, the GOP doesn't have to surrender its principles to confront environmental reality. There is plenty of room for disagreement, for instance, about how to combat global warming.

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  • ||

    A consensus is not fact. We should clean the air because clean air is good, not because we think it might reverse changes in temperatures that we prefer although they may or may not be an average mean. We recently had temperatures in DC that broker a record set in 1875. What caused the warming then, leftover heat from the Civil War? The climate does change. The earth has gone through warm to cold cycles, beginning well before human existence. Check out the strong connection between solar output and earth temperatures.

  • Matrix||

    Exactly my point about clean air. I don't care about the global warming boogey-man... but the fact that people are getting cancer and dying because of air pollution is something to be concerned about. It needs to be addressed, because no one has the right to pollute the air to the point that others' health is affected by it.

  • Observer||

    "It needs to be addressed, because no one has the right to pollute the air to the point that others' health is affected by it."

    Just remember CO2, your breathing, is creating a toxic mess by the standards of science and government today. Using your very logic.

  • ||

    the alternate side is that the current temperatures, according to the "consensus" of scientists is just abit warmer than the exactly correct temperature the Earth should be, ALWAYS...
    "play the scene from the 'holy grail' with the voice booming out 'Stop Groveling!'"

  • GregorySmith3||

    Clear air is good? At what price? You want to ban all cars? Higher fuel taxes? No car days? No more heavy industry? Be careful what you wish for.

  • Yet another Dave||

    I totally agree with this. I completely agree with the idea of taking care of the planet - it is the only one we've got. But I don't like the scare tactics, nor do I like people presenting opinions, even the opinions of people in the know, as "facts". Fact is, there's still a lot of scientists who disagree that we're facing global warming or that we caused it. Wasn't that long ago, the scientific consensus was that we were facing another ice age.

  • Sinic||

    Environmentalism is a luxury. It would be interesting to see if Hummers and hybrids had similar sales trends in relation to the economy.

  • jtuf||

    We can stop worrying about cleaning the environment, because the environment is already clean. We enjoy cleaner water and air than previous generations did in the 1970s. Today's environmentalist movement is a vestigial throwback from past decades that keeps looking for new causes to justify its existence.

  • steve||

    Define "clean". Sure I can breathe the air and have high confidence that I won't get lung cancer from smog/particulates/etc, but then again carbon dioxide doesn't cause lung cancer. Rising levels of it do however have lots of bad consequences. And I'm not all that fired up about the greenhouse effect, I'm more concerned about the oceans turning more acidic and killing off entire species of fish.

  • The Derider||

    Since it's not YOUR air, you can't just decide for others whether EVERYONE'S air is clean enough or not.

  • freemancw||

    +1

  • jtuf||

    The reverse logic applies. Since it's not THEIR air, THEY can't decide that the air is too dirty.

  • ||

    "The method most congenial to personal and economic freedom is a carbon tax. Instead of putting the government behind favored forms of energy, as the administration likes to do, it would create strong incentives for people to find their own ways to reduce emissions."

    No Steve it would make otherwise affordable energy unaffordable. The only way for a carbon tax to have its desired effect is to make carbon emitting fuels more expensive than their non carbon emitting alternatives and by necessity making energy more expensive than it should be and everyone poorer.

    The government choosing winners and losers in the market place via tax is no better than doing it via regulations. Oh but the externalities you say. I am sure you, like every other swinging dick libraltarian, heard that phrase somewhere back in college in between the beer parties and the feminist theory classes. To be effective the tax has to match the externality perfectly. Put the tax too high and you are unfairly penalizing the polluter. Put it too low and you are still allowing the externality to occur, albeit in a reduced form. To match the tax to the externality in the case of carbon we would have to know to some degree of certainty how much each ton of carbon contributes to warming the atmosphere and how much that amount of warming actually costs the world if anything.

    Given the sorry state of climate science, are you fucking kidding me? There is no way to properly price a carbon tax. All you will end up doing is creating an enormous avenue for graft and corruption and crony capitalism. Indeed, this is exactly what has happened in the European carbon markets.

    http://pajamasmedia.com/tatler.....s-to-care/

  • bosty||

    "The method most congenial to personal and economic freedom is a carbon tax. Instead of putting the government behind favored forms of energy, as the administration likes to do, it would create strong incentives for people to find their own ways to reduce emissions."

    Huh? Who collects the tax?

  • Al Gore||

    Me, of course.

  • Neu Mejican||

    To match the tax to the externality in the case of carbon we would have to know to some degree of certainty how much each ton of carbon contributes to warming the atmosphere and how much that amount of warming actually costs the world if anything.

    We only need it to have the precision of the Laffer curve.

  • ||

    That doesn't even make any sense.

  • ||

    "The Bush administration gave a green light to mountaintop coal mining, which it admitted would mean burying more than 700 miles of rivers in debris."

    Maybe we need the coal more than we need the rivers Steve. And maybe the people of West Virginia would rather have a job than be unemployed so their state can be an echo wonderland for douche bag Washington liberals.

  • Matrix||

    Why should my water be polluted so some asshole can have a job?

  • ||

    If it is your water sue them for nuisance and get your loses back.

  • Matrix||

    What good will it do me if I get cancer or my quality of life is severly reduced? Sure, I can get back some monetary gain, but it won't do me much good if I die. No, you don't have the right to pollute water sources.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Is there any evidence that actually happened?

  • freemancw||

  • ||

    "If today's Republican attitude had prevailed four decades ago, Americans would not have such vital measures as the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act."

    Ah bullshit. What a piece of sophistry that is. We are not talking about revoking the clear air and water act. The environmental laws are much more draconian today than they were even 30 years ago. Objecting to the current state is not the same as objecting to all environmental laws. That is just crap argument and everyone at Reason knows it.

  • steve||

    I'd love to smell her emissions. Hey-oh! oh, wait..

  • ||

    "I love the smell of Napalm in the morning."

  • OO||

    good stewardship of God's creation is a true conservative value.

  • ||

    I am thinking God and the earth will take care of themselves just fine. They were both long before we were.

  • George V||

    And will be there long after we are gone.

  • George Carlin||

    How do you know the Earth didn't put us here so that she could get more plastics and CO2? Afterall, she apparently wasn't producing enough of either before we got here!?!?

  • Church Lady||

    Cleanliness is next to Godliness.

    Now, go clean your room, and stop playing those damned video games, douchebag.

  • OO||

    obviously ur not hunters, fishermen, or farmers all of whom advocate enviromental stewardship & conservation.

  • ||

    Agree. Although, i live in a City i spent many a summer and vacation all around the country. I've been to about 20 National Parks. Anyone that has such a cavalier attitude toward intentionally harming nature is ignorant. Such small lives they live.

    And, so if a major anti climate change advocate states that warming is just part of the natural earth cycle, well then fine, but WHY ADD TO THAT with proven man made warming. Both can be right, the only difference is that we can change our attitude.

  • ||

    And of course this article is about dumbasses hiding their head in the sand and then dying from suffocating themselves, yet there are people here that still have their head in the sand.

  • Sarah Brady||

    "obviously ur not hunters, fishermen, or farmers all of whom advocate enviromental stewardship & conservation."

    Shhh. We're not trying to help the NRA with its public image, you know.

  • ||

    "Mitt Romney got grief from Rush Limbaugh and others for saying, "I believe the world is getting warmer, and I believe that humans have contributed to that."

    This is like noticing that bananas are yellow. Mainstream scientists have said the same thing for a long time. But the consensus has spread."

    Do you know the difference between "proof" and "consensus"? Did you even bother to read any of the articles in Reason about Climategate?

    The whole reason consensus has spread is because all the grant money from government coffers is flowing in that direction. Conversely, AGW "deniers" wind up losing their funding if they attempt to publish. "Attempt" because in all too many cases their work is buried by the consensus crowd without even the courtesy of a casual review.

    At one point it was the consensus of virtually the entire human race that the sun orbited around the earth.
    That didn't make it fact.

  • ||

    It was also a scientific consensus once upon a time that the races were fundamentally different.

  • sarcasmic||

    That consensus was quite popular until some German dude took it to its logical extreme.

  • Matrix||

    Hey, you've seen the commercials by environazis that blow up people who deny AGW. How soon until their policies go to the logical extreme?

    And I'm not just talking about offing AGW-deniers. Many will quickly jump on board to save their own lives if they started doing that. The problem, invariably, will be "solved" by massive population reduction measures.

  • sarcasmic||

    The social engineers would have us believe that we have evolved to a place where that could never happen, but that is to deny human nature.

    We're how many generations from the gas chambers?
    How many generations from burning people at the stake?

    Human nature does not change. Yes, I agree that it could easily come to a point where people will be killed in a systematic and organized fashion.

  • Richard Nous||

    The very core of socialism is dependent on human nature re envy. In fact the ideology is a cluster fuck of irony in regard to human nature.

  • sarcasmic||

    The core of socialism is to cure the world of envy.
    By destroying wealth and any incentive to create wealth, everyone is reduced to poverty.
    When everyone is reduced to poverty there is no one to envy.
    Then everyone will be happy.

  • ||

    Comrade! Welcome to my Carbon Party! Vodka all around!

  • Richard Nous||

    Envy is the cure for envy?

    "When everyone is reduced to poverty there is no one to envy."

    The central planners and their cronies will be envied. Socialism is an ironic clusterfuck of envy.

  • sarcasmic||

    Socialists will say "the rich don't pay their fair share". The proof of this is the fact that rich people exist. Socialists will only be satisfied when there are no rich people. But rich is relative. What that really means is that the socialists will only be satisfied when nobody has more than anyone else. This can only happen when nobody has anything.

    Poverty is the cure for envy.

  • Richard Nous||

    But the central planners will always have more than the peasants. You know, Al Gore needs his SUVs and private jets engines blazing for an hour before he arrives at the airport, but you don't. Tom Friedbrain needs and deserves to live in that mansion because he's so noble and has a Nobel prize. You don't!

  • sarcasmic||

    Central planners are not envied, they are worshiped.
    It is acceptable for them to have more than the peasants. They must if they are to plan things.

    Only those who acquire their wealth by producing goods and services that people voluntarily pay for are envied. They are bad people.

    Those who amass great wealth through political power and coercion are the ethical ones.

    You see, not just anyone can come up with an idea that others are willing to pay for. Capitalism is hard, and those who are good at it are envied.

    But just about anyone can cozy up to the elite, kiss their ass, and be tossed a crumb. If you are a really good kiss-ass you may be welcomed into the fold and become one of the elite. It's easy to be a kiss-ass. All you have to do is give up any sense of morality, dignity and shame.

  • Richard Nous||

    I see, its perfectly logical. I mean there's no point in saving the world teh childrens if teh childrens aren't willing and able to serve and worship the all knowing noble elites, so, because some pigs are more equal then others let the revolution begin!
    War is peace!
    Freedom is slavery!
    Ignorance is strength!
    Yes we can!

  • ||

    How many generations has it been since the Romans through people to the lions. I read yesterday that's what the Mexican cartels are doing with people they kidnap from buses, they make them fight potential assasins. What goes around comes around.

  • Tony||

    Therefore scientists are always wrong about everything!

  • Richard Nous||

    Of course not Tony, government funded scientist are immune to human nature and have no interest whatsoever in getting funding for their research to keep a paycheck coming. They're only trying to save the planet, you know, for teh childrens. Same with government funding those noble scientist, governments don't really want to tax and control their citizens with carbon laws, they're just doing it for teh childrens. In fact, Al Gore becoming a billionaire through his investment in the CCE is just unintended consequence of him wanting to save the planet for teh childrens.

  • Tony||

    First off, a huge amount of basic scientific research is government funded. If you want to assert a massive worldwide conspiracy of nefarious intentions and/or ignorance on the part of climate scientists, you better cough up the slightest amount of credible evidence for that outlandish claim. Climate science is not different from all other fields conveniently because you don't like the policy implications of it. I don't see what Al Gore has to do with anything, unless you want to start comparing motives on both sides. You think the oil industry doesn't have a dog in the fight?

  • Richard Nous||

    Climate 'science' is not very scientific at all and mostly based on garbage in/garbage out computer modelling that can't accurately predict known climates of the past let alone 100 years into the future.

  • Tony||

    In other words, some talking points you read on a crackpot website make you smarter than the worldwide scientific community.

  • Richard Nous||

    "In other words, some talking points you read on a crackpot website make you smarter than the worldwide scientific community."

    Worldwide scientific community? Hahahaha!

    Does a scientist have to join a union or just a consensus to join the "worldwide scientific community" ????

  • Tony||

    No, they just have to be legitimate scientists working in the world. The vast, vast majority of which you think you are smarter than because you read some talking points on a crackpot website.

  • Richard Nous||

    "No, they just have to be legitimate scientists working in the world. The vast, vast majority of which you think you are smarter than because you read some talking points on a crackpot website."

    What about the scientist who don't believe man is the cause? Are they all funded by big oil therefore there's a conflict of interest?

    Only government funded scientist are noble enough to avoid a conflict of interest even though governments are starving for tax dollars and government funded scientist need funding from governments for a paycheck?

  • sarcasmic||

    "What about the scientist who don't believe man is the cause?"

    The word "legitimate" means that they believe man is the cause.

    "Are they all funded by big oil therefore there's a conflict of interest?"

    Correct. Those funded by government people who are looking for an excuse to tax and regulate have no conflict of interest.

  • Richard Nous||

    "Correct. Those funded by government people who are looking for an excuse to tax and regulate have no conflict of interest."

    Ah yes, I keep forgetting politicians only enter politics to serve the people, especially teh childrens. And because government funded scientist need government funding there's no conflict of interest there either, they are the most noble of all. We should worship climate scientist and politicians who support them for their sacrifices.

  • Schu||

    It's as much a science as political science. Let me know when envirosci majors are required to take calc and physics.

  • Richard Nous||

    But...but...scientific polling of 500 likely voters states the American people believe climate 'science' is scientific. LOLz!

  • ponchy||

    Tone--

    Climate science is automatically somewhat different from other areas of science because it's not empirical.

    But regardless, similar clusterfucks do happen in other areas. Take string theory.

  • hazeeran||

    "If you want to assert a massive worldwide conspiracy of nefarious intentions and/or ignorance on the part of climate scientists"

    Cool strawman you set up for Rich Nous, Tony! Gimme some too!

  • Richard Nous||

    There is no such thing as self interest in regard to climate scientist. Human nature need not apply when it comes to a noble warmist.

    Save teh childrens!
    Ignorance is strength!
    Freedom is slavery!
    Yes we can because we are the ones we've been waiting for.

  • sarcasmic||

    "Ignorance is strength!
    Freedom is slavery!"

    War is peace!*

    *Libya

  • hide the decline||

    Climate science is not different from all other fields conveniently because you don't like the policy implications of it.

    If the practitioners in other fields start demanding that the entire political economy of the world be rearranged based on their conclusions, which they refuse to back up with full disclosure of their work, then they too will receive the level of scrutiny that AGW proponents are finally receiving.

  • DD||

    Economists have been doing a BANG-UP job so far.

  • Robert||

    Obviously there are differences between races. Whether you consider those differences "fundamental" depends on what scale you're measuring at.

  • Untermensch||

    Chapman is going to get grief about this one because readers here will struggle to see how this isn't a bunch of liberal claptrap. Liberal readers outside of H&R will see it as dangerous libertarian radicalism to suggest that Top Men can’t figure this out. Conservative readers will see it as a liberal apologia for environmentalism and double down on sucking on their tailpipe. In other words this article doesn't have an audience it can please.

  • ||

    Libraltarians love to be abused.

  • Robert||

    Don't you mean "double up" rather than "double down"?

  • Doc S.||

    I liked it and found it fairly appropriate.

  • Nick||

    I have long wrestled with the issues in this article. In an effort to understand what is really going on with "climate change" I have spoken with 2 prominant climate scientists that would fall into the libertarian/conservative camp. The conclusion both have them have come to is that carbon emmissions (created by man) are warming the planet, but not to a catastrophic degree- ahem. They both refered to themselves as "luke warmers."

    If indeed industry is creating an externality (carbon, polution in general) then does it not make sense to internalize the cost of these things?

    I am an ardent libertarian on the Hayek camp, and it seems to me that pollution is an example of what happens when the state does not allow for the execution of property rights. If you foul my air, you need to compensate me to my satisfaction, or preferably not do it at all.

    There is some talk these days among free marketeers who are interested in polution issues of a revenue nuetral carbon tax shift, whereby payroll and other trade hindering taxes are reduced in turn for a carbon tax.

    I am pretty much against all taxes but until my Rothbardian utopia emerges, a carbon tax shift is at the very least something to think about.

  • ||

    To price a carbon tax properly, you have to know what the external cost of carbon is. Further, if you do it "revenue neutral" it is unlikely to make much difference. People won't mind paying higher electric bills and will consume just as much as they did before since they have more money in the form of saved taxes from other areas.

  • ||

    And of course if people really did stop using carbon and found other ways, the tax wouldn't produce any revenue and would thus no longer be revenue neutral.

    The argument is nonsense. It is just Chapman going through the contortions of believing in the free market but also want so badly to be a part of liberal culture and thus not hold any really objectionable views.

  • Overt||

    No the point is this- if you emit, you are going to pay a larger share of the taxes than someone else. So it keeps us revenue neutral and shifts the tax burden to people doing environmental damage.

    Mind you, the problem is still there: what is the cost of the externality. Does an emitter shoulder 1% more of the tax burden or .01% more?

    I saw an article somewhere where the author suggested linking the tax to projections. So, if IPCC predicts that 1 Million tons of CO2 will product 1 Degree of Warming over 100 years, with a net impact of 1 Trillion Dollars to the country, then we price carbon at $1T/1MM per ton. BUT! Here is the catch, you watch the lower troposphere and determine whether the warming is happening. If it sticks to the trend line, you stick with the carbon price. If it is below the trend line, you reduce the tax the same amount.

    If we did that, we would be subsidizing carbon over the past 12 years or so.

  • give us world government||

    "I saw an article somewhere where the author suggested linking the tax to projections. So, if IPCC predicts"

    Yes, let us transfer the authority to set tax rates from the US Congress to the IPCC. That would be wonderful. There is way too much accountability to US citizens for setting tax rates as it is.

  • Sinic||

    Where's the benefit of a neutral carbon tax shift? The polluter pays the same in taxes and the government receives the same. The only difference would be more bureaucrats.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Where's the benefit of a neutral carbon tax shift? The polluter pays the same in taxes and the government receives the same. The only difference would be more bureaucrats.

    Assuming the polluter is a rational actor, they will make different choices based on cost. Given a carbon-heavy process or a carbon-light process, they will save money by choosing the carbon-light process. Given current tax structure, business owners are taxed per worker, so they seek worker-light solutions over worker-heavy solutions. Put these two together and worker-heavy, carbon-light solutions are more likely under a carbon tax than under the current tax structure. As for the bureaucracy, a carbon tax is a simple bureaucracy-light tax structure compared to the income and labor tax structure we currently use.

  • Robert||

    There are so many assumptions in this, it's hard to know where to start. One of the most interesting scientific perspectives I ever got on this was from one observer who said the Earth is warming, and it is due at least in part to human activity, and that although atmospheric CO2 is increasing, that's an effect (due to ocean warming) rather than a cause of the warming. Rather, he thought the human cause was altering the land on continents to cause water to run off them faster, thus decreasing the amount of atmospheric cooling taking place on & over land masses.

    Of course, even if that is true, who's to say we couldn't counteract it by decreasing the amount of CO2 in the air, say by eutrophying part of the ocean surface, causing CO2 to be taken up and eventually deposited on the bottom?

    Who's to say the cooncentration of CO2 we had at a certain time was optimal, rather than the concentration at some other time or that we're getting to? Who's to say temperatures are optimal at any given point? Is change per se bad, and if it is, should it be resisted by some means, no matter what the cause?

  • ||

    You don't have any air except that which is currently inside you.

  • Schu||

    Am I reading a Huffington Post article by chance? Reason is now advocating a carbon tax? wtf...

  • Mr Whipple||

    Well, if I had choice between a flat carbon tax and cap-and-trade.....

  • Schu||

    I don't see much, if any, difference between the two. The premise is still to punish polluters and give ever increasing subsidies to 'green tech'. I'm sorry, but current green technology is a giant money pit for no obvious benefit. The costs of generation are exceedingly high and the efficiency levels are commensurately low.

    All a carbon tax would do is increase already rising energy costs for no real return other than a feelings based 'Yay, I'm greener now woohoo!'. I think my energy bills are high enough as is, thanks.

  • Mr Whipple||

    I don't favor either, but a flat carbon tax would eliminate all of the "traders" of carbon credits.

  • West Texas||

    Well, in one scenario the (theoretically) free market gets rich and in the other the government does.

  • ||

    Well maybe the government should get it to pay for all of the natural disasters that they have to declare Federal Emergency areas. If insurance companies are skirting their obligations and there are increased disasters then someone has to pay. Please only judge if you have ever been within 50 miles of a FEMA response area. Wait until your home gets wiped out and insurance says it's not covered.

  • ||

    ^^THIS^^

  • ||

    I mean SCHU' comment.

  • Mr Whipple||

    I've always been under the impression that the way to change people's behaviors is through education and awareness. Persuasion, not coercion.

  • Sinic||

    Even if the intended behavior costs significantly more then the current behavior?

  • Mr Whipple||

    I didn't say it would be easy. People are more than willing to spend extra money for all sorts of things. That's what makes this country great. Remember, value is subjective.

  • ||

    that would explain the increase in breast implants...

  • Schu||

    I had a physics professor who once stated that quality of life that we humans enjoy is based completely on the steam engine. Think about that. What allowed us to leave the fields, stop working sunup to sundown, and actually have the free time to sit around arguing on an internet forum, or read books, or go on vacation? It was the invention of the steam engine and the resulting Industrial Revolution which allows us the luxury to worry about things like the environment.

    Places that have been late to the party still spend inordinate amounts of time worrying about food; planting, harvesting, planning. Their life revolves around the pursuit of food and yet they still have famines. Food to us is something to be picked up at a restaurant or in a supermarket. We don't have to worry about anything more than 'will they have fresh heirloom tomatoes in stock this week? If they don't I'm going to complain to the manager.' We're SPOILED.

    Any attempt to tax energy production or make it less efficient is a step backwards. Things like a carbon tax would lower the quality of life of everyone living in this nation. You may have your concept of quality of life intertwined with the environment, mine is grounded in the fact that I like my free time. I don't want to have to get a second job to pay my heating bills. How would that improve my quality of life, especially since any carbon rooted out in this nation will be more than made up for in places like China and India? Be careful when listening to environmentalist arguments. Most of the people espousing them have zero concept of economic or scientific reality. There's very little logic and a whole lot of emotion. Bad juju.

  • sarcasmic||

    Poverty is romantic.

  • Schu||

    innit?

    I watched an episode of Anthony Bourdain last night and he was in Vietnam saying he wanted a vacation home. His pre-requisites were a view of rice paddies and proximity to the beach. Yeah. Let me stare out my window and watch men and women toiling in the fields for fourteen hours a day so they can eat, while my living is based on vacationing all over the world. Brilliant.

  • ||

    Isn't that episode appalling? I used to watch No Reservations all the time until I saw that one. He was already on thin ice with me after his Saudi episode where he dismissed the horrific oppression of women there as the Saudis being "family friendly". But the Vietnam one was the last straw. Fuck Bourdain. I don't care if he is funny. His stupidity makes him unwatchable.

  • sarcasmic||

    I forgave him when he became friends with Uncle Ted.

  • hazeeran||

    I haven't watched him much since the Saudi episode.

  • Schu||

    He's become everything he claims to despise. "I love street food" "Take me to where the working men and women eat" then in the next breath he's dissing McDonald's and other American fast food because it's beneath him. Fuck you Tony! You've never had to go to fucking Coinstar in order to afford the dollar menu for a week. Even when you were poor you ate well as a chef.

    I liked the guy that wrote Kitchen Confidential. He's spent far too long rubbing elbows with idiots in the expensive/organic/slow food/whatever is next movement and shares their bigotry. He's become a snob.

  • ||

    I blame the two party system. The more one party pushes in one direction, there is an incentive for the other party to capture voters who disagree.

  • sarcasmic||

    CO2 is not pollution.

    Oh, yeah, sure, the EPA says it is, but I could give a fuck less what some politically correct bureaucratic fuck says.

    To put exhaled breath and yeast farts on the same level as mercury and cyanide is, well, stupid.

    Christianity has its original sin in the form of sex. You're supposed to feel guilty since you came into this world from something icky.

    The Anthropogenic Global Warming cult has its original sin in the form of carbon - the building block of life. You're supposed to feel guilty since the element of life is in fact death.

    I'd call it a joke if it was funny, but there's nothing funny about using government to enforce self hatred.

  • Tony||

    You're embarrassing yourself, as usual. Does it not occur to you that certain substances are OK in certain concentrations, but toxic in higher concentrations?

  • sarcasmic||

    CO2 is about 0.036% of the atmosphere.

    7% is toxic.

    Does it ever occur to you to look things up before you spout off your ignorance?

  • Tony||

    So you are aware that increases in concentrations of CO2 can have negative effects. Congratulations. You're still not smarter than the world's climate scientists, but it's a good first step beyond your initial claim that CO2 can't possibly be considered a pollutant.

  • sarcasmic||

    Let's do some math, shall we?

    A 100% increase from 0.036% is 0.072%.

    A 1000% increase from 0.036 is 0.36%.

    To reach 7% the current CO2 levels would have to increase on the order of 20,000%.

    I'm not worried.

  • Tony||

    We're not talking about reaching toxic levels of CO2, we're talking about increasing concentrations of a greenhouse gas having more greenhouse effects.

  • sarcasmic||

    Greenhouse effects that are negligible when compared to the effect of water vapor (those white puffy things in the sky) or the sun (that great big burning ball of gas from which all the planet's heat is derived).

    Man made global warming makes sense as an excuse to tax and regulate human activity, especially when the funding comes from people who want to tax and regulate human activity.

    If the funding came from Big Oil you would cry conflict of interest, but when funding comes from government you do not.

    I'm not sure if that makes you dishonest or stupid.

    Probably a bit of both.

  • The Derider||

    So because arsenic's poisoning effect is negligible compared to uranium hexaflouride, it's not a poison?

    Speaking of dishonest and stupid...

  • sarcasmic||

    Because water vapor and the sun can't be regulated and taxed, but the use of fossil fuels can, it is fair to ignore the effects of water vapor and the sun when calculating the effects of CO2 on the climate.

    That's like saying "we have detected toxic amounts of uranium hexaflouride in the water, so we're putting all of our efforts into finding the source of barely measurable amounts of arsenic".

    Speaking of dishonest and stupid...

  • The Derider||

    No, you're saying "we have detected toxic amounts of uranium hexaflouride in the water, but that's probably because of sunspots or the water cycle so don't worry about it"

  • ||

    ^^^THIS^^^

  • ||

    that was for Sarcasmic not Tony...

  • ||

    Chapman is beginning to sound like a left wing idiot

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "This is like noticing that bananas are yellow. Mainstream scientists have said the same thing for a long time. But the consensus has spread."

    Bullshit.

    First, a "consesus" doesn't prove the existence of anything. Reality is not a popularity contest.

    Second, those claiming the "cosensus
    can't even prove THAT to be true, much less actually prove that man-made global warming exists.

  • ||

    i like the part about the "scientist" in East Anglia when someone requested his data.
    'Oh, that data. Uh, we LOST it when we moved from one building to another.'
    there goes your scientific method, pfffft! (the dog ate it, honest)...

  • Observer||

    All life, as we know it, is Carbon based. So, a Tax on Carbon is a Tax on Life.

    I'm asking honestly, can anyone find fault in this logic?

  • sarcasmic||

    Carbon is bad.

    Life is bad.

    We are parasites on Mother Gaia.

    We must eliminate ourselves and any evidence of our existence.

    Only then will we be forgiven.

  • Observer||

    Is it bad that I want to follow everything you stated with an Mmkay?

  • dirty Sanchez||

    Mmkay.

  • ||

    You are absolutely correct.

    If it was not for Life, we would not worry about Death.

  • Wind Rider||

    Ya know, if ya wanna bash on team red exclusively for cavalier responses to the policies of enviro-idiocy that is the zombie rallying cry for strident team blue (and other forms of scam artists) - well. . .

    Fish. Barrel.

    I'll reserve my scorn and disdain for the emo-enviro crowds that love being led around and convinced that the worst possible ideas are the only fucking alternatives available.

    It's quite a list.

    Feeding foodstuffs to cars, solving nothing except making anything food related more expensive.

    Creating flimsier tha Ponzi-scheme 'carbon exchanges' that have been nothing more than wealth transfer and exploitation schemes.

    The campaign to make a naturally present trace gas as a 'pollutant', and use this to champion making all sorts of gymnastic lifestyle changes in order to make a futile gesture towards 'stabilizing' the amount present in the atmosphere, at historically low levels (which plants would like more of, please)

    Talking heads stupid games are the least of our concerns with this shit. We should be a lot more concerned that we haven't seen such a wholesale hijack of science since the medieval Church of Rome desperately holding onto as much power as possible.

    ALL of these fuckers are hijacking any rational discussions about human options to the changing conditions the planet routinely deals us, and destroying the credibility of the primary weapon we have to defend ourselves against the whims of nature - cold eyed scientific exploration and discovery. Now, if it doesn't lead to la la land and subsidized whatevers, then you might as well have gone to 15th Century Rome and proclaimed that Jesus was actually a lesbian blogger pretending to be a messiah.

  • Wind Rider||

    Oh, yeah, and Lomborg provided a valuable service in being one of the first to stand up and in a public and detailed way, point out that these would be emperors ain't got no damned clothes on. It is very dissapointing to see he's folded like a cheap card table, and is running around spewing really dumb things like 'consensus', which is exactly the groupthink he railed about and became famous. . .

  • ||

    Hey,what do you expect from people that base their ideas on worst case examples?No matter the problem it always ends with everyone dead or dying.

  • sarcasmic||

    If the problem ends with everyone dead or dying, then government intervention is not only justified but required.
    Government is duty bound to intervene, because the alternative is everyone dead or dying.
    If you object then you want everyone dead or dying.

    Why do you want people to die?

  • ||

    How did such a total crock of shit get published here?

    The comments above pretty well break down the consensus versus fact issue.

    Most conservatives I know are CONSERVATIONISTS. Most liberals are Enviromentalists. Here's the difference.

    Enviromentalists believe "Green" energy is needed to solve imaginary problems. Conservationists would rather not mount eagle-killing arial buzz-saws that blight the landscape.

    Conservationists are trying to preserve farmland and woods in Northwest New Jersey. Enviromentalist have to oppose them because poor people should have cheap housing in the suburbs for some leftist reason.

  • Mike M.||

    It's Steve Chapman. He's been the biggest douche employed here since the day Weigel left.

  • ||

    Huh? Do you think that the Highlands Act, which removes landowners' ability to develop their property, is "conservative"? If that's what you're referring to, I disagree.

  • ||

    dear lefty, you know the official seal of the president. you know, the one with the eagle clutching the arrows in one claw and the bundle of "sticks" in the other. those are the "bundle" of rights that you have when you own land.
    i love people think that gub'mint has the right to take away rights from that bundle. so much for land of the free and home of the brave...

  • ||

    What are you talking about? Did my comment suggest to you that "gub'mint has the right to take away rights"?

  • ||

    It gives it back if you throw in a bunch of "low-income" high density apartments or townhouses.

  • ||

    Like Joe Lieberman crying about the drilling for oil in a frozen wasteland while actual beautiful woodlands are knocked down for development in Connecticut. .

  • ||

    As a climate change skeptic, I am surprised that two libertarian institutions like Reason and Cato are on board, and it makes me want to learn more. Will this book, Climate of Extremes, address alternate explanations like solar activity?

    Also if man-made global warming is real, don't industrialized nation have a moral duty to prevent third world countries from industrializing? How is a libertarian supposed to deal with that connundrum?

  • Cytotoxic||

    Climate of Extremes, as Chapman barely mentions, is actually a fairly 'realist' non-catastrophist look at AGW.

  • West Texas||

    I am sympathetic to the argument that politicians on both sides of the aisle pander to the ignorant in pursuit of easy votes, but I don't know if I buy the premise that carbon emissions are "pollution" and if you oppose carbon controls you are therefore are "unfriendly to the environment." That kind of faulty reasoning is straight out of the Democrat manual.

    Expect a lot of this kind of attack against Rick Perry from the left if he gets into the race. They'll claim that his "environmental record is horrible" but then, when pressed, admit that they're basing that opinion on nothing more than Texas' ongoing disagreements with the EPA over CO2 abatement (which is a jurisdictional question) and not on any actual pollution in Texas, which has, in fact, been declining the entire time that Perry's been in office. Just watch.

  • Resto Druid FTW||

    That looks like a tasty salmon, can I has?

  • ola||

    U.S. greenhouse gas emissions have decreased 10% from 2005 to 2009. This decrease was primarily due to (1) a decrease in economic output resulting in a decrease in
    energy consumption across all sectors; and (2) a decrease in the carbon intensity of fuels used to generate electricity due to fuel switching as the price of coal increased, and the price of natural gas decreased significantly.

    Solution to the U.S.'s contribution to global warming, switch from coal to natural gas to produce electricity and have Obama ram down our throats as many economy killing regulations and mandates as possible. Problem solved.

  • Tony||

    Obviously if the only solution to a problem is policy that runs counter to one's strict, immovable dogma, then the best thing to do is ignore the problem.

  • sarcasmic||

    So if the solution to the stagnant economy is to get the government out of the way and let the people live their lives, but one's strict immovable dogma states that the only possible solution to any given problem is more government, then the best thing to do is to ignore the fact that government intrusion is fucking things up.

    Got it.

  • Tony||

    The solution to a stagnant economy is obviously not "getting the government out of the way" whatever the fuck that means.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    Seeing as how there has never been so much as one single government attempt to "manage" the economy anywhere on earth at any time that has ever been proven to be anything other than an abject failure, getting government out of the way obviously IS the solution.

  • Tony||

    Name one economy that wasn't managed by a government. Name one that was even capable of existing without a government.

  • sarcasmic||

    USSR was managed by government. That worked out well. North Korea is a centrally planned economy. I'd sure love to live there. Same with Cuba.
    Yep, government managed economies are the best!

    Governments benefit the economy through property rights and contract enforcement.
    Management of the economy should be left to the people.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "Name one economy that wasn't managed by a government"

    The United States economy before the New Deal Era

    " Name one that was even capable of existing without a government."

    The United States economy. It is the private sector that enables government to exist - not the other way around.

  • The Derider||

    Umm... the tarrif act of 1789? The first and second Bank of the United States? The "American System"? The Hawley-Smoot Tarrif?

    Wrong.

  • sarcasmic||

    "Umm... the tarrif act of 1789?"

    There is a big difference between charging a fee to move goods across political borders, and telling farmers how much wheat they are allowed to grow.

    Only one of those counts as "managing the economy".

    Can you guess which one?

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "Wrong."

    Yes you are.

  • Scott||

    "Obviously"

  • ||

    I will share an all-too-common event in my field to show you all how well government is set up to administer any carbon reduction program.

    I have a customer who owns a large construction company in the central valley in California. He had a bunch of Cat 657b scrapers that were Tier 0 machines. He took the Carl Moyer Grant money to retrofit his machines with filtration systems that were more eco-friendly (and power-choking in the process). At the end of the next reporting year, he got a bill from the state because he wasn't meeting the terms of the grant because he wasn't putting enough hours on the machines. His business had slowed down and he was using the machines considerably less, which led to an obviously smaller carbon footprint, and the government was sending him a bill.

    Do we want those assholes being proactive in managing emissions? I don't think so.

  • sarcasmic||

    If the filtration system chokes off power, won't the machines use more fuel and thus negate any positive effect of the filtration system?

  • ||

    Yeah, but the CARB fixed that by lowering the allowable idle time to 5 minutes and sending out officers to issue fines to the non-compliant.

    Oh, and it takes a hell of a lot longer than 10 minutes for a scraper to warm up, so the idle time regulation is killing the engine as bad as the HUSS filter is killing the intake.

    My earlier point was this: If he's using the machine 50% as much as he did the prior year because he isn't getting as much work, then hasn't he done his part? The CARB, however, demand that he use his machine a minimum amount so as to justify the money they gave him to help the environment.

    CA Government: An ouroboros of stupidity.

  • sarcasmic||

    CA Government: An ouroboros of stupidity.

    ftfy

  • Richard Nous||

    Well argued skeptical debates with the warmist always end the same ie they are Malthusians.

  • ||

    A carbon tax is a terrible idea for a very simple economic reason - the marginal costs outweigh the marginal benefits. The contribution of human emissions to global warming is a global issue. Thus, if countries like Russia and China do nothing (they won't), then the US and Europe can only have a minimal impact on global warming. So, if you're goal is to impoverish America while achieving virtually no environmental benefits then - yes, a carbon tax is a great idea. Here's a better suggestion - just learn to live with global warming. It's cheaper.

  • ||

    A carbon tax is a terrible idea for a very simple economic reason - the marginal costs outweigh the marginal benefits. The contribution of human emissions to global warming is a global issue. Thus, if countries like Russia and China do nothing (they won't), then the US and Europe can only have a minimal impact on global warming. So, if you're goal is to impoverish America while achieving virtually no environmental benefits then - yes, a carbon tax is a great idea. Here's a better suggestion - just learn to live with global warming. It's cheaper.

  • Richard Nous||

    Unless mankind can cork volcanoes what China, India and Russia do is irrelevant.

  • hide the decline||

    +1

    Vulcanism easily trumps human activity.
    Warmists need to explain why the 200 megaton explosion of Krakatoa in 1883 didn't lead to long-term damage to the climate.

  • The Derider||

    Krakatoa caused global cooling because it put so many particulates in the air.

    The more you know!
    http://dsc.discovery.com/conve.....ticle.html

  • hide the decline||

    And that cooling is still with us today. And no volcanoes ever erupt anymore. And mankind's evil (unnatural) activities have more influence than "natural" events like volcanic erruptions.

  • The Derider||

    They do on atmospheric CO2 concentration.

    You're wrong. Listen to the science.

  • hide the decline||

    Anyone who calls themself a scientist, but refuses to be completely transparent about how they have arrived at their conclusions or who has actively tried to suppress opposing views, has no business expecting anyone to pay attention to anything they say. The pro-AGW crowd is not transparent and they have been caught trying to suppress opposing views. They are not scientists and their work product is not science.

  • Hoobles||

    This isn't true, and shows how these "We have the science on our side" assholes are just as guilty of googling for catchphrases as they insist the skeptics are.

    Volcanoes cause short term cooling, since they spew particulates and aerosols into the air along with a lot of CO2. HOWEVER, we know that the particulates and aerosols are heavy and fall out of the atmosphere after a couple of years. What about the CO2?

    If Warmists are to be believed, the CO2 sticks around for a long time, because the earth is not capable of sequestering it (in plants, ocean, etc) beyond some rate. If this is true, then Volcanoes SHOULD have net warming affect on the world, because once the particulates and aerosols settle, all that CO2 is still out there.

    Derider, on your next google search, why don't you identify a response to that?

  • Hoobles||

    ^ was replying to Derider, not Hide the Decline

  • The Derider||

    Not if the volcanic C02 is below the level of natural sequestration. Human activity bumps C02 production above the rate of sequestration, and boom, runaway C02.

    Listen to the scientists. You are wrong.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Thus, if countries like Russia and China do nothing (they won't)

    China is being more proactive in this arena than most countries. They have a long, long way to go, but they'll do more than nothing.

  • Matrix||

    yeah, that one child policy is really going to help them out.

  • hide the decline||

    "China is being more proactive in this arena than most countries."

    China is a filthy producer. The lack of political accountability of the Chinese government guarantees that China will never be as clean a producer as the US until its government changes. Much of the effort to develop manufacturing capability for solar panels and windmills in China is based on a desire to exploit European and US markets, not on concern for the climate.

  • overgraduate||

    The consensus vs. fact issue has been well addressed by previous posters. I personally would like to see carbon emissions reduced (just to be careful), but I can't justify the use of force to solve a problem that no one can prove exists.

    That being said, cap-and-trade is a much better system than taxation. If the environment has some limited ability to absorb CO2 without measurable impact then that ability constitutes a scarce resource, which should be traded.

  • ||

    If the environment has some limited ability to absorb CO2 without measurable impact then that ability constitutes a scarce resource, which should be traded.

    If you're concerned with that "limited ability to absorb CO2," then plant a fucking tree or two. It'll have a better impact on the environment than the CCX, and all of the cronyism and rent-seeking that would have come with it.

  • The Derider||

    Planting trees doesn't do much to sequester c02 if those trees just die or are cut down later.

    Sequestering C02 might be a seriously good idea, however, and would work really well if a carbon market were established. You can burn as much as you want, but you have to pay me to sequester an equivalent amount of carbon in my old mine shaft.

  • Schu||

    Look up "rent-seeking".

  • overgraduate||

    I'm well aware of the concept of rent-seeking, just as I'm sure you're aware of the tragedy of the commons. If AGW exists then it does so due to a lack of environmental property rights.

    Perhaps I'm to blame for using the term cap-and-trade, which implies government setting and enforcing the cap. A better system would involve suits against CO2 emitters who don't own enough trees to sequester their output or buy enough rights to the sequestration capacity of other's trees. That's not to say that trees are the only buffer against CO2.

    Also, if you'd actually read my post carefully, you'd know that I don't even believe in AGW.

  • Schu||

    All you would do with a system like that is:

    A) create more middlemen who collect a fee and perform no tangible work (i.e. stock brokers)

    and B) pass on more expense to the consumer. It's not like power generation isn't built on local monopolies. Most of us are stuck paying our power company regardless of the price. So when you hit them with a tax, all they'll do is shrug and pass it on to me.

    At least with stocks and bonds and commodities markets those brokers are passing along tangible goods. A cap-and-trade system would be based on non-fungible carbon emissions. You can't prove an offset.

  • overgraduate||

    Middlemen aren't inherently bad. They often provide valuable services. They don't exist where they don't provide a service and aren't required by law (THAT'S rent seeking). Stock brokers do provide a valuable service to some clients, though if there is any legislation requiring their use (I don't know) then there are probably more stock brokers than the market would otherwise provide. Likewise, even without the government forbidding direct to consumer car sales there would probably be some car dealerships. People shop at grocery stores even though they could get all the food they need at butchers and farmers markets.

    As for utilities passing on taxes to the consumer, I never feigned any support of taxation. And the fact that increased costs are passed on to consumers due to a government sponsored monopoly is an argument against government sponsored monopolies not against increased costs.

  • Res Publica Americana||

    Yes, of course! Modern civilization, especially its keystone and its cultural, economic,and military titan, is collapsing and decaying under the pressure and advancement of tyranny, moral depravity, and ignorance, and fucking global warming is STILL on people's to-do lists? What the fuck...?

    I'll start giving a shit about this supposed man-made catastrophe-in-the-making when I can carry a gun without a license in Washington DC, don't have to pay through my ass in taxes, and when we aren't sending Americans to die and waste resources on a civilizational scale to fight wars of adventurism.

  • derp||

    What are the consequences of global warming? The sea levels rise. So we just need to defend ourselves against rising sea levels. This doesn't seem that complicated. However, are we really supposed to trust that the federal gov't is going to use carbon tax revenue to "protect" us against rising sea levels? Not a chance in hell. They'll just buy more bombs.

    I find it bizarre that libertarians are so intent on trying to "disprove global warming by anthropocentric causes." Who cares if humans did it or not? The world is warming. Let's find a solution--preferably a private one--to deal with the potential problem (rising sea levels)...or at least be prepared for the consequences in case world-wide temperatures continue to rise--whether or not the cause is humans. I mean, we lost billions trying to decrease our output, but the climate might just continue to heat up anyways; what a waste of resources that would be.

  • ||

    At present levels of sea rise, it will be 4,000 years before we get to Gore's scary 21 feet sea level rise instead of 80 yrs like he said "might happen"

  • Richard Nous||

    Well then the obvious solution is to just mandate everybody buy flood insurance.

  • Cruz||

    Mitt Romney strikes again...

  • ||

    And with that sea level rise thingy will also come more moderate temps closer to the poles, thus resulting in a larger farmable landmass, which is a good thing.

  • Vikings||

    We will flourish once again when extremely fertile land in Greenland becomes available to us. Then we will plunder and terrorize the world.

  • ||

    Teh Danes are coming! Teh Danes are coming!

  • The First Nations||

    NOT IF WE HAVE ANYTHING TO SAY ABOUT IT

  • Neu Mejican||

    What are the consequences of global warming? The sea levels rise. So we just need to defend ourselves against rising sea levels. This doesn't seem that complicated.

    A bigger issue is loss of fresh water sources (e.g.,as the Himalayan/Andes glaciers melt). There is more to this than rising sea levels.

  • derp||

    True, that is an issue. How would you solve the problem, presuming the world continued to warm without our input? That solution is what we should be focused on. Because past climate trends indicate the earth will continue to warm, with our without us. We are merely accelerating an unavoidable problem.

    We need to protect our aquifers, and stop subsidizing agriculture; we should pay the true costs of fresh water. That will hinder the demand for fresh water, at least stateside.

  • derpity derp||

    with *or without us

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "True, that is an issue. How would you solve the problem, presuming the world continued to warm without our input?"

    A bunch of desalination plants to such the salt out of seawater. And the plants are powered by thorium fueled nuclear power plants.

  • The Derider||

    And this is cheaper than not burning coal?

    Why don't we just build thorium power plants now and avoid the whole flooding/warming thing?

  • derp||

    assuming that the warming ceases without our input

  • Just an Engineer||

    That's funny the US doesn't have much in the way of glacial water sources and we haven't all died of dehydration yet.

    Pro tip El Nino (higher than average ocean temps) tends to cause an excess abundance of water.

  • derp||

  • Overt||

    The IPCC report, which lamented the fact that 10's of millions of people would lose access to fresh water also said (buried further down in the report) that far more people would get BETTER access to fresh water.

    So, problem solved.

  • Octothorpe||

    Doesn't warmer weather mean greater
    Oceanic evaporation,mean more rain, mean more water?

  • floe chart||

    No, it goes like this:

    higher CO2 -> faster plant growth -> greater CO2 sequestration -> lower CO2

    Self-correcting CO2 levels, TA-DA!

  • ||

    The last 5 interglacial periods were all warmer than the present one we're in right now. CO2 is not pollution but an essential nutrient for plant life. Michael Mann, Phil Jones & Al Gore should all be in prison for fraud.

  • Cruz||

    I'm always drawn in to read the Chapman articles even though I know they're gonna be terrible. He's like that little kid who keeps hitting the tee instead of the ball. As much as I want to look away, I can't.

  • ||

    Should be very interesting to see how that all turns out. WOw.

    www.complete-privacy.no.tc

  • Robert||

    Chapman's taking a couple stmts. by Republican politicians and one action by prez George Washington Bridge and making a BFD about it. What he's written might have some truth, but you couldn't tell from that little evidence; let's see some polling data over the years from Republicans (vs. gen'l popul'n) on environmental questions.

  • Just an Engineer||

    This entire argument is ridiculous. A warmer planet has more energy available in the system and thus can support a larger population of life. It's not hard to understand that the closer to the equator you go the warmer it is on average and the more dense life is. Do people think it’s coincidence that all the rainforests happen to be in the warmest latitude zone? Does no one notice that the poles don’t exactly support large populations of wildlife or people? Yes it will suck if you live in New Orleans but move to higher ground and get on with your life. AGW is a moot point.

  • Richard Nous||

    "A warmer planet has more energy available in the system and thus can support a larger population of life."

    That is exactly the point, not a mot point. The warmist are Malthusians. Every time I debate a warmist in person it always ends the same with the warmist screaming "the world is over populated!".

  • The Derider||

    By this logic, Mercury should be the planet with the most abundant life, followed by Venus.

  • Schu||

    Except life as we know it only exists inside a very small temperature belt. We're in no danger of exceeding that belt even if we dug up every ounce of coal and burned every tree.

    Hyperbole is for people who know they have lost the argument.

  • The Derider||

    Your comment does not make the original assertion any more true. An earth with desert from 70 degrees north to 70 degrees south and arable land around the poles would be hotter, within that temperature band, and be far less able to support life.

    You are wrong.

  • Overt||

    There is that hyperbole again. Which part of the IPCC predicts 70% of our earth populated by deserts?

    In fact history shows us that Deserts increase in size DURING ICE AGES. Please try harder.

  • The Derider||

    Arguing with 3 different people is indistinguishable from arguing with a schizophrenic.

  • Sanjuro Tsubaki||

    Republicans would do well to focus on two things: ECONOMIC GROWTH and the EXPLODING DEFICIT. We are not facing an environmental crisis. "Independent"-leaning libertarian pundits can whine as much as they please about Republicans on what amounts to PR exercises instead of policy debates, but non-RINOs know better than both of them. Conservatives are never going to make the enviro-nuts happy until they disappear from the scene along with "small l" libertarians.

  • jacob||

    Free Republic is a different site, sir.

  • ||

    Wow. Who hacked into Reason.com and posted this? It reads like a Reason article parodied on The Onion.

  • -_-||

    Chapman commits a sin in this article that is usually attributed to deniers. He conflates concern about local environmental pollution with concern about climate change.

  • sarcasmic||

    CO2 has been officially labeled a pollutant, so if you deny climate change you support pollution.

  • -_-||

    A carbon tax is hardly a liberal idea.

    Well, conservatives are known for their constant efforts to raise taxes.

  • -_-||

    But that's no excuse for pretending global warming is a myth or refusing to do anything about it.

    There are never reasons for not accepting the premises of the left, only excuses. There are never people who have legitimate disagreements with the leftist truth, only those who accept the truth and those who pretend the truth doesn't exist.

  • The Derider||

    Shorter Reason commenters:

    Whaaaaaa! I don't have a solution for this market failure so I'll pretend it doesn't exist!!!

  • ||

    So it clearly calls for goverment to do something completely pointless, destructive and stupid.

    You seem like just the man for the job you halfwit.

  • ||

    China is a centrally planned, government-run economy, yet they have far more enviromental degradation than the more market-driven U.S.

    Thoughts?

  • ||

    See also: our old friends the Soviets and their nightmarish environmental record.

  • ||

    I believe at the conclusion of the Soviet-Afghanistan war about 16% of the total land area was mined. If that's not enviromental degradation, I don't know what is...

  • The Derider||

    I think democracy would help to fix that problem. See also: our old friends the soviets.

  • ||

    And this would be so because...?

  • The Derider||

    Because the soviet/Chicom elites could/can relocate to pristine habitat and the masses would/do have to deal with the pollution. There is a large popular environmentalist movement in China that the CCP ignores.

  • China||

    "There is a large popular environmentalist movement in China that the CCP ignores."

    We don't ignore them. We kill them when they annoy us.

  • ||

    Democracy in and of itself is no guard against any such abuses.

  • Overt||

    Right, c.f. pollution on US lands by agents of the DOE and the US Mint. Our democratically governed government is one of the worst offenders.

  • ||

    The soviets were chosen democratically. Your point is invalid.

  • The Derider||

    Shorter Reason commenters:

    Whaaaaaaa! Stalin didn't respect the environment so I don't have to either!

  • ||

    pathetically weak

  • The Derider||

    That's a pretty good description of the argumentation you've been making.

  • ||

    Yeah, "Stalin did it so it's OK for us to do it too" moral equivalency arguments are so popular around here.

    trollin' trollin' trollin'
    keep them dawgies rollin'
    man my ass is swollen
    rawhiiiiiide

  • The Derider||

    I'm not the one that brought up "our old friends the soviets" am I?

  • -_-||

    I'm still waiting for someone to provide proof that warming the planet a little would be a bad thing. I'm still waiting for someone to provide proof that warming the planet a little would lead to rising sea levels.

    The worst-case output of computer models written by people who have an interest in climate crisis mongering is not proof of anything. The credibility of such people is not enhanced by their refusal to release the code and data sets used in their modeling.

  • sarcasmic||

    They operate on the precautionary principle.

    That means that mere speculation is reason to change public policy.

    The burden of proof is on those who disagree. They must prove a negative.

    Public policy based upon a logical fallacy. Gotta love it.

  • -_-||

    Public policy based upon a logical fallacy. Gotta love it.

    Wish I could say it was a rare thang. *sigh*

  • Cytotoxic||

    Just the title told me this article was raw douche. Chapman never dissapoints!

  • ||

    Private property pretty much fixes all problems of enviromental damage. Nobody wants someone else dumping toxic waste on their own property. Property owners should be permitted to pollute their own property as long as it doesn't harm anyone else.

    These discussions are all moot in any case since large economies like China are more interested in economic growth than feel-good enviromental regulation, and the U.S. has decided to outsource our pollution to China by way of transferring manufacturing there. Attempts to regulate CO2 production will simply transfer CO2-intensive industry to places where it is less regulated. The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere will remain the same.

  • The Derider||

    YOU CANT OWN THE ATMOSPHERE NUMBSKULL.

  • Juice||

    Just came here to say that this was a terrible article.

  • ||

    I think Reason's editors like to troll us now and then.

  • The solution||

    Since water vapor makes up 95% of greenhouse gases then the obvious solution is giant solar powered dehumidifiers. The water collected could then be filtered for drinking. Also, no birds would be killed.

  • metrosexual||

    If a hint of citrus can be added for flavor, I'm with you all the way.

  • Overt||

    Having read through all the comments, I would like to propose to Libertarians that there are SOME limits on Property rights here. Bare with me:

    The Libertarian argument for CO2 control is that CO2 can damage our property. Some Industry pumps CO2 which causes a small amount of warming, which causes a feedback cycle where the ocean warms, vents CO2, causing more rising, etc etc- all leading to a bunch of deleterious effects in some places (and good effects to other places). Let's just assume the science is accurate here.

    My argument is that when the damage to property extends over a sufficiently LONG time, we cannot hold someone accountable. If Human Caused Warming will result in my ocean-front property being shorter by 10 Feet OVER 100 YEARS, that should not be actionable. Over such a time horizon there are far more severe impacts- from hurricane, to erosion, to government zoning laws that will render any impact to your property value moot.

    I think there is room here to say that some Man-caused changes that occur over a long enough time horizon are as "natural" as sun spots and alien invasion.

  • ||

    I like your idea of a "statute of limitations" (100 years?) for such claims of man-caused climate change. You also raise the point that some change will be positive for some property owners; should emitters of CO2 be able to sue such property owners for the rise in their property values? Of course not.

    Man has obviously caused desertification, confiscation of property via war, etc. over the past few thousand years, but it will be silly to try to enforce the property rights of Etruscans against the Romans who forced them out.

  • Reeling||

    A lot of the commenters here come across as people who have never made an honest attempt to understand the issue, and jumped straight to the "skeptic" arguments before calling it a day.

  • ||

    Environmentalism is not conservation.

    I am all for protecting the land and water. My hunting fees, snowmobile tabs, etc. pay for protecting more land and water and also let the public use the resources.

    The enviromental movement of today is about controling the individual and preventing them from enjoying the environment unless it conforms to what they feel is proper use.

  • E.W.||

    Human-caused global warming _is_ a myth.

  • ||

    Your argument is made invalid when you state that climate change is science. In order for an idea to qualify as scientific it must be provable within the confines of a set, documented and controlled experiment. Without this, it is subjective and therefore not science.

    Theory and Science get thrown around an awful lot nowadays. Science is a hypothesis that has been confirmed by experimentation. The "scientific evidence" of climate change is not scientific at all because it is not rooted in a scientific experiment. It is a misnomer. Climate data, when measured objectively against a ubiquitous standard can get you to a hypothesis, but a hypothesis is not science.

    Maybe, rather than labeling those who do not accept a hypothesis as truth on faith as short-sighted, there should be some experimentally generated, repeatable and objective information generated to transition the hypothesis of global warming into a theory.

    People were skeptical of Newton and all other great classical/renaissance scientists, but once their hypotheses were confirmed through individually viable, objective data, their brilliance was acknowledged and their data accepted as theory.

    Learn your terms and the scientific method - then come back to me and show me scientific, objective evidence to convince me to believe you. Don't try to shame people into belief.

  • Frank||

    Chapman lost all credibility at the outset. I was also amused by, “Bjorn Lomborg, a conservative hero for his 2001 book The Skeptical Environmentalist, now writes, ‘We have long moved on from any mainstream disagreements about the science of climate change. The crucial, relevant conversation of today is about what to do about climate change.’"

    Indeed, it is. And the relevant answer for “what to do about climate change” is this -- correctly cry foul and identify the climate change pimps as nothing but the religious opportunists that they are.

    Alternatively, here are some ideas for those that live in the real world:
    Limit noxious fumes on automobiles via pollution control mechanisms.
    Develop culverts to ward off rainwater.
    Outlaw pollution of my well.

    Of course, the above is for verifiable, immediate, proximate risk of poison and property damage. Not the ambiguous nonsense called “climate change”, which we might measure in eons.
    “Climate change,” indeed. Cripe. Whatever happened to “global warming,” by the way?
    “Oh, uhh, errr… well….”
    Yuh, exactly. What a bunch of transparent numbskulls, sloganeering marketers seeking the next catch phrase for lining their taxpayer funded wallets. Idiot savants, devising statistical models based on sub-miniscule samples but not having the common sense to tie their own shoelaces.

    You want to talk about trespass via pollution? Property damage? Individual human consequences? Then let’s address it. Specifically. Directly. Scientifically.
    As for your “climate change” bullshit, that’s a non-starter. We deal with it already. We call it the weather. Now piss off.

  • زفات||

    thank you

  • ||

    "The method most congenial to personal and economic freedom is a carbon tax. Instead of putting the government behind favored forms of energy, as the administration likes to do, it would create strong incentives for people to find their own ways to reduce emissions.

    It would achieve maximum benefits at minimum cost. It could be revenue-neutral, if the receipts were used to pay for other tax cuts."

    Nope. Actually privatization of roads would accomplish this without funneling money into an overgrown government bureacracy. People would self-regulate carbon consumption and demand for more fuel efficient methods of transportation would increase.

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