"Why Aren't Environmentalists Cheering Higher Gas Prices?"

That's the question that AOL News' John Merline is asking. He takes a look at data from the past few years and the recent increase in gas prices and notes that most green policies have as their goal hiking prices to curtail consumption. And that's exactly what's happening. Bigger costs, economic slowdown, lower rates of travel, fewer imports, you name it. Everything is going the greens' way.

Nevertheless, as NPR noted in a story it did a few years ago, the best environmental groups seem to be able to muster is to "quietly welcome" high gas prices.

Of course, openly cheering higher prices wouldn't exactly win these groups a lot of friends. Just look at the guff Energy Secretary Steven Chu is taking today for his 2008 comment that "somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe." Still, whatever happened to having the courage of your convictions?

So come on, greens. Let's hear it loud and proud for higher gas prices.

Whole thing here.

Yesterday (god, it seems like so long ago), Ron Bailey looked at the connection between oil price hikes and recessions.

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  • MNG||

    "Why Aren't Environmentalists Cheering Higher Gas Prices?"

    cuz you can only ride your bike so far?

  • jtuf||

    "Why Aren't Environmentalists Cheering Higher Gas Prices?"

    Because a crippling economy is only fun if one causes it. It's the domination, stupid.

  • MNG||

    Don't you think this is unhelpful, this gnostic reading of people's 'real [evil] intentions?' Why assume environmentalists are motivated by a desire to dominate for its own sake when their policy proposals fit well with their stated desire for environmental protection goals? I mean, they likely really think that certain types of energy sources are 'bad' for people and/or the planet and such and therefore want measures to limit that use.

  • MJ||

    Because they have said so. Higher prices due to market forces put the money in some malevolent force hands like Big Oil which is obviously undesirable. Higher prices due to taxes puts it in the benevolent hands of Big Daddy Government, which is an unqualified good.

  • sarcasmic||

    Higher prices due to taxes puts it in the benevolent hands of Big Daddy Government

    Who the greenies can then lobby to fund their green initiatives and ultimately their bank accounts.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I mean, they likely really think that certain types of energy sources are 'bad' for people and/or the planet and such and therefore want measures to limit that use.

    Thinking that is not evil. Attempting to force it upon others who do not share that belief approaches evil in deed if not intent.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: MNG,

    I mean, they likely really think that certain types of energy sources are 'bad' for people and/or the planet and such and therefore want measures to limit that use.


    Well, you see, this thing about self-righteous busybodies telling everybody that X or Y is "bad for them" really gets into that part of the brain that also handles information coming from the tooth receiving a root canal.

  • Zeb||

    I don't know what kind of dentist you see, but mine has these great drugs that make it so my brain doesn't get any signal from the tooth getting a root canal.

  • ||

    But if you took it on a regular basis to drown out the greenies, you'd never get anything done.

  • Old Mexican||

  • MNG||

    "the best environmental groups seem to be able to muster is to "quietly welcome" high gas prices."

    Only a true assclown cheers or even 'quietly welcomes' higher gas prices. Gas is something everyone, from rich to working class, has to buy and therefore it hits the poor more. Environmentalists who want to protect the enviroment in ways that hurt the poor are as bad as market fundamentalists who put abstract ideas about property rights above the welfare of actual human beings. Environmentalists who want to lessen oil consumption should try to do so by giving tax and regulatory breaks to alternatives and other ways that don't hit the less well off so badly.

  • GMT II||

    Your comment is so dumb that I will not waste my time pointing out your ignorance. You and Toni need to pair up, so to speak.

  • MNG||

    "Your comment is so dumb that I will not waste my time pointing out your ignorance."

    You felt the need to post that you were not going to comment? Dude, don't swallow, that's irony you're swimming in.

  • ||

    Abstract ideas about property rights? I'll be over later today to take your car. Save me some effort and make sure you've loaded up the HDTV and any stereo equipment I might want. I'm very likely poorer than you so it's time for equality, mother fucker.

  • sr7||

    You can tell how serious a person is about their anti property rights rhetoric by whether or not they offer you their home address. Otherwise, it's just fat headed bullshit, which MNG spews in abundance.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: MNG,

    Only a true assclown cheers or even 'quietly welcomes' higher gas prices.


    You mean like these?

    http://www.freakonomicsmedia.c.....st-friend/

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: MNG,

    Environmentalists who want to protect the enviroment in ways that hurt the poor are as bad as market fundamentalists who put abstract ideas about property rights above the welfare of actual human beings.


    You mean that property rights are not germaine to human well being?

    So let me see: If all humans started to steal from each other, then everybody would be better off! MNG dixit, so it must be true!

    Yes, it is a reductio ad absurdum, MNG - you opened the door. Put on your brain for a change, it's right there besides your table lamp and dresser.

  • sarcasmic||

    If all humans started to steal from each other, then everybody would be better off!

    If there are no property rights then three is no such thing as stealing.
    There is only sharing.

    Of course sharing translates to them using your property, and their property being off limits to you.

    It never goes both ways with these people. That would require morals, honesty and integrity, of which the left has none.

  • yonemoto||

    Sharing requires some sort of presupposition that you owned something first and you're willing to let someone else use it. Negative space, bitches!

  • Mange||

    If all humans started to steal from each other, then everybody would be better off!

    No no no. If some humans stole from the others using the strong arm of the government everybody would be better off!

  • ||

    market fundamentalists who put abstract ideas about property rights above the welfare of actual human beings.

    Leaving aside, of course, that perhaps the most powerful idea in history for improving the welfare of actual human beings are those abstract property rights.

  • ||

    +1

  • Joe R.||

    ...market fundamentalists who put abstract ideas about property rights above the welfare of actual human beings.

    Example please.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "as bad as market fundamentalists who put abstract ideas about property rights above the welfare of actual human beings."

    Property rights means actual human beings have a right to keep their own property.

    Taking it from the them is detrimental to their welfare.

    And also unconstitutional.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    The higher fuel price tag isn't really the environmentalists' doing, so they don't feel the rush of power they wanted. Additionally, their goal isn't to save the environment, it's to change economies. To be sure, economies are changing, but not the way the greens wanted. The poor economic environment has the winds of change gusting toward a desire for less environmental regulation, not more.

  • Montani Semper Liberi||

    I've seen plenty of comments hoping for $10/gallon gas on left leaning websites. I guess the statists only talk about that amongst themselves.

  • Scuffy Nerf Herder||

    "somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe."

    Proof positive that Chu never worked in the private sector. I always loved the intelligent morons in engineering school. Could solve partial differential equations in their head, but couldn't figure basic human motivations well enough to get a date.

  • yonemoto||

    Well I can do differential equations, too. Although, admittedly, being a "conservationist" (!= environmentalist) libertarian, the way I'd phrase it would be "somehow we have to figure how how to do nothing so the price of gasoline rises to the levels in Europe".

  • Name Nomad||

    Well, I got a motorcycle license a few months ago, so I'm ready for high gas prices. Now I just have to learn to ride with a sidecar attached and figure out how to efficiently jam groceries into it.

  • The Bearded Hobbit||

    A decent set of saddlebags will hold quite a few groceries and are a lot easier to ride with than a sidehack.

    ... Hobbit

  • Gilbert Martin||

    I've seen a few motorcycles pulling two wheel trailers.

  • Spiny Norman||

    That's a lot of groceries. It also makes the bike harder to park and maneuver.

    I'd go with the saddlebags. The trailers are more for geezers on Goldwings.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    I'll stick with cars and let the increased market value of my energy sector mutual fund offset my increased costs at the gas pump.

    That's a lot easier that fooling with saddlebags, sidecars or motorcycle trailers.

  • Old Mexican||

    "Why Aren't Environmentalists Cheering Higher Gas Prices?"


    Because they're all schizophrenics?

  • MJ||

    Because they are aware that talking about higher gas prices in the abstract is different than cheering it when people are paying 40% more at the pump. They are not entirely stupid.

  • Old Mexican||

    You mean they practice expediency, instead of principles.

  • MJ||

    Of course. Though I think that enviromentalists being liberals don't have principles per se, but only have desired outcomes.

  • Rich||

    Also, remember Tom Friedman is ready to tack another dollar on "to pay down the deficit".

  • Spiny Norman||

    I thought he wanted us to grow our way out of the hole.

  • kinnath||

    The price of gasoline effects the price of nearly everything. Urban dwellers that don't drive think they are immune from gas price hikes. But their food has to come from somewhere in a rig that burns diesel or gasoline. Gas prices go up; food prices go up (over and above the other price pressures that are appearing now).

  • Gregory Smith||

    Well said, and even those who drive have to sacrifice other things like buying clothes and going to the movies to keep driving.

    If Obama thinks I'm gonna bike 10 miles to work he's nuts!

    Michelle Obama's Food Police.
    http://libertarians4freedom.bl.....olice.html

  • Fiscal Meth||

    Why don't they just deliver the food on 18 wheel bicycles?

  • Tony||

    Because good energy policy can come about by more efficient means than sending the poor and middle class into an undetermined period of economic pain due to higher gas prices?

  • ||

    Here's good energy policy: Let the market decide.

  • Tony||

    Because the market is so good at accounting for greenhouse gas emissions.

  • ||

    The market is actually quite good at accounting for marginally irrelevant emissions of naturally occurring trace gases. It assigns them a big, fat zero. As it should.

  • Tony||

    Do you people have any idea how ridiculous you look just dismissing factual reality when it isn't convenient for your ideology? I mean Christ. It's embarrassing.

    Climate change is the main issue where you guys show your true colors as dogmatists. It is completely improper to ignore scientific reality because it makes your political worldview problematic. Either figure out a way to incorporate scientific reality into it or stop trying to convince others that you're anymore than a cult.

  • sarcasmic||

    Coming from the guy who worships government as god.

    Too funny.

  • ||

    Based on historical behaviors by cults, I would be much more likely to assign "cultishness" to those discredited arbiters of "scientific reality" you are so fond of.

    The cliques, the secretive behaviors, the bending of data to the narrative, the ostracization of "nonbelievers"...

  • Tony||

    Ever consider the possibility that it's you who are biased and not the worldwide scientific community?

  • ||

    Yet, I'm not the one scurrying around in the dark trying to mask my intent.

  • Zeb||

    "Ever consider the possibility that it's you who are biased and not the worldwide scientific community?"

    Both are biased.

  • ||

    Zeb, I will cop to being biased in my skepticism. But that runs a lot deeper than one subject. I have an ultra-sensitive bullshit detector.

  • sarcasmic||

    I have an ultra-sensitive bullshit detector.

    And Tony's does not work at all.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    "And Tony's does not work at all"

    It doesn't? Then how does he locate and gather that seemingly endless supply of bullshit?

  • Fluffy||

    Tony, I'm happy to consider "factual" reality if you're ready to present it for consideration.

    Please document the following facts:

    1. The actual temperature increase we will experience.

    2. The actual weather pattern changes that will create by region.

    3. The actual economic costs [or benefits, as the case may be] of the changes listed in #2, above.

    4. The actual economic costs of any remediation steps you want to take to avoid #2, above.

    Without all four of those facts, we have no means of reaching a "facts-based" decision on global warming policy. None.

  • Tony||

    Fluffy not knowing everything in a 100% precise way doesn't mean we know nothing and can't make policies, which you'd know if you were intellectually honest or had the slightest inkling of how science works.

  • sarcasmic||

    Tony is implying that someone else is intellectually dishonest?
    That's rich!

    Do you know how science works, Tony?

    For one, voting is not part of the scientific method. That is how you achieve a political consensus, but it has no bearing on science.

    None.

    So any conclusion that comes from a consensus among scientists is a political conclusion, not a scientific one.

    Scientifically a consensus means shit.

  • ||

    100%? Did you really just say that? And then accuse fluffy of intellectual dishonesty? The computer models can't even accurately predict next year's weather patterns, and they're going to reliably tell us anything useful about 50 years in the future?

    Did someone get a new neck brace? It's pretty stiff this morning.

  • Tony||

    Weather is more difficult a thing to predict than long-term climate shifts. It's not like we are completely in the dark about the problems associated with increasing the concentration of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere.

  • Zeb||

    "Weather is more difficult a thing to predict than long-term climate shifts."
    How do you know that? Can you name an example of where a long term climate shift has been predicted by a computer model? Of course not, computer models have not been for around long enough. It is all completely untested and no one has any idea how well the models predict long term climate change.

  • Tony||

    Well the science gets better every day, as it tends to do. The facts being disputed by the learned commenters here, however, are not really in question: that increased concentrations of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere causes warming and that this will have negative effects on ecosystems.

  • yonemoto||

    Tony you are an idiot. CO2 causing global warming is basically nonsense built upon nonsense. As a chemistry degree (working in a green chemistry lab) I have to say, that it is my OPINION anything is causing anthropogenic water forcing, it's increased water vapor emission as a result of expanded agriculturalism and high-altitude airline transport.

    Please note that I haven't labeled something as a fact, when there is no scientific basis to do so. And by "scientific basis" I don't mean the peer-reviewed literature.

    Why don't I trust the peer-reviewed literature? Because of shit like this:

    http://retractionwatch.wordpress.com/

    Corruption follows money. If it's this bad in the government-funded medical research complex, which is easier to get negatively-controlled data on and easier to find aggressive competitors who are willing to tear your throat out to knock you down a step, you don't think it's even worse in "climate science"?

  • Zeb||

    But it does mean that we don't know if the policies being proposed (assuming that they would actually be effective, which itself is a huge assumption) will do more harm than the environmental changes they are meant to counteract.

  • ||

    "Weather is more difficult a thing to predict than long-term climate shifts"

    Zeb already nailed it. But, it has been my experience that any proposition which can't be either validated or refuted is low-hanging fruit for the con artist.

  • ||

    I.E., I can make any WAG I want about the year 3535....you can't prove me wrong.

  • Fluffy||

    But it does mean that we don't know if the policies being proposed (assuming that they would actually be effective, which itself is a huge assumption) will do more harm than the environmental changes they are meant to counteract.

    DING DING DING DING. We have a winner.

    Tony may not believe this, but "I want you to spend $X to avert climate change, but I can't tell you if the cost of climate change will be greater than or less than $X, and I can't even tell you if those costs will fall on you or on some asshole in Nigeria," is not "scientific" policy argument.

  • Fluffy||

    We don't know anything in a 0% precise way. Not the things we would need to know.

    We ABSOLUTELY NEED TO KNOW if, say, the weather in upstate New York will merely be warmer, or if there will be drought there, to know what the economic costs to residents of upstate New York from climate change will be.

    The necessity of that data point repeats itself for every region in the US, and worldwide.

    If you can't tell me the specific economic costs of doing nothing, and who they will specifically fall on, you don't have enough information to make an intelligible policy recommendation.

    You're the one who is intellectually dishonest here - because you want to say, "Well, we know that there will be costs and that they will be born by someone somewhere. We just don't know what those costs are or who they will fall on. But that's still enough to decide policy and if you disagree you hate TEH SCIENZ ARGGJSDJHSDHSFKS!!!!!" That doesn't cut it, baby.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "Do you people have any idea how ridiculous you look just dismissing factual reality "

    Factual reality is that you aren't any authority on factual reality.

    Nor are you any authority on who is and isn't any authority on it.

  • Zeb||

    Government isn't very good at it either.

  • Tony||

    It's better than the market, which ignores them completely.

  • ||

  • sarcasmic||

    As it should.

  • Tony||

    So CO2 isn't a greenhouse gas?

  • sarcasmic||

    CO2 is less than 0.04% of the atmosphere.

    It is less than four one hundredths of one percent.

    Less than four hundred particles per million.

    It is a trace gas.

    Rises in CO2 levels follow rising temperatures. They do not precede them.

    This is because the ocean releases CO2 that is dissolved into it as it warms.

    If you don't believe me just put a cold carbonated beverage next to a warm one and see which is the first to go flat.

  • Tony||

    So carbon dioxide is not a greenhouse gas?

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,
    Yes, it's a greenhouse gas; so is methane and water vapor.

    Water vapor! Market failure!

  • sarcasmic||

    "So carbon dioxide is not a greenhouse gas?"

    Now you're just stomping your feet like a child.

    Is it a greenhouse gas? Yes.
    Does it exist in quantities large enough to outweigh other factors that influence the global temperature, like that ball of burning gas about which we orbit? No.
    Are increased levels of CO2 a cause of increased temperatures? No.
    Are they a result? Yes.
    Have Al Gore and others lied to you in effort to gain power and money? Yes.
    Will you continue to believe those lies, no matter what anyone says? Yes.

    moron

  • Tony||

    sacrasmic, I tolerate a lot of bullshit from you guys, but there is absolutely no excuse, none, for dismissing scientific fact (like that CO2 is a greenhouse gas and higher concentrations of it thus cause warming). It is the clearest way of admitting you you're a dogmatist. Evidence is not optional, and you are just making assertions that contradict evidence that conveniently fits your anti-climate-change-legislation policy preference. You are not smarter than the world's scientific community.

  • sarcasmic||

    You are not smarter than the world's scientific community.

    I know bullshit when I see it.

    You will accept anything that is handed down to you from what you perceive to be authority because you are an authority worshiper. You judge not by merit but by the source. You do not consider giving any thought to an issue if it comes from authority.
    Then you call me a dogmatist?
    You, the one who worships government calls me a dogmatist?

    puh-leeze

  • Tony||

    sarcasmic I trust authorities that are trustworthy, and there is no more trustworthy authority on a scientific question than the scientists whose job it is to study that question. Neither you nor the crackpot websites you get your beliefs from are higher authorities.

    I know enough to know that I'm not sufficiently educated to be smarter than the world's scientists. Are you?

  • sarcasmic||

    I know enough to know that I'm not sufficiently educated to be smarter than the world's scientists. Are you?

    Education does not make someone smart.

    Some really stupid people can be trained to remember and regurgitate information that has been fed to them without ever thinking about what the information means.

    It takes a smart person to critically think about, question, and analyze that information.

    Am I smarter than those scientists? Don't know.

    Am I smarter than you? Most certainly.

  • sarcasmic||

    and there is no more trustworthy authority on a scientific question than the scientists whose job it is to study that question.

    Ahhh, but is that their job?
    My job is to please my employer.
    Who pays the scientist's salary?
    What "answer" to the question will please the source of the scientist's salary?

  • Fiscal Meth||

    "and there is no more trustworthy authority on a scientific question than the scientists whose job it is to study that question."

    Just curious, do you agree with the scientific consensus that GMOs are totally safe Tony?

  • sarcasmic||

    What's funny is that "world's scientific community" is defined as scientists who conform to scientific consensus.

    So by definition any scientist who questions voted upon science (which is politics, not science) is excluded from the community.

    Science is asking questions, not banning them.

    That, Tony, is why it's bullshit.

    It's politics, not science.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Rises in CO2 levels follow rising temperatures. They do not ALWAYS precede them.

    This is because the ocean releases CO2 that is dissolved into it as it warms.

    Trivially true with the above correction. Of course the current rise in C02 is directly the result of burning of fossil fuels.

  • sarcasmic||

    Trivially true with the above correction. Of course the current rise in C02 is directly the result of burning of fossil fuels.

    So ask yourself this. If past rises in temperature caused rises in CO2, what caused the rises in temperature? It wasn't the CO2.
    If CO2 does cause rises in temperature, how did the temperature ever cool if rises in temperature release CO2 from the ocean?
    Unless.. unless perhaps.. unless while being a greenhouse gas, because CO2 is a trace greenhouse gas its influence is negligible.

    But to be part of the "scientific community" such thought is banned.
    It is heresy.
    Blasphemy.

    CO2 causes warming because some scientists had a vote.
    Go against the vote and you're not part of the community.

    That's politics, not science.

  • Neu Mejican||

    sarcasmic,

    So ask yourself this....

    That's your counter argument?
    Really?
    Wow.

  • sarcasmic||

    That's your counter argument?
    Really?
    Wow.

    My counter argument is to ask you to think for yourself.

    I guess that is asking too much.

  • ||

    OK, Tony. Let's say the government uses scientific facts to determine unsafe levels of pollution. So the government imposes penalties on polluters, right? The market will, in fact, solve the problem created by this government variable, one many people consider reasonable since most people want clean air and water. Companies that are heavily penalized will need to reform their way of doing business in some way, to either be cleaner or to make money to offset the penalties. The penalties will likely be raised if the company continues to pollute so a wise company would make their production more efficient and clean rather than just wait for the penalty to increase.

    Instead of strict penalties being set and enforced, the government would rather artificially manipulate the economy in numerous ways that are mostly detrimental to the poor and you want this? Let the market respond to strictly enforced penalties and you will get the closest thing to a solution that hurts the fewest people.

    But in any event, you will have to compromise a little and lose a few species who are in the way of humans. We are of this earth as well and we dominate because we have evolved to be smarter and more adaptable than others. That's just the way it is.

  • Tony||

    Nick,

    I have no problem with what you've outlined, and I'm not sure where I endorsed something else.

    Not sure what losing species has to do with it. I wonder how the market prices a species anyway.

  • sarcasmic||

    I wonder how the market prices a species anyway.

    I suppose that depends on how it tastes.

  • ||

    You've suggested a government solution which has been a redistribution of wealth solution from the poor to the wealthy every single time. So don't come here and say the government provides a better measure of how to handle this than the market.

    First step. Prove you are right about the negative consequences of climate change. Then bring a solution that, as others have said, is more beneficial and not detrimental than doing nothing.

  • sarcasmic||

    Nick -

    Tony has is an Appeal to Authority.

    Because Authority says so, he is right. As long as he agrees with Authority his is right, because Authority says so. Authority is right because it is Authority.

    And since You are not Authority, you are wrong.

    For braindead fucktards like him arguments are meaningless.
    All that matters is the source.

  • yonemoto||

    he doesn't even care about authority, he cares about the authority that supports his worldview. There is no capacity for critical thinking, or even a capacity to listen to critical thinkers, he thinks that he's on this board trying to be "fair and balanced" but what he doesn't realize is that hearing != thinking.

  • sarcasmic||

    "he doesn't even care about authority, he cares about the authority that supports his worldview."

    All he understands is authority. Everything is "policy this" and "policy that". If something exists, than in his mind (I use that word generously) there must be some top-down imposed set of rules in the form of policy.

    There must be control over everything.

    The concept of freedom is foreign to him. He cannot grasp a world where there is nobody to tell you what to do and how to do it. Everything must be imposed by force.

    It's sad really.

  • Tony||

    sarcasmic, scientists are by definition "authorities" in their field. It's okay to appeal to them.

    You seem to be saying that the last people we should go to to discuss nuclear physics are nuclear physicists, because they are mere authorities, and appealing to them is always fallacious. Let's consult a random crackpot on the street instead!

  • yonemoto||

    actually, no. Graduate students are often "author"ities in their field (but often not, supply glut problem). Anyone who has "assumed the position" of principal investigator, has already lost their edge and is probably not "author"itative on anything.

  • Neu Mejican||

    actually, no. Graduate students are often "author"ities in their field (but often not, supply glut problem). Anyone who has "assumed the position" of principal investigator, has already lost their edge and is probably not "author"itative on anything.

    Dude, that is just not true. While graduate students are often the authority on a narrow topic, the idea that PI's are in general not well informed in their narrow field is just hogwash. You said above you work in a lab...if this describes your lab, you may want to consider finding a new home so you can get a better research experience.

  • yonemoto||

    "You seem to be saying that the last people we should go to to discuss nuclear physics are nuclear physicists, because they are mere authorities, and appealing to them is always fallacious. Let's consult a random crackpot on the street instead!"

    Strangely enough, this crackpot has achieved nuclear fusion.

    http://prometheusfusionperfection.com/

    I think the youngest person the the fusioneer list was 15 at the time of fusion.

  • Ray Pew||

    I wonder how the market prices a species anyway.

    Typically higher than environmentalists value humans.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    Because the market is so good at accounting for greenhouse gas emissions.


    Sure. "The market ignores CO2 - market failure!"

    "Evolution ignores unicorns - evolution failure!"

    The market (that is, all of us) ignore CO2 because it was never an issue. It became a convenient hobgoblin for interventionist busybodies and statist fucks... people with a leash looking for a dog, basically.

  • Tony||

    No OM YOU ignore CO2 because you are an uneducated simpleton who would rather hang on to a ridiculous and false political ideology than accept facts that don't conform to it.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    No OM YOU ignore CO2 because you are an uneducated simpleton who would rather hang on to a ridiculous and false political ideology than accept facts that don't conform to it.


    Ha ha ha!! You're funny!

    Even in the face of facts (the obviously wrong predictions, the debunked models) you still call the unbelievers "Heathens."

    Who is being religious, Tony?

  • sarcasmic||

    Even in the face of facts (the obviously wrong predictions, the debunked models) you still call the unbelievers "Heathens."

    Who is being religious, Tony?

    Exactly.

  • Tony||

    I don't know about religious, but you sure are stuck on right-wing talking points from a few years ago.

  • ||

    Let's test that theory. Present one...a fact that is...and we'll observe his response.

  • Fluffy||

    If a useful good has a low price, the only means of restricting its use available to you are force and fear.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    Because good energy policy can come about by more efficient means


    Efficiency can come to be by policy?

    Next thing you'll say, people will become airplanes once policy dictates gravity is no more.

  • Tony||

    But don't let us stop you from using precious column inches sticking your tongue out at liberals, again. Such a truly interesting political philosophy you guys have here.

  • ||

    I will bet the farm that absolutely no one you run into here will let you stop them from doing much of anything. As if you could.

  • Miserly Stockholder||

    Self interest cheers when increased dividends exceed the total effect of gas price increases. Thank you John D. Rockefeller.

  • Fluffy||

    I was going to come here and post to explain this, but MNG has kind of done most of my work for me.

    I often encounter environmentalists who are also progressives who say, "Wah! There would be enough gas for everyone at cheap prices AND the environment would be better off if we could just somehow FORCE rich people to use less gas! They're wasting it and the price goes up for poor people! Wah!"

    It's really not that difficult to understand at all. It's the standard issue progressive desire to order society's affairs using naked force rather than trade. This is a Dog Bites Man story.

  • Zeb||

    I'm sure plenty of environmentalists are cheering the higher prices. The ones who don't drive and live in places that don't need a lot of heating.
    Assuming that there is a problem caused by CO2 emissions (please, let's not debate that now), naturally increasing oil prices would seem to be the only market based hope for a solution, no?

  • ||

    Oh, can we please debate it, please, please?

    I thought environmentalists love plants. CO2 is great for plants. Plants create more oxygen which is good for animals. Animals shit and die creating fertile soil for plants and oil for energy. Circle of life, yo.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Nick,
    Understand one thing - we're not talking about true environmentalists that simply want to educate people about the environment. We're talking about watermellons: green on the outside but red on the inside. These faux environmentalists simply latch on to convenient hobgoblins to justify imposing some cherished plan, especially if they are 5 year plans (the favorite of statist fucks all around.)

    They couldn't care less about the environment; if you look at their arguments, they are mostly neo-Malthusian claptrap thinly disguised as concerned for (get this): the poor/the environment.

  • Old Mexican||

    Sorry: "as concern", not "concerned."

  • ||

    For the higher up party politicians that take the concerns of the peasants and twist them for their desired ends, I suppose that's all true, but behind them are people weeping at the retching of Gaia.

  • Neu Mejican||

    we're not talking about true environmentalists that simply want to educate people about the environment. We're talking about watermellons: green on the outside but red on the inside.

    If that is who you are talking about...what percentage of the "environmental movement" do you believe fits your description?

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Neu Mejican,

    If that is who you are talking about...what percentage of the "environmental movement" do you believe fits your description?


    Why is that important?

  • Neu Mejican||

    Why is that important?
    To help flesh out the discussion.

  • ||

    Actually, there's at least four different types of non-pragmatic environmentalists:

    Eco-snobs such as people who put solar panels on their roofs to impress people, and corporations that use "greenwash" as part of their marketing efforts.
    Watermelons are people who use Green arguments as a weapon against capitalism. They don't seem to see understand that while socialism is progressive anti-capitalism, radical environmentalism is reactionary anti-capitalism.
    Deep Ecologists who believe that industrial civilization itself is a sin against nature and must be destroyed, and don't care that doing this would condemn at least two-thirds of the world's population to starve to death.
    Don Quixotes who are mostly young people. They want an end to poverty, inequality, pollution and war Right Now, and insist on a perfect solution even if it's physically impossible.

  • ||

    lol, I am guessing because they have to fill up their cars just like the rest of us LOL.

    www.privacy-tools.cz.tc

  • ||

    I'm starting to think anonybot could take Tony in a fair fight.

  • Spiny Norman||

    If nothing else, he's more concise.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Yeah.
    Higher gas prices.
    A good sign for developing alternatives.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Only a true assclown cheers or even 'quietly welcomes' higher gas prices. Gas is something everyone, from rich to working class, has to buy and therefore it hits the poor more. Environmentalists who want to protect the enviroment in ways that hurt the poor are as bad as market fundamentalists who put abstract ideas about property rights above the welfare of actual human beings. Environmentalists who want to lessen oil consumption should try to do so by giving tax and regulatory breaks to alternatives and other ways that don't hit the less well off so badly.

    Environmentalists and market fundamentalists who complain about higher gas prices fall victim to the short-term thinking that is the major obstacle to smart energy policies.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Neu Mejican,

    Environmentalists and market fundamentalists who complain about higher gas prices fall victim to the short-term thinking that is the major obstacle to smart energy policies.


    "Market fundamentalists": Those that refuse to see just how great are my ideas and don't want to trade their freedom to see their implementation.

    Statist fuck: A self-righteous busybody that has this delusion about his own bright and wonderful ideas for everybody else.

  • Neu Mejican||

    OM,

    I was just adopting MNG's terminology. Nice to see you come along and demonstrate that such a creature exists.

    I don't think that most environmental problems are going to be solved due to government action. There are some distortions introduced into many markets by the government that have negative environmental impacts, so I do support elimination of those. There are certain narrow policies that can have a positive environmental impact, I support those.

    For the most part environmental problems are solved through education and the dissemination of good information. The shifting value structures that result do more to improve the environment than any government action will. Those shifting value structures will, in a democracy, inevitably impact government policy, however.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Neu Mejican,

    I was just adopting MNG's terminology. Nice to see you come along and demonstrate that such a creature exists.


    Yes, we're up there with "evolution fundamentalists" and "density of water fundamentalists."

  • Neu Mejican||

    Yes, we're up there with "evolution fundamentalists" and "density of water fundamentalists."

    If you put any economic theory on par in terms of scientific certainty with evolution or basic chemistry, then, yeah, you are a fundamentalist who is reacting based on faith, primarily.

    Some interesting reading:
    http://www.edge.org/3rd_cultur.....index.html

    http://leiterreports.typepad.c.....cs_a_.html

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Neu Mejican,

    If you put any economic theory[...]


    Hey, stupid: Markets are not mere "economic theory." They ARE, just like evolution (and water density) is.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Yes, OM, markets exist. But not "just like evolution and water's density." Markets exist more like tractors and computers.

  • Ray Pew||

    If you put any economic theory on par in terms of scientific certainty with evolution or basic chemistry, then, yeah, you are a fundamentalist who is reacting based on faith, primarily.

    Ironically, it's the Austrian School that has been most emphatic in their argument that economics cannot be studied in the method of the natural sciences. The dominant schools of economics (Keynesian, New Keynesian, Neo-Classical, etc.) are the ones who believe that economics can be studied in the same fashion as physics or chemistry. All of their econometric formulations have provided us with little evidence of success (witness their inability to predict recessions and depressions).

  • Neu Mejican||

    Indeed.

  • Neu Mejican||

    economics cannot be studied in the method of the natural sciences

    To elaborate a bit. I am not sure I buy the Austrian arguments, even if we agree on the relative success of the scientific study of economics so far. The Austrian view seems premised on a fairly unsophisticated view of scientific methods. It is not that economics is topic for which scientific methods can not provide important insights...eventually...it is that it is a very complex topic that is really, really, difficult to study and understand scientifically. As a result our scientific understanding of economics is still fairly primitive.

    The Austrian view seems to me to be a faith-based approach to this complexity. By saying "scientific study can't tell us anything useful," they seem to attempt to shield their more simplistic axiomatic system from critique. But, of course, the very axioms the system is founded upon are exactly the kinds of things that can be studied empirically.

  • sarcasmic||

    Because the economy is so complex, comprised of millions of people making millions of decisions every day, it cannot be studied empirically.
    It is too complex to model or even observe, at least in a sense of being able to describe.

    That's the whole point of I Pencil.

    The Austrian view is to accept that the economy cannot be studied empirically. It's simply too complex for the human mind to grasp. To try to do so is folly. To try to control it? Hayek called that The Fatal Conceit.

    The Austrian view starts with a bit of humility.

    Yet for some reason the Austrians are accused of arrogance.

    I don't get it.

  • Tony||

    Yes we're supposed to live our lives according to the outcomes of this impossibly complex system?

  • Neu Mejican||

    That is their view, but I think it is misguided. The humility is good, but it is peppered with a good dose of "but we've got it figured out anyway - unlike you who attempt the empirical study" arrogance.

    "It is too complex to understand empirically, but these simple principles will explain everything you need to know." - sounds like arrogance to many ears.

  • Ray Pew||

    "It is too complex to understand empirically, but these simple principles will explain everything you need to know." - sounds like arrogance to many ears.

    An interesting charge considering the thread of climate change policy.

  • Ray Pew||

    The Austrian view seems to me to be a faith-based approach to this complexity. By saying "scientific study can't tell us anything useful," they seem to attempt to shield their more simplistic axiomatic system from critique. But, of course, the very axioms the system is founded upon are exactly the kinds of things that can be studied empirically.

    Sorry, but your mischaracterization of Austrian economics as "faith-based" is absurd and the claim that they assert "scientific study can't tell us anything useful" is demonstrative that you have not read any of their works.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Ray Pew|3.9.11 @ 3:17PM|#

    Ironically, it's the Austrian School that has been most emphatic in their argument that economics cannot be studied in the method of the natural sciences. The dominant schools of economics (Keynesian, New Keynesian, Neo-Classical, etc.) are the ones who believe that economics can be studied in the same fashion as physics or chemistry. All of their econometric formulations have provided us with little evidence of success (witness their inability to predict recessions and depressions).

    Ray Pew|3.9.11 @ 4:47PM|#

    the claim that they assert "scientific study can't tell us anything useful" is demonstrative that you have not read any of their works.

    I am not making a stronger statement than yours.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Global warming is a long-term problem. Anyone focusing on short-term fluctuations in gas prices is focused on something that is essentially unimportant in efforts to solve this long-term problem. Analogous to confusing weather with climate.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Neu Mejican,

    Global warming is a long-term problem.


    It's very long term. Very. So long term, in fact, that it can be an extremely convenient hobgoblin TODAY, not having to show any PROOF right now, because well, you see, it's long term. Very - long - term. Very.

    So, who's being religious?

    Get it?

  • sarcasmic||

    The end is always near.

    Always has been.

    Always will be.

  • Old Mexican||

    Why, sarcasmic, are you... Are you suggesting this "Global Warming" thing is just... just -dare I say - millenarist claptrap?

    No. Way.

  • sarcasmic||

    I dunno.

    For some reason when someone says "Give me power and money or the world is going to turn into a fiery cinder!" my bullshit detector goes DING! DING! DING! DING! DING! DING!

    I have no idea why.

  • Cyto||

    Actually, the very, very long term problem is global cooling. Global warming can be mitigated and lived with. Global cooling results in the majority of the land mass of the planet being covered in ice miles deep. I'm not sure how you mitigate or live with that.

    We are nearing historic maximums for temperature and CO2, but we are still below the naturally occurring maximums. However, if you examine that graph from the Vostok ice cores you'll note that the vast majority of time on long time-scales has been spent in the deep freeze of ice ages. Historically warm periods as we are currently enjoying have been quite brief. Much more brief than our current warm period appears to be. Also from the graph you can see that warming trends are historically relatively rapid, while cooling takes a long time and continues for a long time.

  • Gray Ghost||

    Building on what Cyto said, aren't we at the end of our 11,000 year (per Milankovitch) interglacial now? Read the first part of Fallen Angels (for free!) for an interesting description of what the return of the Ice might look like.

    As far as historic maximums, wasn't it much hotter/wetter during the Cretaceous, etc...? For closer time periods, weren't there vineyards in Labrador/Newfoundland ("Vineland") during the time of the Viking colonists? You certainly can't grow many grapes there very well now.

    Look, clearly the planet's getting warmer over the last 300 years or so, no ice skating on the canals of Holland, no shipping cannon over a frozen Hudson river, etc... the questions are: can Mankind do anything about it? And are the costs of doing something about it less than the "damage" a warmer planet would cause? I'll argue the answers are No and No. (Develop and burn all of the projected methane hydrate deposits, and my first answer might change.)

    Regardless, an essential ingredient for economic growth and increased prosperity is inexpensive energy. Bailey's column from a few years ago mentioned the projected need for 12 additional terawatts of power generation to service increased global economic growth. It seems fantastically silly (not to mention utterly futile) to restrict access to our cheapest sources of power generation in order to assuage some guilt over being prosperous.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Actually, the very, very long term problem is global cooling.

    Sure enough. I don't think it is really harder to adapt to than the worst case scenarios for global warming, but indeed a problem to consider.

  • ||

    I bet if sea levels rise enough, sea-steading will become more prevalent. I welcome the freedom of my personal flotilla.

  • Tony||

    The Maldives are exempt from the non-aggression principle.

  • Neu Mejican||

    The only reason an environmentalist would "cheer" rising gas prices is because s/he thinks it might create a short term tactical advantage for enacting policies that can have a long-term effect. But while a short term crisis can have a utilitarian advantage, it is not really something someone "cheers." For example, those who see the current financial meltdown as a useful wake up call that can be used to leverage the repeal of destructive policy aren't really "cheering" the thing. Did libertarians cheer the recent round of bail-outs because they saw the potential for a back-lash against government spending?

  • Cyto||

    This misses the point. High gas prices has been the stated goal of the environmental movement for well over 20 years. They have added carbon trading, carbon taxes and subsidies to their wish list, but high gas prices (via taxation) have been the core of their agenda for a long, long, time.

    Claiming that high gas prices are just a short term tactical advantage for enacting policies completely misunderstands the environmentalist position. High gas prices is the policy they want enacted. The result of the policy is to make alternative energy, efficiency, conservation and public transportation more attractive than current automobile technology. This is also a correct reading of the effect - high gas prices will in fact have the effect of driving technological improvement and behavioral changes that will result in less gas being burned.

    Environmentalists wanted the government to create high prices via taxation (Al Gore recommended a $5 per gallon federal gas tax in his book 20 years ago) - but the same result is achieved if the price moves up due to other factors as well.

  • Neu Mejican||

    High gas prices has been the stated goal of the environmental movement

    You are conflating the means and the ends here. High gas prices (via taxation, for the most part) have been a strategy recommended for decades, but it is incorrect to call it a "goal" of the environmental movement.

  • ||

    Correct. It is however, the goal of Statist fucks, regardless their particular orientation. From their point of view, what's not to like?

    If they can artificially bump gasoline up $2/gal, it's not like gasoline is costing an additional $2 to produce or distribute. It certainly won't end up in the pockets of "Big Oil" as windfall profits.

    Why no...it will end up in the government coffers, where it can be used for their own particular brand of nation-building. Win-win for them.

  • Gregory Smith||

    Environmentalists hate humanity, to them a human baby is like a dog, a cat, a cockroach, a flower, etc.

    Read "Godless" by Ann Coulter, her chapter on the environmental movement is a real eye opener.

    Michelle Obama's Food Police.
    http://libertarians4freedom.bl.....olice.html

  • Ray Pew||

    Environmentalists hate humanity, to them a human baby is like a dog, a cat, a cockroach, a flower, etc.

    Not even close. Obviously not all believe this, but I have read posts on forums and quotes by activists, who place a human baby FAR below everything else. To them we are a virus that destroys all and need to be driven back to the stone age or outright eliminated.

  • Agent Smith||

    I'd like to share a revelation that I’ve had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species, and I realised that humans are not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment; but you humans do not. Instead you multiply, and multiply, until every resource is consumed. The only way for you to survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern... a virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer on this planet, you are a plague, and we... are the cure.

  • ||

    I have yet to hear one of those Malthusian bastards advocate for reducing the population of dogs/cats/cockroaches/flowers by 50%.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    The problem with AGW is that it doens't have any of the marks of a strong scientific theory. A good theory begins to explain so many other things. Ties are found, both within and without the same field. Think of how evolution, continental drift, and yes even climate interlock. And the problem with AGW is that it does not illuminate what has happened previously. We know that CO2 lags temperature. We know that the Earth went through numerous great swings in climate without CO2 being a major influence. We know that humans in the past have thrived in a warmer climate, and struggled in cooler ones. We know that based on the historical cycles, we're far more likely to be heading into a major long term cooling period than a warming one. Should we be studying the Earth's climate? Absolutely. But this fixation on CO2 is unhealthy to the science.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Fatty Bolger,

    The problem with AGW is that it doens't have any of the marks of a strong scientific theory.


    I would argue it goes beyond that. Let's assume for a second that AGW is correct as a theory that explains global warming (we know it isn't, as global warming has existed since there's a globe); the problem is not the descriptive part (the "is") of the theory, which is what scientific theories are supposed to do: describe a phenomenon, create a framework where proofs can be determined and obtained. The problem is the normative part, the "ought" part. Some scientists and an army of statist fucks jumped to the conclusion that greedy men were going to turn the earth into a desert, or something. That requires an extreme leap from the "is" to the "ought", which led to the now-debunked Mann hockey-stick projection, Al Gore's multimillion business and the series of UN reports, all to turn an interesting theory into a hobgoblin to latch on and justify pillaging and fleecing people.

    I honestly prefer it when slavists simply enslave without insulting my intelligence with excuses, like the Romans did. Instead, the world had to endure weird racial theories all the way (now) to "We're killing Gaia!" to justify the undue taking of property and life.

  • sarcasmic||

    Some scientists and an army of statist fucks jumped to the conclusion that greedy men were going to turn the earth into a desert, or something.

    Their premise and conclusion are one in the same.

    Isn't there a word or phrase for that?

  • Neu Mejican||

    Let's assume for a second that AGW is correct as a theory that explains global warming (we know it isn't, as global warming has existed since there's a globe);

    AGW doesn't attempt to explain global warming, generally, but, instead, to explain the current warming.

    the problem is not the descriptive part (the "is") of the theory, which is what scientific theories are supposed to do: describe a phenomenon, create a framework where proofs can be determined and obtained. The problem is the normative part, the "ought" part.

    This is indeed a problem with the larger discussion, but not really a problem with the science itself since the "ought" only becomes a scientific issue when asked in a context of a goal. So, for instance, if the description leads to a non-scientific question like "that outcome sounds bad, is there a way to avert it?" A scientific answer might be phrased as an "ought" such as "you ought to limit the source of the problem if you want to avert the outcome described." Too often, it seems, criticism of the science, however, is really criticism of something else. Usually it is of the larger discussion and people get confused about what is "science" and what is "policy."

    Some scientists and an army of statist fucks jumped to the conclusion that greedy men were going to turn the earth into a desert, or something. That requires an extreme leap from the "is" to the "ought", which led to the now-debunked Mann hockey-stick projection, Al Gore's multimillion business and the series of UN reports, all to turn an interesting theory into a hobgoblin to latch on and justify pillaging and fleecing people.

    You were going so good...then, rambling.

    I honestly prefer it when slavists simply enslave without insulting my intelligence with excuses, like the Romans did. Instead, the world had to endure weird racial theories all the way (now) to "We're killing Gaia!" to justify the undue taking of property and life.

    Again, who are these people you are talking about? What percentage of those that discuss these issues fit your description? Do you feel like they are dominant in the discussion?

  • Neu Mejican||

    A good theory begins to explain so many other things. Ties are found, both within and without the same field. Think of how evolution, continental drift, and yes even climate interlock. And the problem with AGW is that it does not illuminate what has happened previously.

    I disagree here. A lot of the work looking at human impact on climate meets your definitions of a good theory.

  • ||

    Because the extra money was supposed to be taxes used to fund windmills.

    This way, it benefits evil oil companies.

  • ||

    They aren't cheering because with Cap&Trade; they could control the world and usher in a new era of global socialist nirvana. Instead with high gas prices they can't control the world, it only hurts poor people and makes oil companies rich. Its a complete fail.

  • angus||

    Because the price isn't high enough.

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