Tax Carbon or Innovate to Save the Climate?

NoCarbonEnergyLexisNexisIn Sunday's New York Times Bush administration Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, Jr. published an op-ed advocating the adoption of a carbon tax as a way to cut greenhouse gas emissions from burning fossil fuels and stimulate low-carbon and no-carbon energy production technology innovations. Paulson has joined with former New York City major Michael Bloomberg and hedge fund mogul, now climate warrior, Tom Steyer to found the Risky Business Project that aims to quantify the costs of future climate change to the economy. Their report will be issued later this week. In his op-ed Paulson argues:

I’m a businessman, not a climatologist. But I’ve spent a considerable amount of time with climate scientists and economists who have devoted their careers to this issue. There is virtually no debate among them that the planet is warming and that the burning of fossil fuels is largely responsible...

We need to craft national policy that uses market forces to provide incentives for the technological advances required to address climate change. As I’ve said, we can do this by placing a tax on carbon dioxide emissions. Many respected economists, of all ideological persuasions, support this approach. We can debate the appropriate pricing and policy design and how to use the money generated. But a price on carbon would change the behavior of both individuals and businesses. At the same time, all fossil fuel — and renewable energy — subsidies should be phased out. Renewable energy can outcompete dirty fuels once pollution costs are accounted for.

But will a carbon tax actually stimulate the invention of new no-carbon energy technologies? Theory suggests yes, but high gasoline taxes in Europe that are nearly the equivalent of a $500 per ton tax on carbon dioxide emissions have not led to the invention of cars powered by electricity generated by nuclear power plants and solar panels.

A June 13 op-ed, "Carbon Pricing Won't Solve Climate Change. Innovation Will," in the Christian Science Monitor by analysts at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation argue that directly subsidizing research and development aiming to make no-carbon energy technologies cheaper than fossil fuels is a better way to go. Why? First, because a carbon tax that would be sufficiently high to encourage no-carbon energy R&D is politically infeasible. Consequently, they argue:

The primary goal of both national and international climate policy should be to make the unsubsidized cost of clean energy cheaper than fossil fuels so that all countries deploy clean energy because it makes economic sense. This means a fundamental focus on innovation, including substantially more public investment in clean energy research, development, and demonstration (RD&D), and reforms of clean energy deployment policies so that subsidies incentivize the development of better technologies. International climate negotiations should also address innovation by offering high-income and emerging economies the option to gradually increase clean energy RD&D investment as a complement to an emissions reduction target. To start, a modest 0.065 percent target would increase global investment by $26 billion per year.

Points in favor of R&D subsidies: (1) they would be much cheaper for consumers and producers than imposing a broad carbon tax, and (2) if they do end up producing cheaper-than-fossil-fuel energy production technologies, the process of imposing costs on people would be replaced with one in which people enjoy benefits instead.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • anon||

    I'll go ahead and close this out real quick:

    Progressives: MOAR TAXES!
    Republicans: BETTAR REGULATIONZ!

    me: Fuck ya'll.

  • Sevo||

    Well, in CA it's CHOO-CHOOS!

  • Brett L||

    I'm absolutely certain that once the government has the ability to manipulate the value of companies' assets (by issuing or not issuing permits), they totally won't be open to the sort of innovation killing protectionism that taxi medallion owners are bringing down on Uber and Lyft, right? THIS time we can trust them to not engage in cronyism.

  • anon||

    Oh, of course. This time we'll get those good Top Men in charge and everything will work out just fine. You'll see. Really.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Paulson is one of the last of a dying breed - a rational Republican. I am glad he was at Treasury during the 2008 financial collapse.

  • WTF||

    Don't lock eyes with 'em, don't do it. Puts 'em on edge. They might go into berzerker mode; come at you like a whirling dervish, all fists and elbows. You might be screaming "No, no, no" and all they hear is "Who wants cake?" Let me tell you something: They all do. They all want cake.

  • ||

  • Duke||

    Buttplug is also an anti-semite:

    Palin's Buttplug|6.23.14 @ 12:08PM|#

    Jews were Nazis. I've heard your shit before.

    On top of that, he thinks inflation is swell and that the real problem is deflation. Tell that to the old people trying to live off their savings abd the poor who can't afford rent or food. You know how those poor folks are, always complaining about how stuff's gettin' cheaper.

    Don't change Buttplug. You provide us a lot of cheap entertainment.

  • WTF||

    Why does the current climate have to be saved, just as it is, for ever and ever? Why must we insist on stasis when that has never been the planet's condition, ever? And why do we think we are currently or in the near future capable of understanding, much less counteracting, all of the variables that form the earth's climate? The whole debate is idiotic.

  • anon||

    Perpetual stasis is the only way the typical republican/democrat can grasp reality. Removing the idea of that stasis shatters their reality.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Cuz peeplez R cauzing it and peeplez iz unatrul.

    If it waz volcanoz or teh sun spotz, it wud B OK.

  • kibby||

    Considering how long it took me to read this, I'm guessing it took you even longer to type like this. Ouch.

  • Beautiful Bean Footage||

    Clearly, you need to EAT MOR CHIKIN.

  • sarcasmic||

    It's because the change, being caused by human activity, is unnatural. If it was because of something natural then it would be something to celebrate. I mean, longer growing seasons, metal and mineral wealth being uncovered by retreating glaciers, more CO2 for healthier crops. It's great! Oh, wait. It's not natural. Never mind all the benefits. It's bad because it's unnatural, regardless of the benefits.

  • GamerFromJump||

    But all these things are beneficial TO HUMANS. Greens hate humans. Once you realize this fact, all Green positions are understandable. I almost said "make sense", but seriously now.

  • Tony||

    The human species has benefited from a relatively stable period in climate actually. Now we're altering it, rapidly, to a state not seen on the planet in almost a million years, and there is nothing to stop it from simply continuing to heat up if we don't stop increasing greenhouse gas concentrations.

    Why do you insist on doing nothing about this major problem? What gives you the right to declare that an unprecedented an uncontrolled experiment in altering the earth's climate is the proper course of action?

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    derp

  • Free Society||

    and there is nothing to stop it from simply continuing to heat up if we don't stop increasing greenhouse gas concentrations.

    Yes yes, you and your authoritarian ilk know all of the variables, mitigating and multiplying factors of the entire planet's climate patterns. Nothing arrogantly presumptuous about that...

    Why do you insist on doing nothing about this major problem? What gives you the right to declare that an unprecedented an uncontrolled experiment in altering the earth's climate is the proper course of action?

    Please demonstrate that it's a major problem. What gives you the right to assault the life, liberty and property of other people?

    It's not science in pursuit of truth, it's science in furtherance of state power.

  • Tony||

    Science has clearly established that it is a major problem. Nobody said we know everything. And making people pay for the damage they cause to the environment and to clean up their mess is not assaulting their life and liberty. Everyone's life and liberty and property are being assaulted by the status quo--something libertarians bizarrely equate with the freest of possible worlds whenever convenient.

  • ace_m82||

    "Science has clearly established that it is a major problem."

    I could have sworn that "science" has never spoken, only that humans claim to speak for science...

    If you have proof that "science" has become sentient and started speaking or "establishing" anything, then please let me know.

  • ||

    Watch out, science is coming right for us!

    Blam blam blam!

  • Tony||

    By science, as anyone with the remotest conception of language and reality would understand, I mean the findings of the global scientific community, a product of decades of work by thousands of the people who are by definition the most qualified to make determinations on the subject at hand. Are you saying you have access to some special secret knowledge that eludes experts, or are you saying you don't understand the first thing about how the project of increasing humanity's understanding of the world works?

  • Scarecrow Repair||

    Ah yes, and the recent outrage about sea levels rising 10 feet from glacial melt had some find print saying ".... in 1000 years" and further finer print that the rise in the next century was expected to be a millimeter or something.

    But that's science for ya.

  • Free Society||

    Science has clearly established that it is a major problem. Nobody said we know everything.

    Science has clearly established that the Earth is warming. That says nothing of clearly establishing causality and it certainly hasn't established the necessity for a hyper-regulating state. Those assumptions are the arrogance.

    And making people pay for the damage they cause to the environment and to clean up their mess is not assaulting their life and liberty.

    Why Tony it's almost if you're arguing that property rights should be the enforcement mechanism. If you can demonstrate causality then yes, the polluter owes the property owner damages. The Common Law established that long ago.

    Everyone's life and liberty and property are being assaulted by the status quo--something libertarians bizarrely equate with the freest of possible worlds whenever convenient.

    So your belief is that libertarians think the status quo, a world dominated by people like you with ideas like yours, is the freest possible world?

  • Tony||

    That says nothing of clearly establishing causality and it certainly hasn't established the necessity for a hyper-regulating state. Those assumptions are the arrogance.

    This is precisely equivalent to creationists meekly muttering about bacterial flagella and eyes. A desperate moving of goalposts with the intent of hanging onto the last shred of misinformed skepticism that allows you to maintain your political position. Which is of course an inherently unscientific approach to things. Of course the science says humans are the cause. Claiming otherwise is to be misinformed or to lie. As far as policy responses--why don't you stop spitting in the eyes of people with ideas while you sit there with absolutely none at all?

    So your belief is that libertarians think the status quo, a world dominated by people like you with ideas like yours, is the freest possible world?

    Only when convenient. The oil market--which resembles a robust free trade accounting for accurate costs absolutely not at all (global cartels getting a free ride on external costs tend to be like that). Other times the world is a socialist hellhole. It just depends on the agenda you're trying to push.

    Science isn't optional.

  • Ayn Random Variation||

    Science God has clearly established that it is a major problem. Nobody said we know everything. And making people pay for the damage they cause to the environment and to clean up their mess is not assaulting their life and liberty. Everyone's life and liberty and property are being assaulted by the status quo--something libertarians atheists bizarrely equate with the freest of possible worlds whenever convenient.

  • sarcasmic||

    Please demonstrate that it's a major problem.

    It's unnatural! It's caused by people! That right there means it's a major problem! If it was natural then the longer growing seasons, higher crop yields and newly uncovered natural resources would be wonderful! But it's not natural so it's bad! Why is that so hard to understand! It's bad not because of what it is, but because humans are causing it! Specifically rich corporations! Corporations are bad, rich people are bad, therefore climate change is bad! Why is that so difficult to understand?

  • Tony||

    "All of science is a conspiracy! Al Gore is Dr. Evil! The greenhouse effect is a hoax! Carbon dioxide drilled from the earth and put into the air has absolutely no effect whatsoever! The tooth fairy is real and I just shit myself!"

  • WTF||

    We actually do believe you shit yourself on a regular basis, you screeching chimp.

  • Zeb||

    No one said anything like that, dumbass. Whether or not something is a major problem is not a scientific proposition. How fucking hard is it to understand that science may be able to tell us what is happening and what is likely to happen in the future, but it cannot tell us what the appropriate response is?

  • Free Society||

    The only sensible response is hope and change.

  • Tony||

    Why not? I suppose politicians are the ones properly situated to do that? Or who else might you put in charge of that question?

  • WTF||

    But sarc, he said "science"! Stop being a denier or he will have to keep saying SCIENCE to you!

    Too bad 'Tony' clearly doesn't understand science at all.

  • sarcasmic||

    Too bad 'Tony' clearly doesn't understand science at all.

    Sure he does. Smart people taking a vote and declaring consensus. That's science.

    That silly stuff about the scientific method, repeatable results, sharing data, that's so quaint.

    Consensus is the new science!

  • WTF||

    Hypothesis, testing, and observation? The Hell you say! DENIER!!

  • sarcasmic||

    Hypothesis, testing, and observation? The Hell you say! DENIER!!

    We don't have time for that shit! It's the end of the fucking world here!

  • Tony||

    When practically all scientists say something that is a consensus. If you disagree with that consensus then you are free to challenge it and vie for a Nobel Prize. When you're just spouting childish unintelligible bullshit, you should probably just go back to your finger paints.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Please demonstrate that it's a major problem.

    It is CLEARLY demonstrated by average global temperatures increasing as predicted by all the climate models.

    AND

    Florida being underwater.

    ...oh, wait...

  • Idle Hands||

    lol, do you know anything about anthropology or human history?

  • Sevo||

    Tony|6.23.14 @ 1:33PM|#
    ..."Why do you insist on doing nothing about this major problem?"...

    Why do you insist on lying?

  • Jordan||

    NOAA/NASA Dramatically Altered US Temperatures After The Year 2000

    Right after the year 2000, NASA and NOAA dramatically altered US climate history, making the past much colder and the present much warmer. The animation below shows how NASA cooled 1934 and warmed 1998, to make 1998 the hottest year in US history instead of 1934. This alteration turned a long term cooling trend since 1930 into a warming trend.

    But NASA and NOAA have a little problem. The EPA still shows that heatwaves during the 1930s were by far the worst in US temperature record.
  • Ted S.||

    NOAA/NASA Dramatically Altered US Temperatures After The Year 2000

    That's your climate change.

  • BiMonSciFiCon||

    How is this not a bigger story? What's the justification for that change?

    What happened to James Hansen that made him change his mind?

  • Brett L||

    BOOOOOOOOOOOSH!

    No, seriously. He was apparently a sane scientist right up until GWB got elected. I don't know whether Algore had promised him a promotion or what. But you may remember that Dr. Hanson was the guy who accused the Bush administration of trying to silence him, and apparently doing such a bad job that he continued to be the GISS director.

  • WTF||

    The human species has benefited from a relatively stable period in climate actually

    Almost correct (he even managed to sort of acknowledge that earth has been warmer in the past with no human influence)- because actually the human species has benefitted from a relatively warm period in climate. Lucky 'Tony' and his kind weren't around during the last Ice Age, insisting the earth must remain cold forever, because what will we do without mammoths?

    And of course it has not been proven that the current climate has anything to do with manmade CO2, in fact, the failure of the models based on the hypothesis that increasing CO2 would cause increasing temperatures has falsified that hypothesis.

  • Tony||

    So warming it beyond anything we've experienced unchecked is a good idea?

    And you're just wrong. Go to google, type "climate change evidence" and read. That's all I can tell you to do. When you're scrolling to page 3 looking for denier propaganda to confirm your political-ideological anti-science bullshit, you're not doing skepticism and rational thinking.

  • WTF||

    You clearly do not understand science, which is not, and never has been, done by consensus. Try to educate yourself before you embarrass yourself even further with your ignorance.

  • sarcasmic||

    The cool kids all believe it's true! Don't you want to be one of the cool kids?

  • Zeb||

    science, which is not, and never has been, done by consensus

    While that is true, it is also true that usually a consensus among experts in a particular subject means that the conclusions are well supported and correct enough to be useful. But there are many historical exceptions to this and probably many things that are generally believed now that will turn out to be wrong.

  • sarcasmic||

    While that is true, it is also true that usually a consensus among experts in a particular subject means that the conclusions are well supported and correct enough to be useful.

    Except that with regards to the climate, in order to be accepted as an expert you must agree with the consensus. Deviate one little bit and you're tossed out of the club, which doesn't affect the consensus because now your vote no longer counts.

  • Zeb||

    Yeah. That's what really pisses me off the most about all of this. I actually want to know how it all works. But too many people have committed to the answer that best fits their personal agenda (or that their social group finds acceptable).

  • Tony||

    God I hate people who have just enough of an education to think they're geniuses but not enough to realize they're idiots.

    If there is an alternative hypothesis for what's happening to the planet then I'm all ears, and so is science. But regurgitating cliches about how consensus isn't the same thing as laboratory testing isn't offering any new information. It's lecturing people smarter than you about things you're only just smart enough to feebly grasp but of which they are perfectly well aware.

  • Jordan||

    Funny how you've been doing this same song and dance for years now. You know the IPCC adjusted their projections downward, right? That means the current IPCC report does not agree with the previous one. And yet, you were there denouncing anyone who dared question the IPCC's projections at the time. So, tell me: which version of the IPCC report is the anti-science one?

  • sarcasmic||

    Followers of doomsday cults are never phased with the declared End of Days comes to pass without the world actually ending. They just accept the new one and continue to believe. That's how faith works.

  • Tony||

    The IPCC is not going to suddenly conclude that the greenhouse effect was a myth or that there is no major climate threat. I'm pretty confident of that. If they update their information, then all they're doing is updating their information. You guys are the ones coming to the conversation with an agenda. And it's sad. Rational people would realize that if an attitude that "government is always bad" isn't the solution to a real problem, then they ought to alter their attitude. You guys are so committed that you're willing to sacrifice your credibility completely and join a stupid little cult. How comforting it must be. I can never be that sad, sorry.

  • ||

    http://www.epa.gov/climatechan.....temps.html

    Read the governments own data. You couldn't be more wrong if you were shriek.

  • Free Society||

    Go to google, type "climate change evidence" and read.

    That's funny, I did exactly that. Of the first 10 results one was wikipedia and the rest were .gov, .edu and followed by a series of .org whom we may safely assume are as dependent on government funding as the formers.

  • sarcasmic||

    The ones with government funding can be trusted because government is us, we the people and all that. Any others are obviously funded by Big Oil or some other profit seeking capitalists, and they cannot be trusted. But government is us and we are government, so government can be trusted.

  • Free Society||

    Infallible logic. Or at least infallible enough for government work. My regards.

  • Tony||

    So obviously Wikipedia, academia, and the government are all in a giant conspiracy to invent a global crisis for the purposes of funneling money to solar panel manufacturers, or whatever the fuck. Better run over to some crank website to get the real story. That's always the smart move as any neonazi or North Korean or Heaven's Gate member will tell you.

  • Zeb||

    I can't speak for anyone else, but I insist on doing nothing because every proposed solution that I have heard of is almost certain to fail to do much about CO2 emissions world wide and will cost a lot of money which could be used to adapt to whatever change comes. Even if the problem is as bad as the worst predictions, it is not obvious that it is possible or desirable to do everything possible to stop it.
    The science may be settled (though I don't think anyone has much basis to be certain about what is going to happen), but the science cannot tell us what the appropriate response is.

    But you already knew that, Tony.

  • Tony||

    Why can't it? Who else is better positioned to recommend policy than the experts? Republican and Democratic politicians perhaps? You?

  • ||

    Why do you insist on doing nothing about this major problem?

    Is that the same major problem that you thought was cooling, then warming, then just "change?" The same major problem that you can't make a single accurate prediction about? The same major problem you've lost the records for and were caught numerous times fudging the numbers for? The same major problem you'e argued for based purely on popularity when your numbers were revealed to be bullshit? The same major problem your side relies on for its funding? The same major problem for which you ignore all contrary evidence?

    Gee, I can't imagine why I'm ignoring that.

  • chmercier||

    Haha, pretty soon it will just be "change" or "erth!"

    Yeah, I don't see how the alarmists can even pretend they're not disingenuous at this point.

    Or isn't that their stock in trade? Lies, deceit, trickery, and death are okay as long as the intentions are good?

    Hey, the first country to enact national environmental laws was...well...you know.

  • Tony||

    You have to have bullshit talking points at least 5 years old or newer in order for me to respond. Global cooling, give me a fucking break.

  • KPres||

    Hey Tony,

    Are you the 'Tony' that made an ass out of yourself in this thread?

    See more at: http://marginalrevolution.com/.....-158246287

    If so, I'm waiting for my apology...

  • chmercier||

    Because playing god is awesome.

    I mean, that's something progs can understand, right?

    Or is it better to play god with people's lives?

  • Tony||

    The status quo is the most radical option available. It's not doing nothing, it's blindly and radically changing the climate of the planet. If that's not playing God then nothing is.

  • chmercier||

    Like I said, playing god rocks. Let the grandkids suffer. Or not, depending on if you have kids who have kids.

    And doing something: even when it's kicking beavers and eating antelope heart, it's better than nothing.

    Although...the status quo does suck. We agree on that :) meow

  • Mokers||

    Like every other species on the planet, humans will have to evolve in order to deal with climate change. We should be able to innovate our way through a lot of problems, but even if climate change is 1000x times worse than even the biggest doomsayers talk about, it is still relatively small on the scale of past extinction events.

    As Epi says, they are all animists.

  • Zeb||

    Humans are a species which evolved on tropical grasslands and have managed to live everywhere it is remotely possible for them to live.
    We will do fine if it gets a bit warmer. All of the doom predictions assume that people won't adapt to changing conditions.

  • ||

    All of the doom predictions are predicated on the fact that progressives are unable to adapt.

  • Sevo||

    Well, there is some good news:

    "Supreme Court limits greenhouse gas regulations"
    [...]
    "The court's conservative wing ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency exceeded its authority by changing the emissions threshold for greenhouse gases in the Clean Air Act to regulate more stationary sources."
    http://www.usatoday.com/story/.....s/8567453/

    That's right! There is more than one branch of the government!

  • UnCivilServant||

    I'm offended that they refer to one of the basic building blocks of life as a 'pollutant'.

  • anon||

    That's a good question. If co2 is a pollutant, how exactly do they think we'd survive without it?

  • sarcasmic||

    Gotta have that original sin.

    Christians have sex, and Greens have carbon.

  • ||

    They're both based on self-loathing, and convincing yourself that everyone is just a little bit loathsomer.

  • Tony||

    So carbon dioxide is not a greenhouse gas? Or the greenhouse effect isn't real? Or burning coal and oil doesn't emit carbon dioxide?

    Could you just explain what your claim is exactly, please? It would make things so much clearer.

  • Acosmist||

    ? What?

  • Zeb||

    The does makes the poison. CO2 makes up a tiny part of the atmosphere. If really significant increases happened (well beyond what is possible from human activity) it would be a poisonous pollutant. But in the context of what is likely to happen, I agree that calling it a pollutant is misleading.

  • Swiss Servator, CH yeah!||

    If you read the opinion, you will see that the EPA got all it wanted at the banquet, gorging itself on liberty, except the after dinner mint.

  • R C Dean||

    More questions raised about global warming data:

    http://stevengoddard.wordpress.....year-2000/

    Why is anyone still treating "catastrophic" AGW as a thing, again? Would it be unfair of me to say that anyone who is flogging AGW as something we need to worry about is intellectually dishonest?

  • anon||

    Why is anyone still treating "catastrophic" AGW as a thing, again?

    Cause it's summer, and summer is hot.

    Fuck Dean, you're smarter than this!

  • Rasilio||

    "Cause it's summer, and summer is hot."

    Is it? Cause we've barely been breaking 75 in Boston

  • anon||

    Contrary to popular masshole opinion, Boston isn't everywhere else.

  • Libertymike||

    When visiting Cambridge, Massachusetts, William Bulger, former Massachusetts Senate President and brother of convicted felon, James "Whitey" Bulger, would remark, "I do not often engage in foreign travel".

    Mix with:

    (1) Lebron James sucks and

    (2) Peyton Manning sucks

  • Ron Bailey||

    RCD: Heads up - will be posting something on this later - btw, Anthony Watts thinks Goddard is wrong.

  • John||

    Would it be too much to ask that we settle this debate before we destroy the world economy trying to save it? Seriously Ron, how many times do we have to go through this before we admit we don't really know much of anything about climate?

  • Tony||

    You are welcome to admit it, as it is apparently true for you.

  • WTF||

    SCIENCE!!!!11!!!!CONSENSUS!!11!!!!!
    IGNORE THE LACK OF WARMING AND THE FAILURE OF THE MODELS!!11!!!!

  • ||

    "Would it be too much to ask that we settle this debate before we destroy the world economy trying to save it?"

    C'mon John. In any good con you have to put pressure on the mark so they don't have time to think or figure out the holes in the narrative. So, yeah, its too much to ask. Shut up and hand over your wallet.

  • sarcasmic||

    Would it be too much to ask that we settle this debate before we destroy the world economy trying to save it?

    The whole point is to destroy the world's economy.

    You see, human are a disease on the planet. Only by destroying the world's economy, and the starvation that will follow, will human populations go back to where they should be. What exactly? Dunno, but definitely less than a billion.

    Lot's of people must die.

  • ||

    human are a disease on the planet

    Environmentalist are the Agents in the Matrix?

  • chmercier||

    ^This. I think a few short numbers float around, but from what I've seen, it's usually between 500 million and a billion.

    Of course, since it's all the best and brightest (a few academics, all politicians, a bunch of serfs/slaves), it's totally cool.

    Sarcasmic, I think the true goals of the "climate change" movement by politicos, etc., is probably too horrifying for most people to grasp. They just can't fathom that mass global slavery and murder is the goal, not an effect.

  • Free Society||

    Hey Ron, be sure to add "support for subsides" to your resume next time you're interviewing for a job at a libertarian periodical. Not getting that job will save the rest of us the trouble of having to explain to others how your ideas do not actually represent or respect liberty.

  • WTF||

    Would it be unfair of me to say that anyone who is flogging AGW as something we need to worry about is intellectually dishonest?

    Well yeah, it could just be stupidity.

  • Raston Bot||

    But a price on carbon would change the behavior of both individuals and businesses.

    Even only there was a mechanism for determining a price!

  • ||

    You don't understand, this is market-based! Mutually trading for credits whose only value derives from artificial scarcity imposed by force on all market actors is laissez faire as fuuuuuuuuuuck. I got that about right, shreeeeek?

  • Free Society||

    I think Ron Bailey is secretly Shreek. He's doing a hell of a job misinforming.

  • JW||

    How will we ever transition from whale oil and streets filled with horse shit?

  • UnCivilServant||

    Horse Oil!

  • ||

    Whale shit!

  • Raston Bot||

    Horse Whale!

    Coincidentally, how unicorns are made...

    http://www.funnyjunk.com/funny.....were+made/

  • Hugh Akston||

    People didn't adopt automobiles until taxes made it uneconomical to ride horses everywhere. FACT!

  • anon||

    I heard that's how we got light bulbs too, by taxing whale oil.

  • ||

    If only we could tax bullshit...

  • anon||

    Now there's a legit way to solve the national debt.

  • GILMORE||

    WHO RUN BARTERTOWN!?

  • Idle Hands||

    How about we adapt like we've done for millions of years in a always changing climate.

  • New Normal||

    "in a always changing climate"

    You don't understand! It's even changier now! We must tax all the things!!!

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Tax Carbon or Innovate to Save the Climate?

    Save the climate from what?

    Is Florida underwater?

  • ||

    Is Florida underwater?

    If it is then the climate deserves a medal, not "saving".

  • anon||

    You should stop driving your car right now and go fly a jet all over the world right now to save the climate from yourself.

  • ||

    There is virtually no debate among them

    This is supposed to be a good thing?

  • ||

    Yeah, that is a certain sign that something is grievously wrong.

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    I might have to hand in my monocle for this.

    But I'd be OK with a Carbon Dioxide Tax IF IF IF (please keep reading) we could repeal the 16th amendment* as part of the deal. I think a consumption tax would be better than an income tax anyways, and a Carbon Dioxide emission tax would be pretty roughly correlated in a good-enough way to basically just be a consumption tax.

    I'm guessing very few watermelons would even consider this though. Which shows all their "OMG we have to save the planet at all costs" rhetoric is empty. But we already knew that, didn't we?

    *And repeal it in such a way that it's unambiguous that Federal govmt has no power to tax incomes without the 16th.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Until they need carbon emissions to keep the government afloat

  • anon||

    Pretty sure DC already runs on carbon emissions.

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    Also, there has to be a "standard deduction" of how much Carbon Dioxide you are allowed to emit. I don't know how much this should be, but I'm not paying a tax for the privilege of breathing ... so that's the starting point for that negotiation.

  • sarcasmic||

    I'm not paying a tax for the privilege of breathing

    CO2 from breathing and burning wood doesn't count because that CO2 was already part of the system. It's new CO2 that is introduced to the system by burning stuff that was pulled out of the ground that counts.

  • anon||

    Damn, my asteroid mining corporation is already fucked.

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    I'm talking about hypothetical government policy here. Not science or logic. If we don't get that in writing, the deal is off.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Prepare the accountants!

    Paragraph 3 of Subpart J of Section 158 requires a carbon audit of all individuals employed with the exception of the those that meet the requirements of Paragraph 18 Subpart AD of Section 1426.7 or live in a federally designated HUBZone per the Economic Redevelopment Block Grant Act of 2018.

    All audit results must be submitted using the Federal EPA Carbon Compliance System and the IRS Carbon Collections System. Only auditors licensed by the EPA and the IRS will be provided access to these systems. All audits are due on August 3rd, however any taxes due must be paid by the 15th or appropriate penalties will be levied.

    Form W-29487, Carbon Withholding Calculator, must be submitted for each and every employee except as indicated above or if the business is a Section 501(c) non-profit.

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    That seems like a pretty accurate vision.

    But, I don't think it'd be any worse than the ways we have to currently account for income.

  • Free Society||

    If we don't get that in writing, the deal is off.

    We got the Bill of Rights in writing too, and look how that turned out. a whopping 1/10 are half-ass selectively enforced. Now if those 10 Amendments were dedicated solely to aggrandizing state power, I'm sure they would be enforced to the letter. That's government policy in a nutshell.

  • JW||

    Don't ever encourage them.

    MD is considering mileage-based transportation tax, on top of the existing gas tax for all cars, not just electrics and hybrids, even though it's their fault.

    Thanks Eco Weenies.

  • CatoTheElder||

    Carbon tax will not work. It simply cannot work. Why?, you ask. Political reality.

    It is a highly regressive tax. The proggies will insist that the poor be indemnified from its effect. The middle class' numbers will force politicians to mitigate its effects upon the middle class as well.

    Thus, the majority of people will be shielded from the direct effect of the carbon tax. They will keep their thermostats on the same setting, they will drive just as much, etc. The wealthy who will bear the tax burden will behave the roughly the same also.

  • sarcasmic||

    No way. You're totally wrong. Being a regressive tax it will force the poor to use public transportation. Think of all those cars it will get off the street. The middle class people who can afford cars will be forced to buy economy cars and drive a lot less. The rich won't be affected at all. They may not say it, but in practice that's exactly how the left likes it.

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    I don't think it'll actually work either, politically speaking. But it's a good response when somebody asks a politician "What should we do about Climate Change?".

    If your answer is "Repeal the 16th amendment and replace it with a carbon tax", then if the progs respond with "no way", you can say, "well when you are serious about fixing the problem, get back to me".

    And if they actually call the bluff, well, we are still slightly better off, IMO.

  • Drake||

    I've spent a considerable amount of time with climate scientists and economists who have devoted their careers to this issue...

    In other words, people who's careers depend on convincing us it's true, not actual scientists.

  • Swiss Servator, CH yeah!||

    Advocates.

  • ||

    Devoted their careers to obtaining government grants to produce studies showing whatever the government wants.

    Got it.

    These people have virtually zero credibility. As I have said before, the greatest damage that this film-flam has had is the destruction of science's credibility. This is worse than the piltdown man by far.

  • wef||

    Here is the strongest yet that the hysterical, Anthropogenic Global Warming scam promoted by political con artists is indeed a money-and-power grab fraud. When a sociopathic thug and charlatan like paulson joins your team, you know there is something basically deceitful and a duplicitous underlying the whole enterprise.

  • Drake||

    R&D subsidies? How about we develop a way to convert uranium into electricity that releases zero CO2? We could build lots of these "nuclear" power plants to run cities and provide cheap electricity for our plug-in cars.

    I bet the Greens would be 100% in favor of that technology. Otherwise they would look like a bunch of hypocritical fucking assholes.

  • Beautiful Bean Footage||

    But teh nookular is teh scaireez! We cood totes have anuther 3 mile iland or Chernobyl and deestroy all life 4 milez!!

  • Lord Humungus||

    why that's crazy talk.

  • Tony||

    Hypocritical like libertarians favoring an energy production technology that cannot exist without government subsidy? Kind of like that?

    Nuclear is fine. Just don't tell me you care about a free market in energy. You guys actually are hopelessly in the shit on this issue. Your position is maximum welfare for the worst forms of energy. Why? Fuck if I know, but it probably has something to do with who funds your movement and that you're all very stupid.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Nuclear energy is regulated to the point of requiring a subsidy to be cost effective and the retard is claiming government to be the solution.

    God, you are a fucking moron.

  • Tony||

    Yes why don't we loosen the regulation on giant potential radiation catastrophes while building hundreds and hundreds more of them. The market will take care of it. If your plant melts down, you'll simply shop elsewhere.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Because NOTHING can be safe without government.

  • Zeb||

    Even with 1 Chernobyl per year, if all coal plants were replaced with nuclear the damage and death caused indirectly by power generation would be far lower.

    And the only thing stopping much safer and less expensive nuclear reactors from being produced on large scales is government regulation.

  • Tony||

    I am all for nuclear. I'm for spending trillions to implement whatever clean energy scheme is most sensible. If nuclear is part of that, knock yourself out. It might be the creation of a future problem, but at least it's a solution to the current one.

    Why libertarians think it's acceptable while subsidies for solar are not is, however, completely unintelligible. You don't have nuclear without government subsidy, and I'm talking about limited liability, not checks cut.

  • Tony||

    And shut up. You seem to feel free to just make shit up at any time. So you're not worth debating about anything. Read another book.

  • Jordan||

    You seem to feel free to just make shit up at any time.

    Maximum projection:

    Your position is maximum welfare for the worst forms of energy.
  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    So you're not worth debating about anything.

    HAHAHAHAHAHA!

    *deap breath*

    HAHAHAHAAHAHA!

    Oh, that's a good one.

  • WTF||

    Careful, Fd'A, or next 'Tony' will call you a big fat poopyhead!

  • Tony||

    You're all the worst form of idiots. Ones who lack the humility to realize how stupid you are.

  • Tony||

    At least you're dealing in mindless emotional outbursts and not actively lying about things of substance. Perhaps you should be the H&R evening entertainment. The things you have to say aren't really interesting to anyone.

  • waffles||

    Nuclear welfare is miles better than nuclear warfare.

  • Jordan||

    Your position is maximum welfare for the worst forms of energy.

    Produce one article from a libertarian supporting subsidies.

  • ||

    You don't understand what he means by 'subsidy'.

    He means that by not taxing something to death you are subsidizing it. It is mendacity of the highest order. Typical prog-speak.

  • ||

    This is the kind of mendacity that really sets off all of the alarms Tony. Redefining words until up is down.

    You are such a fucking liar. The only question is, are you just lying to us, or are you lying to yourself so you can believe your own bullshit?

  • JW||

    Paulson has joined with former New York City major Michael Bloomberg and hedge fund mogul, now climate warrior, Tom Steyer to found the Risky Business Project that aims to quantify the costs of future climate change to the economy.

    Paulson didn't get us far enough back into the stone age on his last try.

    I'm trying to understand on which planet that Troika of Bumbling Terror would be seen as a good thing.

  • Ayn Random Variation||

    It's amazing how easily conned progs are. Koch bothers = evil, but Steyer, a Hedge Fund billionaire who invested heavily in Big Oil and is currently a rent seeking green energy investor, is a hero.

  • GILMORE||

    I don't know if anyone's framed the questions this way before, but here's a try =

    - do the greens really care about the 'climate' or environmental science, or is Global Climate Change/Warming actually a stalking horse for those who believe Economic growth needs to be more strictly regulated and controlled by central governments?

    Meaning = the issue of climate change often seems deeply tied to specific necessary *means* to address it, which are ALWAYS 'more power' for central government. Suggestions like the above that 'innovation' might deal with any potential issue are always waved aside as 'nice', but not the point.

    All arguments about climate change quickly turn into questions about "How MUCH can Government Do About It?"; not 'whether governments are the effective means of addressing them at all'. Its always, 'what can currently be potentially justified'.

    The entire point of climate change seems to me to be nothing but an avenue for compelling greater government control over economic growth *writ large*, with the rationale that "just in case of X!" - it is always better have more 'control'...

  • Libertymike||

    Are you looking forward to the responses of Tony and shriek?

  • GILMORE||

    No - just curious why the proponents of CAGW seem to be so quick to claim that the most effective means of dealing with a comparatively 'slow moving catastrophe' is to hamstring economic development and attempt 'top down' controls that are guaranteed to provide worse outcomes than the current known 'risks'.

  • JW||

    If it's anything like the lefties I know, it goes like this:

    1. Problem is identified, real or otherwise.
    2. Gubmint passes law to address problem
    3. ????
    4. Magical compliance with law solves problem

    I'm not exaggerating. Their understanding of how everything works is child-like. There's never any violence or coercion involved and if there is, well, the transgressors had it coming to them for not complying in the first place, even though there's no violence or coercion involved.

  • ||

    If you didn't want to be forced to comply, you shouldn't have signed that social contract.

  • sarcasmic||

    Government is their god.

  • GILMORE||

    To my point =

    - Fracking has probably been the single most effective source of 'carbon emissions reductions' - and yet they hate it.

    Their reasons for hating it are only partly that it is a fossil fuel or that it provides profits to traditional energy firms.

    Probably the main reason they hate it is that *it wasn't a government project* and (even worse) reveals the current government projects to be enormously inefficient, wasteful and ineffective.

    They hate fracking with the heat of 1000 nuclear reactors.

    Yet it is actually the single greatest contributor to achieving "goals" they claim to have re: CAGW.

    So = the conclusion is that they don't care about CAGW at at all (at least in the terms they themselves choose to talk about it; re: "Carbon emissions"). They care about greater power in the hands of government regulators regardless of whether or not it helps more or less... or at all.

    I have yet to see any compelling argument clarifying why this view is mistaken.

    ------------------------
    *I say 'carbon emissions reduction' because this is their claimed desired outcome - (why, when there are probably 100 other things that could be more beneficial in dealing with CAGW, we can skip)

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    DIDN"T YOU SEE THAT MOVIE WHERE THE TAP WATER WUZ ON FIRE?

  • sarcasmic||

    They don't understand the distinction between money and wealth, and they subscribe to the labor theory of value. That means something becomes less valuable if it becomes less expensive. They loved fracking when it was expensive. Now that it's cheap they hate it.

    They don't understand the distinction between government and society. They feel that government is "us" while the corporations are "them." Power to the government is power to the people.

    They hate humanity and industry. They just hate it. They view us as a disease on this planet, spewing out chemicals and other waste. CO2 must be bad because human activity is bad and industry is bad.

    It's all emotional an irrational.

  • Invisible Handjob||

    They care about greater power in the hands of government regulators regardless of whether or not it helps more or less... or at all.

    I don't think that's it, at least not among the lay progs I know personally. They wouldn't frame it that way.

    * They are utterly ignorant (willfully in many cases) of the reduction in carbon emissions that we've already enjoyed, the potential energy independence we could achieve with this tech and falling prices in NG that have made it so much more affordable for the poor people they're always claiming they represent.

    They're just not exposed to these arguments on Salon or watching "Gasland", a documentary showing people lighting naturally occurring methane from their faucets and then mendaciously claiming it's due to fracking.

    * NIMBY disguised as Touchy-Feely "we must protect Mother Gaia" from industrialism. Never mind that the footprint left behind by an old well is a fraction of the mostly likely alternative to NG, which would be strip mining coal. Level a mountain or leave an old well that's a little bigger than a kiddie pool. We know progs don't consider these tradeoffs much.

    * It completely undermines a lot of the solor/wind initiatives they covet. So, yeah, that the govt (i.e., "We The People" in their minds) didn't come up with the solution.

    * And yes, someone, somewhere is getting filthy rich (e.g., Harold Hamm is worth ~$20 bil) from this and it eats at them. It must be Evil if there are profits!

  • The Late P Brooks||

    As soon as the fucking government gets involved in subsidizing picking technologies, they get locked in and innovation is pointless.

    NO.

  • Lord Humungus||

    Just burn it all down.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Paulson has joined with former New York City major Michael Bloomberg and hedge fund mogul, now climate warrior, Tom Steyer

    LEGION OF DOOMSAYERS

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Nuclear energy is regulated to the point of requiring a subsidy to be cost effective and the retard is claiming government to be the solution.

    It's almost as if regulation has locked in obsolete technology and eliminated innovation. We should probably have more regulations.

  • GILMORE||

    Mandate moar innovation! in areas that they've already determined to be 'inefficient' like solar!

  • Drake||

    One of the things I loved about Fallen Angels was Niven and Pournelle calling the Greens "Luddites". They fear innovation much more than "climate change".

  • ||

    "But will a carbon tax actually stimulate the invention of new no-carbon energy technologies? Theory suggests yes, but high gasoline taxes in Europe that are nearly the equivalent of a $500 per ton tax on carbon dioxide emissions have not led to the invention of cars powered by electricity generated by nuclear power plants and solar panels."

    Why, it is almost as if robbing the private sector and pouring that money into the black hole that is govt. coupled with wishful thinking and hollow rhetoric does not alter the law of the conservation of energy.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Their understanding of how everything works is child-like.

    They view laws as magic spells which actually work. Pass a law against crazy people owning guns, and no crazy person will ever subsequently have access to a gun.

    Children created or saved!

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    I'm waiting for laws prohibiting cancer and heart disease.

  • Drake||

    My children aren't that stupid.

  • ||

    My two year old is smarter than them.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Mandate moar innovation! in areas that they've already determined to be 'inefficient' like solar!

    "Innovate, damn you!"

    The floggings will continue until morale innovation improves.

  • ||

    Also...havent co2 production levels been steadily decreasing all on their own here in the U.S.? co2 production is primarily from the developing world. co2 taxes in the U.S. have no effect on Indian and Chinese co2 production. Carbon taxes on consumers here in the U.S. could end up doing what all green solutions do: the opposite of their stated intentions.

    This scheme has jack-shit to do with the climate.

  • Drake||

    But Fracking is bad - Mkay? And fuel-efficient cars are unfair because they need fuel-taxes for stuff.

  • ||

    The birth of a con:

    http://www.21stcenturysciencetech.com/Articles 2007/GWHoaxBorn.pdf

    Here is a clue - on of the original architects of the global warming hoax was Paul Ehrlich. Most of the rest were Ehrlich's acolytes, including John Holdren.

  • ||

    I don't care how sound your investment opportunity is. No matter how much I look at it and fail to find flaws, if the principal architect is Bernie Madoff, I am not going to invest.

  • widget||

    Renewable energy can outcompete dirty fuels once pollution costs are accounted for.

    'Renewable energy' is a violation of the 3rd law of thermodynamics. There is no such thing. Some forms of energy are more efficient than others but they are all limited by the Carnot Cycle.

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

    Until we banish the term 'renewable' from the vocabulary of energy activists, no progress will made. There is no footprint too small that won't alarm them.

  • Tony||

    Let's keep the status quo going is not a default or consequence-free approach.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    No matter how much I look at it and fail to find flaws, if the principal architect is Bernie Madoff, I am not going to invest.

    You've got it all wrong, man. You just need to get in EARLY.

  • Jackand Ace||

    Well. Is this the admission from Reason that the science is settled, we have a problem on our hands, and all that is left is to debate the solutions?

    Its welcome if it is, but someone should inform Stossel.

  • Jackand Ace||

    ...and about 90% of the commenters.

  • ||

    Derp da derp da tiddly terp.

  • chmercier||

    It's possible that the proposed "solutions" are one of the easier to debunk aspects of the debate.

    With the science aspect, the alarmists/cronyists are easy to debunk...but they have the media, the gov, some academics, etc., still controlling the message a bit. They can always go "you hate the children! You love pollution! You deny science!" to appeal to emotions. (Though, they are slowly losing - when they censor or desire imprisoning people who disagree, their argument is pretty much done.)

    The solutions aspect is the easier to debunk right away. "So, your solution to climate change is to...increase taxes, cost of living, ration electricity, ration food, and go back to medieval technology? But politicians and rich people can keep their planes, yachts, and houses? Hmmm..."

    Instead of investing R&D in the private sector, they just want to increase poverty.

    Just my experience in talking to global warming folks. They can run to "scientists" - but you can generally convince them that making food more expensive is not the right method.

  • JW||

    Keep in mind that this is the same mentality that built a $100,000,000 solar power plant that saves ~$1,000,000/year compared to conventional power sources.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/N.....ower_Plant

    IOW, the FedGov built a solar power plant that will be obsolete many, many years before it even begins to break even.

    Fuckin' geniuses.

  • Flatulent Monkey||

    Its the economics stupid! This is the point that comes always to mind when discussing alternative energy sources.

    As it stands right now fossil fuels are the most efficient to extract and utilize. I don't care how much government largess is thrown at "Green" initiatives, until these alternatives are more efficient/cost effective, you will not see any widespread movement towards them.

    If anything, the government lucre actively discourages innovation by funding inefficient projects that have zero incentive to do anything but rapidly deploy retread technology.

  • chmercier||

    Ironically, aren't all the nationalized coal and oil mining/drilling/refining operations the worst offenders as far as efficiency and pollution go?

    I think the ur-example of this is that huge petroleum plant malfunction in Ecuador - where it wasn't just a spill, but continuous flow outside, tons of pollution, horribly inefficient, etc.

    Of course, they blamed it on Chevron, I think. (Heh, I remember watching that on some documentary a friend was watching for a class. They used it as an example of how evil corporations were. First thing I said was "Ecuador's oil industry is nationalized. The company only sells the equipment and is used as a distributor...which means they're not to blame."

    But agreed. Government don't give no crap. I mean, we had a great example when the Iron Curtain fell and it turned out that the USSR and Bloc were like 30 years behind technologically. The water still isn't safe to drink in a lot of places there. The pollution was atrocious and land was too overworked and inefficiently managed for good agriculture. Or Cuba and North Korea right now.

    But yeah. How would government stick around if things weren't bad, requiring the need for government?

  • Brandon||

    2 axioms (axia?):

    1. Once people get to a certain level of wealth, they begin to care about the cleanliness and sustainability of their environment.

    2. The free market allows individuals to innovate and provide products and services that meet the needs and wants of other individuals better than any other system in existence.

    It follows from this that the way to address climate change most effectively is to allow the market to work. The only possible reason to disagree with this is if you don't really give a shit about the environment or humanity, you just want control.

  • sarcasmic||

    1. Once people get to a certain level of wealth, they begin to care about the cleanliness and sustainability of their environment.

    Nuh uh! People only care about the environment when ordered to by government! Without government the corporations would reduce the planet to a barren wasteland!

    2. The free market allows individuals to innovate and provide products and services that meet the needs and wants of other individuals better than any other system in existence.

    Nuh uh! Innovation only comes from government research! You didn't build that! There have been no inventions or innovations that happened without government involvement! Even government itself was invented by government!

    The only possible reason to disagree with this is if you don't really give a shit about the environment or humanity, you just want control.

    Or a combination of both combined with a profound and willful ignorance of economics.

  • chmercier||

    Totes, comrade. I mean, if we didn't have government, how would there be trees and numbers? People didn't make math. People made war and murder and the government said stop, and they were like "sorry for being evil, government."

    I mean, if there were no laws making national parks, then people would have cut down all the trees and we would all be dead, so government literally like saved our lives. I mean, if the capitalists had their way, all the people would starve because the coal mines and stuff. I mean, you know, people are basically good they just are deceived by capitalists into thinking like "hey, private property protects tress" but really, no, private property guts nature and fills her with sadness.

    If this were libtardtopia, then we'd have no trees and poison water and dead babies.

  • Tony||

    You want to take a tally of how many trees have been saved or felled by both capitalism and government conservation efforts? You do the math. I'll have a biscuit and await the results.

  • chmercier||

    Considering that the argument against free markets/private property tend to veer to extremes (they'll cut all the trees down), then the extreme opposite is game. The USSR, the ur-command economy, has/had basically the worst environmental record in history.

    I will use Jared Diamond's example from "Collapse" though: he argued for government curbing of tree cutting by citing how the Tokugawa shogunate prevented farmers, etc., from cutting their own trees. Not that it wasn't unsuccessful, but that it wasn't about saving trees - it was about the shogunate using wood for war. He conveniently left out the massive armaments programs, the fleets built to invade Korea, and the huge castle building program that Toyotomi initiated.

    I'll check to see what has caused the most tree-planting in a couple places. If it's mandatory vs. informative encouragement. The latter isn't bad, for sure - information and education are great.

    Me? I lean to conservation efforts, but saying the gov is solely responsible is either/or. State and federal governments are complicit in cutting national and state forests too. And it's bipartisan too - Granholm in Michigan did it, as did Bush with federal lands.

    But I'll check it out. I would venture a guess in saying that neither an entity like Procter & Gamble nor some corrupt gov really has "saving the trees" in mind. Private property managed by a happy hippy farmer is different, I think you'd agree.

  • PapayaSF||

    The TL;DR condensed version of this good article:

    This is one of the most important points of the climate debate that is almost never explained in the mainstream media: that catastrophic warming forecasts are actually a chain of two theories. In the first, a doubling of CO2 raises temperatures directly via the greenhouse effect by 1.3C. Then, positive feedbacks in the climate system multiply this warming 3-8 times. As a result, most of the warming in catastrophic forecasts is not from greenhouse gas theory, but from a second independent theory that the Earth’s climate system is dominated by very strong net positive feedbacks.

    [...]

    I think any physical scientist should be extremely skeptical that a long-term stable system is dominated by positive feedback. Systems dominated by positive feedback — and we are talking about incredibly high implied feedback percentages to get to these catastrophic forecasts — don’t tend to be very stable, but it is Michael Mann himself who has argued over and over with his hockey stick chart that past temperatures have only varied in very narrow ranges for thousands of years. Not the behavior one would expect of a system dominated by strong positive feedbacks.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    I think any physical scientist should be extremely skeptical that a long-term stable system is dominated by positive feedback.

    This.

    Stable systems, by definition, do not have positive feedback loops. If it did it would have diverged already with any relatively warm period (Medieval Warm Period) already encountered. Any scientist proposing such a theory should be bitchslapped.

  • chmercier||

    This. And damn straight.

  • Tony||

    Medieval Warm Period

    I'll just leave that there for you to attempt to inform yourself about what the fuck you think you're talking about.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement