Quote of the Day*

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Schumpeter, after all, has been dead for six decades. The problem is that Al Gore is very much alive.

?Czech President Vaclav Klaus, wrapping up his (very good) speech at last night's Competitive Enterprise Institute annual gala.

* This is from my notes; a word or comma might be off.

NEXT: Sharon Stone's Bad Karma About Bad Karma

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  1. “very much alive” is an overstatement in regards to Al Gore. “Has not yet been clinically proven to be dead” would be a better description.

  2. Al Gore can never die, he will just become Emperor of the Moon and write Harry Potter and the Balance of Earth.

  3. Matt Welch,

    Was he suggesting that former’s influence was somehow detrimental?

  4. I don’t understand. context?

  5. Is he making a comparison to Bobby Kennedy’s assassination and saying that he hopes that Gore will be shot?

    Isn’t he really saying “WILL NO ONE RID ME OF THIS MEDDLESOME PRIEST?”

    I find it terribly disgusting that Reason is endorsing a Fatwa.

    It’s totally gone downhill since Joe Bob Briggs stopped writing for the magazine.

  6. I really would like to know the context of that statement

  7. Worked for Henry II, didn’t it? Anyone ever hear about Becket’s successor?

    Not that I advocate such things today, of course.

  8. My central concern is – in a condensed form – captured in the subtitle of this book. I ask: “What is Endangered: Climate or Freedom?” My answer is: “it is our freedom.” I may also add “and our prosperity”.

    The book was written by an economist who happens to be in a high political position. I don’t deny my basic paradigm, which is the “economic way of thinking”, because I consider it an advantage, not a disadvantage. By stressing that, I want to say that the Climate Change Debate in a wider and the only relevant sense should be neither about several tenths of a degree of Fahrenheit or Celsius, about the up or down movements of sea level, about the depths of ice at North and Southern Pole, nor about the variations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

    The real debate should be about costs and benefits of alternative human actions, about how to rationally deal with the unknown future, about what kind and size of solidarity with much wealthier future generations is justified, about the size of externalities and their eventual appropriate “internalization”, about how much to trust the impersonal functioning of the markets in solving any human problem, including global warming and how much to distrust the very visible hand of very human politicians and their bureaucrats. Some of these questions are touched upon in my book.

  9. Jaybird beat me to the punch 🙁

  10. Pro Libertate,

    Richard of Dover was such a tool. 😉

  11. kinnath,

    It seems to me that if one is going to discuss costs and benefits, etc. then one will be debating the scientific findings and predictions.

  12. Colin, you should direct your comments to Czech President Vaclav Klaus.

    The text was in italics to indicate that it was quoted from the link I posted immediately before. I apologize if you could not make the connection.

  13. But seriously, Matt, are you new here? Have you any idea how many joe and NM posts you have invited by quoting someone who spoke ill of their Dear Leader, Sacred High Priest, Academy Award Winner, Albert His Greeneness Gore, Jr?

    Ever since the ending of Project Bluebook, those types have been trying to find some wacky cause to get funded. Yetti did not work, exterrestrials are out of style (thus the demise of that Project Bluebook fad), so now they are after OUR vehicles with another silly end-of-the-world-story. At least some of them got distracted by that 9/11 Truther nonsense, but not much, seems a lot of those guys worship Lord Gore too.

    Or . . . could this be a clever Californian ploy to increase traffic . . .

    The Truth is out there.

  14. kinnath,

    I understood that. Just thinking “out loud” about the statement and wondering what you thought about my thought.

  15. So, sort of a Czech Jame Inhofe.

    Impressive.

  16. I don’t know about you, Neu Mejican, but the fact that Guy Montag keeps drawing attention to the fact that my position is the opposite of his is really, really embarrassing.

    Also, I do not wish to be thrown bodily into a patch of briars.

  17. Colin,

    There is no problem with discussion of the scientific findings and predictions except that the current body of work, by ignoring economics, assumes static culture and static technology. This is the same horrible error that Erlich made in the 60’s.

    He assumed static culture and static technology regarding population growth and food supply. His rational scientifically-based recommendations were to abandon technological innovations that allowed population growth and to forcibly restrict population growth. Where his recommendations were ignored, population growth halted (and reversed in places) due to cultural and economic influences. Meanwhile, technological innovations have made famine something that only happens as a result of political forces.

  18. It’s a conundrum; perhaps he wants us to creatively destroy Former Vice President Goraculus.

    I say we put Wile E Coyote on the job.

  19. I say we put Wile E Coyote on the job.

    Might need to reenforce him with The Boys from Brazil and, perhaps, The Powerpuff Girls.

  20. I tried to post a long description of context, but the squirrels — and not the ones in Wayne Allyn Root’s pants — ate the comment, so Reader’s Digest version: Klaus gave a speech chewing on his hero Joseph Schumpeter’s ultimately inaccurate prediction that capitalism would succeed so well that it would fail. As part of the speech, Klaus elucidated his belief that the biggest threat to capitalism right now is global warming hysteria, which he sees as equiavalent to, and comming from the same mental space as, Marxism. Most of the speech was about the Schump; some was about Radical Greens; this was his conclusion.

  21. Given the size of our government, I’m not sure that Schumpeter was entirely inaccurate in his prediction.

    After all, by the standards of his day, we are socialists.

  22. comming from the same mental space as, Marxism.

    You are one generous soul Matt Welch.

    My favorite quote from anyplace on the interwebs: “Marxism is the opiate of dumbasses.”

  23. Guy,

    Dear Leader, Sacred High Priest, Academy Award Winner, Albert His Greeneness Gore, Jr?

    I have never thought too highly of Al Gore.

    Environmentalists I admire:
    Paul Hawken
    http://www.paulhawken.com

    Amory Lovins
    http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/51

    E. O. Wilson
    http://www.eowilson.org/

    Max Oelschlaeger
    http://www.bookfinder.com/author/max-oelschlaeger/

  24. RimFax,

    …except that the current body of work, by ignoring economics, assumes static culture and static technology.

    If I am not mistaken a lot of climate studies, etc. do assume advances in technology. Indeed, it would be strange if they didn’t. As for cultural change, that’s kind of a broad topic, but I would assume they also often take into account things like population increase, resource use, etc.

  25. Rimfax,

    You are assuming, perhaps, a static climate science?

    I would be surprised if a single factor you can come up with has not been considered in one way or another in the discourse among climate scientists.

    The economists are behind the curve, of course, and haven’t done the work needed to understand the potential consequences of policy decisions in this arena. When Nordhaus’s DICE is as good as you’ve got, then you have a lot of work to do.

    The IPCC scenarios, for instance, include various assumptions about cultural and technological changes.

  26. joe,

    I don’t know about you, Neu Mejican, but the fact that Guy Montag keeps drawing attention to the fact that my position is the opposite of his is really, really embarrassing.

    I mostly just find his posts ironic.

    Occasionally funny.

    Never worth engaging intellectually.

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