Climate Change Correctness in the GOP

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Not confusing science with policy.

Case Western Reserve University law professor Jonathan Adler has a sharp analysis over at the Volokh Conspiracy of what might be called Republican "Climate Change Derangement Syndrome." A recent outbreak occurred when Gov. Chris Christie (R) vetoed a bill that would have overturned his decision to withdraw from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a cap-and-trade carbon rationing scheme adopted by several northeastern states. That's the right policy call. But then, as Adler explains

The problem, according to some conservatives, is that Christie accompanied his veto with a statement acknowledging that human activity is contributing to global climate change. Specifically, Christie explained that his original decision to withdraw from RGGI was not based upon any "quarrel" with the science.

While I acknowledge that the levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in our atmosphere are increasing, that climate change is real, that human activity plays a role in these changes and that these changes are impacting our state, I simply disagree that RGGI is an effective mechanism for addressing global warming.

As Christie explained, RGGI is based upon faulty economic assumptions and "does nothing more than impose a tax on electricity" for no real environmental benefit. As he noted, "To be effective, greenhouse gas emissions must be addressed on a national and international scale."

Although Christie adopted the desired policy — withdrawing from RGGI — some conservatives are aghast that he would acknowledge a human contribution to global warming. According to one, this makes Christie "Part RINO. Part man. Only more RINO than man." ["RINO" as in "Republican in Name Only."]

Those attacking Christie are suggesting there is only one politically acceptable position on climate science — that one's ideological bona fides are to be determined by one's scientific beliefs, and not simply one's policy preferences. This is a problem on multiple levels. Among other things, it leads conservatives to embrace an anti-scientific know-nothingism whereby scientific claims are to be evaluated not by scientific evidence but their political implications. Thus climate science must be attacked because it provides a too ready justification for government regulation.   This is the same reason some conservatives attack evolution — they fear it undermines religious belief — and it is just as wrong.

Writing at MichelleMalkin.com, Doug Powers warns that " if some politicians think they can swim in the waters of AGW without getting wet or soaking taxpayers, they should think again." In other words, once you accept that human activity may be contributing to global warming, embracing costly and ill-advised regulatory measures is inevitable. Yet it is actually Powers, not Christie, who is embracing a dangerous premise. As Christie's veto shows, he understands that the threat of climate change does not justify any and all proposed policy responses. One can believe the threat is real, and still think cap-and-trade is a bad idea. Christie's critics, on the other hand, seem to accept that once it can be shown that human activity may be having potentially negative environmental effects, this alone justifies government intervention. Yet the environmental effects of human behavior are ubiquitous. Human civilization necessarily entails remaking the world around it. So if recognizing negative environmental effects leads inevitably to governmental intervention, there is virtually no end to what government needs to do, global warming or no. 

Adler concludes: 

As I've written before, it would be convenient if human activity did not contribute to global warming or otherwise create problems that are difficult to reconcile with libertarian preferences. But that's not the world we live in, and politicians should not be criticized for recognizing that fact.  Further, even if one accepts the "skeptic" perspective on climate change, there are still reasons to believe climate change is a problem, as I explain here. This does not require endorsing massive regulatory interventions or cap-and-trade schemes; there are alternatives.  In the end, politicians should be evaluated on their policy proposals — and commended for the courage to acknowledge politically inconvenient truths.

I agree. 

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  1. So Ron when do you plan to write a post or article about the intolerance of Democrats towards those who doubt climate change? Someone has to carry the banner for skepticism. If not the Republicans who?

    1. Conservatives put liberal minorities to shame playing the grievance card.

      1. Tiresome troll is tiresome. If you are going to troll Tony, at least try to understand the point of the post you are trolling.

        1. Correct me if I’m wrong, but it sounded like you were whining that conservatives are suffering from intolerance because liberals don’t take them seriously when they deny scientific fact.

          The lack of awareness of irony in the conservative brain never ceases to astound.

          1. The point is Tony that if Democrats are free to kick skeptics out of the party without anyone whining about it, Republicans are free to kick believers out of the party. It is called free debate.

            1. Yeah “free debate” is why presidential candidates can freely reject scientific facts like evolution more than a century after being accepted in the scientific community.

              There are bounds to proper debate, and they are constructed of facts.

              1. My facts fit my preconceived ideal of the situation. Your facts are wrong.

                HEADS I WIN, TAILS YOU LOSE.

                We get it Tony. Your scientists are better than ours.

                Tiresome troll is tiresome.

                1. Tony certainly has more scientist on his side. I agree with him about on every six weeks, but I think he’s right here. The fact of the matter is that for the majority of Republicans and even small l libertarians. Climate change denial is a position of faith.

                  1. Climate change denial is a position of faith.

                    No, that’s the fallacy. “Climate Change” is not in question. That the climate has been and will continue to change is a generally understood and accepted fact of geology.

                    What is in question is whether or not the current cycle of change is different from previous cycles, and whether or not the difference is a result of human activity. The problem with reaching this conclusion is that we have an extremely limited understanding of the factors involved in the previous climate change cycles, thus concluding that the current change is “abnormal” is based on sound fundamentals.

                    The biggest problem I have with the AGW crowd is their constant straw man that people don’t believe in “climate change”. This is a bullshit way of distorting the skeptical position that we do not have all of the evidence necessary to accurately judge the “abnormality” of the current cycle of climate change.

                    1. typo -and a big one-

                      “thus concluding that the current change is “abnormal” ISN’T based on sound fundamentals.

                    2. You seem to be hung up on word choice. When talking about “climate change” (a term promoted by GOP word doctor Frank Luntz because it sounds “nicer” than global warming) we’re talking about human caused warming by the emission of greenhouse gases. That the planet is warming because of human interference is the fact that is accepted by 98% of scientists or so. You’re not offering skepticism, you’re offering the global warming equivalent of “teach the controversy.”

                    3. When talking about “climate change” (a term promoted by GOP word doctor Frank Luntz because it sounds “nicer” than global warming) we’re talking about human caused warming by the emission of greenhouse gases.

                      No, YOU are. When I say “climate change” I mean “climate change”. The climate changes. That is a fact.

                      Would you agree that we have a limited understanding of why the climate changed so drastically during the medieval warming period and the little ice age?

                    4. Yes the data on those events is incomplete, but they are understood to have probably been region-specific and in no way related to current warming except as a skeptic talking point.

                    5. they are understood to have probably been region-specific

                      Absolutely false. Besides North America and Europe, there is confirmed evidence of the MWP and the LIA in Africa, Asia, Antarctica, Japan, Australia and New Zealand, and more specifically the period of said climate changes appear to coincide with each other. See here for further details- http://www.sciencemag.org/cont…..1497.short

                      and in no way related to current warming except as a skeptic talking point.

                      Not only do we not know WHY the climate changed so drastically during the MWP and LIA, but we also don’t know if this change is similar or different to our current cycle.

                      But it’s easier to accept AGW as a matter of faith for simple minds like yourself. God forbid you question the so called “consensus”.

          2. The lack of awareness of irony in the conservative brain never ceases to astound.

            This from the type of Krugnuttian loon who tells us with a straight face that Europe is the way to go.

          3. which part is the scientific *fact* again??

            1. When every scientific organization in the world accepts something, that’s as close to scientific fact as you can expect to get.

              1. Science is not decided by popularity.
                When any criticism of AGW is rejected without so much as a glance, because the source is unpopular or because the voting is over, that is not science.
                That’s politics.

    2. beyond AGW & flip-flopping on cap n trade, is the gop rejection of stem cell research & selective adaptation. indies & moderates wont vote for know-nothings

      1. That is why the Democrats did so well in the last election.

        1. u mean the special elections like NY23 & 26 which went dem for the first time after the gop selected wingnutz know-nothings?

          1. No I mean the worst defeat either party has suffered since the civil war. That big one in November 2010 that was in the papers.

            And speaking of know nothings, you mean the retarded people like you who think the government creating “green jobs” is the solution to our problems? Those know nothings. The entire Obama economic policy is based on theft and unicorn farts.

            1. evidently rick perry likes govt [JOBZ] and stim money.

          2. Are you in third grade, Orrin? You sure write like it. Why waste your time talking about politics when no one will take you seriously if you can’t write proper English.

            1. ok gramps. take ur malox

  2. I’m always surprised at Reason’s support for the biggest statist project of all, the one to control every aspect of human life because the planet says we have to.

    1. For the millionth time, “Reason” doesn’t support everything every editor says or believes.

      Moreover, I’ve yet to hear Bailey suggest any irrational or unreasonable megastate solutions. He admittedly knows more about the data than most of us. I guess he should care more about ideology than seeking facts and finding reasonable solutions?

      1. Well played.

      2. Unfortunately Ron has suggested supporting a variety of Cap-n-Trade/Carbon Tax style solutions.

        His writing leaves you with the unmistakable opinion that he believes that we need to “do something” about it. And that something will involve using the government to ration/suppress carbon consumption in some way shape or form.

        1. So the pros and cons of all our options should not be explored? I think he’s also suggested doing nothing, that the problem may not be worth the cost of any solution.

          Moreover, it’s a good idea to internalize the externalities as much as possible – I don’t know what the best solution for doing that is, but if anthropogenic global warming can be proven to exist and it can be tied directly to damages to health/property/etc., forcing polluters to pay in proportion to their pollution would be the solution best respecting individual property rights. Doing nothing would involve allowing others a free pass to damage everyone else’s lives and properties for profits with no repercussions.

          The sticking point for me is the fact that they haven’t been able to accurately quantify the percentage human activity contributes to global warming or the damages of emitting a certain quantity of emissions, and they haven’t developed a trustworthy climate model that’s not tainted with grant-fueled alarmist ideology.

          1. Can you imagine if these professional authoritarian nags were around at the end of the Little Ice Age? Everything would be steampunk today.

          2. So the pros and cons of all our options should not be explored?

            Explored or implored? Investigated or Enacted? I agree that we should investigate solutions, but current legislation has gone well past the “investigation” stage and is already in the “implementation” stage. Good thing we aren’t trying this during a massive recession.

            I think he’s also suggested doing nothing, that the problem may not be worth the cost of any solution.

            I don’t want to speak for him, but I haven’t had this impression.

            if anthropogenic global warming can be proven to exist and it can be tied directly to damages to health/property/etc., forcing polluters to pay in proportion to their pollution would be the solution best respecting individual property rights.

            Sure, sounds legit. Wake me when we get China on board with destroying their economy so we can get a half degree lowering of temperature.

            Doing nothing would involve allowing others a free pass to damage everyone else’s lives and properties for profits with no repercussions.

            Doing something that hampers our economic recovery whilst contributing a big fat nothing to alleviating the problem is a worse solution.

            The sticking point for me is the fact that they haven’t been able to accurately quantify the percentage human activity contributes to global warming or the damages of emitting a certain quantity of emissions, and they haven’t developed a trustworthy climate model that’s not tainted with grant-fueled alarmist ideology.

            I completely agree. And not only that, we still have a limited understanding of what factors were involved in previous climate change cycles such as the Medieval warming period or the little ice age.

            1. Well, I don’t support carbon taxes or cap-and-trade as proposed either, and I don’t remember Ron putting his name on any specific piece of climate legislation enacting these, but I could be wrong. Most of this legislation is arbitrary and more about consolidation of political power.

              However, if we could actually quantify it to the level where we can show that each gallon of gas burned will require 2 cents of, say, marine cloud whitening to offset future temperature increases resulting from it’s emissions, perhaps a carbon tax that directly pays only for marine cloud whitening would be the most logical solution. I doubt a 2 cent per gallon tax would really cripple our economy, and if marine cloud whitening is the most economical way to offset damaging temperature increases, maybe that’s the way to go. The costs and effects of the climate change policy required to stave off or adapt to the worst effects would not be severe if these effects range between “not significant” to “not severe”.

              I still think they have to quantify it, and unfortunately the environmentalists have largely shot themselves in the foot with their combination of alarmism, deception and conflicts of interest. It will be very hard to trust anything they say in the near future, so we need people like Ron or Bjorn Lomberg to guide us on the nature of the problem and the best (a broad term) solution to it, if one is even necessary.

          3. Moreover, it’s a good idea to internalize the externalities as much as possible

            Most companies do this already, as much as the technology allows. Waste is lost profit.

            Doing nothing would involve allowing others a free pass to damage everyone else’s lives and properties for profits with no repercussions.

            There are no positive externialities? What happened to exploring all the pros and cons? Are you suggesting that there is no trade-off for goods and services which have great value?

            Also, do you have no power to not buy from a company whose pollution policies you disagree with?

            1. “Most companies do this already, as much as the technology allows. Waste is lost profit.”

              We’re not talking about waste, we’re talking about impact on other people’s property/health/etc. The only thing that prevents many more businesses from releasing significantly more emissions is the risk of liability (either from regulation or from lawsuits, the latter being the “free market solution”) and the marketing impression of social responsibility. Moreover, we aren’t just talking about business, but all carbon-emitting entities, including the individual.

              “There are no positive externialities?”

              I didn’t say there wasn’t, but assuming an external person did not ask for those positive externalities, that should not require they pay for damages from the negative ones.

              “Are you suggesting that there is no trade-off for goods and services which have great value?”

              Absolutely not.

              “Also, do you have no power to not buy from a company whose pollution policies you disagree with?”

              If everyone in the world – except me – is purchasing the product made at the plant next door to me that dumps chemicals in my water supply and emits poisonous gas and carcinogens into the air around my house, why should I have to pay for the damages their irresponsible emissions and waste disposal practices caused me? Because everyone else enjoys their products?

              1. We’re not talking about waste, we’re talking about impact on other people’s property/health/etc.

                You talked about internalizing externialities. I pointed out to you that this is already done as much as is feasible. You seem to be operating on the assumption that for-profit companies simply use the most inefficient production systems.

                I didn’t say there wasn’t, but assuming an external person did not ask for those positive externalities, that should not require they pay for damages from the negative ones.

                So, you don’t benefit from a farmer who produces who grows highly profitable soybeans, which offsets the limited market value of rugula? You don’t spend less on any given product from the economies of scale created by others engaging in similar market transactions? You’re somehow immune from the wealth created by a (semi-free) market economy?

                I’ll make a deal with you. You can give me all the tangible benefits that such a system creates, that you didn’t ask for. I wouldn’t want you to bear such a burden.

                If everyone in the world – except me – is purchasing the product made at the plant next door to me that dumps chemicals in my water supply and emits poisonous gas and carcinogens into the air around my house, why should I have to pay for the damages their irresponsible emissions and waste disposal practices caused me? Because everyone else enjoys their products?

                Last I checked, you have a solid tortable action against such a company. It should be easy money to collect. BTW, do you have that company’s name? I’d like to invest in them, since everyone uses them. Sounds like a no-lose opportunity.

                If you have damages from the emissions from such a factory, it should be easy to demonstrate them and recover for them. You can demonstrate them, right?

                1. You talked about internalizing externialities. I pointed out to you that this is already done as much as is feasible. You seem to be operating on the assumption that for-profit companies simply use the most inefficient production systems.

                  Sometimes companies see it as most efficient and profitable to risk potential liability and dump their chemicals into the river. Efficiency does not always equal justice.

                  So, you don’t benefit from a farmer who produces who grows highly profitable soybeans, which offsets the limited market value of rugula? You don’t spend less on any given product from the economies of scale created by others engaging in similar market transactions? You’re somehow immune from the wealth created by a (semi-free) market economy?

                  You don’t have to explain elementary market economics to me. I support complete laissez faire because it creates the most efficient systems and the best generation of wealth for the most people. However, in a laissez faire system, the only law with economic implication is that one can not violate the rights of others, and disputes would be largely resolved via tort, or if necessary, criminal charges. You have the right to produce arugula, soybeans or even agent orange or uranium for all I care, as long as you don’t violate the rights of other people with your production methods.

                  Last I checked, you have a solid tortable action against such a company.

                  Yes, you do. The problem when it comes to climate change is that most individuals, businesses, etc. emit quantifiable amounts of greenhouse gasses which, assuming anthropogenic global warming is true and quantifiably damaging, would be impossible to tort after the fact by those most damaged by it. Thus funding a collective, cost-effective solution may be the only reasonable mechanism to internalize this specific externality. Or maybe it’s relatively insignificant. We won’t be able to tell what this would even entail until both sides stop clouding the debate with politics, false data and conflicts of interest, and start seeking the truth, which will likely never happen.

                  1. Sometimes companies see it as most efficient and profitable to risk potential liability and dump their chemicals into the river. Efficiency does not always equal justice.

                    See “Tragedy of the Commons.” Were that river an actual property interest, the owners could take action.

                    You don’t have to explain elementary market economics to me.

                    It seems I do. You have this unfounded belief that you have rights to all the benefits, but have no burden to bear of any downside. Electricity doesn’t flow from a unicorn’s ass. There *will* be negative externialities, as well as the massively positive one, the one that provides a standard of living that most people in the world can only dream of.

                    The problem when it comes to climate change is that most individuals, businesses, etc. emit quantifiable amounts of greenhouse gasses which, assuming anthropogenic global warming is true and quantifiably damaging, would be impossible to tort after the fact by those most damaged by it.

                    Either you have damages or you don’t. Paranoid fetishes about apocalyptic speculation isn’t damage.

                    Or maybe it’s relatively insignificant.

                    Oh, never mind then. Sorry about the abrogated liberties and destroyed wealth (ya know, peoples’ dreams and hopes for a better life than their parents) for what turned out to be a power-mongering operation by the ruling class and it’s useful idiots. No hard feeling, m’kay?

                    1. Amish people don’t use electricity or cars, so why should they be forced to accept negative externalities from the production of electricity or the emission of fossil fuels? Even though I use and benefit from fossil fuels, that doesn’t give the electricity company the right to drain their chemicals into my backyard and render my home unliveable without my permission.

                      I realize markets are largely utilitarian, but rights aren’t – they are individual, and should be protected as such – irrelevant to their effect on market outcomes. Note that a high standard of living is not a right, although has proven a natural outcome of free markets over time. The ability to live on one’s own property without molestation is a right. Whether your neighbor is a nuke plant or Steve Smith, whatever utility society might get out of them violating your property rights is rather irrelevant.

                      Either you have damages or you don’t. Paranoid fetishes about apocalyptic speculation isn’t damage.


                      Oh, never mind then. Sorry about the abrogated liberties and destroyed wealth (ya know, peoples’ dreams and hopes for a better life than their parents) for what turned out to be a power-mongering operation by the ruling class and it’s useful idiots. No hard feeling, m’kay?

                      And I think I’ve been more than clear that it’s important we attain the facts undiluted by the bullshit and quantify actual damages before any state-initiated action on global warming is valid. I’m not even sure if it is really a threat, which was my point.

                    2. Even though I use and benefit from fossil fuels, that doesn’t give the electricity company the right to drain their chemicals into my backyard and render my home unliveable without my permission.

                      You keep plucking on the drama strings without any evidence whatsoever to back up such strained hyperbole. All you got on this topic is glandular epistemology.

                      Seriously, when you build your dreamer’s utopia of no negative consequences ever, let me know so I can avoid it for the tried and true objective reality.

        2. One can agree with what Ron says here and disagree with policies he supports.

  3. The issue’s become so politicized that people think if you’re against the proposed solution, you have to make yourself believe that the problem doesn’t exist.

    It’s the same dynamic that made, say, Jane Fonda pose in a North Vietnamese anti-aircraft gun… They start off with the position that even if the bad guys are bad guys, the Vietnam War is a bad idea–but the weak minded among them end up, somehow, insisting that not only is the war a bad idea, but the bad guys are actually the good guys!

    In some ways climate change deniers are even worse. I’ve seen them talk about climate change like it’s a good thing, but then I’ve seen them talk about the science like they were Urban VIII talking about the heliocentric theory too.

    …and that’s embarrassing.

    1. Ah, the bad guys must, necessarily, include those who were invading, making war, mass murderering and polluting another’s land. That does not mean that there were no native bad guys-but they did not invade and make war upon a people half a world away.

      1. It was an analogy…

        I’m sure you’ve heard climate change deniers talk about the upside of climate change–I have.

        1. And I think that’s actually impressive compared to going all flat earth society on the science.

          1. Going all flat earth society is buying the Al Gore narrative or any of its progeny. Kind of like going all flat earth society on “the bad guys are the people we are invading”.

            Flat earth society is Rick Santorum on Iran.

            1. Flat Earth Society is when you can go on a talk radio show and offer a reward to anyone who can prove that the earth isn’t flat…

              Flat Earth Society is reinterpreting science in such as way that the Genesis creation story can never be completely disproved.

              Going all Flat Earth Society is when no matter what anybody says, no matter what evidence is presented, we refuse to change what we believe–if it means we might have to do something to save the environment.

              The good news, of course, is that that government regulation, and socialist like interference in the economy isn’t the solution to our environmental problems–or anything else!

              The bad news is that because some of my fellow libertarians are so sure that the only solution to our environmental problems are socialistic in nature, they’d rather deny AGW like they were in the Flat Earth Society.

              And that is the worst possible strategy. That puts us on the side of Urban VIII. Somehow, someday, we’re gonna have to pretend that the geocentric theory is true–and that we’re infallible!

              1. Yep, exactly. This discussion seems familiar…. specific scientific conclusion != specific policy response.

              2. Ken, I personally would not like an earth that is flat.

                What you should not discount is the possibility that the calls and demands for action are, indeed, motivated by lust for more power and payola, and not fact. Its not as if its a fact that human activity is responsible for global warming.

                Thus, one is, by definition, a member of the flat earth society if one subcribes to the notion that there is irrefutable evidence that human activity is causing global warming and that there is no evidence to debunk it.

                1. Thus, one is, by definition, a member of the flat earth society if one subcribes to the notion that there is irrefutable evidence that human activity is causing global warming and that there is no evidence to debunk it.

                  So, believing in anything, anything at all, means that you are a Flat Earther?

                  “This color is blue” response: “FLAT EARTHER!”

                  1. Hi Rev.

                    I believe that you are, once again, experiencing reading comprehension difficulties.

                    Alas, to the extent that you believe that my words stand for the proposition that you set forth, I believe you do not really believe as such.

                    Moreover, don’t you know that I am way more 69′ Mets than 69′ Orioles?

                    YOU GOTTA BELIEVE!

                2. “What you should not discount is the possibility that the calls and demands for action are, indeed, motivated by lust for more power and payola, and not fact.”

                  I’m not discounting that in the least; in fact, I’m addressing it specifically.

                  But I refuse to reject science on the basis of the political motives of the people who are citing it. Libertarian solutions to such problem are vastly superior to “more power and payola”, and I don’t have to pretend science isn’t science to make that case!

                  “Thus, one is, by definition, a member of the flat earth society if one subcribes to the notion that there is irrefutable evidence that human activity is causing global warming and that there is no evidence to debunk it.”

                  No science is irrefutable. All science is revisable given new data that contradicts the current consensus. That’s why we rejected the heliocentric theory, and that’s why we should reject anything the data indicates we should reject…

                  But what I’m seeing from some of these jokers is a situation where no amount of data can persuade them! What I’m seeing is a situation where Christie can’t be a good Republican if he’s persuaded by the data?

                  That’s not a party I wanna belong to!

                  That’s the party of Urban VIII. It doesn’t matter what he saw through his telescope–the book of Amos says he saw something else?! No amount of data can persuade you that the earth isn’t flat?

                  How do I take someone seriously if their take is that we shouldn’t worry about a problem unless it can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt–when their behavior is so much like members of the Flat Earth Society, who refuse to believe the world is round?

                  How much irrefutable data does Christie need to reject wrong-headed solutions to AGW, but still agree that AGW is a problem? We need to break the connection of AGW with socialist solutions in people’s minds–not reenforce it.

  4. Of course there aren’t credible “free market” solutions to global warming, and the implication here is that by being science deniers libertarian-minded conservatives are admitting this. (The article Bailey links to advocates a carbon tax as a conservative policy.) If there were an orthodox free-market policy prescription, they’d have no problem with the science, presumably.

    But wouldn’t it be be better for the cause to articulate some method of dealing with reality, not to mention not being seen as slack-jawed science deniers?

    In a perfect world, of course, people would shed political ideologies that are undermined by facts.

    1. Tony: You write: In a perfect world, of course, people would shed political ideologies that are undermined by facts.

      Honestly, that seems like deep irony coming from you.

      1. Ron, please don’t feed the sockpuppet.

      2. Don’t do this to yourself, Ron.

      3. I don’t have a political ideology that I’m aware of. If facts led to free-market policy prescriptions for any specific problem, I’d happily acknowledge them.

        I have a problem with political ideologies regardless of what they are; see, even a reasonable person like you seems more interested in being proved correct about the free market than solving climate change. Isn’t it a sufficiently big problem to take whatever solutions are best, and forget devotion to principles?

        There’s no reason to be sad that such a big problem requires large government involvement in economies. Just pretend that it’s a foreign invasion force.

        1. Tony|8.23.11 @ 10:33AM|#
          “I don’t have a political ideology that I’m aware of….”

          Spoof, or simply one more proof that shithead is a shithead?

          1. I call bullshit on his claim.

      4. You see, Ron, how the suckpuppet now backpedals and obfuscates? Please do not feed the sockpuppet – and stand far away from his cage because he has a tendency to fling his droppings.

        1. So how many people here think that “Tony” is really Krugman? I’ve seen two or three other people bring the idea up, and at times it seems somewhat plausible.

          1. Quite the opposite. I’m convinced the Krugman is actually a bunch of cats stuffed inside a decade-old suit.

              1. Top hat and monocle, those are pieces of standard libertarian dress. I don’t think someone like Krugman would even think about wearing that.

        2. Actually i think this might be the real tony not the sockpuppet tony.

          Would the sockpuppet tony, or sockpuppet tonys, please label yourself differently so we can tell the two apart more easily.

    2. Of course there aren’t credible “free market” solutions to global warming,

      Tony, if all of the apocalyptic predictions that the global warming church adheres to come true, we’ll need our freedom to cope with the effects. Imagine if we actually did have to evacuate all our coastal cities: can you imagine leaving it up to the Ray Nagins of the world to make it happen?

      -jcr

      1. If anything remotely catastrophic happened to modern society, I predict the armchair anarchists to be the first in line looking for daddy government to take care of them.

        1. Any carbon tax–big enough to solve the global warming problem–would be so huge, it would crush our economy.

          If you don’t understand that, then you don’t understand the magnitude of the problem.

          Any carbon tax big enough to solve the problem, therefore, will necessarily absolutely HAVE to be accompanied by slashing taxes elsewhere.

          Any solution that doesn’t include slashing taxation elsewhere to accommodate growth and counteract the sort of crushing carbon taxation necessary to solve the problem–just isn’t a realistic solution.

          1. I think the central problem is obsession with economic growth–in the end, I think, we’ll need to focus on sustainability over growth. I’d love for the solution to be one that maintains the lifestyle of modern humans with little inconvenience, but that may not be possible, and ignoring the problem in favor of capitalism is the least likely pathway to sustained growth anyway.

            1. So your idea is to convince people to stick with a plan to solve the global warming problem–and you think they’ll stick with it despite a doubling of the unemployment rate? Despite a doubling of the price of gasoline and heating oil?

              That’s absurd.

              We live in democracy. People will vote out whoever put in an environmental policy that hurts the economy that bad. No policy that will hurt the economy that bad will survive the economic turmoil–unless the damage done to the economy is offset elsewhere.

              A solution that destroys the economy is a non-solution. It won’t work.

              1. I’m hopeful that the only barriers to action are political; if we spent enough money and had enough political will, perhaps we could move from fossil-fuel-based energy to sustainable energy with little impact on lifestyles, and perhaps creating better prosperity for more people. You can’t ignore the costs of doing nothing, after all, and the negative effects the status quo is already having on economies and lifestyles.

                Since economies are already in the shitter it seems like an opportune time to attempt to solve both problems at once. Who is standing in the way? Not environmentalists with nefarious schemes to put us all in mud hits. Only the people hugely profiting by burning oil.

            2. I think, we’ll need to focus on sustainability over growth.

              Growth has lead to peak consumption of oil and peak emissions of CO2 in the US.

              In other words growth is sustainable.

              I think the central problem is obsession with economic growth

              Also i am pretty sure most libertarians here would give up economic growth for freedom.

              ie if the soviet union had better economic growth then the US they would choose the US model.

              Many libertarians seek freedom as a moral principle not simply an economic one.

              I ask for the billionth time Tony please debate the real people here and not some strawman.

              1. if the soviet union had better economic growth then the US [libertarians] would choose the US model.

                True, and by some standards the Soviet Union did grow its economy faster than the US, like annual % change in GDP/person. Here is a history of per capita GDP for the US and USSR. Of course, those figures can be particularly meaningless coming from a centrally planned economy, the USSR had a lower base, GDP != wealth, etc. But what you’re proposing was actually true from the end of WW2 through the 70s.

            3. I’d love for the solution to be one that maintains the lifestyle of modern humans with little inconvenience, but that may not be possible

              But the only reason to give a shit about AGW in the first place is because it may impact the lifestyle of humans.

              As soon as you say, “As my response to this problem I intend to fuck with the lifestyle of humans,” why shouldn’t we just see how we roll with AGW?

              Because if the choice is “AGW may or may not harm human beings; but I definitely intend to harm them, in order to fight AGW” why on Earth would you expect us to choose the second option?

          2. Re: Ken Shultz,

            Don’t feed the sockpuppet! You’re liable to have his droppings flinged at you, like this one:

            I think the central problem is obsession with economic growth–in the end, I think, we’ll need to focus on sustainability over growth.

            See? The poor guy does not seem to realize these two concepts are not inversely proportional.

            1. I think he’s deluded, but it’s not trollish really.

              I think he genuinely believes in what he’s saying–even if it’s untenable.

              I didn’t always know everything I know now either–and everybody has to start somewhere. I’ve seen some genuinely antagonistic trolls, and I just don’t think he’s one of them.

              He’s got his head on backwards, but I don’t think he’s a troll.

              1. Re: Ken Shultz,

                I think he’s deluded, but it’s not trollish really.

                I used to think that the sockpuppet was being sincere in his beliefs and at least willing to argue and listen to counterpoints, but after my futile attempts at presenting an ironclad case against democratic choice vs market choice, the guy just totally ignored the points olympically. Such blatant dishonesty did it for me. Soon it will do it for you, I promise.

                1. I tend to be skeptical of people who hate democracy, yes.

                  1. “Who is standing in the way? Not environmentalists with nefarious schemes to put us all in mud hits. Only the people hugely profiting by burning oil.”

                    I think you’re wrong about that.

                    Obama’s approval ratings took a nose dive during the Gulf Oil Spill, when the price of gasoline spiked at the pump…

                    Gasoline price spikes have meant the worst possible news for presidents since Nixon, Carter and now Obama.

                    I don’t think it’s the oil companies that the politicians are reacting to–I think it’s the voters. They won’t accept high energy prices–other things being equal.

                    …better hope they’ll settle for a trade, and the only time people will accept a trade? Is when they think they’re getting something better than what they’re giving up.

                    The other side of this is that solving the problem–if we want to get a response big enough to solve the problem. People will only give you a really significant cut in emission in response to price signals…

                    Put those three things together–1) the response we need must involve price signals 2) people will only accept a trade if they think they’re getting something better than they’re giving up 3) No policy will work that people won’t accept…if they just vote out the politicians who threaten their standard of living…

                    Put those three things together, and the only solution that works has to be as voluntary as possible, and it has to be offset by letting people keep more than they’re giving up…

                    It’s absurd to charge people far more than they’re accustomed to paying to stay warm and get to work–and then not let them keep more of their own pay. And it’s reasonable to assume that the more of their own pay people are allowed to keep? The more likely they are to support environmental policies that raise their cost of living.

                    1. You may be right about the political barriers. The problem is what people expect has nothing to do with real prices; the crux of the problem is external costs that people will only pay for eventually in the form of environmental destruction. And, of course, oil won’t last forever.

                      So what people want is artificially cheap energy–oil and coal, in other words. Yes that’s a political problem, but it’s not one that is solved by assuming that there is a free market-based alternative to paying for the cost of things.

                    2. “So what people want is artificially cheap energy–oil and coal, in other words. Yes that’s a political problem, but it’s not one that is solved by assuming that there is a free market-based alternative to paying for the cost of things.”

                      If the problem is that people aren’t paying for the cost of what they’re consuming, then that means the solution is to get those costs into the market.

                      I agree to the need for a sales tax on carbon intensive products–because it uses a market mechanism to handle those costs in the most voluntary and economically efficient way possible.

                      The only question is how you’re going to offset those costs elsewhere. How are you going to get people to accept those higher prices?

                      The most reasonable answer is to offset the taxes they’re paying for carbon by slashing taxes elsewhere–for activity that isn’t harmful or illegal and shouldn’t be taxed anyway. …like taxes on making income.

                      We need to eliminate taxes on income and investment and capital gains–to encourage investment instead of actively discouraging the reallocation of misinvestments.

                      If you want to do something that will harm the economy so badly, you should offset that harm by undoing other things that harm the economy. Starting with letting people keep more of their income is reasonable. If consumers have to pay a lot more for gas in the future, one way you might allay their anger is by letting them keep more of their own money–giving them more discretionary income.

                      The two are linked. You’ll never get people to agree to something that harms them unless you offer them something better than what they have now.

                      Trying to make other people do what you want is a waste of time. Try finding ways to offer them something better than what they have? And you’ll be surprised.

                      I think that’s why Bailey’s hopes–if I’m not mistaken–have a lot to do with innovation. In that light, anything that threatens innovation is a bad idea in that light. Mine tends to center on tax policy–there are a lot of people out there who’d rather pay a steep sales tax than an income tax.

                    3. “And it’s reasonable to assume that the more of their own pay people are allowed to keep? The more likely they are to support environmental policies that raise their cost of living.”

                      Ever notice that the wealthier people are, the more they tend to care about environmental issues?

                      Most people can’t afford to pay $4 for an apple–but the people who shop at Whole Foods can. A lot of people can’t afford to pay for organic produce–or to pay the hefty premium hybrid cars cost!

                      …but richer people do!

                      There’s something very important for environmentalists to understand about that.

                      Poor countries, where people are struggling just to get enough to eat? They tend to care a lot less about the environment–have you ever noticed that?

                    4. Yes, what’s your point? It also happens to be the case that wealthy people (and countries) cause more of the problem, and benefit more from it while imposing costs first on those who are less responsible. So it’s a happy coincidence of responsibility and ability to act.

                    5. The point is that the wealthier people get, the more they care about the environment.

                      Conversely, the poorer people are, the less likely they are to take environmental concerns into consideration when making consumer purchases, etc.

                      So if you don’t see the connection between support for environmental concerns and wealth creation, then you’re being willfully blind.

                      The more people think environmental concerns will threaten their livelihoods, the more likely they are to oppose environmental polices–why should any of this be controversial?

                      So if you want people to support environmental concerns, then you better do everything you can to make sure they have diverse opportunities regarding their livelihoods–again there shouldn’t be anything controversial about that either…

                      Having a pro-growth, supply side economic policy is therefore an environmental issue.

                    6. Poor countries, where people are struggling just to get enough to eat? They tend to care a lot less about the environment–have you ever noticed that?

                      Lots of poor people care about the environment. But they tend to live in authoritarian countries. Raise a stink about much of anything, and you die. Do you really think the people drinking and bathing in poisoned rivers in Third World countries aren’t pissed?

                    7. I think they’re a lot less concerned about water quality when they’re hopin’ to get a shot at a job in one of the factories polluting the river…yeah.

                  2. “I tend to be skeptical of people who hate democracy, yes.”

                    Then why are you always trying to force people to do things?

                    1. Then why are you always trying to force people to do things?

                      As I’ve explained many times, no more so than libertarians want to. I just don’t pretend that my policies are the natural end of universal first principles and are therefore immune to accusations that they effect people’s lives.

                    2. Re: Ken Shultz,

                      Please stop feeding the scokpuppet! He flings shit like this: “no more so [coercion] than libertarians want to.”

                      The embodiment of stupidity is making a moral equivalency between the aggressive posture of the State and the non-interventionist principle behind libertarianism to argue that libertarianism is just as “coercive” as the State. The dumb bitch thinks that badmouthing wins arguments (“I tend to be skeptical of people who hate democracy, yes.”)

                      So, you’re just wasting your time Ken. Please, step back from his cage because he tends to fling.

                    3. OM what on earth entitles you to play blog police?

                    4. “He flings shit like this: “no more so [coercion] than libertarians want to.”

                      I think that’s the heart of the matter. He doesn’t get the difference between a cop arresting someone for committing armed robbery–and a robber committing armed robbery.

                      The difference, of course, is that one is done to violate the rights of a cashier and his employer–and the other is done to protect the rights of a cashier and his employer.

                      Once he get that concept down, and comes to the conclusion that if the government has any justification for its existence at all, it’s for protecting people’s rights?

                      He’s gonna go invade progressive websites and run interference for libertarian causes all over the place! …I’ve seen it happen before.

                      He keeps circling the same issue too–that’s not evidence that he’s an obtuse, immovable object…that’s evidence that he keeps thinking about the same thing. It’s growin’ on him.

                      The Reason Foundation, Bailey, Welch, Gillespie, Cavanaugh and Company are all very good at what they do. Right now, he’s stuck like a bug in libertarian flypaper. You can’t spend as much time reading and thinking about contemporary issues from a libertarian perspective as he does–and not start seeing the world that way yourself.

                      It’s inevitable. Even if he defines his ideas in opposition to libertarianism, libertarianism will still be the focal point of his worldview.

                      #Winning!

                    5. Once he get that concept down, and comes to the conclusion that if the government has any justification for its existence at all, it’s for protecting people’s rights?

                      Sure, and what happens when you figure out that there’s no good reason for things like healthcare not to be considered a right?

                  3. Tony: “I tend to be skeptical of people who hate democracy, yes.”

                    a) This country wasn’t intended to be a democracy. The design, as laid out in the constitution, was, and is, for a democratic republic.

                    b) That design has failed, and we are presently living in an oligarchy.

                    But other than that, carry on.

                  4. But yet you want to force everyone into some “right solution” for climate change even if they continue to vote for Rick Perry’s?

                  5. But yet you want to force everyone into some “right solution” for climate change even if they continue to vote for Rick Perry’s?

    3. Last time I checked, Carbon Dioxide is quite necessary for plant life to grow. Why do you hate the trees and mother earth so much that you want us to stop producing the thing that makes it grow?

      Why Tony?

      1. See?

        You guys thought I was makin’ it up, didn’t you?

      2. Water is good for you. You should drink 20 gallons of it a day.

        1. How about if you drink one glass a day and over a 100 years slowly increase your consumption of it to 2 glasses a day?

    4. Actually there are some credible solutions to global warming. Some of those are discussed in “Superfreakonomics.” If you are truly lacking in ideological interests you will be open to exploring these. If not, you will simply pretend that no one is exploring non-governmental options to the problem. Now, let’s see which path you take…

      1. I’m open to all manner of solutions–I just see no reason to hobble the effort unnecessarily by playing a sort of parlor game where we try to find them absent government action. Obviously massive government action of some sort is necessary for a problem that is global in scope; they are by definition the entities with the power to deal with such problems. Even the Superfreakonomics solutions (which have been criticized) would require positive action on the part of governments.

        The problem with the free-market side is that it’s fairy tales all around. A free market is a fairy tale, and to expect that capitalism would deal with this sort of externalities-based problem when capitalism caused it in the first place (yes, with government help, but there are no free markets), is another.

        1. @Tony. Well, just about everything “has been criticized.” That says nothing. Innovations need trial and error runs and then more innovation to improve. Nothing is perfect in the beginning or even ever. Do you imagine any of the technocratic solutions to social or environmental problems have not been criticized? That the record for improvement of the condition in question is all that good? Has public education improved the test scores of poor minorities very much?

          One of the points of Superfreakonmics was that the solutions to current, seemingly intractable problems, is often not immediately known, but it also does not often involve an immediate government solution. They give a good example of this in their discussion over the worldwide hand-wringing about the problem of the horse in cities in the late 19th century. Horses were causing terrible problems involving the spread of disease, pollution, noise pollution, etc. There were worldwide conferences on the matter, governmental panels that met and discussed this dilemma ad nauseum. But then, the problem just disappeared when the car pushed horses aside. Of course, there were new problems but the particular problems caused by horses were gone and none of the wizened technocrats saw the solution coming.

          And another of their points is that the governmental solutions proposed by the technocrats are often hugely expensive, and dependent on soaking the populace of their earnings. The organic solutions of inventors need only government to provide access to the market, as well as a legal mechanisms to protect others from stealing their work. So, the cost of market solutions is only a fraction of the cost of technocratic solutions.

          So, try again. If you are truly non-ideological, you will explore these options and show an openness to them. Good luck.

      2. Re: Sansa,

        Don’t feed the sockpuppet. He only pays lip service to openness. Don’t be fooled.

        1. Go read what it wrote over in the Fairness Doctrine thread.

          On that, alone, he should be shunned.

  5. Mike G: You’re kidding right? What support are you talking about?

    You might think about reading my column, “Is Government Action Worse Than Global Warming?” In that column I conclude:

    Man-made global warming may simply be a negative externality for which the transaction costs are too high. In other words, any benefits achieved from trying to mitigate global warming will most likely be swamped by the costs of distributing the corporate welfare used to buy the political acquiescence of various industries. As much as one might hope to implement good public policy to deal with the problem, policy nihilism might be the only rational response to global warming.

    You are evidently doing exactly what Alder worries about — confusing science with policy preferences.

    1. Here is the bottomline Ron. Even if it is true, no one has proposed anything close to a workable solution to it. So why should global warming play any role in politics or policy.

      The whole thing strikes me as a lot like the battle over creationism. Everyone gets all angry about creationism, but what someone believes about evolution has nothing to do with things that matter like tax policy and civil liberties and such.

      If you and Megan McCardle want to wear your global warming hairshirts so right thinking people will accept you, have fun. But like every other religion, please keep it out of your view on politics and keep your political views to those things which we can actually change.

      1. So why should global warming play any role in politics or policy.

        It shouldn’t. That doesn’t make it not exist.

        The whole thing strikes me as a lot like the battle over creationism. Everyone gets all angry about creationism, but what someone believes about evolution has nothing to do with things that matter like tax policy and civil liberties and such.

        No, but since the vast majority of children go to government schools, it’s something that affects the lives of millions of Americans. And for believers and nonbelievers alike who are convinced by the arguments for evolution, people who believe in creationism are by definition misguided, confused, wrong, and, often, idiots.

        It’s not about a hairshirt, but if Republicans and their libertarian(-leaning) fellow travelers are ever going to attract any “independents,” they are going to have to give up this kind of anti-science bullshit. Because everyone else is just going to tune you out, call you a lunatic and a moron.

        And this is the ultimate argument: no matter what you say about global warming, no matter how convincing the evidence is, government intervention is still wrong. Trying to disprove the science (or lack thereof) is a waste of time because it’s not the real problem. The real problem is statism.

        And for Mike G, below, I think you’re dangerously close to saying that science is part of “basic liberal principles.” The point here is, in fact, not to give in on statist principles–that’s what we should hold out on. But let’s make it actually about those principles and not about the science or whatever else is being used to justify government intervention.

        1. Nicole,

          There is nothing “anti-science” about calling bullshit on an allegedly scientific discipline that has been caught in any number of lies and has yet to produce a single accurate, verifiable prediction. In fact, it is your duty if you care about science to call such bullshit done in name of “science”.

          And further, the left embraces anti GM foods, anti vaccines, anti pesticides, and any number of other anti scientific positions that have resulted literally in the deaths of tens of thousands of people. So get off of your high horse and shut the fuck up and go clean up your own glass houses.

          All and all, the left by politicizing it so badly in so many other areas, has done much more damage to science and the credibility of science than the right could in a 1000 years of creation studies.

    2. So why are you so concerned that Republicans must give half the game away to the other side before they speak? Why is their rhetorical stance an issue that concerns you at all?

      The easiest thing the left does to turn Republicans– and libertarians– into squishes is put them on the defensive and bully them into accepting a bunch of basic liberal principles (conservatism is not compassionate, say) before they feel comfortable in speaking and advancing minor variations on the great liberal symphony. How is that not what you’re doing here, insisting that Bachmann or whomever must first accept the liberal definition of the problem before she speaks on the possible solutions?

      1. Ron, an ex-skeptic, studied the scientific data and came to the conclusion that global warming is actually occurring, that human activities contribute to some degree, and there is a good possibility there will be some damaging effects. Thus you are implicitly suggesting that either a.) Ron, who is far more read on the subject than you or I, has been badly misled by the data, b.) Ron has been purchased by malevolent Leftist forces, c.) Ron decided he wanted in on the government grant gravy train, or d.) regardless of the facts, he should have just shut his eyes, stuck his fingers in his ears and kept repeating “Team Red, Team Red” over and over again.

        The far Left’s enviro stance is that anthropogenic global warming will wipe out large swaths of the human population over the next century and only a centrally planned green megastate will save us. Ron has roundly rejected this prediction as alarmist and those proposing this as seeking personal gain and attention, or having ulterior policy motives. He has repeatedly explored alternative and free market solutions that are nowhere near as costly as the climate change alarmists’ solutions.

        If the Right continues to refuse to accept any possibility of anthropogenic global warming’s existence simply because they don’t want to admit the environmentalists might be somewhat right, how can they be anything but unthinking partisan sock puppets? You don’t have to agree on the same solution to concede that the facts indicate there’s a problem. I agree completely that the environmentalist Left has blurred the line between “facts” and facts. The anti-environmentalist Right does the same.

        But that’s all what Ron is trying to distinguish. And the truth sometimes hurts, especially if it doesn’t jive with one’s preconceived notions.

      2. …insisting that Bachmann or whomever must first accept the liberal definition of the problem…

        He’s doing no such thing. He is attacking some other conservatives who are intent on turning denial into the same sort of religion that AGW folks already have. “If you believe that humans may be contributing at all, even if you came to that conclusion by studying the data and forming an opinion, you’re wrong and are No True Conservative!”

        Essentially they’re trying to say that you’re not allowed to be a conservative and to have your own opinion about the science. You could plausibly say that one cannot call oneself a conservative while proposing megastate solutions to the issue, but Christie is not doing that. He merely expressed his opinion on the science, and they’re trying to cast him out as a heretic. Which is exactly what the left does.

  6. Over 99% of species that have ever existed are now extinct. If we only could have saved the ones from prehistory! Let’s fund time-travel to regulate nature in the past!

    1. course one cannot know that since many species remain undiscovered, esp in the deep ocean.

      1. O2-Why diss Statist Idiot’s brilliant suggestion? Politically, how could it miss?

        The big spending blue staters can get behind a gargantuan public sector stimulus project.

        The big spending red staters can get behind the national security applications and all of the pork to be fed to aerospace and surveillance contractors.

        The project could also arouse the national greatness conservatives like John McCain and the remants of the so-called Scoop Jackson wing of the blue state party.

        Why, if you get the right people to pitch the project, you could really energize the folks. It could be a major jolt of juice for “science” and its worshippers. “Science” could spark a generational surge of genuine scientific inquiry that will lead to an unprecedented era of discovery and invention.

        Plus, I’ll get to go back to 1860 and take care of some business…..

        1. Plus, I’ll get to go back to 1860 and take care of some business…..

          Please shoot Lincoln while you’re there.

          1. Don’t stop at Lincoln… shoot Stalin, Marx, Engels, Hitler, and Hirohito.

            Just for starters.

            1. What if the great god of non-agression suddenly appeared just as I was about to whack dishonest abe?

              I would tune the motherfucker out and start chanting “blue soldiers and Lincon’s coming…..”

              1. Shoot some Confederate leaders, while you’re there… and ignore the god of non-aggression, as there isn’t one.

  7. Wouldn’t the dust, dirt, smoke, etc. kicked up by humans into the atmosphere counteract at least some of the warming effect of CO2? Both blocking sunlight and acting as condensation nuclei for rain, which sequesters CO2. Humans do more than emit CO2 but no one seems to care about other factors.

    1. Sinic, actually aerosol emissions are thought to be responsible for the slight cooling in the 40s-70s. The thing is, humanity is basically emitting the same amount of aerosols as 50-60 years ago but twice the GHGs. The aerosol effect is swamped.

      1. Nuclear weapons testing during roughly the same period is also suspected of playing a role due to dust thrown into the atmosphere.

  8. First, thanks to the worldwide recession nobody cares any more about the global warming. There’s little chance that we’re going to enact any policies that would destroy the world economy. Remember, those policies seemed very likely to be enacted only in the summer of 2008, when both presidential candidates supported some kind of cap-n-trade.

    Second, because of this change of fortunes the global warming discussions are little more than intellectual masturbation. Nonetheless, so many self-respecting people with intellectual ambitions have accepted the catastrophic anthropogenic global warming as “true science,” revealing themselves as science ignoramus. Yes, they are ignorant of science, since they are not aware (or ignore the fact) that any scientific theory is only as good as the predictions it makes. And as we all know, the catastrophic anthropogenic global warming theory (or theories) has failed to make any falsifiable predictions that were later confirmed. Now, they are desperately trying to salvage their reputation. Yes, Ron, I’m talking about you, and Adler, and McArdle. You believe that you can spin it, you might be even right about the public opinion. But it doesn’t change the fact you revealed your profound ignorance of science.

    1. Exactly. The whole thing is nothing but intellectual masterbation. And it will continue to be until the AGW people come up with a solution that has even the faintest hope of being implimented.

    2. There’s little chance that we’re going to enact any policies that would destroy the world economy.

      I think the EPA may come to a different conclusion.
      EPA plans wave of coal plant shutdowns lawmakers say will send energy costs soaring

      I agree that outright laws/bills are unlikely at this point, but the shadow world of regulatory agencies can do significant damage.

      1. This. The bureaucracies, and especially the EPA, are Obama’s stormtrooper enforcers. They’re the ones who are quietly carrying out his true agenda while he lies and misleads the country on a daily basis.

  9. So what if wine country migrates to Oregon and Canada becomes an agriculture powerhouse?

    I’m still trying to figure out why I should care about this supposed global warming whether it is man-contributed or not.

    1. Indeed. A warming planet causes life, in general, to expand it’s reach, increases arable land and lengthens the growing season, increasing agricultural output.

      This is a bad thing, I’m told.

      These things we know as a fact, and yet, all we hear are all of the speculative disaster movie scenarios that supposedly await us. None of them have actually happened yet, nor can they be predicted nor confirmed with any level of reasonable certainty. Sadly, this is of little concern for the babbling heads of our alleged ruling class. PANIC!

  10. You know what’s funny? There’s a famous interior designer also named Jonathan Adler. I wonder if some, um, fashion-conscious students are disappointed when they take Prof. Adler’s class?

  11. Hey Ron,

    Do you ever take a look at http://wattsupwiththat.com/?

  12. Among other things, it leads conservatives to embrace an anti-scientific know-nothingism whereby scientific claims are to be evaluated not by scientific evidence but their political implications.

    One can turn that around and say something similar of the libs, dude: They embraced AGW lock, stock and barrel even when obviously fantastic predictions were being made by the government-paid scientists at the East Anglia Bullshit Artists(TM) group.

    One can believe the threat is real, and still think cap-and-trade is a bad idea.

    Maybe, but one would be in a very sticky situation as you’re liable to be called a “do-nothing” zealot.

    I DO believe in Global Warming, as it is a requirement for life in this planet. I do believe in Climate Change, as climate changes all the time. However the AGW camp not only relies on semantic play to obviate the fact that global warming and climate change are normal phenomena, they’re quick to blame (what else???) Capitalism for both. What a wonderful and convenient coincidence, Batman!

    1. Maybe, but one would be in a very sticky situation as you’re liable to be called a “do-nothing” zealot.

      How does being complimented create a sticky situation?

      1. Re: robc,

        Some people think that leaving things alone is not a proper cause of action, that “do-nothing” shows callousness or pigheadedness; despite the fact that, many times, “doing something” ends up being worse a solution than the problem – e.g. the Titanic example: If the pilot had simply not turn the boat but let the boat crash against the iceberg, a head-on collision would not have meant the catastrophe than the historical sideswipe was.

        1. Some people think that leaving things alone is not a proper cause of action

          Sure some people do. But if the recipient of the “slur” isnt one of those people, what is the problem?

          1. Re: robc,

            But if the recipient of the “slur” isnt one of those people, what is the problem?

            Not for me if flinged at me; but for a politician it may mean a stab at his career as a tax-fed leech.

            1. It seems like there are at least three separate questions, which everyone conflates into a single choice.

              (1) Is the planet getting warmer?
              (2) Is mankind somehow responsible?
              (3) Should something be done about it?

              It seems like the commonly accepted wisdom is you have to answer either yes or no to all three questions in lockstep. But why is that? It seems perfectly acceptable to me to answer yes to (1) and no to the second two questions, as I do, or yes to the first two and no to the last, as Ron Bailey and Chris Christie do. I imagine it’s even possible to answer yes to (1) and (3) and no to (2), although that seems like a real stretch.

              Anyway, I do think examining the scientific facts should be kept separate from the political solutions espoused, if any. Merging politics and science into the same discussion is the worst thing we could possibly do.

              This is the same reason the evolution/creationism debate is such a mess too. We should not have public schools as the battleground for that argument at all. Then the science deniers could teach their ignorant nonsense without interfering with actual learning. 😉

              1. Well, no. It is an indisputable fact that humans are causing tiny changes in a trace atmospheric gas. It is an indisputable fact that any change in the chemical mix of the atmosphere will have SOME effect. What is in dispute is the magnitude of that change relative to natural climate cycles.

                1. ^This.

                  Of course, there’s no profit in admitting that they don’t know (and we know they don’t know because the predictions of their models are constantly wrong)

  13. Global warming theory is still a work in progress. New observations and data keep popping up, which requires the model to be adjusted. Until an unbreakable climate model can be produced, it is impossible to predict the impact caused by global warming. It’s foolish to create policy based on an unknown outcome.

    1. Then it’s equally foolish to have policy that maintains the status quo.

      1. Since you are just as likely to overshoot the solution as undershoot it, you are better off doing nothing.

        1. It is highly unlikely we are even capable of overshooting a solution to a problem of this scope. What would that even mean? Cleaning up the atmosphere too much?

          1. A “solution” would likely negate all of the benefits of a slightly warmer atmosphere like more arable land and an increased ability to feed everyone.

            Why do you want people to starve, Tony?

            1. Pure dumb speculation. What’s to stop the warming at “slightly” anyway?

        2. Re: John,

          See? That is what happens when you feed the sockpuppet – you get his droppings of stupid flinged at you.

          1. I know. My bad.

      2. Given that global warming is a global problem, why are you advocating the national government of these United States do “something?” At best, we are in Prisoner’s Dilemma territory/”you first” territory here, where the first adopters are going to get hammered when everybody else laughs at them.

    2. Re: free2booze,

      Until an unbreakable climate model can be produced, it is impossible to predict the impact caused by global warming. It’s foolish to create policy based on an unknown outcome.

      The current model is not even sustainable, free. Roy Spencer just published a peer-reviewed paper indicating that 10-year satellite data shows that the Earth radiates more heat outwards than what the current GW model says it should. That means that CO2 and other gases have MINIMAL impact on how much heat is trapped in the atmosphere (imagine that!) which points to a DIFFERENT cause for raising temps (or lowering temps). Could it be that – *gasp* – the… the… the FUCKING SUN has something to do with all?

      QUICK! Let’s impose a sun-cap tax on y’all capitalist pigs!

      1. Roy Spencer just published a peer-reviewed paper indicating that 10-year satellite data shows that the Earth radiates more heat outwards than what the current GW model says it should.

        That’s funny OM. I had Spencer’s paper in mind when I wrote that. The climate models will need to be tweaked to account for Spencer’s findings. The models just provide a starting point to conduct experiments. As Spencer’s experiment shows, the current climate models don’t fair very well in the real world. Even if CO2 has some sort of an effect on temperature, that impact has been greatly overstated.

      2. Roy Spencer’s paper has already come under attack for being lousy. No surprise, since he’s had a history of lousy submissions. The analysis is over my head, but here are some of the money quotes:

        “[Spencer’s] model has no realistic ocean, no El Ni?o, and no hydrological cycle, and it was tuned to give the result it gave.”

        “Ocean dynamics play a major role in moving heat around, and atmosphere-ocean interaction is a key to the [El Ni?o] cycle. None of those processes are included in the Spencer model.”

        “Clouds mainly occur because of weather systems (e.g., warm air rises and produces convection, and so on); they do not cause the weather systems. Clouds may provide feedbacks on the weather systems. Spencer has made this error of confounding forcing and feedback before and it leads to a misinterpretation of his results.”

        1. Re: Jersey Patriot,

          “Clouds mainly occur because of weather systems (e.g., warm air rises and produces convection, and so on); they do not cause the weather systems[…”]

          Hmmm…. I guess I could tell you to be more carefull about what you link to but I have this nagging feeling you will not listen.

          Cloud formation IS the weather system. That is what the Weatherman looks at: CLOUDS. The physics of cloud formation are radiant heat and convection, but not “the weather.” The REALCLIMATE bullshit artists are simply playing with semantics.

      3. Also, just to throw a monkey wrench into things, Spencer also believes in intelligent design.

        1. Re: ClubMedSux,

          Also, just to throw a monkey wrench into things, Spencer also believes in intelligent design.

          So did Einstein.

          So, what does that prove, again?

      4. Specncer’s paper is junk. It is literally so simple it can be tuned to demonstrate the planet is warming faster. It doesn’t account for ENSO, it assumes the oceans have only one layer, and it assumes heat in the oceans is transferred entirely through conduction. It also has no measure of uncertainty, which is a big red flag for any study purporting to be scientific.

        Also, to arrive at his conclusion Spencer had to cut twenty out of thirty years of satellite observations. He cherry-picked his data.

  14. I simply disagree that RGGI is an effective mechanism for addressing global warming.

    No kidding. Of course, this implies he believes there actually is some effective mechanism by which the world can be wrestled into submission.

    1. False. He could also believe there is no effective solution.

  15. The faulty underylying assumption here seems to be that those who are AGW skeptics are necessarily haters of science.

    1. Re: sunny black,

      That is my main beef with the article: It insinuates such absurdity.

      1. Its more than that. IMO, some AGW proponents demonstrate a consistent antipathy to inquiry.

    2. This is truly frustrating, because my skepticism is founded on a deep appreciation for actual science – with an appreciation for the limited methods available to scientists who can only study one climate, based off of historical data instead of randomized samples, and with the knowledge that a model is a hypothesis, not a proof.

  16. One can believe the threat is real, and still think cap-and-trade is a bad idea.

    This, of course, is dependent on your definition of “threat”.

    1. science is the threat. lets return to sky-god superstition & magic to cure cancer.

  17. Here’s some science for your review:

    Compo, G. P., & Sardeshmukh, P. D. (2009). “Oceanic influences on recent continental warming.” Climate Dynamics, 32(2-3), 333-342. doi: 10.1007/s00382-008-0448-9

  18. I hate you! You’re not my REAL father! *storms off*

  19. The best arguments I’ve heard against draconian carbon cutting are made by Peter Huber:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7D8rT2ttoS0

    In print:

    http://www.city-journal.org/2009/19_2_carbon.html

    These are a couple years old, but still relevant.

    1. Thanks. That Peter Huber article was an excellent read.

    2. Concur: from my perspective, the Huber article is the end of the argument.

    3. Stop recycling your paper and bury it, if you have the carbon fetish.

  20. science

    You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

  21. Look for plenty more of these Republicans are anti-science pieces running up to the election. This is all politics and nothing but politics. Huntsmann got his talking point straight from the JournOlist, and we’re going to get swamped with it.

    1. Huntsman has no supporters and no reason to be in the race. I guess he figures he might as well be the media’s favorite candidate and set himself up for a cabinet position if Obama manages to win.

      1. He’s the media’s favorite candidate because they put him up to it. They tried to shake up the GOP primary with a moderate, and they failed miserably. Idiots.

        1. If you are a two bit Republican politician, there is always a clear road to stardom; media concern troll. The media loves to take a Republican and get him to mouth liberal views and attack other Republicans so they can say to the other Republicans “see even one of your own thinks you are nuts”. Of course if the concern troll ever actually go the nomination, the media would turn on them immediately and treat them like any other Republican. This is what happened to long time media concern troll John McCain in 2008. And it would happen to Huntsman if he ever won the nomination, which he won’t. In the mean time, Huntsman will get lots of favorable press as the “sane alternative the crazy Republicans just won’t choose.”

          1. McCain was the media’s favorite politician until it looked like he might beat Black Jesus.

            1. and then mccain slected palin & lost indies, moderates…and the election.

  22. As an anarchist, I consider taxation to be full-on evil.

    That said, I would not object too much to a carbon tax if the money went to a private trust that was chartered for the express purpose of using the money to pursue the most cost-effective carbon sequestration technologies, with every taxpayer given standing to sue said company for damages if they attempt to do anything beyond this very simple mission.

    Giving more money to the government is never ever *ever* a good solution to anything. Any carbon tax proposal that gives the money to the government creates an incentive to increase revenues, which means zero incentive to use the money to reduce the problem.

    So of course all bets are off when the government uses its unlimited powers to abolish the trust and reappropriate the money. Did I mention that I am an anarchist? 😉

    1. A carbon tax earmarked for a private trust to develop cost effective carbon sequestration technologies amounts to “giving more money to the government is never ever ever a good solution to anything.”

      1. Yes, my post amounts to preaching to the choir. But, all of us love preaching and who doesn’t like to hear the choir harmonize to the homily?

      2. Sorry, by “pursue” I mean “implement”. Not research. Leave the research to independent companies that want to compete for those dollars. Again, it’s not ideal, but I suspect I would not object too much to an implementation like this, just as I don’t object too much to no-smoking laws in restaurants and bars: there simply would be better places for me to devote my attention.

  23. I didn’t hear anyone complaining when there were glaciers in Kentucky. The whole thing is Global Meh.

  24. Part of the reason we got here is because of a tendency of some to lump anybody who isn’t on the full program as deniers.

    You can trivially and without consequence say that humans have an effect on climate. That says nothing about the significance of the effect. If that is all you say at this point in time, your statement will be used against you in ways you did not intend by both sides.

    1. ^^this

      So the planet has been getting warmer, faster, recently. Is there some significant portion of that caused by human activity? There is plenty of evidence suggesting yes, there is.

      Does that mean we have to run around pulling our hair out, pissing ourselves, predict massive tidal waves wiping out coastal cities, leading to penguin extinction which starts a chain-reaction of ecosystem collapse, ultimately resulting in a soylent-green future where we must breed the poor in cages to eat their babies unless we STOP ALL ECONOMIC ACTIVITY RIGHT NOW AND TAX THE FUCK OUT OF EVERYTHING.

      Uh… no?

      Maybe it will just be a little warmer in 100yrs. Big fucking deal. I’m not suddenly expecting Politicians to do anything useful about it. They expect us to believe they can “create jobs”… now they want us to believe that with their powerful insights and wise policies, they can *reverse planetary climate trends?, if only you VOTE FOR THE RIGHT PEOPLE~!

      Its a bigger red herring than fucking gay marriage or abortion.* (note: gay marriage and abortion are in many ways far more tangible and pertinant issues… my point is that politicians *use* these issues to take exaggerated moral stances simply to try and appeal to their constituencies… in the end, they mostly don’t do a )(#*@$ thing at all about the actual issue. For all its posturing… what has the GOP really done about Abortion since the 1980s? Fuck all. Their last great moral panic was the Plan B pill. It becomes less and less interesting every year… so now they need another bullshit hobby horse.]

      Just because some people politicise everything doesn’t mean you *have to play along* with their idiotic one-dimensional views. I don’t have to *deny* global warming to think that current proposed policies addressing it are blindingly stupid and opportunistic. Even if i think *some* of the data is concerning, it doesn’t mean I don’t think Al Gore is a giant tub of shit.

      There is a point at which certain topics cease to be about the actual topic anymore, and they are more Kabuki* political pantomimes that are more about Posturing and Expressing Indignation at someone else’s percieved apostasy from the agreed upon Party Line. It’s not about Science or Policy: it’s about Team Red making sure everyone sticks to the Rhetorical Playbook so that the Young Earthers,Intelligent Designers, and Jesus-Rode-a-Dinosaur-types can continue to feel like you got their backs. They could give a fuck whether climate change exists or not. It aint about that.

      [*yeah, i know that people misuse the term Kabuki to “something that’s not-really-about-what-its-about” rather than ‘abstracted & stylized’, but @#)(*&$ all you pretentious Kabuki fans, I’ll use it however I want]

  25. In other words, once you accept that human activity may be contributing to global warming, embracing costly and ill-advised regulatory measures is inevitable.

    No, once you accept the non-fact that any government anywhere can do anything constructive about a minor increase in a trace gas that may cause tiny changes in temperatures that may or may not cause positive or negative changes in most peoples’ lives, then you have embraced folly.

    That you do not think a current proposal is an effective proposal to combat this alleged threat does not change the possibility that you will embrace some other alleged solution.

    That is the danger of Christie’s pandering.

  26. Nothing to say? Try debating these contentious thoughts:
    – carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas; many millions of tons of carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuel are placed in the atmosphere every day. Increasing carbon dioxide in our atmosphere can occur continuously forever with any effect. There can never be a run-away greenhouse effect. The earth can sustain continued population growth and increased water use and resource extraction, forever. There are no limits to and never will be limits to any type of growth. Any government regulation over our air, water, soil, land, wildlife, is bad; the market place can cover off all of our needs forever. The only other living species we need on this earth are the ones we eat. Ocean levels will always stay the same. Food production will always increase with our increasing population. Population (birth) control should not be available or even monitored. Scientific findings should never be a part of political debate, policy implementation or legislation. The precautionary principle should always be ignored if it interferes with our entitlements to growth and ever-increasing prosperity. Nothing in our growth paradigm can ever go wrong.

    1. *yawn*

    2. Re: forest,

      carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas

      So are methane and water vapor…

      many millions of tons of carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuel are placed in the atmosphere every day.

      And also due to volcanic activity, aerobic life (microorganisms, plants, animals).

      And?

      Increasing carbon dioxide in our atmosphere can occur continuously forever with any effect.

      Any effect? Meaning from just accumulating to turning the Earth purple?

      Before I go on, may I suggest you place some effort to give some semblance of coherence to your comments?

      There can never be a run-away greenhouse effect.

      Not under actual conditions. Not even when the whole atmosphere was just methane and CO2 – not even THEN.

      The earth can sustain continued population growth and increased water use and resource extraction, forever.

      Yes, forever. For the simple reason that the Earth has 3/4 of its surface under water; at most, the worst thing that can happen is that fresh water becomes a more expensive commodity than what it is right now.

      As for resources, well… I think you’re showcasing your ignorance of economics. A resource is whatever each of us say it is. A Resource is nothing more than a commodity that can be transformed into a consumable good. ANYTHING can be a resource, which means resources can be potentially infinite.

      There are no limits to and never will be limits to any type of growth.

      That’s where you’re just making a bad strawman, again due to your woefully and pitiful ignorance of even the most basic knowledge of economics. There ARE limits to growth: It’s called MARGINAL UTILITY.

      Any government regulation over our air, water, soil, land, wildlife, is bad;

      Yes, because it distorts prices. Regulation serves to obfuscate the accurate knowledge of the scarcity of goods and resources.

      the market place can cover off all of our needs forever.

      The market is just the network of trades and exchanges between the teeming billions of people. So, in essence, PEOPLE can cover all of each other’s needs forever.

      The only other living species we need on this earth are the ones we eat.

      Good idea: Let’s put all of them on the menu. Seriously: It does work.

      Ocean levels will always stay the same.

      You’re being an idiot.

      Food production will always increase with our increasing population.

      Division of labor – how does it work?

      Population (birth) control should not be available or even monitored.

      Again, you’re just being an idiot. Why would there be a need to “monitor” births? As for birth control, that is already available through markets, so I don’t know where you get this from.

      Scientific findings should never be a part of political debate, policy implementation or legislation.

      Right on. Remember the Scopes Trial? Remember Lysenko?

      The precautionary principle should always be ignored

      PERIOD. It’s a faux principle. You would not be able to get out of your house if you followed such “principle” to its absurd consequences.

      You just showcased your ignorance of economics, of simple biology, geology and even of philosophy. Congratz!

      1. Old M.: First line said: try debating these; didn’t say anywhere what I believe or subscribe to. A number of the statements are diametrically opposed. You have an interesting reply to each of them. A world run on your principles for several centuries would be equally interesting. How about this one: Expect the record breaking temperatures and drought conditions in the south to resume normal conditions over the next decade. There is nothing to say they shouldn’t go back to the norm. In the meantime, praying for rain is the best and only solution.

        1. There is nothing to say they shouldn’t go back to the norm.

          That is correct: there isn’t anything to say that at all, other than chicken littles pulling speculative disaster scenarios out of their butt.

          Yes, yes, we know, the Earth will be destroyed by global warming any minute now.

        2. Re: forest,

          First line said: try debating these

          I am – what’s the problem?

          A number of the statements are diametrically opposed.

          I saw no such relationship. In fact, the list is somewhat disjointed, like a list of popular strawmen, which is why I am being so sarcastic.

          Expect the record breaking temperatures and drought conditions in the south to resume normal conditions over the next decade.

          That’s not an argument, that’s a prediction.

        3. Forest,
          Don’t feed the troll…he does nothing but sling poo.

    3. Forest|8.23.11 @ 1:37PM|#
      Nothing to say? Try debating these contentious thoughts

      Ahh, the Reductio Ad Absurdum. The fallback position of those trying to pretend that *any possible other alternative* to their particular mythic worldview is some kind of extremist fantasy that is in denial of not just *one or two facts* but ALL the facts.

      Again, as I mentioned above… I could (can and do) believe that all of the points above are silly and wrong…(e.g. “”Scientific findings should never be a part of political debate, policy implementation or legislation”” Who is the strawman actually proposing *that*?)….just that pretty much all the proposals about “how to deal with said environmental issues” are a ridiculous crock of horseshit.

      The envirotards, rather than actually defend the merits and rationality of their particular preferred policy, immediately try and discredit any criticism of the proposed ideas by turning their critics into ‘science-denying, anti-environment, corrupted capitalists bent solely on profit, yadda yadda yadda…’

      Dude you could have just done the “Indian looks around, and has tear running down his cheek” thing. It would have been cute. Instead you sound like a hectoring grandma on some kick about how the comic books and the talkie-movies have perverted all the kids and noone respects authority anymore, and all this car-traffic is bad for people’s nerves and…

      1. certainly nothing else to debate here. The put-downs and name calling have really contributed to the exchange of ideas. Anyone using them must be right, so no sense in continuing. I am sure that minds have been changed by these eloquent responses. Adios.

        1. You didnt offer any *ideas*. You made a list of absurd absolutes that draw the actual discussion away from practical reality and towards some claims that are based mostly from an ideological viewpoint, and not based in any scientific or economic reality.

          But I love the “ahh, I see is no one is addressing my intellectually-challenging concepts”… as though anyone but you thinks of them as such.

          And the proper exeunt after getting hosed is, “Pppt. You all suck. *I’m out*.” That always gets a DRINK

  27. Everybody in this thread is refusing to talk about the important thing:

    Christie doesn’t support any anti-AGW policy. He simply concedes that AGW is possible, but says that no policy proscription he can support has been advanced.

    Which is one of the many schizoJohn positions John offers in this thread.

    Ron is pointing out that to the modern GOP, that’s not good enough. To the modern GOP, even if you oppose anti-AGW policies, if you don’t tow the lion on complete skepticism of the fact that one element of a planetary body’s surface temperature is its atmospheric composition, you’re out.

    Based on what John has HIMSELF ARGUED in this thread, if Christie is a “RINO” who should be expunged, so is John. But that won’t stop him from being pissed at Ron.

    “Ron! Ron you beast!” (Said with a lisp; that’s how I picture John saying it) “How dare you post that people who agree with me shouldn’t be kicked out of the GOP! That’s how the DemoRATS would do it so that makes it OK!”

    1. Where have I ever said Christie should be thrown out of the Party? All I have ever said is that if you are going to whine about how intollerent the Republicans are for criticizing Christie, then you ought to be even harder on the Democrats who broach even less descent about AGW. Is that not a fair point?

      Either show me where I blacked out and wrote on here that Christie should be thrown out of the party or take that back.

      1. “Dissent”, dude. Like the old Lefty magazine. Not like, a plane landing.

    2. And here is what I actually said about and to Ron.

      Here is the bottomline Ron. Even if it is true, no one has proposed anything close to a workable solution to it. So why should global warming play any role in politics or policy.

      The whole thing strikes me as a lot like the battle over creationism. Everyone gets all angry about creationism, but what someone believes about evolution has nothing to do with things that matter like tax policy and civil liberties and such.

      If you and Megan McCardle want to wear your global warming hairshirts so right thinking people will accept you, have fun. But like every other religion, please keep it out of your view on politics and keep your political views to those things which we can actually change.

      Notice that there is not a single word about Christie there. And further, if you take my argument that global warming is like creationism and nothing but a bullshit meaningless argument that ignites the culture war, then to me that implies that they ought to lay off Christie since the point he is making is pretty meaningless when it comes to actual policy.

      Again Fluffy, you are not MNG. Maybe you just misunderstood. But take back your above post.

      1. Nowhere in this thread have you said that they should lay off Christie.

        In fact, you have led the charge at being pissed off at Bailey for defending Christie.

        If what you are NOW saying is that they should lay off Christie, then you should go back and change all your posts to say, “Wow, thanks for bringing this to our attention, Ron. I was not aware people were fucking with Christie over this. They should stop doing that.”

        Oh, right, no edit button. Oh well.

        1. No. go back and read my first post. I am on Bailey, not for saying they should lay off Christie, but for not holding the Democrats to the same standard. If we are all supposed to be so enlightened and tolerant of other views on AGW, fine. Then where are the posts from Ron talking about the intolerance coming from the Democrats?

          And no one is throwing Christie out of the party. They just disagree with him. When libertarians bag on Ron Paul about his views on immigration are the throwing him out of the movement? If Christie wants to pay lip service to the AGW cult, that is his choice. But he can hardly bitch when a lot of Republicans hold it against him. Are Republicans not allowed to do that?

          1. Sure, they’re allowed to do it.

            And once they do it, we’re not only allowed but entitled by the facts to write articles about how they are dicks.

            As Ron did.

            1. Why are they dicks? They think he is wrong. What are they supposed to do? Say how great he is even though they vehemently disagree with it? If Gary Johnson came out tommorow and said “I think nation building is great, just not in the case of Iraq”, would you be a dick for saying you thought he was full of shit? If not, then why don’t the Republicans get the same opportunity?

              1. They’re dicks because they’re substituting presenting a united front on a technical question of fact related to a policy debate for the policy debate itself.

                Look at it this way:

                Let’s say we had a political party opposed to the Endangered Species Act.

                And in that party you had a bunch of politicians who had chosen, as their way to oppose the ESA when applied to wolves in the lower 48 states, to claim that there were hundreds of thousands of wolves in the lower 48 states.

                But then you had one politician who said, “I don’t care how many wolves there are. I’m opposed to giving wolves protected status for blah blah blahdy blah blah. That being said, I have to admit that there probably aren’t hundreds of thousands of wolves out there in the lower 48. There’s a lot less than that. But I still don’t care.”

                If the first group said of that politician, “You asshole! You’re a RINO. You’re undermining us! Don’t you understand that we all have to pretend to have the same opinion about how many wolves there are, to present a united front against the opposition? Now they’ll take advantage of what you said! Wah wah wah wah wah!” the first group would have proven themselves to be made up of dicks.

                1. Okay. so if a politician comes out for something like nation building that you don’t like, that is perfectly okay with you?

  28. How is that not what you’re doing here, insisting that Bachmann or whomever must first accept the liberal definition of the problem before she speaks on the possible solutions?

    See, this is the kind of misdirection I’m talking about.

    Nobody even mentioned Bachmann.

    The question at hand has nothing to do with Bachmann and is about Christie and those who hold a position similar to Christie’s:

    “Does concluding that some AGW is likely, but denying that there’s an appropriate policy tool available to deal with it, mean that you have to be expelled from the GOP?”

    That’s the question here and it’s the only question here.

    1. You have me kicking Christie out of the party even though I never once mentioned him on this thread before that. Why can’t someone else mention Bachmann?

      1. Then why are you pissed off at Bailey for defending Christie?

        1. I am not pissed at Bailey for defending Christie. I am pissed at Bailey for acting like tolerance only goes one way. In Bailey world Republicans are supposed to pat Christie on the back for being pro AGW, but it perfectly okay for Democrats to slander in the most vile way anyone who in any way deviates from the AGW orthodoxy.

          1. Ummm…Ron routinely covers stories about injustice directed at AGW skeptics in government and academia.

            What H&R have you been reading?

            You may as well be one of those guys showing up to claim that Reason never takes on cops.

            1. John & Fluffy: Sorry to have been away — been working on something else all day plus enjoying an East Coast earthquake.

              In any case, John may I direct your attention to my recent dispatch from the International Climate Change Conference, i.e., Lukewarmers, Denialists, and Other Climate Change Skeptics, and my article on “Climate Change and Confirmation Bias” may also be of interest.

              1. Hey Ron, as mentioned before my dad lives in Albemarle county too… was a bit worried for a while as I think his place near lake Monticello was ~20-30miles from the epicenter…

                he called me an hour ago and was like, “oh, I was playing golf. Never noticed anything. Got home and turned the TV on. Apparently there was an earthquake nearby. Big whoop!”

                His theory was that other places farther along the fault probably felt the shakes worse, whereas the golf course he was at (50miles from Mineral VA) apparently didn’t even get a pleasant vibration. Anticlimax.

          2. “In Bailey world Republicans are supposed to pat Christie on the back for being pro AGW, but it perfectly okay for Democrats to slander in the most vile way anyone who in any way deviates from the AGW orthodoxy.”

            Again, it looks to me like Christie sees a difference between understanding the science behind AGW–and opposing stupid socialist leaning policies to stop it.

            It’s gonna be really hard to convince regular people out there that AGW and socialism aren’t the same thing if we can’t get libertarian minded people in this thread to understand there’s a difference between the two.

            If anything, I see Bailey ripping the GOP for chastising a potential candidate for believing in the science. …being against stupid socialist policies apparently isn’t enough–you have to disbelieve in the science too?!

            In other words, I don’t see Bailey patting Christie on the back so much as I see him knocking on some of the dummies in the GOP for being intolerant of Christie’s read on the science. And if the GOP were ripping on someone else for being intolerant of scientific evidence, I suppose he’d be against that too.

            In fact, I’ve seen Bailey point out the stupid anti-scientific stances of all sorts of policy makers–he’s really consistent on that issue.

            1. I should add that the GOP, over recent years, has on occasion made a virtue of being…anti-science.

              Intelligent Design, Creationism, AGW…there’s a certain argument that seems to run through all of it, and I’m not talking about the religious aspect.

              It’s the idea that public policy shouldn’t take the scientific consensus into consideration–unless the folk history version can be completely disproved by the science, in court, to your average jury–beyond a reasonable doubt.

              And ultimately that’s…unreasonable.

          3. John|8.23.11 @ 3:43PM|#
            I am not pissed at Bailey for defending Christie. I am pissed at Bailey for acting like tolerance only goes one way. In Bailey world Republicans are supposed to pat Christie on the back for being pro AGW, but it perfectly okay for Democrats to slander in the most vile way anyone who in any way deviates from the AGW orthodoxy

            John, is this just a case of, “Yeah, its bad, BUT TEAM BLUE WORSE!”

            Not an argument many libertoids get lit up over. Yeah, they’re all shits, we know. But is the idea that we should focus on *how much shittier the OTHERS are!!*? As a non-partisan, its not really that interesting unless there are recent pertinent examples to take note of.

            Frankly, as someone who generally leans more republicanish than otherwise (although I despise both Team Red & Team Blue in actual current practice), I think healthy doses of *shitting* all over the current crop of GOP numbnuts is more practically useful, as I want them to change their act and actually make someone like Christie someone to be *admired* rather than castigated. I’d fucking vote Christie for president, given his track record of being like, *less shitty* than everyone else, especially in the current contest, when it seems like everyone’s competing to be even dumber than the next guy.

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  31. Studying worst case scenarios isn’t a crime.
    Studying the effects instead of the causes of a climate crisis that hasn’t happened isn’t a crime.
    Being a lab coat consultant and calling yourself a saintly scientist isn’t a crime.
    Hyperbole isn’t a crime?
    Exploitation isn’t a crime?
    Being paid to have a conclusion isn’t a crime?
    Condemning billions of children to a CO2 demise just to get them to turn the lights out more often isn’t a crime?
    Climate Blame wasn’t a lie or a hoax. It was thankfully, a tragic exaggeration.

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