Science

"Libertarian ideology is the natural enemy of science," says The Guardian: Absolute Codswallop.

|

No GMO
mintpress

Guardian columnist David Robert Grimes singles out advocates of property rights and free markets as a special menace to society largely because their supposedly greed blinds them to the scientific truths about climate change, gun control, and pharmaceutical research and development so evident to objective and fair-minded leftwingers. Of course, Grimes inconveniently overlooks the copious research that finds that left-wingers resort to motivated cognition too when it comes to evaluating distasteful scientific data. GMOs? Nuclear power? Fracking?

Consider the findings of Yale law professor Dan Kahan and his research colleagues at the Yale Cultural Cognition Project. The group uses a theory of cultural commitments devised by University of California, Berkeley, political scientist Aaron Wildavsky that "holds that individuals can be expected to form perceptions of risk that reflect and reinforce values that they share with others." The Wildavskyan schema situates Americans' cultural values on two scales, one that ranges from Individualist to Communitarian and another that goes from Hierarchy to Egalitarian. In general, Hierarchical folks prefer a social order where people have clearly defined roles and lines of authority. Egalitarians want to reduce racial, gender, and income inequalities. Individualists expect people to succeed or fail on their own, while Communitarians believe that society is obligated to take care of everyone.

The researchers report that people whose values are located in Individualist/Hierarchy spaces "can be expected to be skeptical of claims of environmental and technological risks. Such people, according to the theory, intuitively perceive that widespread acceptance of such claims would license restrictions on commerce and industry, forms of behavior that Hierarchical/Individualists value." On the other hand Egalitarian/Communitarians "tend to be morally suspicious of commerce and industry, which they see as the source of unjust disparities in wealth and power. They therefore find it congenial, the theory posits, to see those forms of behavior as dangerous and thus worthy of restriction." On this view, then, Egalitarian/Communitarians would be more worried about climate change risks than would be Hierarchical/Individualists.

On climate change Grimes asserts "if one accepts human-mediated climate change, then supporting mitigating action should follow." The fact that scientific research identifies a problem does not specify what policies should be adopted to address it. Mitigating global warming by reducing carbon dioxide emissions is certainly one possible policy, but so, too, is favoring increased economic growth and technological progress as a way to enable people to adapt to future climate challenges. What about buidling nuclear power plants as a way to cut carbon dioxide emissions? Which is better? Science does not say. It is not at all surprising that Individualists are highly suspicious when carbon rationing proposals just happen to fit the cultural values and policy preferences of Egalitarian/Communitarians.

For what it's worth, I am a libertarian who has concluded that man-made global warming likely poses significant problems.

Next, Grimes evidently thinks that science somehow shows that trusting private companies to innovate health care is "misguided." Nevertheless, health economist James Henderson points out in Health Economics and Policy:

U.S. supremacy in the development of new drugs is clear….In 2010, there were almost 3,000 compounds in development in the United States-three times the number in the entire European Union and six times the number in Japan. Europe's once-thriving pharmaceutical industry is migrating to the United States. Since 1995, Pharmacia (Sweden), Novartis, (Switzerland), Avantis (France/Germany), GlaxoSmithKline (United Kingdom) have moved some aspect of their operations to the United States.

Grimes also dismisses the claim that FDA regulation is excessive. Yet, a 2010 study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology found that FDA regulations on clinical trials of new cancer medications saved 16 life-years over the course of drug development. On the other hand, the authors conservatively estimate that increased regulatory delays in drug approvals results in the loss of nearly 300,000 life-years in the U.S. Even Grimes might agree that such regulation might be a tad "excessive."

Finally, Grimes argues that scientific findings trump the libertarian notion that "people have a right to arm themselves to make themselves safer." Never mind that the U.S. Constitution guarantees Americans the right to bear arms. In any case, Grimes cites some studies that find that gun owners are more likely to be shot than non-gun owners and that accidental deaths from gunshots are more likely in gun-owning households. Let's just say that research in this area is not as settled as Grimes supposes. Consider the issue of concealed carry. A 2004 National Academy of Sciences report on Firearms and Violence reported that

despite a large body of research, the committee found no credible evidence that the passage of right-to-carry laws decreases or increases violent crime.

In a 2013 study published in Applied Economics Letters, the Quinnipiac University economist Mark Gius sought to determine the effects of state-level assault weapons bans and concealed carry laws on gun-related murder rates between 1980 and 2009. He found that murder rates were 10 percent higher in states with more restrictive concealed carry laws. In addition, assault weapon bans did not significantly affect murder rates at the state level. Gius concluded that his results suggest that "limiting the ability to carry concealed weapons may cause murder rates to increase."

My article, "Study Shows Smart Liberals, Conservatives, and Libertarians Are Easiest to Fool," in which I analyzed the findings of the 2012 Yale Cultural Cognition study, "Ideology, Motivated Reasoning, and Cognitive Reflection: An Experimental Study" reported that liberals, conservatives, and, yes, libertarians are equally adept at ignoring data that threatens their worldviews, while warmly embracing that which confirms their biases. I concluded:

The new Yale study finds that when it comes to thinking about policy-relevant scientific information that challenges their ideological views liberals, conservatives, and, yes, libertarians, are inclined to violate physicist Richard Feynman's famous "first principle." As the irreverent genius put it, "You must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool."

And the smarter you are, the easier it is to fool yourself.

That means Grimes too.

For more background, see my article, "Why Do People Believe Scientifically Untrue Things?" See also my "The Evolution of Liberty" item at Cato Unbound in which I point out that modern science only became possible once liberal institutions like private property, the rule of law, and free markets came into existence.

Hat tip: Ken Constantino.

NEXT: Burger King's Tax Evasion, Uber's Dirty Tricks, Knee Defender Hijinks: Nick Gillespie on HuffPost Live

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

  1. “Kill the interlopers!”

  2. Besides, hasn’t science already disproven libertarianism?

    1. Impossible. No one has actually been stupid enough to test it.

  3. Believing that scientific solutions to our problems can be inflicted on people against their will for the common good would require me to forget everything I know about how people think and what makes them adopt new technologies.

    Bailey’s examples of Democrat Luddites on fracking, nuclear power, and GMOs, are all good, but it’s more than just an ideological bent. How many new technologies is the government getting in the way of implementing?

    What about not letting us use drones commercially?

    What about the problems some states are giving driverless cars?

    What about the problems government is giving services like Uber and Lyft?

    The government is so often in the way–not ideologically–but physically, actively, legislatively, by way of law enforcement. So often, the government is getting in the way of new technologies being implemented and brought to market.

    1. Many local governments have large permit fees to install solar panels on your home.

      1. Others force you to sell all home generated electricity to the power company then buy it back if you want to stay on the grid as a back up.

    2. How many new technologies is the government getting in the way of implementing?

      And not just by straightforward opposition. I assume that with the feds talking up solar & wind, then a lot of federal research $$ are going in that direction. Which means a lot of other avenues aren’t going to be followed b/c there won’t be a lot of $$.

  4. Life-years would be a fine way to talk about the federal budget.

  5. A couple of observations:

    The “science” of human sociology is largely bunk and completely separate from the physical sciences.

    Grimes doesn’t like property rights because they get in his way, not for any other reason.

    1. Waiting for HM to refute this, as he’ll do a better job than I.

      1. If you’re concerned with the crack on sociologists, you’ll note that I separate sociology (as well as ethnic and gender studies) and its love of statistics, from neuropsychology and other disciplines more grounded in the hard sciences.

        1. If you’re concerned with the crack on sociologists, you’ll note that I separate sociology (as well as ethnic and gender studies) and its love of statistics, from neuropsychology and other disciplines more grounded in the hard sciences.

          You’re too hard on the soc and too forgiving on the phrenology.

          1. I don’t see how I can be too hard on a discipline that seems to believe correlation is causation and that human behavior can be managed if they only have enough data.

  6. The only good use of The Guardian opinion page is as fodder for David Thompson eviscerations.

  7. In science, all hypotheses must withstand the trial-by-fire of experiment; its methodology is self-correcting and objective, unconcerned with petty prejudices or personal conviction.

    LOL.

    1. It’s obvious that this person has never actually done science in the real world. LOL, indeed.

    2. The methodology may be unconcerned with petty prejudices or personal conviction, but the human beings attempting to apply the methodology may not be.

  8. well, if left wing “scientists” wouldn’t manipulate data and politicize their work to get another handout from big government, all while trying to silence and punish anyone who dare disagrees with them, their claims might be more credible. As such, what they produce isn’t science, it’s religion. skepticism of their sky-is-falling claims is required no matter what side of the spectrum you’re on.

    1. Christ on a cracker, don’t you know that corporate grants and science are totally biased and evil, but government grants and science are objective, unbiased, and full of pure purity?

      You probably want to burn women at the stake, you anti-science heretic.

  9. “Why Do People Believe Scientifically Untrue Things?”

    That is a great question so I’ll just re-post this here.

  10. The expectation that private companies can be trusted to innovate health care is also misguided. While antibiotic resistance has been steadily increasing, for example, practically no new antibiotics have been developed in decades. A major reason for this is that despite the massive impact of antibiotics on mortality rates in the past century, they remain a low-profit product, typically used by a patient for only a short time. It is far more profitable to develop long-term medication for chronic conditions, and unsurprisingly this is what drug companies prefer to do.

    Has a huger strawman been composed in the last few months?

    1. That’s no strawman. All enlightened spirits know that since pharmas profit from sick people, their incentive is not to cure disease, but to keep people sick.

      I would say, “I couldn’t make this shit up if I tried”, but that’s what I just did–and it’s what the leftoids are always up to.

      But this guy needs to check his narrative: proclaiming collectivism to be scientific was the province of the old left, which was demolished in the 1950’s when the atrocities of the USSR were first being revealed to the world.

      It isn’t the right who yearns for a return to the 1950’s–it’s the left. With their evil, cynical insistence on keeping racial strife from dissolving (in order to stay in power), and now drudging up the old Marxist canard of collectivism being scientific, this isn’t hard to see.

    2. I dunno, it certainly explains left-wing socioeconomic policies, as LBJ rather crudely confirmed. It could just be projection.

    3. The FDA and the trial lawyers make drug development hugely expensive and risky, so leftists blame the companies. Typical.

  11. For what it’s worth, I am a libertarian who has concluded that man-made global warming likely poses significant problems.

    It pleases me to inform the Gaia worshippers that their mother-goddess is more likely to kill humanity long before humans ever kill it.

    And David Robert Grimes is just one in a long line of SJWs masquerading as positivists.

    1. If the “scientists” gaming the peer review process would quit messing with data, hiding source code, and manufacturing statistical methods unknown to actual statisticians, I would be happy to listen to them. Until that day, they can piss off.

  12. Wouldn’t Libertarians generally be Egalitarian/Individualists instead of Hierarchical/Individualists to begin with?

    1. That depends on which Reason commenter you’re talking about it

    2. I think that what those words now mean in common usage disqualifies both in regards to libertarians.

      1. In looking at the definitions more closely, I think you’re right.

  13. SD: In Wildaskyan terms egalitarians want equality of outcomes.

  14. In general, Hierarchical folks prefer a social order where people have clearly defined roles and lines of authority. Egalitarians want to reduce racial, gender, and income inequalities.

    You can still have a hierarchical society with those things listed being equal. Picture a color-blind, mixed-sex military outfit where everyone is paid the exact same.

  15. Of course, libertarians are almost all technophiles from what I’ve seen. And love science, because it gives us more technology and wealth.

  16. “GMOs? Nuclear power? Fracking?”

    Feeble. As if all liberals were zealously against GMOs and nuclear. And as if fracing were scientifically proven to be safe and clean.

    I know Ron reads the comments boards so he must have some sort of psychological block for all the insane anti-science bullshit that libertarians believe. Not believing in climate change is far more of an intellectual crime than being skeptical of certain technologies–even if that were the case with liberals.

    The problem is dogma. Your beliefs do not go wherever the evidence takes them because you require them to take you to “government=evil” every time.

    1. “Not believing in climate change…”

      There’s our huger straw man.

      1. Not believing in the fact that human-produced greenhouse gas emissions are causing potentially catastrophic global climate change. Better?

        1. Tony – I’m relatively neutral on CC/AGW. What I disagree with is the State’s solutions to fighting it.

          Use the North Korean economic model to prevent something that is still being studied (a theory, in essence)…

          …or develop technologies that increase the efficiency and cleanliness of fossil fuels WHILE researching ways to make renewable sources cheaper and more effective?

          I think why most of us “Deluded Libertarians” get upset with the AGW thing is that we disagree more with the government solutions (East Germany style) vs. long term solutions. Why do billions of people need to be reduced to poverty, sickness, disease, and death in order for the Berkeleya and Manhattans and Cambridges to feel good about themselves?

          Why the either/or? Why is it a choice between command economies or “science”? It’s two different things.

          1. Who is proposing North Korean or East German-style governments as a solution to climate change? Name me one person.

            The whole problem, to restate, is that you care more about reality conforming to your views about government than about reality itself. We should implement whatever policies are necessary to address the problem and leave dogma out of it.

            1. “We should implement whatever policies are necessary to address the problem and leave dogma out of it.”

              What solutions are you even proposing? Last I checked anything we do at all will be rendered moot by the economic development of the Chinese and Indians. What solution could you possibly have that would counteract that?

              1. I don’t get this argument. China and India are gonna contribute even more to the problem so that means we shouldn’t do anything about it?

                We need global cooperation on eliminating GHGs. If it sounds hard that’s because it is.

                1. The argument is anything we do won’t matter. So we will spend money on tech that is useless. The Earth will continue to get warmer due to the actions of those countries. How could you possibly expect two countries who lack a basic capacity to even dispose of trash in a efficient fashion to even care.

                2. “We need global cooperation on eliminating GHGs. If it sounds hard that’s because it is.”

                  It’s not hard tony it’s impossible. At the end of the day what your asking requires these countries to spend money, something they will not do.

                  1. Total pessimism might sometimes be the correct viewpoint, but it is not especially useful in a conversation.

                3. The earth kind of needs CO2 for air. Eliminating that is a bad idea.

                  1. CO2 means more plants/food/is good/is life [10 points]

                    Thank you for playing the Climate Denialist Talking Points Game!

                    1. Well, obviously you don’t know enough game theory to play the iterated prisoner’s dilemma, as it’s been 5 minutes since my query to you.

                    2. “Denialist” – common argumentative tactic (often called ad hominem) in order to make the statement seem ridiculous.

                      CO2 composes a part of the atmosphere. It’s needed. The sudden increases or decreases both have consequences. Never DENIED that.

                    3. Tony you like James Lovelock. Listen to James Lovelock. =D

              2. Also is it final?

            2. Name me one person.

              Maurice Strong?

            3. Who is proposing North Korean or East German-style governments as a solution to climate change?

              We should implement whatever policies are necessary to address the problem and leave dogma out of it.

              Tony has just admitted that he is in favor of worldwide Juche so long as it will alleviate climate change.

              1. KDN – Yep. I guess it’s not about “saving the earth” so much as absolute power for the ideologically correct…which was my point.

                People who believe in real solutions wouldn’t conflate North Korean economic policies (state control of everything) to not wanting ice caps to melt. It’s not either/or.

                Ergo, the truth is revealed. Socialism is the answer, climate change is the tool to wield it, I guess.

                1. Socialism for oil companies is what we have. Why not eliminate that as a first step?

                  1. Eliminate that? That’s part of the solution, isn’t it? Socialize/nationalize the energy industries, then charge a lot more to the consumer in order to subsidize other socialized/nationalized industries.

                    Other solutions – nationalizing food and water, increasing their prices and rationing them. Getting rid of cars and rationing public transportation. Maybe force most people to live in condensed cities, except for the helots to grow food for the cities.

                    I argue against this. These are the proposed solutions to AGW/CC. I disagree that a worldwide Soviet is a solution to AGW.

                    Personally? I’m in the middle on CC. We have an effect, sure. Real solutions (developing tech, for example) I agree with.

                    My point above was the disagreements on political and social policies do not equal disagreements on scientific method. There are deniers and there are alarmists. They’re extremes – to say neither exists is stupid or disingenuous. However, it’s the same to follow the policies of the extremes on either side.

                    Handing absolute power to a very small number of powerful, wealthy people is not going to solve AGW.

        2. Tony|8.29.14 @ 3:56PM|#
          “Not believing in the fact that human-produced greenhouse gas emissions are causing potentially catastrophic global climate change. Better?”

          That brush’s ‘way too wide.

        3. You only need to take one look at the behavior of True Believers, especially their leaders, to see that the whole “catastrophic” thing is bullshit. Wasn’t there a study at some point showing that people worried about climate change tended to use more electricity?

          Once I start seeing climate scientists living in solar-panel-covered shipping containers and avoiding all plane travel for fancy global climate conferences, I’ll think maybe they actually believe the lines they’re peddling to the faithful.

          I reckon that will happen around the time the pope sells all his bling to feed the poor.

    2. Not believing in climate change is far more of an intellectual crime than being skeptical of certain technologies–

      I disagree. An absolute ban on GMOs is far more likely to kill millions of people than doing absolutely nothing about climate change.

      Starvation kills a lot more people every year than floods and storms.

    3. D- Not your best stuff, sock.

    4. It looks like “all the insane anti-science bullshit that libertarians believe” amounts only to “not believing in climate change.” What else have you got to fill out the “all the” part?

      “Your beliefs do not go wherever the evidence takes them.” Ok, show your bulletrpoof evidence of anthropogenic-CO2-induced global warming. You can’t. It doesn’t exist. All you can show is a highly manipulated “global temperature anomaly” graph and a CO2 measurment graph that goes all the way back to the 60s. They keep having to revise the climate sensitivity parameter downward and all the models on which the panic is based are way off (wrong).

        1. Where’s the rest of “all the stuff”? Or do you paint anyone who disagrees with you on this one thing as being “anti-science”?

          And a google link is pretty fucking pathetic. Why don’t you pick something that you think is bulletproof evidence of AGW and let’s talk about it?

          1. I don’t know if I’d ever describe evidence as bullet-proof. The first link there is NASA. Don’t trust them, find another. But don’t ignore everything until you find some fringe right-wing website that tells you what you want to hear.

            I did not wake up one day thinking I wanted to participate in a global conspiracy involving all governments and scientific bodies to invent a fake science. I believe in following evidence where it leads, period.

            1. So the evidence for impending catastrophe may not be bulletproof but your desire to control the economy to mitigate this unsubstantiated impending catastrophe certainly is.

              Jesus, that NASA page has a fucking hockey stick graph of modern CO2 measurements tacked onto ice core measurements, which is a bullshit way of presenting that kind of data. It gives the impression that ice core measurements are as accurate as current instrument measurements. “For 650,000 years CO2 has never been above this level.” They don’t fucking know that. They just show the limits of trapping CO2 in a column of ice. That page is so cartoonish I don’t know where to begin.

              Anyway, your argument boils down to, “I’m totally convinced by this authority and you should be too.”

    5. But all liberals are economic creationists. And they tend to belong to the Church of Carbontology as well.

    6. As if all liberals were zealously against GMOs and nuclear.

      Most, not all.

      And as if fracing were scientifically proven to be safe and clean.

      By your definition of “scientific proof” it surely has.

      Not believing in climate change is far more of an intellectual crime

      It isn’t whether or not the climate changes, but on whether man causes it to change (in a statistically significant amount).

      The problem is dogma. Your beliefs do not go wherever the evidence takes them…

      Wow, just wow. I don’t think Tony is self-aware. He should be studied.

      “Turns out, far too much has been written about great men and not nearly enough about morons. Doesn’t seem right.”

    7. Re: Tony,

      The problem is dogma.

      Case in point: Tony.

      Not believing in the fact that human-produced greenhouse gas emissions are causing potentially catastrophic global climate change

      I thought we were going to call them “Man-made random meteorological events.” Didn’t you get the memo from ThinkProgress dot com?

    8. And as if frac[k]ing were scientifically proven to be safe and clean.

      I want Tony to scientifically prove that socialism is safe and clean before he advocates more of it.

  17. “acceptance of such claims would license restrictions on commerce and industry, forms of behavior that Hierarchical/Individualists value.”

    Righto. That must be why libertarians hate Randian novels where scientific breakthroughs – Rearden metal, Galt perpetual motion motors – harm established industries and technologies while garnering support from government bureaucrats and progressive intellectuals.

    1. Conflation and false choice is one of the Leftys’s main argument tactics. Either/or and all that.

  18. Is this the Guardian that keeps telling us that the Venezuelan economic model is a stunning success?

    because i’m not sure these people live in the same dimension of reality we do.

    1. I note that there’s a promo for Naomi Klein’s new book in the sidebar there. Blech.

      1. Naomi Klein! That lying, unprofessional hack who never got beyond the “mad at daddy campus revolutionary” phase? Evidence that if you want to get rich, preach socialism?

        And Venezuela: it totally works. You see, the 15% of people who want to leave/are leaving/have left are just the dirty capitalists or are imbued with false consciousness. It’s part of the plan to get rid of the dirty people who are messing up the socialist paradise.

        1. She’s hot, though, but not as hot as the other wacky leftist Naomi (Naomi Wolf).

  19. Hmm. Couple takeaways here:

    Of course “science” here is really the implementation of state policies based on “sciency things” rather than something like the scientific method. I’ve rarely seen libertarians say that facts and evidence should be discounted because of feelings.

    The conflation of science and ideology that leads to that state policy. It’s a false choice (do Lefties use anything besides logical fallacies?) proposed: either you nationalize Earth’s natural resources in a big socialist paradise and ration foods, water, and medicine OR you are a Bible-thumping Republican woman-hating racist who wants to own slaves.

    Bailey says it well here and other articles, as well as Lomborg – AGW/CC is a problem, but the solution isn’t to become like North Korea. I don’t think AGW/CC is a problem at all myself, but if it were, why is raising the cost of living and starving/impoverishing billions the solution? Since libertarians disagree on the policy, they want to own slaves.

    Second – Optimistic here. The rhetoric of the Left is becoming increasingly flimsy and cruel. They have power now and are desperately afraid that their lies/untruths are being exposed, hence the ramping up of “ideological crimes”. AGW/CC is just one of these areas – dissenters must be jailed, scientists whose findings don’t fit the narrative must be fired/blackballed/censored, and so on.

    1. AGW/CC is just one of these areas – dissenters must be jailed, scientists whose findings don’t fit the narrative must be fired/blackballed/censored, and so on.

      And there is precedent for that.

      1. Precisely. And thank you! I’ve been calling it Lysenkoism for a while now…Haha, us silly libertarians thinking that facts and science do not bend to the will of the benevolent people’s democratic republican worker’s paradise! All facts are of course relative and morphous due to capitalism! Hahaha, socialists, eh?

        Or: we’re doomed, aren’t we?

  20. Individualist/Hierarchy

    Why is this written as if these two things necessarily go together, or that they go together at all? I’m an individualist but detest hierarchies. I recognize that they tend to be natural and take them for what they are, but I have no desire to perpetuate any hierarchy whatsoever.

  21. There’s also a major difference in apparoach between libertarians and progressives.

    Basically, libertarians aren’t trying to impose their scientific view on others. They just want the freedom to make their own choices. Whereas progressives ARE trying to impose their views on others. They want to set national, indeed global policies, that limit what everyone else can do.

    Notably there are NO libertarians out there trying to stop people from doing scientific research on climate change. But there are LOTS and LOTS of progressives actively trying to stop people from doing research involving animals or GMOs.

    We’re not trying to impose our will on them, but they are trying to impose their will upon us. In our system they are free to not eat GMOs and recycle paper if they want. In their system WE MUST CONFORM, to THEIR rules.

    1. Doing nothing about climate change is a policy choice that you want to impose on everyone. And you can hardly imagine a more consequential policy choice.

      1. If lots of people voluntarily reduce their own CO2 emissions, how is that “doing nothing”?
        Nobody is stopping you from starting a world-wide campaign to limit your own carbon footprints. Lots of people do it already.

        I’m sorry you feel like you have to carry more of a buden that way cause you can’t force everyone else to do it too, but that’s not a good justification for forcing everyone else to participate in your preferred solution.

          1. I’m waiting for him to say it’s a free rider problem.
            Because by not reducing your carbon emissions, you’re “free riding” by collecting the benefits of theoretical future non-changes in the climate, without “paying” for them by participating the the progressives collective suffering recime.

            It’s like if I postulated that only by flogging ourselves together in unison can we avert God’s wrath. Thus if you don’t join me, you’re free riding off of my self-punishment by collecting the benefits of not suffering His wrath as an unspecified future date.

        1. Your dogma prevents you from believing in basic game theory and externalities. For intelligent people this would force them to examine their dogma. For you, it causes you to ignore entire aspects of reality.

          How do individuals freely choose not to get their electricity from coal plants? What if individual action is simply vastly inadequate to do anything about the problem? Must the human species go extinct before you endorse collective action via governments?

          1. How do individuals freely choose not to get their electricity from coal plants?

            Peak derp is unachievable.

          2. basic game theory

            What has been proven to be the best strategy for the iterated prisoners dilemma, and why? You have exactly one minute from when this is posted to respond or otherwise I assume that you’re Googeling it and are merely attempting to intellectually mau-mau Hazel with shit you actually have no knowledge about.

            1. ^This. A lot of this is pseudo-int name dropping in order to appeal to “authority”. Again, logical fallacies.

              Of course, logical fallacies were constructed by racist, misogynist, capitalist white men to conquer and destroy, so I guess all facts are relative to the viewer and that each person makes their own reality based on sensory experiences internalized by emotional intelligence? Feeling trumps thinking, nay?

              1. Tony will jump from being Two-Fisted Man of Science to Post-Modern Bullshit Artist as the situation demands.

            2. I’ve actually taken game theory classes at the graduate level.

            3. I’m late, sorry. Doesn’t it depend on whether the number of iterations are known?

              Interesting thing about the PD. Humans in experiment show more cooperation than a basis of pure rational self-interest would predict.

              Guess libertarianism is a crock of shit.

              1. Doesn’t it depend on whether the number of iterations are known

                No, it doesn’t. But nice try though. The best strategy has been proven to be Rapoport’s “Tit for Tat” strategy.

                That’s intellectual checkmate, Tony. You should apologize to Hazel now.

              2. Marxism is certainly fantastical – Marxism being the ideological opposite of libertarianism.

                Libertarian philosophy, which is “most people are all right and should have their human rights protected; don’t hurt other people” is pretty bad. We need a Mao to crush some of that idiocy.

            4. “What has been proven to be the best strategy for the iterated prisoners dilemma, and why?”

              Generally, tit-for-tat with an opening move of cooperation. Sometimes, a small number of random cooperations (to break one out of a cycle of defection) can be superior.

              So when are conservatives/libertopians going to quit defecting on climate change?

          3. So now that you’ve conceded that you don’t know anything about basic game theory, perhaps an apology to Hazel is in order?

          4. Why would individual action be vastly inadequate to deal with the problem? After all , the entire world population is only made up of “individuals”. So get lots and lots of individuals to agree with you, and participate in reducing their carbon emissions.

            “Collective action” is just another term for “I force everyone else to go along with what I want”.

            1. Yeah, collective action, like using taxes to pay the salaries of men with guns to punish people who come on your property. Why can’t everyone just individually agree to respect property rights?

              1. Indeed, I am pretty sure that property rights result from a kind of static equilibrium in human relations, wherein we all agree that we’re going to respect eachother’s property, and to make sure of it, we’re going to set up a committe of people to settle disputes over property.
                And thus was government constituted amount just men.

                1. So government is good for solving some social problems?

                  1. Good government formalizes solutions that are arrived at informally through the free interaction of individuals.

                    1. Yes so let’s not needlessly replay the 18th century and get on board with the fact that individuals without formal government are no more capable of dealing with climate change than they are with implementing property rights.

                    2. That was incoherent. My whole point was that property rights arise from informal human relations and are prior to formal government.
                      FIRST, we all agree to respect eachother’s property, THEN we make that a formal law.

                      We don’t create a government first, and then think up extra things to use it for. That’s what progressives do.

                  2. Maybe a nuance, but government’s role is to adjudicate, yes.

                    However, when the implementation of law only serves the purpose of the powerful, it is tyrannical. (Or, the commoners have privileges, the State has rights.)

                    Any terrible policy can be conflated to “the greater good.” Where’s CS Lewis and that road to hell? The trains running on time in Italy and all that?

                  3. More than 15 minutes and you still haven’t apologized to Hazel.

                    Just shows that you’ve got no class. Not that I thought you were much of a gentleman to begin with, but I thought you at least had some common decency as opposed to some of the other trolls around here.

                    1. I’m a paragon of etiquette. I should have known that venturing into one of your autism-spectrum fun-with-numbers topics would bring out the geeky myopia that characterizes all libertarians. One of the most fascinating things in the world to me is how lowly verbal humanities types like me tend to have a more scientific mindset than math and engineering people.

                    2. I’m a paragon of etiquette.

                      Tony’s nothing if not polite when murdering his ideological opponents. He kills you with kindness!

                    3. And yet, you haven’t apologized for attempting to brow-beat Hazel on a topic you’ve proven to know nothing about; whereas, she’s studied it at the graduate level. Indeed, you only respond with more insults. You’re really showing your lack of upbringing, here.

                      And this Humanities major with a minor in Classics and graduate and doctoral degrees in Linguistics finds your “Two Cultures” bullshit hilarious. You’re not even a good humanities scholar! In our “interactions”, I’ve consistently proven that I am more well-lettered than you by leagues. Is this the hill you really want to die on, Tony?

                    4. Don’t get me wrong, I came out of the humanities thinking almost all of it was bullshit, including any “two cultures” type notions. Nevertheless, if you don’t accept facts universally accepted by relevant experts, you don’t exactly win at thinking.

                    5. Nevertheless, if you don’t accept facts universally accepted by relevant experts, you don’t exactly win at thinking.

                      Before nature acts, it polls the scientific community, and takes action only if there is consensus. True knowledge comes not from observation or understanding, but from agreement.

                      From the Book of Tony, the light of wisdom that shines upon the world.

                    6. if you don’t accept facts universally accepted by relevant experts, you don’t exactly win at thinking.

                      No, that’s exactly how you win at thinking. Obviously you haven’t read any Popper. The entire scholarly process is based on the skeptical instinct that drives falsification. And despite the gaps in your philosophical education, surely you must have studied enough history to be aware of Lysenko. So it’s not it’s entirely unprecedented that a large swath of scientific “experts” applied systemic bias to analysis of empirical observation out of political ideology.

                      Anyway, I’m going to grill up some mussels. Have fun!

                    7. It’s not unprecedented but it’s also highly unlikely that we got the greenhouse effect all wrong or that the scientific method has happened to completely break down on a global scale just when oil companies got some bad news for their business model.

                    8. Tony sez:

                      “Nevertheless, if you don’t accept facts universally accepted by relevant experts, you don’t exactly win at thinking.”

                      Argument from authority & bandwagon.

                      And he wonders why we laugh at him.

                    9. Please explain how you acquired a scientific mindset while avoiding math and science classes as much as possible.

                    10. Please explain how you acquired a scientific mindset while avoiding math and science classes as much as possible.

                      There are two things all progressives know about themselves:

                      1. They are the smart kids.

                      2. They always occupy the moral high ground.

                    11. “1. They are the smart kids.

                      2. They always occupy the moral high ground.”

                      Top 0.25%, thank you very much. And yes, I occupy the moral high ground. Easily.

                    12. Your blog is a laugh riot.

                      And yes, I occupy the moral high ground. Easily.

                      Yeah, using men with guns to force others into your Utopian “sustainability” truly places you on the moral high ground. Easily.

                    13. When you find a way to keep your trash on your own property, I’ll put down my guns. Deal?

                    14. When you find a way to keep your trash on your own property, I’ll put down my guns. Deal?

                      So, I take it you swam to Japan? No? Took a plane did you?

                      Where does rank hypocrisy put you on Moral Mountain there fella?

                    15. And were that it just you protecting “your property.” (Though I suspect you don’t count any of the CO2 you generate as “trash” on other’s property, do you?) You want government to take money from me to fund your antiquated little choo-choo trains too.

                      You want men with guns to force others to do all kinds of things for you.

          5. Why must collective action come via government? The history of mankind is replete with examples of people voluntarily engaging in cooperative association for mutual benefit.

            Even so, who is to say it will work? If the choice was between extinction of the species and subjugation to enviro-nazism, a lot of people would choose the former. Then the stupid, venal, and lazy who chose the latter would be ill equipped to save anything.

            Lest you call “enviro-nazism” unrealistic or hyperbolic, it is you yourself who said that people not in agreement with your ideology should be lined up and shot. The only difference between your solution and actual Nazism is a little Jew-hatred.

            But yet you have still left unaddressed my previous query to you. If your priority was to save the human race, then would not the crassest example of rampant capitalism under laissez-faire policies be the best solution? What difference does it make if the only two people to survive did so through the basest forms of expoitation and predation, as long as one is a virile man and the other a fertile woman?

            1. If the choice was between extinction of the species and subjugation to enviro-nazism, a lot of people would choose the former.

              Sorry, I was operating under the assumption that the extinction of the human species was not a viable option in this debate. Who are you talking about? Libertarians? Yeah, why don’t we put you in charge…

              would not the crassest example of rampant capitalism under laissez-faire policies be the best solution?

              No, because such a regime does not recognize the costs of pollution. That’s one of its most basic flaws. And the very problem we’re talking about.

              1. Behold the superior mind, an intellect so advanced that it cannot comprehend the concept of the hypothetical nor address the argument at hand.

                1. He’s already been intellectually checkmated. He’s now just having a hissy fit on being embarrassed so publicly.

              2. You still didn’t answer the above I addressed: why is the only option to combating AGW/CC worldwide serfdom rather than, oh, developing tech?

                Shoot, even the governments could say, “oh here’s a cool billion to make a more efficient gas refinery” or give tax breaks to private recycling companies.

                But nope. Gotta tax and nationalize?

                WHY is that the only solution?

                1. I don’t give the slightest shit what form of government is optimal. Whatever that form is, I’m for it. If it’s laissez-faire, fine, but it’s obviously not. It seems (obviously) that throwing lots of resources at developing clean energy tech is a primary part of the solution. Since markets haven’t done it yet, one might assume that directed efforts such as what we used for inventing space travel, nuclear power, and most other big leaps in technology would be called for. (I suppose markets must have been hindered be those pesky governments getting in the way and definitely not polluting energy not bearing the costs of pollution and thus distorting the market in their favor.)

                  1. Re: Tony,

                    Since markets haven’t done it yet, one might assume that directed efforts such as what we used for inventing space travel, nuclear power, and most other big leaps in technology would be called for.

                    Didn’t space travel and nuclear power cause externalities? I mean, considering just how easily impressed you seem to be with such efforts…

                    Maybe the market doesn’t like “big leaps” of technology because of externalities?

                  2. You don’t care, except you do? Can you make it through a whole paragraph without contradicting yourself?

                    Maybe, you mental midget, the answer is not solar power. But of course, you know the correct solution (never mind what you believed five or ten or fifteen years ago, this time you have it right).

                    If only everybody would do what you want, then the world would be perfect! Never mind the details, those are for the little people to figure out. After all, the world exists to serve Tony, and if Tony can’t be inconvenienced by understanding or even living with the people he claims to be “saving” that’s just his right for being smarter and better than them.

                    Come, little mind, tell us how you know all the answers to the world’s problems! Yet the only thing you can ever discuss in detail is the violence you will bring upon your enemies, real or imagined.

                    1. I mean I’m not emotionally invested in the form of government like you are.

                      I don’t know the answers to all the world’s problems and I don’t know what the best solution to this particular one is, because it’s very complex. All I know is that science isn’t optional.

                    2. All I know is that science isn’t optional.

                      “All you know” is something that doesn’t make any sense?

                      I could pull “quote me Richard Feynman on what science means” but HM already played the game with you over “game theory” and you’re too stupid to realize you lost.

                    3. He’s too stupid to realize I won.

                      Do not whore out the names of the honored dead for your bullshit culty anti-intellectual horseshit. You sit and you think hard about just what Richard Feynman would have to say about climate change deniers. Jesus fuck.

                    4. Tony – I asked why the conflation or false choice? I didn’t ask what government you prefer…

                      …I asked, per this article, why the disagreement on solutions to problems becomes about the problem itself?

                      For AGW/CC, there could be various solutions. Yet, if one disagrees with a specific solution, one is branded as a denialist, anti-science, libertard, barbarian, etc.

                    5. You’re branded those things if you reject the facts underlying the entire conversation, which most people here do. The only “solution” I’ve heard from the few of you who even hypothetically accept that the problem is real is “derrrrrr let markets sort it out and let’s frack some more too for some reason!”

                  3. “I don’t give the slightest shit what form of government is optimal.”

                    And he wonders why we laugh at him.

                    1. Yeah, he totally does and dodged my question. Oh well.

          6. Re: Tony,

            Your dogma prevents you from believing in basic game theory and externalities.

            “Basic game theory”? C’mon, you hypocrite. You believe at your convenience, but then when shown the pitfalls of prisoner’s dilemma when it comes to these sweeping “solutions” to global warming, you go to full derp mode. Also, externalities is a phony concept. Market transactions are ALWAYS Pareto optimal; all you have to do is allow the market to freely reach the Pareto equilibrium, a concept anathema to your ideas from planet Marxian.

            How do individuals freely choose not to get their electricity from coal plants?

            You do it at gunpoint, comrade Tonysky!

            1. As an aside, all sorts of libertarian economy theory is BASED ON game theory.

              You know, rational choice theory, public choice theory. Tony doesn’t have a fucking clue what he’s talking about.

              It’s liberals like Krugman who trumpet macro and distain micro, not the libertarians.

              1. Re: HazelMeade,

                You know, rational choice theory, public choice theory. Tony doesn’t have a fucking clue what he’s talking about.

                Of course not. He throws around terms like that to sound knowledgeable but, in reality, he has no clue of what they mean or even if he’s using them correctly. His ThinkProgress talking points mention “externalities” and game theory, well then, I shall mention them in all my posts, by Gawd!

          7. “Your dogma prevents you from believing in basic game theory and externalities.”

            In economics, an externality is the cost or benefit that affects a party who did not choose to incur that cost or benefit.

            An externality is two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner. I daresay we know and care more about them than a person whose entire philosophy of life is a giant fucking externality.

            1. An externality is something that renders the entire libertarian economic logic moot. If all costs and benefits are not included in the price, the market will optimize towards the wrong target.

              It’s must make you feel pathetic to know that one word destroys your ideology. So does the pair of words “game theory”. That must really suck.

              1. It’s must make you feel pathetic to know that one word destroys your ideology. So does the pair of words “game theory”. That must really suck.

                You really are profoundly ignorant for being an arrogant pig.

      2. Re: Tony,

        Doing nothing about climate change is a policy choice that you want to impose on everyone.

        I see that you’re still struggling with logic, little marxian. “Doing nothing” does not mean “imposition”. You can do whatever the hell you want, except not with my money or property. It is that simple.

        1. Marxians disdain logic and facts that are not relative as use of evidence and logic negates Marxist theory.

        2. There is no such thing as doing nothing. Especially when you define “doing nothing” as “continuing to actively pollute.”

          You can do whatever the hell you want, except not with my money or property.

          Fuck you, I want your money and property. And I have a lot of friends and they are all armed. Who are you to tell me I can’t have them? No formal system of property since you’re an anarchist, so supposing I have a bigger arsenal, your shit is mine by the only rule of the game, n’est-ce pas?

          1. so supposing I have a bigger arsenal, your shit is mine by the only rule of the game, n’est-ce pas?

            Civil Asset Forfeiture?

          2. Re: Tony,

            There is no such thing as doing nothing.

            Yes, there is. You just said it no more than a few posts ago. If it didn’t exist for YOU, you would not be using the concept.

            Fuck you, I want your money and property.

            Come and get it. I also have a lot of friends with guns and we eat little marxian gringos like you for breakfast.

          3. so supposing I have a bigger arsenal, your shit is mine by the only rule of the game, n’est-ce pas?

            Eminent Domain?

          4. so supposing I have a bigger arsenal, your shit is mine by the only rule of the game, n’est-ce pas?

            Income Taxation?

          5. Isn’t the “rule of law” “natural human rights” thing in opposition to that?

            Socialism in action, is what you described. Also, anarchistic chaos does lead to warlordism.

            That’s why you have restrictions on government imposing its own will on human rights.

          6. Fuck you, I want your money and property. And I have a lot of friends and they are all armed. Who are you to tell me I can’t have them?

            The mask slips.
            Tony must be having a bad day.

            1. Re: HazelMeade,

              Tony must be having a bad day.

              The pool has “Mensies” and “Not taking his Thorazine”. Which one should I write you for?

          7. Fuck you, I want your money and property. And I have a lot of friends and they are all armed. Who are you to tell me I can’t have them? No formal system of property since you’re an anarchist, so supposing I have a bigger arsenal, your shit is mine by the only rule of the game, n’est-ce pas?

            Huh. Apparently, along with the other things missing from Tony’s history class, he missed the united States in 1776, Vietnam in the 1950s-70s, and Afghanistan (twice).

            You can take my money and property, but you will pay dearly for it. Molon Labe (for love of Mike, Google it!).

            1. I have a vastly superior arsenal in this hypothetical, so I believe that I shall molon labe as much as I fucking well want to. What a civilized and orderly society you guys offer. Where do I sign up?

      3. Not at all. You are free to do whatever you like about climate change: bike to work, stop farting, fund your own sequestration projects, buy up every coal burning power plant on the planet, etc. Nothing is being “imposed” on you.

        Furthermore, climate change policy is utterly inconsequential as far as the climate is concerned: we can’t stop climate change through government policy, and it isn’t even clear we should. The only thing trying to mitigate climate change will do is wreck our economy and advance crony capitalism.

        1. What if what I want to do about climate change is Stand My Ground and shoot anyone in the face who puts their trash – even one molecule of it – on my property?

          Would you object to my defense of my property? Because your crap is certainly on my lawn. This is a scientific fact. If you doubt it, pop open a spreadsheet and do a bit of freshman chemistry. How many carbon atoms are there in a gallon of gas? How many cubic meters in the atmosphere? Which number is orders of magnitude larger?

          1. What if what I want to do about climate change is Stand My Ground and shoot anyone in the face who puts their trash – even one molecule of it – on my property?

            Never heard of civil tort. It was progressives like you that provided protection for industry against suits through regulation, violating hundreds of years of common law.

            You want to know why the Cuyahoga River burned? It was your ideological predecessors providing cover for favored industries.

            Now the solution your ilk offers is more of the same shit.

            If you doubt it, pop open a spreadsheet and do a bit of freshman chemistry. How many carbon atoms are there in a gallon of gas? How many cubic meters in the atmosphere? Which number is orders of magnitude larger?

            For somebody so quick to get “sciency” you sure do fucking suck at freshman chemistry.

            But on the gallon of gas thing, you must not use any petroleum-derived products, eh? Where does that place you with regard to Moral Mountain?

          2. How do you determine exactly which carbon atoms are produced by man or by Earth itself?

            You do know that carbon dioxide is actually required by plants, yes? Once you’ve magically determined which CO2 molecules are man-made and which are “natural” how will you determine exactly what concentration of CO2 is optimal?

            BTW, your missive on the IRS was hilarious. It’s like you’re almost there but the obvious conclusion just escapes your grasp.

  22. On climate change Grimes asserts “if one accepts human-mediated climate change, then supporting mitigating action should follow.”

    If one believes in God, then supporting everything the Bible says should follow.

    “Why little Marxians from planet Marxian can’t do logic.”

  23. Tony sez:

    “Fuck you, I want your money and property. And I have a lot of friends and they are all armed. Who are you to tell me I can’t have them? No formal system of property since you’re an anarchist, so supposing I have a bigger arsenal, your shit is mine by the only rule of the game, n’est-ce pas?”

    This kind of thinking, Mr Renaissance Man, is called “might makes right” and is generally regarded as the trivial solution to moral problems.

    To see why, ask yourself if it would be moral to ban gay sex (or whatever other activity you like) if a majority said so.

    1. To see why, ask yourself if it would be moral to ban gay sex (or whatever other activity you like) if a majority said so.

      Well, Tony goes along with the “majority is always right” line of thinking whenever it is inconvenient for him to reject it, such as when he defended slavery. Though, I suppose since Tony supports fractional slavery it’s not a radical leap to full chattel slavery.

      But yeah, he’s ranted about Prop 8 a number of times…

    2. Yes you’re right, that rhyming cliche is what I’m talking about, and what OM advocates as the only constant of human society. If you want something more sophisticated, say “might makes right, and the might is under the control of the people, who are free to form governments to enact their will, with any luck underpinned by centuries of moral and intellectual development,” well then you need a modern government as we have established and which aren’t ever going away. You people are weird.

  24. The comments section of the Guardian article makes me want to join ISIS and join the war against the West.

    Libertarian = organized crime? Where in holy fuck to people get ahold of mental cancer like that? That’s flat out clinical mental retardation.

  25. WHY in Hell, given climate does change and humans do change it, should anyone HAVE to do a damn thing about it? THAT is ideology, to say that the existence of something that some people fear or oppose MEANS that people who neither fear it nor oppose it should give a darn.

    WHY should I care if a few rich white kids get shot by their fellow students? There are plenty of rich white kids…

    As to drug development, look to regulation as to why it does not happen. Being safe and unchanging is a choice thing not an imperative. I’d rather a couple hundred died whilst a couple 100,000 lived, myself. I don’t know if drug firms would agree, some people get mad when some product kills folks and convince a huge number to no longer patronize a vendor. I do, but only when the vendor was not duly diligent in checking out what they offered, or worse.

    The outlook research is correct and abundantly obvious to me for fifty years. I am a hierarchical individualist.

  26. Almost right. Libertarianism is the enemy of using science as a political tool. And, yes, fighting the abuse of science as a political tool is a good thing.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.