Millennials

Climate Change Will Impoverish Millennials, Says Study

Only if you think merely tripling per capita GDP by 2100 is poverty

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The Demos think tank, which aims to enhance democracy and "elevate the values of community and racial equity," has just released an alarming report that argues that climate change will deprive millennials and those born after 2015 of massive amounts of income and wealth over the course of this century. The report, The Price Tag of Being Young: Climate Change and Millennials Economic Future, calculates that 21 year-old Millennial college graduates earning a median income will lose $126,000 in lifetime income, and $187,000 in wealth if no action is taken to slow and stop man-made climate change. Non-college graduates will lose $100,000 in lifetime income, and $142,000 in wealth.

That's bad enough, but the kids of Millennials will do much worse. Unabated climate change will reduce median incomes and wealth of children born in 2015 who do not go to college by $357,000 in lifetime income and $581,000 in wealth. The college-educated children of Millennials will supposedly lose $467,000 in lifetime income, and $764,000 in wealth.

The Demos analysis compares these climate change lifetime earnings losses to those associated with college debt ($113,000) and the Great Recession ($112,000). Sounds really bad, right? Digging into the calculations, Demos uses the worst-case projection of greenhouse emissions, known in the climate trade as Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5 in which CO2 in the atmophere rises from about 400 to 1313 parts per million. Essentially no efforts at all will be taken to reduce emissions by 2100.

The Environment Directorate at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has devised five shared socioeconomic pathways (SSPs) that outline how the world's economy might develop by 2100. The SSPs include scenarios for population, economic, energy use, and greenhouse gas emissions growth. Very interstingly, the Demos study selects the SSP5 scenario which features the highest economic growth, the lowest population growth, and no greenhouse emissions abatement. As I report in my book, The End of Doom:

In the SSP5 "conventional development" scenario, the world economy grows flat out, which "leads to an energy system dominated by fossil fuels, resulting in high GHG emissions and challenges to mitigation." Because there is more urbanization and because there are higher levels of education, world population peaks at 8.6 billion in 2055 and will have fallen to 7.4 billion by 2100. The world's economy will grow fifteen-fold to just over $1 quadrillion, and the average person in 2100 will be earning about $138,000 per year. US annual incomes would exceed $187,000 per capita.

Demos uses only wages, not personal income in its calculations. Nevertheless, for a rough calculation as a comparison, let's assume the U.S. per capita SSP5 income of $187,000 with a working lifetime of 44 years (age 21-65 years). That yields an average per capita lifetime income exceeding $8.2 million. The SSP5 analysis takes into account the costs of adaptation to a hotter world, but the Demos analysts are not satisfied with that. So they cite a 2015 study in Nature that suggests that unmitigated warming would reduce incomes by 23 percent by 2100. In other words, they take an already worst-case warming scenario and make it even worse.

Even with that additional thumb on the climate change scales, average U.S. per capita lifetime income would be $6.3 million by 2100. For comparison, multiplying the current U.S per capita GDP of $56,000 by a working lifetime produces an total income of just under $2.5 million.

What would happen if the world were to pursue the greatest efforts at cutting greenhouse gases under the SSP1 sustainability scenario. Surely this would be the preferred scenario for the Demos folks. In that case, global GDP would be just a bit more than half of the SSP5 scenario. U.S. GDP per capita in 2100 in the SSP1 sustainability scenario would be about $90,000. Over the course of a working lifetime that would add up to just under $4 million. In other words, about half of what incomes would be in a hotter, but the much richer SSP5 world.

Of course, the Demos analysts and I are both assuming here that the risks of truly catastrophic consequences from future man-made warming are negligible. That's a discussion for another time.

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  1. The millennials are being told they are being screwed by everyone and everything. Some of these predictions are bound to be correct.

    1. Mostly we are being screwed by ourselves, but that can also be blamed on how our parents raised us to be special cupcakes.

      1. And by “us” I mean the rest of my generation that were unfortunate to have parents that coddled them. I am grateful now of how much I hated my parents as a child and how much my brothers bullied me.

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  2. Going back to our discussion about city dwellers and pollution:

    City dwellers accept pollution (which does not imply ALL pollution but pollution as a general condition since cities WILL be polluted whether you like it or not) as part of the cost of living in a city compared to living in, say, a farm. Otherwise the growth of cities would be the result of rates of birth being above the replacement level.

    This does not mean that city dwellers prefer pollution over no pollution. That is not implied in my statement at all; when given the choice for something that improves their welfare, people in cities will tend to move towards that choice, like it happened at the beginning of the 20th Century when self-moving vehicles (i.e. automobiles) became available. But before we had the air polluted from emissions, cities were polluted by horse excrement; and before sewage systems, the streets were contaminated with human urine and feces. The point is that it is THE MARKET which sets the acceptable level of pollution, since the market is the manifestation of people’s preferences. Instead, regulations are often the result of lobbying efforts from entrenched political or economic interests and rent-seekers. I don’t see how this will be any different if government imposes a carbon tax, no matter how beautiful is your Coase analysis.

    1. The point is that it is THE MARKET which sets the acceptable level of pollution, since the market is the manifestation of people’s preferences.

      “The acceptable level” sounds to me like trade-offs, which is a non-starter in political circles. “If it saves just one life, it’s worth it” is a typical argument of these crazy people. How much money did it cost to save that one life and how many lives could we have saved if we had spent the money on something else? Like the airline safety requirement that babies have to have their own seat and can’t be held in your lap – how many parents then couldn’t afford to fly, drove instead and got killed in a car wreck? I’ll bet it’s a higher number than the number of babies lives saved, which as far as I know is zero. We killed babies in the name of infant safety.

      If you have to bankrupt the country fixing some particular problem, well, that’s better than being the sort of heartless bastard who says “meh, good enough” when the price tag starts getting pinchy and wants to make cost/benefit arguments – how can you put a price tag on health and happiness and whine about how we can’t afford to spend a measly 50 trillion a year or so fixing All The Problems? (Except the problem of where we’re getting 50 trillion.)

      1. Babies should have to fly as checked baggage.

        I was on a 16 hour flight once where someone had a baby that cried a lot. It was not good. Maybe you should just fucking stay home when you have an infant child.

        Sorry, rant over.

        1. Re: Jerryskids,

          “The acceptable level” sounds to me like trade-offs, which is a non-starter in political circles.

          And you can bet politicians never heard of the law of diminishing returns, either. Sometimes, I am thinking that Bailey hasn’t either. Whereas it is easy to make some industries put scrubbers in their smokestacks after a few lawsuits or, through consumer choice, ask producers to come up with cleaner cars or more efficient appliances, the imposition of rules and regulations that purport to set a standard on emissions regardless of the type of industry, would only serve to make the cost of doing business much higher than it would be otherwise, all for measly gains that can only be measured in the thousands of a unit. I can’t see how that would be any different with a carbon tax or other wealth-taking scheme.

      2. Agreed on: acceptable level. Go back just to the 70s to see what happens when the phrase cost/benefit was seen to be almost as evil as the n-word is perceived today to see how that worked out (tariffs, piece price controls, rent control, wage control, etc, etc).

        By mid 80s,into/thru the 90s, cost/benefit could be debated without the user of the phrase being assumed by all others to be the personification of evil to see a difference (welfare reform, Hillary Care failure, etc, etc,etc).

        Seems were sliding quickly back to the 70s, but I’m sure it’ll work out better than it did then. Or at least better than Venezuela.

        At least that’s what they tell me: all prior and current socialist paradises which have failed or are failing, are only that way due to lack of the right TopMen.

        Since more perfect human specimens are becoming TopMen in November, it shouldn’t be long at all before we achieve Utopia (even if bloodshed is required of course).

  3. If the Democrats get their way on trying to spend us out of the climate changing, then this will definitely come true.

  4. The Demos think tank, which aims to enhance democracy and “elevate the values of community and racial equity,” has just released an alarming report that argues that climate change will deprive millennials and those born after 2015 of massive amounts of income and wealth over the course of this century.

    I assumed it’s not the climate change itself that’s going to cost them so much, it’s paying for the stopping climate change bullshit the government comes up with in response to the urging of the good folks over at the Demos think tank. It’s easy enough for those guys to put a price tag on what climate change is going to cost – they’re the ones forcing everybody to buy it.

  5. Unabated climate change will reduce median incomes and wealth of children born in 2015 who do not go to college by $357,000 in lifetime income and $581,000 in wealth.

    If one factors in the income-bashing mitigation proposals from the left, then the sentence above would be phrased as so:

    “If we don’t make you poor today, you’re going to be poor tomorrow.”

    Take it for what it is. To me it sounds like someone trying to sell me indulgences.

    1. does anyone else find it odd that the likes of Demos is suddenly concerned about income and wealth? Then again, the left does need some geese to pluck for its various schemes.

      1. Re: wareagle,

        does anyone else find it odd that the likes of Demos is suddenly concerned about income and wealth?

        I am not that concerned. I find it especially touching. Their preoccupation with the ability of millennials to accumulate wealth is very touching, especially in light of the total disdain for wealth (and its accumulation) they have expressed in the past. Makes you think that maybe they changed their mind, at least for the purpose of promoting this “study” and the policies supported by it.

        1. the group’s lack of self-awareness is more glaring than usually demonstrated by the left. I guess once the mask starts slipping, there is no preventing its total fall.

      2. Maybe they could do a study on the future impact of the currently existing web of federal, state and local government regulatory schemes , tax schemes and wealth transfer through entitlement schemes if they are so concerned about the millennials.

        I won’t hold my breath waiting for that.

        1. Their study concluded that higher taxes and bigger and stronger agencies and regulations will result in increased prosperity.

          1. Mark Zandi of moody analytics approves!

    2. Interestingly, it’s the atheists who are selling indulgences this time . . .

  6. The cure? Subsidized Millennial lifestyles. Consider me alarmed.

  7. Still can’t understand why the Demos types believe govt is the vehicle for abating climate change and why they believe it wouldn’t fuck that up like govt fucks up most things it touches.

    1. The truth is that they don’t care if it fixes everything, their solutions call for them to be given more power full stop. All this other crap is just to fool people as to their real goals.

      1. That’s true but it is still a fun exercise to ask the warmist cult why they believe govt is the vehicle to a solution and if they have considered any possible consequences of going down that road. Blank stares and the occasional Koch! or Boooosh! reference follow.

  8. “elevate the values of community and racial equity,”

    It’s considerate of them to mark this as “collectivist” right from the start so that you know it’s bullshit going in.

    1. My eyes swivelled so far up at that, I was unable to read the rest of the article.

  9. Wish more folks would point out the obvious flaw in Democrats going after oil companies…..well who actually uses the said product?

  10. “elevate the values of community and racial equity,” pinged my SJW BS monitor and I stopped reading….

  11. How does one know what the climate has in store when all their predictions have failed to come true?

  12. If they think fossil fuels are going to make us poorer, just wait until we’re all paying twice as much for “green” energy.

  13. “In other words, they take an already worst-case warming scenario and make it even worse.”

    Just like every climate alarmist, except when they are straight up manufacturing data.

    I missed it. In what way, exactly, will global warming reduce incomes?

    1. It’s an article of faith that increased earthly temperatures make everything worse. An humans are causing increased earthly temperatures. So give money and power to the priests of warmism.

      1. I’m too lazy to look, but what are the energy/cost numbers of heating vs. cooling?

        It would seem to me, that with warming, overall heating costs would go down, but cooling costs would not necessarily go up by a similar amount.

        1. Heating is easier from a technological standpoint.

          I don’t know if you can pump heat out of an atmosphere cheaper than you can put it in. But it seems to me that the overhead of the cooling mechanisms requires more energy than merely heating via combustables. Air circulation would take about the same in both cases to distribute the temperature variance throughout the living space.

          1. Electric heating is more efficient too. Because you don’t get waste heat, you just get more heat.

            1. You just failed freshman physics. Moving heat is nearly always easier than generating it.

              1. Yeah, I didn’t think that one through all the way.

                And there are a whole lot of factors involved. Probably better to go the empirical route than to idly theorize.

          2. Ugh. Yes you can. Heat pumps are your friend.

        2. Depends on how cool you want to be. You need heat to live in some places. You really don’t need AC (unless you are an old person in a dilapidated French apartment).

    2. In what way, exactly, will global warming reduce incomes?

      That was my question as well. It doesn’t seem obvious at all that a warming climate would reduce incomes across the board. Some people would have to relocate or adapt in other expensive ways. But a lot of people wouldn’t and many would probably even benefit in various ways.

      1. I read a “study” once whose summary was published in Popular Mechanics years ago where the “research” was shown to prove global warming would harm minorities and the poor more so than others.

        It was published by a “great science school” (I think USC) with two PhDs.

        When I found the actual research paper, I found the paper contained nothing on what damages will happen due to global warming, but instead found a B- high school paper which simply showed disparate impact on the poor/minorities during past large scale disasters.

        So they basically noted things such as Hurricane Katrina and the tsunami in Indonesia, affected those with the fewest resources worse than it affected those with lots of resources.

        And since we all know that global warming weep cause untold damages, it stands to reason those with fewer resources will be screwed there too.

        Which is about like saying research has proven that fights between teenagers and 6 year olds usually turns out bad for tree year old.

        I went online, found the article, posted my rebuttal and cancelled that subscription and haven’t purchased any “Popular” magazines since then.

        Though in their defense, I’ve yet find a strong source for science news, so I don’t think that much highly of any other science mag/site either….

        Side note: suggestions for source on science news is welcome

    3. That was the point of the article. The “bad” scenario actually produced MORE GDP than the “good climate” scenario.

  14. Climate change denial is mostly attributable to the belief that addressing the problem will require us to sacrifice our standard of living.

    If the authoritarians and socialists are starting to wise up to the real source of opposition to their proposals on climate change, then it’s no wonder if they’re hard-selling the idea that our standard of living will suffer dramatically if we do nothing.

    To be a practicing progressive, you really do need to have religious-like faith in certain things–thank God some of the things progressives believe about how the economy works are dumber than creationism.

    That being said, just as creationism evolved into something with more of a scientific narrative (intelligent design), progressives will eventually create a more compelling narrative to justify their faith in authoritarian and socialist solutions to climate change, as well.

    It is so important that those of us who believe in capitalist solutions to climate change (all five of us) start making the case instead of simply denying the science or stonewalling with ridiculous notions about how buying fire insurance is stupid because we can’t prove that our house will burn down in the future.

    If I’m wrong about anything here, I hope it’s this: The reason a lot of my fellow libertarians stand on denialism is because they don’t believe there are libertarian and capitalist solutions to AGW and climate change themselves.

    Prove me wrong. Please, prove me wrong.

    1. Actually I am not a denier. Climate does change. The world has been warming in jerks and starts for the last 20,000 years. Sea level has been rising during that time and continues to do so. Climate is not static. I think the majority is natural but clearly man does have some effect on it, but I think a negligible amount.

      I sound like a denier because I know a fucking con when I see one.

      1. So it’s not that you deny climate change; it’s that you deny it’s being changed by human activity?

        The idea that your political position isn’t being accurately described with the correct adjectives isn’t really compelling to non-libertarian voters who might buy into the authoritarian and socialist narrative.

        When I said I was hoping you would prove me wrong, I was hoping you would prove me wrong about there being so few libertarians who believe in capitalist solutions.

        If new scientific evidence becomes available tomorrow showing that climate change is real and man-made, what have you got? Any capitalist solutions at all?

        1. The only capitalist solution that I know of that has much chance of actually working is the commercial planting trees.

          I have suggested this many times. It will never get traction because it doesnt allow for plunder and theft. It’s just good old fashioned forestry.

        2. Solutions to what, exactly? The free market will attempt to provide solutions to peoples problems, but climate change in and of itself isn’t a problem. It may cause problems, but it will also have benefits as well. Say tomorrow there is incontrovertible proof that even John would accept uncritically that climate is changing and it is all our fault; that still doesn’t prove that it is a net problem to be solved in and of itself. The free market can and will provide solutions to the individual problems caused by the climate getting warmer, but it may or may not do anything about the warming trend in and of itself. And why should it? Unless it can be proven that we know the optimal global climate and that we can keep the Earth within that range, and that our methods of doing so will not have more deleterious effects than the climate shift they prevent, climate should be left alone to do what it does. Our track record of purposefully monkeying with large, complex, distributed systems with poorly understood feedbacks is incredibly unimpressive, to say the least.

          To summarize, I believe that we are causing the climate to change, but I don’t believe that we can know that that is a problem, nor that our meddling, either public or private, will be a good thing.

          1. “Solutions to what, exactly? The free market will attempt to provide solutions to peoples problems, but climate change in and of itself isn’t a problem.”

            It’s not the climate change that’s the problem; it’s the problems caused by climate change that are the problem?

            I think this is a tired echo from other threads in other places. We’re all susceptible to habitual arguments. I’ve fallen prey to indulging in that myself on occasion.

            But that argument is about to persuade millennials to reject authoritarian and socialist solutions to the problem of climate change the problems caused by climate change.

            1. So then, if climate change is a problem in and of itself, what is the optimal state of the climate? Why is that state to be preferred above others? How is that state to be maintained, and can it be done so in a way that is less destructive than allowing the climate to change to a sub optimal point?

              No temperature is ideal to all people in all places of the planet. The calculus gets even harder when you start to consider non human interests. Sure, rising temperatures means less sea ice, and makes life harder for polar bears and coastal cities. But less sea ice is advantageous to polar whales and porpoises and extends growing seasons and opens new areas for agriculture, reducing our impact on over taxed watersheds and lowing food prices. Who’s interest prevails? Why is one temperature correct? Or is the best solution to deal with the individual problems caused by temperature shift while preserving the benefits?

              Call my arguments a tired echo if you want, but pointing out our own ignorance and how a one size fits all government solution is guaranteed to have disastrous results because of our ignorance is the only argument that I’ve seen that works with millennials, myself included.

              1. Re: Caput Lupinum,

                So then, if climate change is a problem in and of itself, what is the optimal state of the climate?

                It should be whatever state it needs to be provided it does not severely contradict the plans of the mitigation policy purveyors that seek to profit from those policies.

                Think of it this way: why would a man you pay to hold the moon up be interested in letting anyone know that the moon is actually running circles around the earth and will never fall? Well, it’s the exact same thing with these climatey changey doomsayers.

        3. I’d like to know how you implement a global carbon tax, Mr. Libertarian.

          1. Same way we “forced” China to abandon central planning and embrace more of a capitalist model?

            We lead by example.

            What I’m talking about would radically accelerate the pace of economic growth, make our standard of living grow, etc.

            Besides, even if we were the only ones doing it, at least we’d get the benefits of a more capitalist society.

            The worst possible outcome is the one where we sacrifice our standard of living but it isn’t enough to save the environment. What I’m advocating is sacrificing nothing–well, those who willingly choose to make sacrifices to do environmentally minded things to suit their own qualitative preferences would still be free to do so.

            But what I’m talking about is the opposite of forced sacrifice.

            1. Advocating for a tax is, by definition, a forced sacrifice Ken. Your tax may be less harmful than the bevy of other taxes already imposed, but it is still having the government take a portion of my wealth without my permission. The lesser evil is still evil.

              1. And he hasn’t come close to quantifying or justifying any value of that tax. I’m fine with the principle of applying Coase here, but the only way it can be applied is with a well underpinned estimate of the costs net the benefits. Anyone who believes we know that belongs in a temple with the rest of their faith.

              2. You get to choose whether to pay sales taxes at the time of sale, and you can choose not to pay sale taxes at all.

                That is the least coercive option.

                Sales taxes are the most voluntary form of taxation possible–and fundamentally less coercive than income taxes, corporate taxes, or capital gains taxes.

                I agree with Hayek:

                “Nor can certain harmful effects of deforestation, or of some methods of farming, or of the smoke and noise of factories, be confined to the owner of the property in question or to those who are willing to submit to the damage for an agreed compensation. In such instances we must find some substitute for the regulation by the price mechanism.”

                —-Road to Serfdom

                http://tinyurl.com/z9d8rck

                Whether CO2 is harmful to third parties is an interesting question to somebody; regardless, the wisdom of subjecting taxation to the discipline of the price mechanism through markets is indisputably a liberating principle–according to Hayek.

                . . . with sales taxes, taxation is subjected to the price mechanism. If government sets sales prices too high, they lost revenue–funny how markets work that way, God bless ’em.

                Anyway, if no more voluntary system of taxation is possible, then choosing the freest form of taxation to the exclusion of others for being less voluntary cannot be coercive.

                And what more voluntary system of taxation could there be than one that let’s people choose to pay no tax at all?

            2. “We lead by example . . . ” doesn’t eliminate the free-rider problem, you dodo head.

              1. You’re ignoring the fact that our current system of taxation has terrible costs associated with it.

                We should keep shooting ourselves in the foot because if we don’t, we’ll be the only ones who aren’t shooting ourselves in the foot anymore?

                Getting rid of socialism and embracing capitalism wouldn’t be harmful. I keep coming across fellow libertarians who can’t seem to really grok that fact.

                It’s like we’ve become so convinced ourselves that anything we do with carbon is necessarily harmful to the economy that we can’t imagine capitalist solutions. It’s as if anything we propose, no matter how capitalist, is somehow unacceptable if it’s about carbon.

                Either carbon is a magical substance that makes free market capitalism collapse like Superman when’s hit with kryptonite, or my fellow libertarians have a serious mental block when it comes to CO2. It’s just a molecule! It doesn’t change everything. We have legitimate, capitalist solutions to every problem under the sun.

                Don’t believe progressives when they tell you otherwise. They’re ignorant. They’re wrong.

    2. The burden of proof of any affirmative condition claim about any conceivable aspect of existence always lies with those making it.

      No one is required to prove a negative. The negative prevails by default unless those claiming the affirmative can prove it to be so unequivocally and absolutely definitively.

      Any affirmative condition claim about anything that cannot be proven to be so exactly as definitively as I can prove that my car has four wheels attached to it isn’t proven at all.

      That is all.

      1. “The burden of proof of any affirmative condition claim about any conceivable aspect of existence always lies with those making it.”

        That’s more of a scientific response, and the problem is that the question under consideration isn’t really a scientific question.

        Whether I should be willing to sacrifice my standard of living now so that millennials will have a comfortable retirement can’t be falsified through observation. It’s a question of ethics, maybe, but it’s also a question of personal qualitative preferences.

        Do I really need to prove that strawberry ice cream tastes better than chocolate chip before I can order it rationally?

        I think there’s something to the suggestion that the costs need to be justified by the benefits, but that wasn’t what I was addressing in my post. If opposition to authoritarian and socialist solutions is driven by people’s concerns about their standard of living rather than the science, then why would we bring up scientific principles like the burden of proof on an affirmative condition?

        Regardless of whether you are or are not willing to sacrifice your standard of living now–so long as you won’t see the benefits of doing so in your lifetime–then why should you need to prove your personal qualitative preferences to anybody?

        Today, I prefer rocky road to strawberry.

        1. If your base concern is about your standard of living, then the only acceptable solutions to warming have to be technological, no? We can all keep on keeping on but these here buckytubes sprinkled in the ocean will sequester the forcings and keep our hockey sticks on the ice (or something).

          Capitalist solutions would be actually solving the technical and engineering issues around AGW. I don’t think anyone necessarily opposes that, it just isn’t given much thought since the only ‘solution’ on the table appears to be mud huts and veganism.

          1. See my post below here:

            https://reason.com/blog/2016/08…..nt_6356630

            There’s a hell of a lot more capitalist things we can do.

            If people’s reservations about solutions to our environmental problems are driven by questions about how the solutions will impact their standard of living, then having a pro-capitalist public policy that creates economic growth is absolutely necessary to maintain the support to save the environment.

            Even if you somehow bully people into accepting authoritarian and socialist solutions, they’ll quickly reject them once the problems start to impact their standard of living.

            The Gilliard government in Australia implemented a carbon tax without offsetting against other forms of taxation. Once it was implemented, and the Australian people saw how awful it was in addition to all their other taxation, first they got rid of Julia Gillard, and then they got rid of the carbon tax.

            It took them less than a year to get rid of the carbon tax.

            1. This is a timeline from ABC, Australia’s answer to the BBC.

              http://tinyurl.com/jeqm9zv

            2. You seem to be equating capitalist solutions with taxation centered around carbon. A carbon tax may be a solution, but it’s a solution only inasmuch as you define the problem to be carbon emissions.

              Regardless, assuming no technological change, reductions in carbon emissions are going to mean a reduction in standard of living for someone, somewhere–most likely the developing world.

              Ultimately, the best ‘capitalist’ solution is to solve the problem via technology. Capitalism solved the problem of horse-shit in the streets via the automobile, it can solve the actual problems that arise from AGW by reducing emissions via production (cf fracking or nukular) or consumption (cf LED bulbs), etc.

              Caput’s comment above is relevant here as well I think.

              1. “You seem to be equating capitalist solutions with taxation centered around carbon.”

                Income taxes are a socialist scheme to redistribute money from wealthy individuals and redistributed to others through government spending.

                Corporate taxes are a socialist scheme to nationalize the profits of companies and redistribute the money through government spending.

                The capital gains tax is a socialist scheme to redistribute the proceeds of capitalists’ investments.

                Taxing income, profits, and capital gains isn’t just authoritarian and incredibly socialist, it’s also monumentally stupid–far worse than taxing sales and far worse than taxing carbon.

                I’m not going to rehash old threads here for the hundredth time, but just for one example, taxing income is taxing labor. How evil is it to artificially inflate the cost of hiring an unskilled worker by 20% with a tax when he’d be just as happy working for only his take home pay?

                Yes, taxing some things is worse than others, and you’d have a hard time finding something dumber to tax than income, profits, and capital gains.

                1. Meanwhile, redistributing wealth is half (more than half) of what socialism is about. Whatever else socialism means, it also means government ownership of productive resources and prices set by government. When the government taxes dividends and capital gains, it has taken that much of an ownership stake in the company–no matter how else you want to slice it.

                  And I haven’t even started talking about the intrusive and authoritarian nature of reporting requirements. Did you know that if you don’t file a 1040, they come looking for you? They’ll strip money right out of your checking account without a trial, too.

                  Yes, I’m against socialism, and even if AGW is a hoax, we should get rid of the income tax, the corporate tax, the capital gains tax and others; moreover, if making a sales tax about carbon gives us the opportunity to get rid of the income tax, the corporate tax, and the capital gains tax, then we should absolutely pursue that–even if, much to our chagrin, doing so makes environmentalists happy.

                  1. So the solution to this particular problem just happens to be the solutions you’ve been flogging to all other problems? Where have I heard that before?

                    1. “So the solution to this particular problem just happens to be the solutions you’ve been flogging to all other problems?

                      Is it really hard to believe that human ingenuity, investment, and freedom is the solution to a lot of our human problems?

                      And they’ve solved so many problems.

                      When’s the last time the government solved our problems?

                      Even when we beat the Soviets and the Nazis, it was on the back of free enterprise.

                  2. Ken, if you want to talk taxes, talk taxes. If you want to talk about the libertarian position on climate change, talk about the libertarian position on climate change. Most of us are talking about the later in this thread, because of this:

                    The reason a lot of my fellow libertarians stand on denialism is because they don’t believe there are libertarian and capitalist solutions to AGW and climate change themselves.

                    Prove me wrong. Please, prove me wrong.

                    We’re all talking about how libertarian philosophies inform our positions on climate change, as you originally asked, and you’ve pivoted to talking about taxes. We’re talking past each other, Ken. You’re pulling a John, address the concerns of other peoples replies, or make a separate thread to discuss the relative merits of a carbon tax.

                    1. This thread is about authoritarian and socialist climate alarmists going after millennials by telling them that their standard of living is in danger if we don’t do what the alarmists say.

                      Your tired platitudes about “science” are out of place here.

                      And libertarianism isn’t a list of libertarian thoughts.

                      If libertarian identity ever becomes a real thing based on a set series of positions with associated platitudes, I’ll be sure to make fun of them–because they will be fake libertarians.

                      If you still don’/t get what “free minds and free markets” means, maybe you should look into objectivism. They”re like a flock of parrots over there–maybe you’ll love it.

                  3. And yet, a carbon tax is “revenue neutral” and does not redistribute wealth AT ALL . . .

                    1. Sales taxes aren’t generally on a sliding scale.

                      The taxes you pay on gasoline at the pump are the same regardless of how much money you make.

                      Income taxes aren’t like that.

                      Corporate taxes aren’t like that.

                      Capital gains taxes aren’t like that.

                      Wealthier people who spend more may pay more in sales taxes, but sales taxes aren’t set higher for wealthier people in order to redistribute their income.

                      If you’re really going for the idea that income taxes aren’t “progressive” and sales taxes are, then you’re really going off the rails, here.

        2. Okay, I will grant you the fantasy of eliminating all the blood sucking statist tax codes. You now have a superior, carbon tax based on consumption.

          Now, tell me how you get the rest of the world to do the same?

          Global climate change, global carbon tax.

          Tell us how, oh wise one.

        3. I think I know what you mean by “cannot prove a negative” is more a scientific response, but it’s still wrong. It’s a philosophical and moral response.

          How far we’ve fallen when logic Lincoln used in debating Douglas is considered “a scientific objection” instead of being considered to be correct…. For details go here and here’s a snippet:

          Now, I have no means of totally disproving such charges as this which the Judge makes. A man cannot prove a negative; but he has a right to claim, that when a man makes an affirmative charge, he must offer some proof to show the truth of what he says. I certainly cannot introduce testimony to show the negative about things, but I have a right to claim that if a man says he knows a thing, then he must show how he knows it. I always have a right to claim this, and it is not satisfactory to me that he may be “conscientious” on the subject.

        4. “That’s more of a scientific response, and the problem is that the question under consideration isn’t really a scientific question.””

          it is not a scientific response at all.

          It is a statement about the rules of evidence, rules of debate and the burden of proof.

          If you cannot prove that something exists exactly as definitively as I can prove that my car has four wheels attached to it, then you haven’t gotten past step one and no one has any obligation to follow you into the “we must do something” step as you have not established the existence of that something to begin with.

          1. “It is a statement about the rules of evidence, rules of debate and the burden of proof.”

            There is no burden of proof with personal qualitative preferences.

            You can just like what you like and dislike what you dislike.

            Some people would rather not eat animals, and I think they should be free to not eat them–even if they don’t have proof . . . whatever that means.

            Some people aren’t willing to make sacrifices of their standard of living for future generations.

            Some people are.

            Some people care more about polar bears than coal miners, but for some other people, they care more about the standard of living of coal miners than they do about polar bears. Whether the polar bears will go extinct because of global warming might be a scientific question that requires some kind of proof, but the personal preference for polar bears over coal minders or visa versa isn’t about science.

            It doesn’t have anything to do with proof.

            One of the great things about markets is that they let each individual make choices based on their own personal qualitative preferences.

            The idea that their personal qualitative preferences should be subjected to some standard of proof is the essence of central planning.

            I said rocky road earlier, but now it’s later in the day, and I’ve changed my mind. Now I want strawberry.

            And I don’t need any proof.

            1. “There is no burden of proof with personal qualitative preferences.”

              That’s not the subject. The subject is the validity of the theory of man-made global and the related predictions of huge negative consequences. Those claims are either correct or they are not correct.Those claiming they are bear the burden of proof of it. Personal qualitative preferences about anything have nothing to do with it.

              “Some people aren’t willing to make sacrifices of their standard of living for future generations.”

              It hasn’t been established that any sacrifice is necessary to begin with – at least not from the unproven theory of man made global warming. People who are eager to sacrifice for future generations already have plenty of quantitatively proven ways to do so -like cutting government taxes, spending, regulations and unsustainable entitlement programs. You want to sacrifice for future generations? Then don’t collect social security or sign up for Medicare.

              “One of the great things about markets is that they let each individual make choices based on their own personal qualitative preferences.”

              Yes they do. Which means you don’t really have any point in talking about taxes. Taxes have nothing to do with markets. Taxes -of any type – are applications of government force – not markets.

              “The idea that their personal qualitative preferences should be subjected to some standard of proof is the essence of central planning.”

              Tell that to the voice in your head that claimed that.

    3. If I’m wrong about anything here, I hope it’s this: The reason a lot of my fellow libertarians stand on denialism is because they don’t believe there are libertarian and capitalist solutions to AGW and climate change themselves.

      Prove me wrong. Please, prove me wrong.

      1. I don’t know if half your post got blasted by squirrels, but I’ve never turned down an invitation to explicate–so pardon me if that’s what this is.

        I’d like to eliminate the corporate tax, the income tax, the capital gains tax, and every other form of god-awful, socialist, redistributive, and more authoritarian form of taxation, and I’d like to replace them all with a sales tax on carbon.

        I’ve gone into the reasons why I hate those other taxes before in other threads, suffice it to say that the justification for replacing those idiotic, authoritarian, and socialist forms of taxation doesn’t need to be justified with science.

        All we’d need to show is that a sales tax is more libertarian and more capitalist than an income tax, a corporate tax, a capital gains tax, etc. In other words, we should be getting rid of those taxes and replace them with a sales tax–even if AGW were a gigantic hoax.

        1. I cant disagree in principle but I am very leery of a carbon tax. I have a sneaking suspicion that the percentage would increase dramatically in short order.

          A tax on consumption would be acceptable to me in the absence of all those other taxes but it would have to be limited constitutionally. Just having an open ended tax…well, we all know where that would go.

          1. See the life and death of the Julia Gillard carbon tax I linked above.

            It failed spectacularly as an additional tax.

            I think you should also keep DeRugy 19% rule in mind:

            http://tinyurl.com/bof4h6g

            Her chart shows the government raising and lowering tax rates, but it ends up collecting around 19% of GDP regardless of how high the tax rate is. The amount of money the government takes in as taxes increases more as a function of GDP growth–not increasing the rate of taxation.

            One of the things we could draw from that is the observation that the government won’t end up getting more than 19% of GDP with an extra tax–but taxation does go down in response to political pressure. In other words, one of the reasons the government can’t get more than 19% of GDP is because every time it tries, people get mad and force the government to slash taxes again.

            Communism isn’t authoritarian by choice. You must force people under threat of violence to accept taxation above a certain level. If a carbon tax survived in a democracy, it would only be because it pushed out other forms of taxation. I’m merely observing that in order for the tax to be big enough to truly address our CO2 emissions, it would need to be so big, that it might crowd out every other form of taxation.

            1. Our CO2 emissions? Who is this “our”?

              1. United States.

                I was talking about public policy in the United States.

                Why is the first person plural confusing to so many people.

                we – nominative.
                our – genitive
                us – accusative

                The first person plural is there for a reason. If you’re talking about a group of people to which you belong, you’re supposed to use it–and not just in English. Every other language I’ve heard of has a first person plural, too.

                Where’s Heroic Mulatto?

                HM, do you know of a language without a first person plural?

          2. You don’t even need to be a libertarian to see this. If you want to tax carbon so that it is no longer a problem by the alarmists’ standard models, then the tax would need to be of an immense size. Capitalist hating environmentalists have seen this for a long time coming. See Jonathan Porritt’s “Capitalism as if the World Matters” from ten years ago. He’s a rabid anti-capitalist who argued that if the environment requires us to abandon every redistribution program, then that’s what we should do to save the environment–as much as he and his fellow leftists might hate doing it.

        2. I’d love to see how you plan on implementing a global carbon tax.

          Any day now

        3. Why not just exhume communism then? That was a tax on life, same as a tax on energy. And AGW is another hoax. Look, it’s the OTHER parties’ job to send men with guns to kill and rob people while explaining it’s for their own good. And they do out vote us… for now, so no danger.

          1. “Why not just exhume communism then?

            You genuinely, truly, honestly, don’t believe there are capitalist solutions to climate change.

            Isn’t that right?

            You can’t even seem to imagine them!

            For goodness’ sake, go buy Ronald Bailey’s latest book.

            1. Yes, I genuinely, truly, honestly DO NOT believe there are capitalist solutions. I live & work in Fremont – right down the street from Solyndra? Remember Solyndra? I worked for NUMMI, which is now Tesla. And how is that Tesla working out without its government subsidies?

              1. You understand my comment was directed at somebody who apparently can’t tell the difference between thinking there are solutions to global warming and communism, right?

        4. I think we should replace them all with a sales tax on motorcycles. What’s that? You don’t like your hobby bearing the burden? Same thing applies to a carbon tax. Tell me why one form of consumption is different than another.

          1. I don’t think the motorcycle market is big enough to bear a tax large enough to fund our government by itself, and, also, I don’t think people who are worried about motorcycles make up a big enough voting bloc that their support might be enough to scrap the income tax, the corporate tax, and the capital gains tax.

            Otherwise, you might have the beginning of a point.

      2. We evidence seekers stand on ordinary scientific induction and physical measurements. The looters stand on taxation by all pretexts necessary. Remember the Bozone Hole? After banning, regulating and taxing fridges so fewer poor people could afford unspoiled food, there was no change whatsoever in the ozone layer over the southern hemisphere (where 1/9 of humanity lives) nor the Northern Hemisphere (where 8/9 of us live). There are ozone maps at http://ozonewatch.gsfc.nasa.gov/ and even videos for entire decades so you can see the lack of change. Same thing.

    4. Or it’s part of the cycle of the planet.
      https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/08/09/
      solar-physicist-sees-global-cooling-ahead/

      Which to believe – one science that can’t match models, predictions are totally wrong, and data has to be changed or a science that is based predictions from what happened in the past.

      This is just the last article I have seen about cooling. There have been many. But than mankind isn’t in charge of every and feelings!

      Now if I could figure out links..

      1. There are winters and no summers

        Oh hell yeah, sign me up.

    5. I believe there are libertarian and capitalist solutions to climate change, regardless of its source. It’s hard to name any specific solutions though, given that the science is not so “settled” as some would have us believe. For me to get behind any solution, I have to see that it will actually solve the problem in a reasonably cost-effective way and that’s gonna be kinda tough if the problem and the cause/effect are as iffy as they are now.

    6. Mr. Libertarian, how do you eliminate the free-rider problem? Or did you deliberately design your argument so Americans pay for the whole kit-and-kaboodle?

      Because it is a global issue. And I could easily see other countries free riding their way out paying for it.

      1. They wouldn’t! Remember how eagerly France and England paid back all the money borrowed from These States to throttle the Accursed Hun in 1914-1918? Don’t forget how selflessly altruist Germany insisted on making reparation for the damage done either. Harrumph!

        1. Sounds like a California versus Texas, but on a much grander scale. “You carbon tax me enough, I’m taking my like-minded brethren to a place you can’t touch my wallet.

          And I benefit from all your efforts to save Mother Gaia. So HAHAHA”

    7. Re: Ken Shultz,

      Climate change denial is mostly attributable to the belief that addressing the problem will require us to sacrifice our standard of living.

      I believe there are two camps: one that believes climate change as the result of human activity is hokum, and those of us who believe that climate change is the result of many variables including human activity yet the notion that government programs can control climate is hokum. The latter is not denialism but the Proggies and Marxians would prefer to conflate the two.

      If I’m wrong about anything here, I hope it’s this: The reason a lot of my fellow libertarians stand on denialism is because they don’t believe there are libertarian and capitalist solutions to AGW and climate change themselves.

      I don’t deny AGW. There is a real likeliness the theory is correct. I deny that imposing Marxianism will solve the problem; I have enough proof to conclude that the advertised consequences of unmitigated climate change are instead exaggerations motivated by an interest in imposing Marxian economic policy by selling the poverty and privation derived from them as a feature and not a bug, as history has proven that the material abundance promised by the 19-Century socialists never came to being.

      1. Ask Ronald-or anyone else of the Church of Ecological National Socialism–to convert their warming prophesy into Watts.

        1. Ronald Bailey was born too late. He would have been a better fit for an FDR administration, saving America from the Great Depression.

          Or as Cotton Mathur, saving Believers from Satan.

          In this incarnation, he’s just saving the world from something that may or may not happen. And, his efforts don’t come cheap.

          1. If Ronald Bailey looks at the data and believes there’s a problem, that doesn’t make you a communist.

            If you look at a Ronald Bailey and see a progressive, then the issue is with you.

  15. Climate changes, and in other breaking news, scientists determine that water is wet…

  16. Climate changes, and in other breaking news, scientists determine that water is wet…

    1. Yeah, and cars crash into each other.

      If there’s no way to prove that one of them is going to crash into you, then you’re an idiot if you do thing to avoid getting into car crashes.

      Don’t scientists know anything?

      1. Name one. Not the guys who fabricate data, lie their asses off, come up with chicken little scaremongering, demand money/ jacked up taxes/ bigger government, put forward unfalsifiable assertions that masquerade as theories, or create climate models with 100% incorrect predictions. Not one of those guys. Also, no one who has had their photo taken with Obumbles or Algor.

        Name actual scientists. I challenge you to name ten.

        1. I can name about 31000 with science degrees who debunk the theory. They are listed at petitionproject.org
          Listed by state, listed alphabetically… some of my professors signed. I would but all I got was a lousy BA. There is an online version for Brazilian scientists too.

      2. global carbon tax?

  17. let’s assume the U.S. per capita SSP5 income of $187,000

    Jesus Christ, how about you get better at using statistics and we don’t?

  18. 21 year-old Millennial college graduates earning a median income will lose $126,000 in lifetime income, and $187,000 in wealth

    So they’ve figured out how much the carbon tax is gonna be?

  19. That pie has a finite number of pieces, And old rich boomers are hogging it.

  20. We can never blame government spending and its waste of resources for impoverishing people.

  21. You’re going to be poor due to climate change! We must tax everything to stop it!

  22. Nevertheless, for a rough calculation as a comparison, let’s assume the U.S. per capita SSP5 income of $187,000… a 2015 study in Nature that suggests that unmitigated warming would reduce incomes by 23 percent by 2100.

    U.S. GDP per capita in 2100 in the SSP1 sustainability scenario would be about $90,000.

    These people are very literally beyond contempt and beyond ridicule.

    The highest economic growth projection always outscores environmentally focused projections in income. How could it not? Wealth growth is exponential, while both warming due to CO2 and CO2 due to wealth are sublinear. It takes a truly catastrophic result of climate change to alter that.

    Yet these people take the worst impacts on the highest growth projection — completely divorced from what they are advocating — and call that a “loss”. They are either as stupid as dirt or completely unrepentant liars.

    1. A reduction in the rate of increase is also a ‘cut’, don’t you know that?

    2. Religions, especially Econaziism, rely on prophesy as opposed to physics or past history. These same intelligentzia were predicting another Ice Age in the 1980s, along with Nuclear Winter and the impossibility of resisting the Soviets.

    3. “They are either as stupid as dirt or completely unrepentant liars.”

      Hey! Credit where credit is due. They can be both.

  23. Are negligible and yet, tax deserving.

  24. Over at realclimatescience.com these climate fantasies are shown to be a recurring theme, with examples from newspapers spanning three centuries. The author offers software that lets anyone tap into temperature records from hundreds of monitoring stations and generate undoctored graphs. Like the antinuclear religion, its adepts know no physics and dismiss those who do–Petition Project signatories–as heretical deniers. But a generation raised without physics is easily stirred into a lynch mob, as Joan of Arc and Urbain Grandier discovered.
    What worries me is how the recycled republican candidate standing on the libertarian platform hasn’t read it. We do not tax people over mystical superstition. Indeed, I recall when the LP argued against taxing churches. If Gary can’t read the libertarian platform, isn’t he supposed to at least read the First Amendment?

    1. Oh, you’ve just summoned the Hiln Devil himself, Mr. Phillips.

      Prepare for your tongue lashing.

    2. Over at realclimatescience.com these climate fantasies are shown to be a recurring theme, with examples from newspapers spanning three centuries.

      Don’t tell science denier Shultz about it. He seems hell bent on sending the world into poverty based on a dubious hypothisis while pretending to be a libertarian.

  25. Climate change? Ha!

    I would think a greater threat to the economic future of millennials would come from unrestricted illegal migration, at one end, and the various visa programs that take jobs at the other end, H-1B, OPT, F-1, B-1, J-1, CPT, Q, and others. The State Department reports that from all 16 types of work-eligible visas that 70 million have been issued since 2007?and those are just the legal ones. The AFL-CIO in 2009 reported that as many as 25% of imported workers do so with fraudulent visas?or an additional 17.5 million. And the politicians think this is great and want more.

  26. Millennials will impoverish Millennials. The very few who wake the fuck up will be dumbfounded by the stupidity of their “peers”.

  27. Yeah right, climate change, not horrible finacial polices leading to an economic collapse, will impoverish millenials.

  28. Get real. By the end of the century our grandkids are gonna be amazed we were dumb enough to worry this much about “climate change”. Probably while being just as worried about whatever apocalypse scenario is in vogue at the time.

  29. Obviously killing leftists will be good for the economy. I feel a revolution coming on. Where’s my woodchipper?

  30. No shot Sherlock.

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  32. Are they dead yet from their own stupidity? Should have happened by now, it’s pretty serious, their level of stupidity, should have stopped even their involuntary systems by now…..

  33. This article errs by trying to estimate future social welfare based on predicted average income. We know that income is unequally distributed: one person with an annual income of $1,000,000 and 99 people with an annual income of $10,000 have an average income of $19,900.

    We also know that the inequality is growing. Even if the GDP increases, that doesn’t mean that most people will be even slightly better off. Thomas Piketty has shown us that it will tend to keep growing unless measures are taken to stop it. What’s more, business-supremacy treaties such as the TPP tend to increase the inequality by pushing wages down.

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