Global Warming

Why Does the Left Keep Losing Its Fight Against Global Warming?

All its solutions suffer from the collective action problem

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For three decades, environmentalists have been claiming that if we don't do something—and fast—to fight global warming, we'll all turn into pumpkins by

Global Warming
Tony Webster via Foter.com

the end of the century or so. Yet they've made very little headway in getting humanity to act on their suggested remedies. Their latest recommendation is that people should have fewer children.

But I note in my morning column at The Week, the problem with all their "solutions" is that they suffer from the collective action problem, namely getting people to make painful sacrifices without knowing if others will follow suit. For example, if some people forgo children but others don't, the former will suffer a deep personal loss and the planet will be no better off. Hence everyone waits for someone else to go first and the "solution" doesn't even get off the ground.

I note:

If the environmental movement is serious about addressing climate change, it will have to forget about the fact that humans caused (and are causing) the warming and think of our problem like a meteor strike — a catastrophic event that humanity did not cause but from which it has to be saved. In other words, enviros will have to look for technological fixes that don't depend on the environmental equivalent of Mao's cultural revolution to get people to embrace carbon-free lifestyles.

Go here to read the whole thing.

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  1. the problem with all their “solutions” is that they suffer from the collective action problem, namely getting people to make painful sacrifices without knowing if others will follow suit

    Isn’t this kinda the reason they’re trying to get government involved?

    1. There’s also the inconvenient fact that the whole thing is smoke and mirrors and people are starting to realize it.

      1. Well, it’s probably not entirely smoke and mirrors, but it’s been exaggerated.

        1. They wouldn’t need to fudge the numbers if there was anything to it.

        2. Hey, I think you stumbled onto a solution to global warming. Sun-blocking smoke and giant mirrors.

      2. Precisely. And calling it “smoke and mirrors” is far too generous – outright lies, by way of extensive data manipulation and fabrication, is more like it.

    2. That is why they’re seeking government coersion/action, which is why I don’t think “the collective action problem” properly sums the situation up. It’s not that people don’t want to take action if everyone isn’t participating, it’s that people don’t want to bear burdens that they aren’t convinced will be beneficial, and that aren’t equally burdensome to all.

      The people who are most strenuously advocating population control aren’t, I submit, people who actually want to have children. The people advocating reduced meat consumption are generally vegetarians. The nations advocating limits on industrial growth are those that have already benefited from it — In this case, most of the current negotiation tries to be “equitable” by placing more regulatory burdens on more prosperous nations, but that galls those who are disinclined to bear an unequal share of the economic burden, and see no reason to trust that the whole scheme will be enforced fairly in the first place.

  2. collective action problem, namely getting people to make painful sacrifices without knowing if others will follow suit

    Which is why socialism always fails. Humans aren’t uniformly altruistic angels, which the socialist millennial Left, in particular, doesn’t understand

  3. There is also the small matter that there is one proven solution to reducing the birth rate — raise the standard of living. Markets, freedom, increased wealth, and declining birthrates correlate nicely.

    1. And when birth rates decline, they use that as an excuse to bring more third worlders into our countries.

      Of course, third worlders are also more likely to vote for statism too.

      1. third worlders are also more likely to vote for statism too.

        Careful with the broad brush there. Plenty of them realize that their home countries are shitholes because their governments have too much power.

        -jcr

        1. Baloney. They think their countries are shitholes because the wrong people are in power, or because of some external bogeyman (e.g. Israel or even the US).

          Of course, many if not most Americans fall prey to the same fallacy, but at least they have a cultural tradition of respecting minority rights. Incoming third worlders don’t give two shits about their own, let alone other people’s, civil rights if you promise to feed them.

          1. because of some external bogeyman

            You mean bogeymen like inferior illiterate socialism-loving third-worlders who desire to turn the US into Venezuela?

            1. I don’t think they desire to do that, but their actions will nonetheless have that result. Ever hear of unintended consequences?

              We have the same dynamic with Marylanders who flee to Virginia to get away from the taxes, continue to vote for Democrats, then complain about how Virginia’s taxes are getting as high as Maryland.

              1. It’s amazing how you know the motives and intents of millions of people!
                Or, more likely, you’re just full of shit.

    2. There is also the small matter that there is one proven solution to reducing the birth rate — raise the standard of living allow the standard of living to rise freely.

      FTFY.

      1. Doesn’t happen naturally when you have corrupt govts, lack of sanitation, widespread HIV. Those circumstances mean you need a kickstart.

        1. Doesn’t happen naturally when you have corrupt govts, lack of sanitation, widespread HIV. Those circumstances mean you need a kickstart.

          It happens intrinsically. Either everyone dies or people figure out how to wash their hands and not fuck or drink the blood of anything that moves. *If* I thought CO2 emissions or $ in the Third World were some kind of moral problem or dilemma, putting money into your causes via the government is a horrible time and CO2 sink. It’s been shown, time and again, that you don’t get a kickstart as much as you just breed corruption and dependence. You end up dumping 4X the amount of money that went into the Marshall Plan, just for HIV in Africa and get ‘modern’ Africa out of it.

          Do you want a $15/hr. minimum wage? Saying the solution to growing birth rates is to raise the standard of living is how you get a $15/hr. minimum wage.

          1. Why does the birth rate need solved?

            1. Why does the birth rate need solved?

              Kinda my point. It doesn’t and *if* it did, fucking with the standard of living isn’t a silver bullet.

        2. We’ve been kickstarting those places for decades. Maybe we need to step back and let them fix their own problems. They aren’t children. If we stop propping up “our guys” in their countries, maybe they’d have a chance to self correct.

  4. Maybe if their prognosticators had a better track record than sandwich board wearing doomsayers people would listen.

  5. Because it’s not a thing?

  6. the green left has been more obsessed with establishing humanity’s culpability and embracing ever more extreme and painful mitigation steps

    Shikha neglects the importance of the greenies’ mis-playing of the apocalypse card. They’ve got a long history of crying “wolf”, and AWG is a vague and distant wolf. Trying to scare people into compliance has backfired just as badly as trying to shame them into compliance.

  7. What you don’t seem to understand forcing collective action is the point. Warding off climate change is just the latest excuse used to justify the power grab.

  8. OT: I was thinking about going to FreedomFest 2018 so I can meet faux-red-headed girls that go to Burning Man. That sounds hot. I have a question about the entrance exam. Does it go something like this?

    1. Do you think the US fights too many wars and spends too much money on the military?

    If you answered no to question #1.that ok, libertarianism is big tent. If you answered yes, good for you. Everyone proceed to question 2.

    2. Do you think the federal government should outlaw abortion and enact criminal penalties on people seeking one?

    If you answered yes to question #2, that ok, libertarianism is big tent. If you answered no, good for you. Everyone proceed to question 3.

    3. Do you think most drugs should be legal and that, in general, people should be able to injest pretty much what they want?

    If you answered no to question #3, that ok, libertarianism is big tent. If you answered yes, good for you. Everyone proceed to question 4.

    4. Do you favor rich people paying the same percentage of taxes on capital gains as the rest of us do when we receive money for actually working?

    If no, WELCOME TO FREEDOMFEST 2018. Here’s your guide to panels hosted by Glenn Beck and Wayne Allen Root. If no, GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE, COMMIE DOUCHE!! WE’RE CALLING THE COPS!

    I just wanted to know. Thanks,

    1. You sure are intent on making sure everyone knows you’re stupid.

      1. Isn’t the real point of going to a libertarian convention to revel in the fact that we’re not the Poors?

        1. Don’t look at me, I’m not going to get in the way of your dumb commenting habits.

    2. 1. Rich people’s capital gains are not taxed at a lower rate than less rich people’s capital gains.
      2. If we did not have a lower CG tax rate compared to wage taxes, fewer people would invest in risky places which also happen to be where most jobs are created.
      3. Risk is just as worthy of reward as work is.

      1. Risk is just as worthy of reward as work is.

        I don’t know if I agree that trading stocks on ETrade is as valuable an endeavor as, say, building a school. I’d say no. But let’s concede the point and declare each activity equally meritorious. Shouldn’t they be taxed the same?

        1. Tax rates aren’t about merit. If someone’s making 100K a year in wages, were the first 30K more meritorious than the next 30K they made that was taxed at a higher rate?

        2. Robespierre Josef Stalin:

          Shouldn’t they be taxed the same?

          Exactly! I’m a good socialist, because of how much I embrace the inherent egalitarianism of a flat tax!

          That’s why you see so many people at the rallies with “Tax the Everyone Equally” signs!

        3. Shouldn’t they be taxed the same?

          Yes, if the rate is zero.

        4. They should! That tax rate should be 0%. Nice to see you on board, comrade!

      2. “Rich people’s capital gains are not taxed at a lower rate than less rich people’s capital gains.”

        In fact rich people’s capital gains are taxed at a higher rate the less people’s capital gains. if your income is low enough, your capital gains rate is 0%

        In any event, individual capital gains tax rates are lower than individual wage income tax rates because the corporate income is taxed twice – once at the corporate level and again at the individual level. And the stockholder is paying both of them as he owns the corporate cash that is used to pay the tax at the corporate level. That is what being a stockholder means – you own the assets of the company.

        1. You are confusing dividends with capital gains.

          Capital gains are not subject to double taxation.

    3. You could be a fake libertarian Aborto-freak GOPer just by preferring a 35% high end tax rate over a 39% one.

      That gets you a ticket to FreedomFest.

      1. Palin’s Buttplug|7.24.17 @ 11:20AM|#
        “You could be a fake libertarian Aborto-freak GOPer…”

        Courtesy of the fake libertarian lefty.
        Tell us again how government price fixing means a ‘free internet’; that’s always good for a laugh.

        1. “Tell us again how government price fixing means a ‘free internet’; that’s always good for a laugh”

          Yeah that’s right up there with the knee slapper that not taking = giving.

    4. >>>red-headed girls

      leave them out of your idiocy, pleaseandthankyou.

    5. Are you willing to factor in inflation to reduce the “profit” on stocks or property held for multiple years? I have a few investments that look like they are profitable but aren’t when inflation is factored in.

    6. Robespierre Josef Stalin|7.24.17 @ 11:09AM|#
      “OT: I was thinking…”

      Hahahahahhahhaha!

    7. Whenever anyone proposes raising the capital gains tax, eliminating the mortgage interest deduction, or capping 529 contributions, the first to scream bloody murder are the limousine liberals/progressives because they must be able to buy that house in the right zip code and finance their offspring’s education at an Ivy.

      Instead, they would rather stick it to the poor with cigarette and gas tax hikes.

      1. Really, it’s for their own good.

    8. I’m fine with lowering the top income tax rate to the current capital gains rate.

      1. It’s a good start on the road to a 0% income tax rate…

    9. Re: Roberspierre Joseph Stalin,

      4. Do you favor rich people paying the same percentage of taxes on capital gains as the rest of us do when we receive money for actually working?

      Why should any of us have our money taxed for actually working? Why would you ever consider that to be a given?

      Your question, like all questions from Marxian assholes, is heavily and dishonestly loaded. So, fuck you.

      1. You notice how he worded that? “Receive money for actually working” instead of “Earn money.”

  9. I’ll assume the headline is asking an honest question, so some answers:

    1) Their predictions have been wrong every single time. If your science has zero predictive ability, then it is not worth anything.

    2) The biggest adherents don’t walk the walk. Why is there so little teleconferencing at environmental summits? Instead, we have tarmacs full of airplanes.

    3) They’ve yet to explain why their “worst case scenario” is so bad. A 2 degree increase is going to cause the ice caps to melt? I don’t buy it.

    4) Any science where court orders to present data are ignored is not a science.

    5) Having to update recent temperature records either mean the information is wrong — making their predictions worthless — or that they are trying to manipulate the data.

    1. 2) The biggest adherents don’t walk the walk. Why is there so little teleconferencing at environmental summits? Instead, we have tarmacs full of airplanes.

      This can’t be stated enough.

  10. Georgia Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens issued a rare “consumer alert” on Monday after Allstate Insurance filed for a 25 percent auto insurance rate hike that will take effect May 22.

    Hudgens said the 25 percent increase is the average rate change, but “many policyholders should be prepared to see a rate change as high as 58.3 percent.”

    http://www.ajc.com/news/state-…..Tqj0foqwI/

    DEATH SPIRAL! BLOOP! DERP! TRUMP!!!

    1. I have USAA. My rates have been stable since the stone age.

      1. You need to learn how to speak wingnut.

        When a market adjusts prices you’re supposed to say DEATH SPIRAL!!!!!

        1. Palin’s Buttplug|7.24.17 @ 11:49AM|#
          “You need to learn how to speak wingnut.”

          You’re a lying slimebag.
          The death spiral is a result of your fave socialist O-care’s effect on medical insurance.

          1. Indeed, thanks guaranteed issue. This ‘feature’ destroys medical insurance markets. It’s also very popular with the left. Thus one of the lefts favorite features of the ACA inherently destroys the market it’s intended to ‘regulate’.

            So was it by design, or an accident? That’s the only real question.

            1. Accident.
              The left is never so bright as to achieve the mess it makes by design. Turd, above, is an obvious example.

              1. And honestly, it seems this option is also very popular on the right since Republicans made no effort to get rid of it. So I’ll need to blame this on the populace. Thanks, humans!

      2. I knee you were older, Paul, but daaaaaamn.

        1. I’ve had it since I was a kid. Inherited it from dear old Dad, career military.

          1. Hard to say it about an insurance company, but USAA is simply great.

  11. The primary problem with Environmentalism, at least as it exists as a modern movement, is that it’s a political movement, not a scientific one. Even if people don’t consciously recognize that, they subconsciously do and so I think it’s hard for most people to take it completely seriously.

    For every one thing Environmentalists get right about something, they get ten things wrong, and even where they may be right, their prescriptions and solutions are almost always wrong.

    1. AGW is real and a threat but the only solutions are market driven ones (My view)

      Is that a political or scientific view?

      1. What are your “market driven” solutions?

        If you mean something like carbon credits, that’s not market driven, it’s the govt hitting the market in the face with a sledgehammer and then watching while the market works to get its teeth back in their sockets.

        1. For one, eliminating barriers on nuclear energy production.

          1. clamor for this *without* the AGW background

          2. Can’t argue with that.

            1. It would be a smart move to reduce regulatory barriers to nuclear energy production.

              …something 9/10 global warming jihadi oppose

        2. Market-solution: ban fossil fuels, and let free markets take care of the rest!

          Because I believe in markets!

      2. How is it a real threat? Be specific.

  12. The left keeps losing because they don’t want to give up their iPhones. They want other people to not be allowed to have an iPhone. Pretty simple. (Lithium bad, mmkay?)

    The ‘true believers’ are at least ‘honorable’ in their intentions as they live on their sustainable communes, but lets face it the vast majority of American’s (immigrant and otherwise) have no interest in that type of life. Sending us back to the middle-ages or a hunter gather society of millennia past is a solution in search of a justification.

    Rest assured that our ‘betters’ will still have all the modern convenience of the 21st century. It’s only the unclean masses who must be cracked down on to live like serfs.

    When the greenie terrorist left wants something impossible (such as renewable green energy to power our current lifestyles) they want a unicorn. Then, for some reason, everyone acts like there’s a unicorn to give them. Then when it’s suggested that perhaps a unicorn isn’t real, their second solution is to kill off the majority of humans living today. Yeah, I can’t imagine why their movement doesn’t gain more traction.

    But hey, as long as it’s an excuse to enrich cronies politicians are gung-ho for at least pretending there’s a unicorn. This seems to mollify the predominantly virtue-signaling left of today.

  13. If Algore wins praise for planting 16,000 trees (while jetting around the world burning fossil fuel) then I should get a pass for planting 3 trees in my backyard this year.

    1. Weyerhaeuser plants over a hundred million trees a year and they get a lot of hate from the greenies

      1. Yeah, if you want forests, support the domestic timber and paper industries. No one plants more trees.

  14. Well, whatever we do, we must not for one moment consider asking the polluting industries to pay one goddamn cent toward fixing the problem. That would be too much like fairness, and what is this libertarian nonsense about if not protecting the interests of powerful imaginary constructs from the interests of mere human beings?

    1. In defense of classical liberalism, IF, and I mean IF, we had a functioning pro-citizen tort system winning class action suits vs pollution-loving energy companies would be abundant

      1. Buttplug is on a roll today. I agree.

    2. Industries (i.e. we) are already paying billions and with obvious, provable reductions in pollutants in water and earth. You’re asking them (i.e. us) to pay more billions based on fraudulent climate research.

    3. Because true fairness is forcing someone else to pay the price to save the planet.

    4. Define ‘polluting industries’, because if you mean CO2 fuck you. Every word you speak produces CO2 you fuckwit. You’re using those industries to post your drivel right now, in fact.

      If you mean things like heavy metals mining, I suggest you go to war with China.

    5. Prove in a court of law that Big Giant Polluting Acme Corporation has directly harmed you, and I think any libertarian (even the impure ones!) would argue that you should be awarded appropriate damages.

    6. Re: Tony,

      Well, whatever we do, we must not for one moment consider asking the polluting industries to pay one goddamn cent toward fixing the problem.

      CO2 is not a pollutant.

      Try again.

    7. Carbon Dioxide (you know, that thing that plants need to live and helps food grow) is a basic building block of life on earth. It is no more a pollutant than the oxygen (you know that thing that WE need to live and grow) that plants release through photosynthesis.

    8. Actually linking the costs of pollution exclusively back to polluters is *exactly* what libertarians want to do. Not to spread the costs out to non-polluting industries, or taxpayers, or to use it as backdoor mechanism to transfer wealth from disfavored industries or whoever.

      The trick is to link real harms to their actual origins and then apply liability law.
      If someone dumps toxic waste in a river, it’s pretty easy to identify the culprit, and sue them for damages.
      Costs of climate change are a littler harder to pin down, but supposing you could conclusively identify specific harms caused by climate change, and prove that they were caused by carbon emissions, then you could have a justification to sue for compensation.

      The problem is a lot of climate change activists aren’t really interested in that. The preferred mechanism is to impose arbitrary limits on emissions and then to use tax money to subsidize favored industries, simply because those industries give them the warm fuzzies. A market based mechanism would allow markets to find the optimal energy source taking the cost of carbon into account, but the environmental activists want government to pick winners and losers. Subsidizing solar and wind without any internalized knowledge of what the actual costs of those sources are means we will be driving the system towards a suboptimal solution.

  15. My only question is: why is Reason running articles promoting The Week?

  16. “Why Does the Left Keep Losing its Fight Against Global Warming?”

    Revealed preferences.

  17. One part of the story is constantly changing: global cooling to global warming to global climate change. I wonder what the next version will be.

    Another part of the story never changes: the insistence that the only solution is to adopt socialism, in spite of the dismal record of socialist countries when it comes to the environment.

    1. One part of the story is constantly changing: global cooling to global warming to global climate change. I wonder what the next version will be.

      Climate trapped in stasis.

  18. One important point left out of the article: I will take it seriously when Al Gore stops flying around the country on private jets so he can rant about global warming.

    Same with other celebrities. For Christ’s sake, Leonardo DeCaprio vacations on private yachts bigger than the ships I served on when I was in the Navy.

    If climate change is a problem, act like it’s a problem.

    1. What part of “essential person” do you not understand, Mr. Weebles?

    2. Celebrities are idiots either way, so I’m not surprised at their behavior. I wouldn’t use it of proof of anything. Before that it was ‘Free Tibet’ or ‘Save the Whales’ or ‘Get Rid of Vaccinations’.

      However, the so-called ‘experts’ and ‘scientists’ do the same thing.

      Climategate exposed them for the liars they are, since they demanded that the end results and drivers of climate change should be exaggerated to get attention. Oops. Everyone forgets the hockey stick is the same kind of bullshit math extrapolation that the population bomb folks use to justify doom and gloom. Different scientific arena, same lies.

      The climate literally always changes. Climate stasis is impossible. We can’t know ‘natural variability’ with the data set we have now. Period. It’s a flawed theory built out of flawed data that doesn’t match reality and never has. The onus is on them to prove themselves, but so far they are non-predictive I.E. full of shit.

      1. We all know that you only get a free Tibet after you buy 2 Tibets.

  19. I accept that humans can impact the climate through the burning of fossil fuels. What I do not buy, however, is that the only way to correct it is through the draconian policies that the ecowhackos are calling for. A sun shade is pretty far fetched, but switching to natural gas and nuclear power, as well as removing CO2 directly from the atmosphere is not. Problem is that their plan is all about punishing those they disagree with (like most religions): they are not interested in actual solutions. Its funny how they have changed their data to show that we now must completely eliminate internal combustion to avoid x degrees warming.

  20. Or one could read Why I am not an environmentalist and save the trouble (and the earth).

    1. That link doesn’t work for me; try
      this.

      1. Thanks; not sure how I screwed up the link like that.

        1. Global Warming, Duh.

  21. I’ll add another one:

    Nobody involved can express how do we know when we’re “done”.

    What temperature must we hit? For how long? What criteria must be met to be able to say we “solved” the “problem”? Because it looks like a constantly shifting goal that we will NEVER be able to “hit”.

  22. Why Does the Left Keep Losing its Fight Against Global Warming?

    Who told you the left wants to win that fight? There’s a reason why they want to keep reasonable skepticism out of the conversation, maintaining the belief in Angry Volcano God unquestioned, because their business model depends on it. Just like the business model of the priests of old and churches thereafter, Angry Volcano God worshipers draw their income and attention through keeping their proselytes as uninformed about reality as possible.

    In other words, enviros will have to look for technological fixes that don’t depend on the environmental equivalent of Mao’s cultural revolution to get people to embrace carbon-free lifestyles.

    Are you asking the enviro-wackos to let go of the leash they want to place around our necks??????

    PERISH THE THOUGHT!

  23. enviros will have to look for technological fixes that don’t depend on the environmental equivalent of Mao’s cultural revolution to get people to embrace carbon-free lifestyles.

    Well, that’s really a problem if what you are interested in is a cultural revolution.

  24. The only reason I even bother clicking on climate change threads around here is to watch Tony get his ass kicked all over the board attempting to discuss science with people who actually studied it beyond high school.

    This has been a great disappointment. He made one token attempt, and just left the thread for the shit-flinginger shit-flingers…I can see PB and amsoc getting their asses kicked on economics and history in ANY thread.

  25. The World is coming to an End.

    Evidence: I somewhat agree with a Shikha Dalmia article.

  26. “Apart from smacking of being misanthropic, the problem with all these remedies is that they suffer from what’s called the collective action problem. Take, for example, forgoing children: If some people forgo but others don’t, the former will suffer a deep personal loss and the planet will be no better off. ”

    That’s not a “collective action problem”: your choice not to have children or to reduce your carbon footprint is as effective without collective action as it is with.

    People like to pretend this is a collective action problem as an excuse not to act on there own. Just look at that fat, carbon wasting slob Al Gore.

  27. Trump;
    “NASA’s climate change funding is terminated permanently until their scientists say their CO2 end of the world is as real as they say the planet isn’t flat. Are they also only 99% sure the planet isn’t flat? It’s up to NASA to end this costly debate to; Save The Planet as you so recklessly say.”
    -2016

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