Climate Change

Destroy Capitalism to Save the Climate, Argues New York Times Op-Ed

Centrally planning the climate will work about as well as centrally planning economies did.

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Andre Larsson/NurPhoto/Sipa USA/Newscom

The New York Times is running an op-ed by Benjamin Y. Fong, essentially reprising progressive simpleton Naomi Klein's 2014 screed, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate.

In "The Climate Crisis? It's Capitalism, Stupid," the solution to anything Fong dislikes, just like Klein, is the abolition of private property and the imposition of socialism.

Fong argues:

The real culprit of the climate crisis is not any particular form of consumption, production or regulation but rather the very way in which we globally produce, which is for profit rather than for sustainability. So long as this order is in place, the crisis will continue and, given its progressive nature, worsen. This is a hard fact to confront. But averting our eyes from a seemingly intractable problem does not make it any less a problem. It should be stated plainly: It's capitalism that is at fault.

In my review of Klein's book I explained:

Canonical Marxism predicted that capitalism would collapse under the weight of its class "contradictions," in which the bourgeoisie profit from the proletariat's labor until we reach a social breaking point. In Klein's progressive update, capitalism will collapse because the pollution produced by its heedless overconsumption will build to an ecological breaking point. "Only mass social movements can save us now," she declares.

Fong, faculty fellow at Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University and the author of Death and Mastery: Psychoanalytic Drive Theory and the Subject of Late Capitalism, similarly observes, "As an increasing number of environmental groups are emphasizing, it's systemic change or bust. From a political standpoint, something interesting has occurred here: Climate change has made anticapitalist struggle, for the first time in history, a non-class-based issue."

Klein dismisses the possibility that advances in modern science and technology incentivized through free markets can solve whatever problems that man-made climate change may pose as the 21st Century unfolds. Klein sneers that such thinking embodies the attitude that "We will triumph in the end because triumphing is what we do."

Fong likewise asserts that as long as capitalism exists it is vain to expect intelligent people to come up with technical solutions to climate change. "The simple fact that the work of saving the planet is political, not technical," he argues. "For anyone who has really thought about the climate crisis, it is capitalism, and not its transcendence, that is in need of justification." As a guide to the glorious post-capitalist climate-stable future, Fong actually recommends, Communism for Kids by social theorist Bini Adamczak.

"Once upon a time, people yearned to be free of the misery of capitalism. How could their dreams come true?," reads the MIT Press promotional copy. "This little book proposes a different kind of communism, one that is true to its ideals and free from authoritarianism." The book is accompanied "by illustrations of lovable little revolutionaries experiencing their political awakening." You really can't make this stuff up.

It's hard to believe in the 21st century that folks like Fong seem totally unaware of the massive humanitarian, ecological, and economic disasters caused by communism. In contrast, the spread of free markets over the past two centuries causes people to live flourishing lives. In my 2012 article. "Free Markets = Sustainable Development," I point out:

There is only one proven way to improve the lot of hundreds of millions of poor people, and that is democratic capitalism. It is in rich democratic capitalist countries that the air and water are becoming cleaner, forests are expanding, food is abundant, education is universal, and women's rights respected…. By vastly increasing knowledge and pursuing technological progress, past generations met their needs and vastly increased the ability of our generation to meet our needs. We should do no less for future generations.

At Scientific American I added:

To truly address climate change, responsible policy makers should select courses of action that move humanity from slow- to high-growth trajectories, especially for the poorest developing countries. This includes honest bureaucracies, the rule of law, free markets, strong property rights and democratic governance. Whatever slows down economic growth will also slow down environmental cleanup and renewal.

To whatever extent future climate change poses a problem for humanity, Fong and Klein get it exactly backward. The solution is more capitalism, not less. They want to centrally plan the world's ecology. History suggests that would work out about as well for humanity and the natural world as centrally-planned economies did.

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  1. If it isn’t profitable, it isn’t sustainable.

    1. Everything is sustainable at the point of a gun.

      1. Until it’s not. Then it’s lead for everyone, yay!

  2. Under capitalism, there is pollution.

    Assume communism orders pollution to go away.

    Then, problem solved, QED.

    Why do you hate living?

    1. Now compare the emissions from a Caterpillar or John Deer factory to People’s Glorious Tractor Factory Leningrad No. 4.

      I think we all know which would pollute to world more.

      1. Yes, but we’ll have the right peeple in charge! So Comrade Hillary Clinton Tractor Factory Chicago No.13 won’t pollute at all!

        1. “We pretend to work, they pretend to pay us.”

          1. …and we pretend to not pollute.

            1. When the government is in charge of all production, what possible incentive is there for the government to regulate the pollution it emits?

        2. its easy to keep Hillary clinton factories form polluting since it would be shut down with strikes, no production no pollution see how well it works just like the Obama years lowest worker output less CO2 in the air its all good

      2. How can you possibly compare capitalism, with its greedy, immoral profit motive, to communism, where we just make everyone live equally on whatever happens randomly, with magical pollution-free sustainability, and no authoritarianism to be had?

  3. The simple fact that the work of saving the planet is political, not technical

    He’s right, though not in the way he seems to think We already have a politically unpopular, but very real technical solution for greenhouse gas emissions: nuclear power.

    1. A political solution, in the Lenin/Stalin-ist tradition.

    2. The problem with your solution is that the greenies have all invested in solar and wind energy, so therefore that must be the solution. Central planning guarantees that for them. Capitalism picks winners based on worth/merit, the greenies know that means their pet solutions are largely ruled out.

      Get yourself woke LynchPin

    3. “”The simple fact that the work of saving the planet is political, not technical”‘

      Or perhaps practical. That being how we choose to consume as individuals. But liberals don’t want to give up their polluting ways. They support the oil market by buying plastics. Driving their car, fuel aside, what are those tires made of? Since they can’t control themselves and other, they need the heavy hand of government.

      It’s just like rich man made climate change believers that fly their personal jet to scold everyone else.

  4. progressive simpleton

    College nickname or great name for a band that she fronts?

    1. progressive simpleton

      That’s a bit redundant, don’t ya think?

    2. I’ve always wondered about the reason for desperately clinging to a joke long after it was even chuckle-worthy.

      1. But enough about Simple Mikey’s post-sex activities

      2. That’s because you don’t understand humor. However, as you will soon learn all simple-minded shtick sees it’s value dwindle over time.

        1. “simple-minded shtick”

          Was that your nickname in college?

    3. Redundant adjectives.

  5. Capitalism caused Three Mile Island.

    Communism/socialism caused Chernobyl.

    Which one was worse for the environment? People can still live within sight of Three Mile Island.

    1. I was reading a thing a bit ago saying Chernobyl is not really as deadly as people think either, but it’s still kept off by the government.

      Though, I think Chernobyl has that horrifying radioactive mass in the basement.

    2. Some of the best smallmouth bass fishing in the 1990s was around Three-Mile Island. I pulled many bronzebacks out of the water there.

      1. I pulled many bronzebacks out of the water there.

        Somebody knows how to euphemism.

    3. Contrary to popular belief, Three Mile Island wasn’t a disaster. It was totally contained. All the safety systems worked as designed. Chernobyl didn’t have any safety systems.

      1. Having just read a bit about it in the course of homeschooling my daughter, I believe Chernobyl did have safety systems, but they were deactivated at the time of the accident in order to perform a safety test.

        It obviously did not go well.

        1. but they were deactivated at the time of the accident in order to perform a safety test.

          Which effectively means there were no safety systems.

          1. “Which effectively means there were no safety systems.”

            Which isn’t the same as “Chernobyl didn’t have any safety systems.”

        2. I was in high school at the time, and we had a nuclear physicist come in from San Onofre to explain to us in some detail how the San Onofre plant was designed and built as compared to Chernobyl.

          Yes, Chernobyl did have some safety systems. But compared to San Onofre, no – it didn’t. As he put it, they could literally detonate a small hydrogen bomb inside San Onofre and no one outside would ever know about it.

          Chernobyl, IIRC, didn’t even have a proper roof – the containment was more cosmetic than functional.


          1. Chernobyl, IIRC, didn’t even have a proper roof – the containment was more cosmetic than functional.

            This is a cornerstone of Cold War era Soviet design. You don’t even want to think about some of the WTF design decisions that went into their tanks.

  6. Death and Mastery: Psychoanalytic Drive Theory and the Subject of Late Capitalism

    Tell me more

    1. I’ve often found myself wondering how long “Late Capitalism” is supposed to go on. I think we’ve been in it for going on two centuries, now, haven’t we?

  7. At least they are being honest here and admitting that AGW is nothing but a noble lie being used to resurrect communism. Articles like this show why anyone who believes in AGW is at best a useful idiot.

    1. They aren’t saying it is a lie, they are saying it is a reality that they want to take advantage of.

      1. Which is effectively saying they would take advantage of it even if it were not true.

        1. Maybe they would, but that is not what they are saying, effectively or otherwise.

      2. Which is the real reason that the concept is so palatable to the left, it gives them a solid ground for controlling everything.

        1. P.J. O’Rourke put it something like “Throw these bastards out the door of human rights and they climb right back in through the window of environmental concerns.”

    2. Um, no. That’s as retarded as Ann Coulter’s argument that evolution is false because the Nazis were big fans and of Darwinism and made good use of it.

  8. It’s funny how the people who imagine that everyone deserves the highest standards of first world living provided free of charge, take no credit for consumption or pollution.

    It’s magical, child-like thinking.

    1. I often wonder what these people think will happen to them if a revolution came? I’ve asked before and they will say “Sacrifices will be made, but in the end it is for the best” or some variation thereof. When I press though, I can never get specifics. I think that many truly believe that everything would be the same or better, and all that would happen is that money would be distributed from the rich.

      1. It’s like “After the revolution, we will make omelettes without breaking eggs!” Pure BS.

        1. Oh no, eggs will be broken. That’s part of the appeal. There just won’t be any omelette.

          When confronted with this outcome, the planners usually just start breaking eggs faster, because it’s not like they could have possibly been wrong.

          1. When confronted with this outcome, the planners usually just start breaking eggs faster, because it’s not like they could have possibly been wrong.

            “I’ve broken three dozen eggs this morning, still no omelette!”

            /bureaucrat in the Office of Omelette Making as he returns to frantically smashing eggs

      2. I suspect that deep inside (heh or maybe not so deep) they’re figuring they won’t be the ones making the sacrifices; they’ll be the ones wearing the shiny jackboots. But they know it’ll sound bad if they say that out loud.

      3. “”I often wonder what these people think will happen to them if a revolution came?””

        When they make a big deal about climate change and coming doom. I like throwing out there the notion that we really are on a path to doom, and the crap they are talking about isn’t good enough to save the world. The only way the world can be truly save is if we stop using electricity and oil products today. Not tomorrow, today. Then they usually back away from their doomsday scenario.

        1. Today might ALREADY be too late! Shiver!

          1. You joke, but that seems to be what I see a lot of sources say. And so, what’s the point? Like I said, we can see if we can innovate out or go out in a huge fucking orgy.

  9. The libertarian solution to climate change is through torts. If you think someone is causing climate changes that results in a tort against you, sue then in court. Of course, you will have to prove damages caused by their action.

  10. “For anyone who has really thought about the climate crisis, it is capitalism, and not its transcendence, that is in need of justification.”

    Hear that, deplorable clingers? If you don’t see things the Fong Way, you’re thinking the wrong way.

    1. First, where is the crisis? Nothing bad has happened yet, despite the sky-is-falling alarms. It’s a potential crisis, if they’re right, with a long time to plan.

      Second, what is the historical record of environmental devastation in capitalist countries vs. communist countries? What did the environmentalists in West Germany find when East Germany was opened up? Hint — it wasn’t an eco-paradise.

      1. It seems like, if I’m reading Global Warming stuff correctly, that if they’re right it is already too late to improve this in any significant major way. So under their model we are fucked.

        If that’s true, might as well see if we can build our way out of it. The other way is really negatively impact lives in the now, for no gain in the future.

        1. Yeah, I don’t know how many times I’ve heard some climate activist say “it’s game over if X happens” (an example of X would be the Keystone pipelines). Then X happens. But they keep on trying to get their solutions implemented, even though they just pretty much said it was already too late.

          1. This is an issue for environmentalists going back to “Silent Spring”. They long ago decided the politics of fear were the only way to roust action/donations. If you’re a true believer, the danger is obvious each time. Everyone else eventually tunes out the cries of “wolf.”

        2. Exactly.

          I should have read down a bit before my 4:22 post above.

  11. Explains why Communist states were so fucking clean, eh?

    Should anybody show that op-ed dude pictures of East and West Germany from right after the wall went down and compare what looks like a shithole and what does not?

    1. Well, just look at how well they took care of the Aral Sea!

  12. My plan for sustainability involves killing everyone who can be replaced by robots.

    1. That’s SkyNet’s plan too.

      1. You need a lot less robots after you kill a lot of people. It just makes sense.

        I mean, what, are you going to start talking to me about self-ownership or some other property rights capitalism BS?

        1. Goddamnit, Brian, stop commenting while you are driving.

        2. We’re starting with the simplest robots first, right? Because as near as I can tell most of these climate protesters can be replaced by steel sign posts.

          1. I’m sure they’re willing to pay the price to help save the planet.

            They should think of the lifetime CO2 reduction we’ll have cremating them.

        3. You need a lot less robots after you kill a lot of people

          *fewer* robots.

          Get it together.

          1. Stannis is pretty much how I envision our robot overlords will act.

          2. No, less – the world will be populated by Roombas. It’ll be the cleanest damn planet evah!

  13. The problem with a non market-based solution to climate change is that central planning always leads to a lack of diversity. The market is producing myriads of technologies and the market will sort those based on cost vs merit. Central planning always leads to a scarcity of solutions because central planners can’t possibly predict the most efficient outcome.

    What the leftists don’t get here is that communism has provided very little innovation in it’s history (arms/space race maybe?). Capitalism has delivered nearly all of the innovation that we now enjoy.

    For the sake of argument, let’s just assume that the fate of the earth depends on solving this issue; which track record would you rather wager the fate of the earth on communism or capitalism?

    1. >>What the leftists don’t get here is that communism has provided very little innovation in it’s history (arms/space race >>maybe?). Capitalism has delivered nearly all of the innovation that we now enjoy

      And the only reason Soviet arms industries innovated was because the had to compete with the West.

      1. I was going to comment on this, too – interesting that what innovation you can maybe kind-sorta point to from the Communist Bloc benefited the governments, primarily, not The People.

        1. Central planning could be great at making advances a la the USSR but it would require taking the best and brightest, giving them resources and directing them toward a goal. In the meantime everything else goes to hell. If their direction turns out to be misdirection, the allocation of resources will have been a waste. Capitalism has it’s own issues with misallocation but they’re limited, unless subsidized by an entity not constrained by financial viability, like government.

    2. One of the reasons for government solution not being as productive as market solutions is due to their never give up attitude if a project fails do they end it, no they give it more money no new solutions are allowed.

    3. Very well said. I would add that without capitalism we would not even realize that climate change was a potential threat. The market of ideas would simply be too small to have produced this knowledge. Plus we would be completely occupied trying to find something to eat.

  14. Destroy Capitalism to Save the Climate destroy the climate while impoverishing millions, Argues New York Times Op-Ed.

    Centrally planning the climate will work about as well as centrally planning economies did.

    And leftists will never learn.

  15. The trouble is that Klein’s books end up as required reading because they get reviewed and paraphrased all the way down the party line from The Nation and The New Yorker to dozens of PoMo must reads, and PBs.

    Materialism remains too important to be left to the left because views like hers shape opinion academically and scientifically unopposed- Ron doesn’t get much ink in the Times.

  16. You have to shake your head in wonder at this stuff. Evil? Stupid? I can’t even tell any more.

    1. Evil AND Stupid. Embrace the healing power of ‘and’.

  17. This reminds me of conversation that I had a few years back with a local cranberry farmer about dealing with the town “conservation committee” (actually a wetlands oversight group). His point was as a farmer, he had a far greater interest in maintaining a healthy environment around his bogs than the committee could (would?) understand. All they really wanted was to find ground to shut him down.

    Private property and capitalism saves the environment. A coworker laments the “tragedy of the commons” while overlooking that it is the not a private thing (the air, in the case of his fixation) but an unowned resource that is being used as a dumping ground. I expect if I were to suggest private ownership of the air under a closed bubble around his house, he would think me crazy, but if air were owned and controlled privately like that, I suspect most folks would be far more concerned about what they dump into it.

    1. All they really wanted was to find ground to shut him down.

      Yep. Environmentalists view all private enterprise as suspect at best, sworn enemy at worst. So of course they want to shut him down. It’s what they do.

      1. And the true dark comedy gold is that once they start missing what he was producing they have to rube goldberg a process that is 1/2 as efficient for 3/4 the yield; all in the name of ‘the environment’.

        1. “Indoor cranberry grow-houses, in Manhattan?”

          “Saves on shipping, comrade.”

  18. Looks like Charlie Rose has officially done his last boring, unwatchable interview and joined Olbermann and O’Reilly in the TV has-been club.

    1. I said I would shed more tears, but I fear I am about to make a liar of myself.

  19. “To whatever extent future climate change poses a problem for humanity, Fong and Klein get it exactly backward. The solution is more capitalism, not less. They want to centrally plan the world’s ecology. History suggests that would work out about as well for humanity and the natural world as centrally-planned economies did.”

    While they may be disastrous for humanity and the natural world, centrally-planned economies worked out fairly well for the central planners for a long time, and Mr. Fong and Ms. Klein fully expect to be part of that class.

    1. Nobody spoil the surprise for them.

  20. Let me take this opportunity to recommend Free Market Environmentalism. It’s not the most gripping read, but it is extremely informative.

  21. They’re right, in a way. Since Communism is second to none at extinguishing human life, there will be far fewer carbon-exhaling bipedal shitlords around. Humans are a disease on Gaia, and Communism is the antibiotic.

    1. If they were honest, that is exactly what they would say.

    2. If they had a rational argument, this is what they would realize.

    3. Since Communism is second to none at extinguishing human life,

      Let’s be real, capitalism could kill people WAY more efficiently if they put their mind to it.

  22. What, the Earth is going to catch on fire? Despite the hype, there is no evidence at all that there is going to be cataclysmic warming. Even assuming that the warming is really happening (man-influenced or not), what’s going to happen on a global level? Greater crop yields and more biodiversity? Warm by itself isn’t bad.

    This a hypothesis run amok for purely political reasons. The world may be warming. Humans may even have something to do with it. But it’s almost 100% sure that we can’t change anything without measures that would kill and inflict mass poverty on more people than any likely warming will do.

    1. It’s hard to tell what the effects climate change will have on biodiversity. Some species with low tolerance for change may go extinct, while the ranges of other species (including pests and contagions) could spread. I don’t think anybody really knows whether the result of climate change will be warmer weather or cooler, wetter or drier.

      The only thing anyone can really be sure of is that the climate has changed before, and it will change again. Species evolve to adapt as they have for 4 billion years.

      1. 99.9% of all species that ever existed have gone extinct. It’s the natural way of things.

      2. I think it far more likely that we’ll do ourselves in because humans can’t stop trying to kill each other. Mix that with the crazy and with greater technology, and we’re in big trouble. A lot of genies have or soon will be let out of the bottle. We’ve got to friggin’ grow up.

        1. Horrible. Manatees are the retards of the sea.

          1. They’re ugly, limit speed for boaters, don’t produce anything and don’t buy any products. Why do we keep them around?

    2. But it’s almost 100% sure that we can’t change anything without measures that would kill and inflict mass poverty on more people than any likely warming will do.

      I am convinced that that is, in fact, the plan. Any environmentalist will tell you that there are too many people on the planet using too many natural resources. The only solution is to kill off at least three quarters of the human population. The most effective way to do that is collectivist government.

      1. It should be noted that the part of the human population they tend to target for elimination is not White, and disenfranchised to at least some basic extent.

  23. Nothing a few nuclear missiles aimed at the rich countries won’t take care of. Nuclear winter will help stop global warming and get rid of a good chunk of pesky selfish humanity. Why don’t these shitheads admit thats what they really want.

  24. “The real culprit of the climate crisis is not any particular form of consumption, production or regulation but rather the very way in which we globally produce, which is for profit rather than for sustainability.”

    How quaint. The “We’re Too Greedy” canard, brought back again. Before it was used to berate poor people and the new rich for being too materialistic. This time is different, of course, in that the Marxians use that canard to berate poor people and the new rich for being too materialistic… And making Gaia cry.

  25. Death and Mastery: Psychoanalytic Drive Theory and the Subject of Late Capitalism

    Jesus, 1995 called, it wants its critical theory back.

  26. Ron must be the first science writer to argue that we need more (not less) CO2 emissions to deal with climate change. It’s not based on any science or observation, though.

    1. Re: mtrueman,

      He didn’t argue that. Yours is not only a lie, it’s a very clumsy one at that. Can’t you be more competent in that regard at least?

      1. He’s arguing for more economic growth. Economic growth means increased fossil fuel consumption. Increased fossil fuel consumption means greater CO2 emissions.

        1. Re: mtrueman,

          He’s arguing for more economic growth. Economic growth means increased fossil fuel consumption.

          That Non Sequitur tells me you have no clue or even a hint of what economic activity can entail.

          1. Really, who here thinks we’ll be burning stuff as our primary energy source by, say, 2100?

            1. If the environmentalists have their way, we’ll be cooking our evening meals in our cold, mud huts over open fires while they fly to conferences in tropical paradise locations where the temperature is always 72.

              1. You expect to be allowed a wasteful, carbon-spewing fire? Ridiculous! Do your part for the planet, shitlord.

                1. Right, it’ll be sustainable solar ovens in the infamous December Northwest Gloom.

                  1. I haven’t seen the sun in 3 or 4 days. Might as well just burn it all away.

              2. “while they fly to conferences in tropical paradise locations where the temperature is always 72”

                We Libertarians resent those pointy headed scientists.

            2. “Really, who here thinks we’ll be burning stuff as our primary energy source by, say, 2100?”

              I doubt we’ll be doing it any time soon, say in the next couple of years. And why should we? All the incentives run towards fossil fuels. Anyone switching to fossil alternatives is either a brain dead eco nazi or a smart guy taking advantage of government largesse. Exxon is the world’s biggest company because it gives lots of people what they want, pretty well as much as they want.

          2. mtrueman’s whole shtick is non-sequitur, why expect them to change now?

            1. Growing an economy requires energy. And that energy comes overwhelming from fossil fuels, the burning of which releases CO2 (a heat trapping gas) into the oceans and atmosphere.

              1. That wasn’t your claim. Your claim was that economic activity equals CO2 production.

                You appear to walk that back by now admitting that fossil fuels are not the only viable source of power to expand our economy, which makes your first statement (that economic acitivty directly equals CO2 output) untrue.

                Of course, you don’t have an argument. Not really. You just post nonsense to post nonsense, as an end unto itself. You have literally said as much before.


                1. which releases CO2 (a heat trapping gas) into the oceans and atmosphere.

                  I’ll ignore the obvious hilarity in stating that CO2 is a heat trapping gas trapped in an ocean of liquid greenhouse material.

                  1. Gases are only dispersed in air? Our science reporter has really done a piece of work on you.

                2. “Your claim was that economic activity equals CO2 production.”

                  It’s not a matter of equals. A = B implies B = A, and that’s not what I’m getting at.

                  It’s about A causes B which does not imply B causes A.

                  I don’t mean to say that CO2 production and economic growth are interchangeable. They are not. Rather ecomomic growth causes CO2 production. And that’s probably been the case since we started roasting mastadons over BBQs.


                  1. I don’t mean to say that CO2 production and economic growth are interchangeable. They are not.

                    Rather ecomomic growth causes CO2 production.

                    By all means, continue to advocate for nuclear power and fusion then. Or…wait…that would imply that your statement isn’t true since both nuclear and fusion release zero CO2 and yet they also both generate power.

                    I guess you just meant historically. You know, during a time frame where fossil fuels were the only known source of energy.

                    So yes, it is true that vehicle accidents were far less frequent before the invention of the automobile.

                    You are quite the savvy one.

                    1. ” both nuclear and fusion release zero CO2 and yet they also both generate power.”

                      Untrue. Look at the entire fuel cycle from mining to disposal. Lots of CO2 is released along the way.

                      “I guess you just meant historically.”

                      I’m talking about today. Look at places like China which has seen economic growth coupled with burning fossil fuels.

                    2. “Look at the entire fuel cycle from mining to disposal. Lots of CO2 is released along the way.”

                      Name one useful energy source that doesn’t.

                    3. “Name one useful energy source that doesn’t.”

                      The magical nuclear fuel that BYODB is extolling doesn’t. It simply appears when needed and disappears when spent.

  27. “The simple fact that the work of saving the planet is political, not technical,”

    He’s telling the truth here. As I’ve said before, Environmentalism is a political movement, not a scientific one. Environmentalists are uniquely bad at understanding things like Thermodynamics. It’s a movement which gets dangerously close to believing in things like perpetual motion machines, getting something from nothing/getting more output than input, etc.

    1. Environmentalism is a political movement, not a scientific one.

      Even Tony admits that.

      1. Even Tony admits that.

        Well – he admitted it Thursday, IIRC, but by Friday he had forgotten again.

    2. If we need a solution for anything globally threatening, who really thinks it won’t be a technological solution? And it it’s something we need, it’ll danged well happen better and likely sooner in a market-based economy. . .even if the government is involved.

      1. As Jordan Peterson says, it’s really, really hard to make things better, but it’s very easy to make things worse.

        If you accept that there’s a major human influence on temperature trends for the planet, having a bunch of technocrats installing windfarms that actually make the problem worse is a very likely outcome.

        1. Did they consider maintenance costs to keep them running? If not then they will be revenue negative. Jusy repainting them will cost more then revenue from the generation.

      2. “If we need a solution for anything globally threatening, ”

        Unfortunately there’s a big difference between needing a solution and having one. Closing that gap requires research and development which fraught with risk and requires lots of money. Our capitalists are quite happy squeezing the middle classes. No need to take unecessary risks.

    3. It’s a movement which gets dangerously close to believing in things like perpetual motion machines, getting something from nothing/getting more output than input, etc.

      But, interestingly, people in the movement tend to believe these things about capitalism – i.e. it tries to get more output than input and thus is “unsustainable.” It’s central to the movement’s ideology, really.

      Projection is a powerful drug.

      1. “But, interestingly, people in the movement tend to believe these things about capitalism”

        You’re doing straw man here. You set up some ridiculous caricature of ‘people in the movement’ and then proceed to destroy it.

        1. The very notion of sustainable power relies on the fallacy that you can have a perfectly balanced power equation without any loss (say, heat).

          Good luck with that.

          1. “The very notion of sustainable power ”

            Surely different people have different notions of what “sustainable power” is. To me it means roughly a non fossil fuel energy source, which I don’t see as violating any law of physics. What does the straw man have to say?


            1. Surely different people have different notions of what “sustainable power” is.

              The widely and normally accepted definition of sustainable power is a form of energy obtained from non-exhaustible resources. Literally, that is it.

              It’s a fallacy. There is no such animal.

              If you want to argue semantics, I’d suggest taking it up with the people who coined a term that’s a scientific impossibility.

              1. “The widely and normally accepted definition of sustainable power is a form of energy obtained from non-exhaustible resources. ”

                Because the sun will burn itself out in the next few billion years? Is that your beef with solar energy?

        2. You’re doing straw man here.

          No, I’m not. But you’ve never been that solid on logical fallacies, smugness aside.

          I said “people in the movement tend to believe these things about capitalism.”

          I say this based on my personal experience as someone who has been involved in the “Environment Movement,” at least tangentially, for 30 years.

          If capitalism is “sustainable,” then why would environmentalists have any problem at all with it?

          1. “If capitalism is “sustainable,” then why would environmentalists have any problem at all with it?”

            You tell me. Now’s the time to put your experience to use.

    4. “As I’ve said before, Environmentalism is a political movement, not a scientific one. ”

      What’s your point? I’m assuming you have one since you’ve felt it worth repeating. Environmentalism is all about action/reaction. What’s so unscientific about that?

  28. Capitalism does not require everyone to participate. If you do not like capitalism then don’t participate in capitalism. Easy peasy.

    Seriously, if capitalism is so horrible, why the fuck are you walking around with iPhones and Che t-shirts? Opt out of the system. Oh, you want the benefits of capitalism without it actually being capitalism? Sucks to be you.

    1. It’s so absurd. Have we lost the ability to reason at all?

      1. You’re forced into the system!

        1. Well, you are. I mean, if you want to like eat and stuff then you need to work for a capitalist. If you want food and clothing you must buy the stuff from a capitalist. You’re forced to work for capitalists and buy their products. That makes you a slave to the corporations! Capitalism is slavery!

          1. Well, you are. I mean, if you want to like eat and stuff then you need to work for a capitalist. If you want food and clothing you must buy the stuff from a capitalist.

            Mmmmno, no you’re don’t.

          2. Because I can only assume that you are not being sarcastic and have never been sarcastic I will say this. They can always go form communes.

            One of the things that draws me to Libertarianism is that this choice always remains. These people can go out and perform communal living of their own will. Those who want can go live like our ancestors doing subsistence farming or something like that. I wish them well, and I stand behind their right to live how they choose.

            The opposite is distinctly not true though. Authoritarian states do not give me choices about how I want to live my life. Maybe the lifestyle forced upon us will differ, but it will still be forced rather than chosen.

            1. One of the things that draws me to Libertarianism is that this choice always remains. These people can go out and perform communal living of their own will. Those who want can go live like our ancestors doing subsistence farming or something like that.

              ^ This x 1000.

              1. “Those who want can go live like our ancestors…”

                Why can’t they just stay where they are and live like our ancestors? Or has that choice already been foreclosed on them

                1. If they have the space to do subsistence farming in the place they currently live, more power to them. When I say “can go and” I don’t literally mean they have to relocate.

            2. the funny thing is that people who live in communes to escape capitalism end up selling their trinkets and organic veggies at the local growers market which is just capitalism in the end

              1. “selling their trinkets and organic veggies at the local growers market which is just capitalism in the end”

                Capitalism is more than buying and selling. It requires a commitment to growth. The trinket selling commune dwellers won’t upset any shareholders if their sales this year don’t match last year’s.

    2. It’s just another moralistic ploy, B. It’s not even about the environment, but about sounding righteous and morally superior.

      1. Expressing concern is far more important than actually doing something about a problem. And when it’s time to take action, doing something, even if it’s wrong is better than doing nothing. [that sums up the, er, thinking]

    3. No shit. I’ll bet Fong and Klein are consuming ten times as much as I am.

    4. Oh, you want the benefits of capitalism without it actually being capitalism?

      Marx called that “Bourgeois Socialism.”

      It’s what most American Progressives suffer from without realizing it.

  29. faculty fellow at Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University

    As Caroline Rhea would say, “How did you get in?” “I showed them my driver’s license.”

  30. It makes more sense when you replace the word “capitalism” with freedom, because that’s what that is. Those who argue against “capitalism” is really just arguing against freedom and individualism.

    1. Those who argue against “capitalism” is really just arguing against freedom and individualism.

      Yep. Press them and they will admit it. After all, we’re all in this together. We can’t have individuals act like islands and not participate. Everyone must participate. By force if necessary. As far as freedom goes, we can’t have people running amok and doing whatever they want. There must be order. People must ask permission. People must obey orders. Otherwise we will have chaos. People will get rich. There will be mass inequality. Products will hit the market with the only concern being profits. We can’t allow that. Products must be approved and directed by people in power. Everything must be directed and controlled.

      Because when people are not micromanaged in every aspect of their daily lives, you get the United States of America. Can’t allow that.

      1. And they think the ruling class will apply rules the way liberals want them to be applied, opposed to how the ruling class will actually apply them.

  31. When Global Warming was first being discussed 20 years ago, it was alleged that a lot of ‘watermelons’ (green on the outside, red on the inside) were using the cover of environmentalism as a way to gain political control.

    1. Global Warming was first being discussed more like 45 years ago. It started to get politicized about 20 years ago.

      And since the government has gotten involved, our prior success at reducing carbon emissions has pretty well flattened out into a holding pattern.

      1. If memory serves, wasn’t it called global cooling 45 years ago?

        1. Patrick Moynihan was talking about global warming 45 years ago, and the famous “Exxon Knew” stuff is from about 40 years ago.

          But, yes – there was also concern about an impending glaciation 45 years ago because it wasn’t long before that that the cyclical glaciations the planet has experienced for the last million years was discovered.

          So contra the CAGW cult, the takeaway is really “scientists don’t all agree about everything, and ‘Scientific Consensus’ is a very rare beast, in fact.”

          There is still in fact concern that a glaciation could be eminent. You just don’t want to get caught saying that aloud amongst the Scientifically Certain.

          1. “There is still in fact concern that a glaciation could be eminent.”

            Concern is not important. Scientists don’t write papers on their concerns. Science requires evidence.

            1. Concern is not important. Scientists don’t write papers on their concerns. Science requires evidence.

              How quaint … mtrueman believes scientist are somehow immune to human bias.

              1. “mtrueman believes scientist are somehow immune to human bias.”

                Another straw man. Is this the best you marons can do?

                1. Not a straw man mtrueman. You have a idealistic view of scientist that doesn’t exist in the real world.

                2. mtrueman:

                  Concern is not important. Scientists don’t write papers on their concerns. Science requires evidence.

                  These marons just can’t get it: you’re never wrong.

  32. You gotta be pretty rich to be able to afford to give a shit about the environment.

  33. If the Chinese gov’t could be just a little more authoritarian, I think their air pollution problem would be licked. They’re just to laissez fair free-wheeling Capitalist.

  34. “This little book proposes a different kind of communism, one that is true to its ideals and free from authoritarianism.”

    Funny since communism can only exist with extreme authoritarianism, no one ever gives up their lively hood with out the threat of violence even in the U.S. people only pay taxers because of the threat that you will be arrested.

    1. Also funny how we don’t have time to wait for free markets to present solutions, but we do have time to persuade each and every individual on the planet to set aside selfishness and embrace True Philosophical Communism.

    2. This is why we need the New Soviet Man and extensive genome editing technology. (Said somewhat sarcastically)

      It’s an admission that human psychology itself is against socialism, or at least certain portions of our minds are against it.

      Socialism only exists because it’s attractive to the baser human psychology in that we all want something for nothing, and our chicks for free, especially when we don’t have anything at all.

      Thus, nations that become socialist are unsurprisingly ushered into power by the group that produces the least and owns the fewest things. Often so-called ‘revolutionaries’ who truly only seek personal power.

      It’s also one of the more obvious reasons why they always fail. Without a personal incentive to succeed, why try at all? It’s socially destructive in the extreme. Of course, the answer to ‘why try at all’ inevitably becomes ‘because you will be shot if you don’t’. It’s the only ultimate answer socialism has outside of, potentially, genome editing to create a true slave labor caste. It won’t be robots, after all, because frankly robots require an economy and skilled labor to maintain. Birthing slaves, however, is fucking cheap.

      1. in other words those who are failures in life use communism to uplift themselves since violent oppression of others is their only way to success. Hitler was a failure like others before him while all the signers of the declaration of independence were successful business men


        1. in other words those who are failures in life use communism to uplift themselves since violent oppression of others is their only way to success.

          I wouldn’t frame it exactly like that, but that’s a fairly accurate way of putting it. Socialism and Communism both rely on the individual ignoring their own wants and needs in favor of a collective preference, which isn’t generally a trait found in mankind outside of close-knit relations such as a family.

          Especially when those two concerns are diametric opposites, which is what you see when the government says that your private property that you bought at some past point now belongs to the government and they will now tell you what to do with it as they speak with the collective voice.

          Socialism is a powerful thing when it’s expressed to those who have nothing, for whatever cause, because it promises something at no expense to themselves. Those who bear the costs, of course, must be done away with as a matter of course to do any giving.

          Hitler was a failure like others before him while all the signers of the declaration of independence were successful business men

          I’m not really sure what the point of this statement is. Hitler wasn’t a socialist himself, or if he was he wasn’t the type to share power with other socialists.

  35. The end is nye!

    1. You leave Bill Nye out of this! Or were you thinking in a Stay Puft Marshmallow Man kind of way?

  36. Looks like they are well on their way;

    The Cost Of ‘Climate Action’: $5.2 Trillion To Avert 0.2 Degrees Of Warming http://dailycaller.com/2017/11…..f-warming/

    Bill Nye, Use Climate Change When Cold, Global Warming When Hot: http://dailycaller.com/2015/02…..-cold-out/

  37. Burn the NYT to the ground to save NYC, and America!

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