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Bjorn Lomborg: The U.S. Was Right to Withdraw From the Paris Climate Accord [Reason Podcast]

"The two things you need to know about the Paris [climate] agreement are, one, it is not going to do very much to tackle climate [change]...and it is incredibly costly." So says Bjorn Lomborg, the president of the Copenhagen Consensus Center and author of The Skeptical Environmentalist. Make no mistake, the Danish political scientist believes climate change is happening and that human activity is the main cause.

But as Lomborg stressed during an interview with Reason's Nick Gillespie, the Paris accord and the earlier Kyoto Protocol are terrible ways to tackle the problem and the United States was right to withdraw from the treaty. If you're interested in protecting the environment and helping the world's poor, says Lomborg, there are cheaper and more-effective ways to reach those goals.

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Audio production by Ian Keyser.

This is a rush transcript—check all quotes against the audio for accuracy.

Nick Gillespie: Hi. This is Nick Gillespie, and this is the Reason Podcast. We're talking with Bjorn Lomborg. He is the skeptical environmentalist. He's one of the most outspoken people on the planet who is an environmentalist and who believes that much of the environmentalist community is off base. Bjorn, thanks for talking to us.

Bjorn Lomborg: My pleasure.

Nick Gillespie: Paris Climate Accord. Tell us why it's a good thing that the United States has decided to rethink its participation.

Bjorn Lomborg: Fundamentally, the two things you need to know about the Paris Agreement is one, it is not going to do very much to tackle climate. If you look at the UN's own estimate, if everyone had delivered everything they had promised, including Trump and the U.S., by 2030, the Paris Agreement would have delivered less than 1% of what it's promising, so a very, very tiny impact on climate.

Nick Gillespie: It leaves 99% of the problem it says it's going to solve in place.

Bjorn Lomborg: The second thing is it's incredibly costly. It's probably the most costly treaty ever to be signed in history. If you look at what is the likely cost across the main areas where we have good estimates, it indicates that it's probably around $1 trillion in cost if you do it in the most effective way. That means with carbon taxes in all the relevant regions. If you don't, which is typically the way you do a climate policy, it could easily be $2 trillion, so $1 to $2 trillion a year for the rest of this century, mostly in lost GDP growth, and the net benefit at the end of the century, even if you are very optimistic, will have been to reduce the temperature by about 0.3 degrees Fahrenheit. Spend $100 trillion to achieve virtually no climate benefit. That's a bad deal.

Nick Gillespie: Emmanuel Macron, the newly elected president of France, said, "There is no plan B for the Paris Agreement because there is no planet B." Assuming that it will only achieve what you're talking about, is that better than doing nothing?

Bjorn Lomborg: It depends on what the alternatives are, because you can always say, "We're doing a little bit. Yes, we know we're wasting an enormous amount of money, but at least we're doing a little bit." That money could have been spent much better at tackling global warming, which is basically about investing in green energy R and D, where we have a severe reduction or underfunding of R and D in many different areas. That's also true in green energy. That is one place where you could spend a lot more. Actually, this has been one of the things that Bill Gates and the Energy Breakthrugh Coalition has been working on, and this is something that many governments have even signed up to, partly because of some of the research that we've done showed this is an incredibly effective way to tackle green warming.

Fundamentally, instead of trying to make fossil fuels so expensive nobody wants them, which was always going to be politically very hard, try to make green energy and try to innovate green energy to become so cheap everyone will want it. That's a very effective policy, but the other part of that is, when you're spending $1 to $2 trillion, this would cost us $100 billion. You'd still be left with $1.9 trillion that you could spend on solving all the other issues in the world. It's not like climate is the only thing you need to fix. Wasting so much money that could have been spent on actually solving real problems for real people is I think important to recognize, as well.

Nick Gillespie: Is it right to say that renewable technology ... Because one of the things, and people like Macron have said this, and a lot of people in the United States. They say, "The era of renewables are here. It's already cheaper in China to use solar power than coal-based to generate electricity and whatnot." Is that just wrong? Because you're saying that there's actually a huge amount of research to go in development until renewable non-carbon-based energy is really ready for prime time?

Bjorn Lomborg: The unfortunate situation is, this is a complicated question to answer very simply. The issue is, some places, when you put new solar or new wind, it can actually deliver a kilowatt-hour cheaper than, for instance, a new coal-fired power plant. The problem with that argument is, it can only deliver it when the Sun is shining or when the wind is blowing. If it's not, then suddenly it can't deliver it at any cost. The reality is, much of the wind and solar that you are talking about is much less worth because you actually have to keep standby options, either in terms of batteries or in terms of backup operations. Suddenly, that equation doesn't look as simple.

The reality, of course, is if you just look at what the International Energy Agency does, this is on the actual estimate of subsidies, right now we're subsidizing solar and wind at the tune of about $125 million a day. What they're expecting as we ramp up for the Paris Agreement, they expected that over the 25 years we will spend about $3 trillion just in subsidies. The simple answer to these people who are saying, "Green energy is already here. It's cheap," is to say, "That's wonderful. Then we don't need a Paris Agreement, because now everybody's going to switch because it's cheaper. Also, could we have our $3 trillion back, please?"

Nick Gillespie: What are some of the other problems that you would prioritize above climate change? Maybe not climate change, but I guess, what are the other issues beyond trying to halt a slow or maybe not so increase in world global temperatures that we should be looking at?

Bjorn Lomborg: What people generally point out is that global warming is mostly going to hit poor countries. That's because poor countries are typically where it's warmest and hence increased temperatures are going to hit them hardest. Plus, they also have limited infrastructure to handle temperature rises.

Remember, poor countries have lots and lots of other problems. The real issue here is, we're talking about trying to help poor countries very ineffectively, because we'll only help them a little, and in 100 years, very expensively. When you actually ask poor countries and people in poor countries, "What do you want? What do you care about?" The UN did that back in 2015, in the biggest survey we've ever done. It was about 10 million people. What they told us was, "We care about getting education, healthcare, jobs, get rid of corruption, and get food." Those were the top five of 16 opportunities that came out of a UN survey across the world. That is what people really care about. Not surprisingly, when your kids are starving, when they don't get a good education, when everyone has bad healthcare, those are the things that really matter. What came last of these 16 was action on climate change.

Very clearly, most people are telling us, which is also in accord with the economic evidence, that if you want to help the world, climate change is least effective and the most costly way of helping most of these people first. We're an advanced civilization. We can walk and chew gum at the same time, so while we should definitely be spending ... I was talking about the $2 trillion that we were going to be spending on Paris every year. We should definitely be spending the $1.9 trillion on all these issues that would help much more effectively right now, but we should also spend perhaps $100 billion a year on investment in green energy R and D. This would be much less that what we're planning on spending on Paris. It would be much less than what we're spending right now on subsidies to, in effect, solar and wind. It would do a lot more good to actually tackle global warming.

Nick Gillespie: To be clear, do you believe that global warming is real, that an average rise in temperatures is happening, that it is an issue, and that human activity is part and parcel of that?

Bjorn Lomborg: Yes. It's both temperature is rising, human activity is the main cause of this, and it will be in the long run a problem that we should face. I think we also need to be honest about this. The UN climate panel tells us even in the 2070s, when we see two degrees temperature rise more than what we have now, and remember those are degrees centrigrade, so around 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit, the net cost of global warming will be somewhere between 0.2% and 2% of GDP. That indicates it's a problem, but it's not the end of the world, as has often been portrayed. Remember, that means that the problem of global warming over the next 50-60 years is equivalent to one recession. It's definitely something we want to avoid, but it's not the end of the world, and it's certainly by no means the most important thing in the world. That's of course also why it ends up at the bottom of the list for the UN's priorities.

Nick Gillespie: Yeah. I was going to ask, though, because the rhetoric around global warming and the need for action now on the climate is nothing if not apocalyptic. Where is that coming from? Is that coming from just ideological zealots, or is it coming from a misunderstanding of what even the UN science, which is what is constantly being used to buttress the claims, that we need to radically transform the way that we produce energy, consume energy, and go about our daily lives, is it that people are mistaken, or are we in the stranglehold of ideological zealots?

Bjorn Lomborg: I think it's hard to tell. There's probably a little bit of all of that. What you just asked was actually also a good example of what happens. You were saying we really radically need to change our civilization. If you look at what it takes to get two degrees, which is what the Paris Agreement promised, that is actually true. You can work that out mathematically. If you say two degrees is your target, you have to radically change civilization and very quickly get off fossil fuels. Of course, that's going to have huge costs and probably be almost or totally impossible.

That's actually a true statement, but of course it just reflects the fact that nobody actually in their right minds believes the two degree target. It's just something people say because it sounds nice. The other part of it, when people are talking about apocalyptic results, we're going to see more floods, we're going to see more droughts, we're going to see higher sea level rises, more heatwaves, it's a combination of stuff that's real and a lot of stuff that's slightly exaggerated, and then the fact that you only work at one thing.

If you ask people who work in hospitals, "Is there an American healthcare crisis?" They'll say, "Yes." "Should we be spending more money on healthcare?" "Yes." If you ask teachers, will they say that there's a problem with teaching? They'll say, "Yes, and we should be spending more money on education." Everybody believes their own area is in a crisis. The problem is, in the climate area, you get so much more attention. Many of these things are just simply tiny truths and a lot of exaggeration.

Let me just give you one example. The UN, the UNICEF, which I have a lot of respect for normally, they came out and said, "One in four kids are going to live in countries with very little water. We need to address climate change right now." There's just so many things wrong with that argument. The main reason why people live in water-stressed countries is because there are more and more people and they use their water resources really badly. We actually know on average you're going to get about the same precipitation, but it's going to be slightly differently distributed, or possibly even more precipitation, from global warming. It's not the global warming thing that we should fix. It's the fact that people don't price water very well and they use it ineffectively.

Of course, the whole conceit of saying, "We're going to try to do something for climate change to help kids not be water-stressed in 10 or 20 years" is just simply. Whatever we do right now will have absolutely no impact in the next 10 or 20 years on climate change. It's only going to change a little bit and only in 80 to 100 years from now. There's this sense in which you take a little bit of truth and turn it into the end of the world for a variety of different reasons, partly because that's what we mostly focus on, partly because you can't see that there are other ways you can help much more.

Nick Gillespie: How bad is it for people who are environmentalists like yourself, and are skeptical of the political consensus on what we should be doing about the environment, particularly global warming, that Donald Trump has emerged as the champion of sanity in saying that the Paris Accord is not worth being part of?

Bjorn Lomborg: I think it's a hard conversation to have, because you definitely don't need to agree with everything else that Trump has done. I could also imagine Trump made this decision on a number of bad arguments, but the fundamental point here is to recognize that if you actually care about the environment, there's a much better way to tackle global warming than the Paris Agreement, much cheaper, much more effective, by focusing on research and development into green energy.

The other thing is to recognize there are much, much more important environmental problems than global warming. If you just take as a most incontrovertible indicator how many deaths do we see from different environmental problems, the UN estimates that we probably see around 141,000 deaths from climate right now, and by 2050, it might be 250,000 deaths. Compare this to the world's by far most deadly environmental problem, which is outdoor air pollution in the industrialized world, which kills about 3.5 million people each year, and indoor air pollution, which is basically poverty and Third World countries who cook and keep warm with really dirty fuels. That kills 4.3 million people each year. We're talking about problems that are in the order of 20 times bigger or more than global warming will be by midcentury, and problems that we can solve much better, much cheaper, much faster, and much more effectively.

There's a double impact. Partly we're not fixing climate change well. Partly we're not seeing that there are much bigger environmental problems. Of course, the third point that I would mention here, and that's not the environmentalist part, but just if you want to do good in the world, of course there are many other things, as we mentioned before, getting better education, getting better healthcare, getting more nutritious food to people. Those are much bigger issues for most people. Again, we can help them much smarter, much more effectively, and of course actually end up leaving a much better planet.

Nick Gillespie: That obviously is also part of the work of the Copenhagen Consensus which you've been putting together, where people with relatively little money come up with really good ideas that have a better cost-benefit ratio than climate change.

Bjorn Lomborg: Exactly. We work with lots of economists, more than 300 of the world's top economists and seven Nobel laureates, to try to focus where can you spend $1 and do the most good. We basically do cost-benefit across all these areas. What we've found is some things for climate are actually really good investments. For instance, stop subsidizing fossil fuels. A lot of people believe that's mostly in the West. It's not. It's in regimes like Venezuela and India and China and Russia, where they subsidize fossil fuels. That gives more congestion, more air pollution, and also more CO2, and it's bad news for resources.

Likewise, investment in clean energy R and D, but please don't just do the kind of Paris Agreement which probably has a benefit concentration of much lower than one. That is, you spend $1 and you avoid a couple of cents of climate damage.

Also then remember that there are many, many other things you can do both on indoor and outdoor air pollution, but also on these other issues like education, healthcare, nutrition, some of these big issues in the world where you can spend $1 and do $10, $20, $30 of social good.

Nick Gillespie: Are you optimistic that the conversation about climate change, and the need to aggress the negatives, the externalities of climate change, will move to what you or I might consider a more rational basis? Instead of talking about all of this as all or nothing, and talking about ... Last night, there was much wailing, gnashing of teeth, rending of garments over the U.S. pulling out of the Paris Accord. Do you think we're going to get to a more sober rational discussion, or is it almost unstoppable to pull things back to having clearer conversations?

Bjorn Lomborg: I would so much like to be able to say, "Yes, I'm optimistic," but no, I'm not. I think if anything, we're seeing a replay here of how Kyoto played out. Remember, Kyoto was the solution to global warming back in the 1990s. It was signed by Al Gore, and never submitted to ratification in the Senate because they knew it was going to fail, but it was a rallying point for everyone. This was the thing, the treaty, that would save the world.

By any objective metric, it was an incredibly expensive way of doing almost nothing, so a very, very close parallel to Paris. Then George Bush canceled it, and then suddenly everything that didn't work in climate, which was just about everything, was George Bush's fault. I think we're going to see the same thing. It's going to get a lot of people very engaged and excited about we need to do everything we promised in Paris. We're going to waste lots and lots of money. We're not going to achieve our target. We're not going to make any meaningful in actual climate change. Now everyone can say, "It's Donald Trump's fault."

The reality is, this is a perfect setup for keeping this incredibly partisan. In some ways, I see most of the global warming conversation, although a lot of people who are engaged in it actually really do want to do good, a lot of people are also just there to feel good about themselves, which is one of the reasons why you'll drive around in an electric car that gets, what, $10,000 or thereabouts in subsidies, and yet perhaps emit three tons of CO2, which is probably worth about $15 less. That's just ridiculous.

There's a lot of that kind of stuff, and that is mainly because we're in a situation where this is no longer about doing what's best for the climate, but simply about aligning yourself with the rightful left and feeling good about your own actions.

Nick Gillespie: We will leave it there. We have been talking with Bjorn Lomborg. Bjorn, where is the best place for people to follow you, either on Twitter or on the web?

Bjorn Lomborg: On Twitter, on Facebook. I'm on LinkedIn. I'm an influencer there, and of course we have our website, both lomborg.com and we're also on copenhagenconsensus.com, where we work on prioritizing, for instance, Haiti. We just finished a big prioritization there, one for Bangladesh, and many other places where we're trying to, in small measures, help people think smarter.

I wish we could also do that in climate, but I think we're a little ways away from that.

Nick Gillespie: We will leave it there on that cautionary note. Thank you so much for talking. This has been the Reason podcast. I'm Nick Gillespie. Please subscribe to this at iTunes, and rate and review us while you're there. Thanks for listening.

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

  • Tony||

    Reason is maintaining its unbroken record of only publishing the opinions of people on climate change who have been laughed out of the scientific community (or in this case were never a part of it).

  • Don't look at me.||

    Translates into: those who dare think for themselves .

  • Tony||

    I'm thinking for myself and defying the so-called wisdom of scientists: Jupiter is made of cool whip.

    I'm a genuous!

  • Greg F||

    Well if it was 1920 Tony wouldn't be "defying the so-called wisdom" of Eugenicist either.

  • Don't look at me.||

    Psst! (It's spelled genius. )

  • Citizen X - #6||

    He was trying to spell "disingenuous," which would be the first honest thing he's ever said on Hit'n'Run.

  • Sevo||

    Psst! (It's spelled genius. )

    Not in Tony's case. It's spelled I-m-b-e-c-i-l-e.

  • Anomalous||

    I'm guessing he's a third generation imbecile.

  • renewableguy||

    Don't look at me.|6.2.17 @ 3:44PM|#

    Translates into: those who dare think for themselves .

    What you think is of no consequence. Does the data support what you think?

  • colorblindkid||

    Please provide evidence that refutes anything he says in this podcast.

  • Tony||

    I barely read articles. I'm not listening to a goddamn podcast.

    Lomborg is generally stupid on this subject, though, which you can read about if you care to. The whole thing here is that he's only listened to by people like Bailey and you guys precisely because he is discredited in the field. For some reason you can't square basic facts of climate change with a laissez-faire worldview, and rather than make the attempt you seem to prefer to go to crazytown.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    So... you didn't even get to the second sentence of the description?:

    Make no mistake, the Danish scientist believes climate change is happening and that human activity is the main cause.

  • ||

    But he disagrees with the science that says the Paris Accord was going to fix it, therefore he's an anti-science hack.

    Tony knows this because he's been told so.

  • Tony||

    His scholarship on the subject is rather lacking. But you're right, he's not quite as much of an incorrigible dumbass as most of the people here.

  • ||

    His scholarship on the subject is rather lacking.

    And where is your scholarship on the subject, pray tell?

  • Anomalous||

    I think he watched An Inconvenient Truth.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Tony, where do you get your marching orders for today's lefty narrative?

  • John C. Randolph||

    I barely read articles. I'm not listening to a goddamn podcast.

    So, having admitted that you know fuck-all, and that you refuse to educate yourself, you go on to say:

    Lomborg is generally stupid on this subject,

    From what I can find, Lomborg seems to have put in rather more effort to learn about climate science than the average rentboy.

    -jcr

  • Greg F||

    I barely read articles.


    Obviously.

    Lomborg is generally stupid on this subject, though, which you can read about if you care to.


    So you're saying that Tom Wigley (not a skeptic by any stretch of your imagination) was generally stupid when he did the same thing with the Kyoto Protocol.

  • Tony||

    You want a debate on policy, we're having one. Lomborg is a discredited hack. There.

  • Greg F||

    You want a debate on policy, we're having one.

    Since you are incapable of understanding the science that is all you have. I will repeat it since you avoided it the first time:

    So you're saying that Tom Wigley (not a skeptic by any stretch of your imagination) was generally stupid when he did the same thing with the Kyoto Protocol.

  • ||

    You want a debate on policy, we're having one.

    Are we?

    All I see is you calling Lomborg a "discredited hack" as a scientist because he doesn't agree with you on policy, and then accusing people of avoiding policy discussion when they point out that you don't understand the science.

    At which point you resort to calling people "cousin-fuckers."

    This is what you consider "debate on policy?" And you consider yourself the superior intellectual in this place of mental darkness?

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Look, it's the best he can manage against all of this Russian interference.

  • John C. Randolph||

    Lomborg is a discredited hack.

    I'm going to need more than some pig-ignorant rent boy telling me that before I believe it.

    -jcr

  • Careless||

    He's stupid and discredited and agreees with tony. Tony believes himself to be stupid and discredited

  • renewableguy||

    Please provide evidence that refutes anything he says in this podcast.

    Data shows us that global warming is true and human made. Why listen to a guy supported b fossil fuels.

  • AndrewR||

    What data? Computer models that have failed every test are not data. And the claim Lomborg is supported by "fossil fuels" is a lie.

    But that's all you anti-science, anti-human eco-hysterics have, isn't it? Hate and lies.

    Some of us know about:

    FTP directories labeled "Secret"
    Yamal
    Upside-down Tijlander
    Hide-the-Decline
    Gleickgate
    28Gate
    Glaciergate
    Climategate

    But YOU are proudly and willfully ignorant of the issue, aren't you?

  • renewableguy||

    There are 5 IPCC documents now. There is a lot more to this than computers, All data points to man made warming.

    CO2 has a frequency reference that is quite detectable by satellites. Less energy is leaving the earth.

    It is also detectable in the return energy to earth. More energy in this frequency band is returning to earth.

    It is one of many smoking guns pointing out to us that we are the ones warming the earth.

    Data, that is all it is, is data. It shows we did it.

  • Chipper Morning, Now #1||

    Reason also maintains an unbroken record of only allowing leftist commenters who have been laughed out of open mic cock magic performances.

  • Tony||

    And I thank them for that. Also for allowing me to say fuck.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Mocked ceaselessly for going on eight years now, unwanted, unliked, proudly incurious, invincibly ignorant, and utterly unreasoning, you yet keep returning. It would be inspiring if it wasn't so mindless, like a salmon that keeps trying to go upstream after it's already been gutted by a grizzly.

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    Tony is the troubled genius in a room full of retards. The one wise man trying to bring enlightenment to the savages. The tireless crusader of intelligence against the idiotic barbarian hordes. It's not his choice, it's his calling. To stop now would be to admit defeat.

  • ||

    Like his usual 'unfactual' comment about France having lower electricity rates than USA.

  • renewableguy||

    Rufus The Monocled|6.2.17 @ 4:37PM|#

    Like his usual 'unfactual' comment about France having lower electricity rates than USA.

    We all make mistakes. Whether France is cheaper or not is not really the important point. Data shows we have man made warming. All of it is ours. We have a responsibility to do the best we can to get off carbon pollution energy.

  • renewableguy||

    I assume you are talking about Tony citizen x. The climate data supports Tony.

  • AndrewR||

    "The climate data supports Tony". No it doesn't, you are just lying. Which is why you won't cite any "data".

  • renewableguy||

    https://goo.gl/XWx4dR

    This is the short easy version.

  • Zeb||

    Why should we listen to the scientific community over anyone else when discussing political and economic issues? Lomborg seems to accept what the scientific community has to say about global warming. His disagreements have to do with economics, politics and human behavior, which are not things that climate scientists are expert in.

  • Greg F||

    And don't forget it has to be peer reviewed ... oh wait! It was!

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Funny too that climate witch doctors think their results should not have to be objectively tested resulting in the same results.

    That and anyone (including laymen) should be able to test their results and reach the same result.

  • renewableguy||

    loveconstitution1789|6.5.17 @ 9:21AM|#

    Funny too that climate witch doctors think their results should not have to be objectively tested resulting in the same results.

    Science is nothing but tested. They don't put out science with out data. The data is collected, analyzed, and write it up to publish. Other scientists read the paper, go back over the data, look over what was written and criticize that paper either positive or negative. The fake science papers that made it through peer review were caught in the last part. The science is actually quite vetted. That is why you guys depend on fake science to make your points.

  • Tony||

    He's a bad economist too.

  • OldMexican Blankety Blank||

    Why do you say he's a bad economist?

  • Hello Clarice||

    Because he is! Tony has spoken. At least Trudy has the good sense to use data before making silly statements.

  • renewableguy||

    Tony|6.2.17 @ 4:54PM|#

    He's a bad economist too.

    We could use a little more information. Its to the advantage of the United States to stayy in the game and negotiate our interests inside the Paris Climate Treaty pro or con. Now we are going to be ignored. The great negotiator just extremely weakened our negotiating position in the world. The clean energyy market will become a trillion dollar market. This is like cell phones, refrigertors, car markets of the past. Trumpty Dumpty is back with the whip and buggy dayys.

  • ||

    /pushes dependent thought control button.

  • OldMexican Blankety Blank||

    Re: Tony,

    Amusingly, you seem unfazed in your willingness to die on top of that dunghill, even when the Angry Volcano God is not really angry and the Paris Accord was not going to provide it with any of the required virgins to ease its apparent anger.

  • renewableguy||

    Kind of an empty comment Old.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    he opinions of people on climate change who have been laughed out of the scientific community

    Well, he does believe that humans are the primary cause of global warming.

  • Juice||

    Take your complaints to Nature.

  • Fascist loofa-faced shitgibbon||

    "Reason is maintaining its unbroken record "

    You, on the other hand are a broken record.

    Also, Lomborg is one the the calmest, clearest, and most rational speaker on the subject, so no surprise he rubs you the wrong way.

    Also also, what the fuck are you doing here?

  • renewableguy||

    Who are you to decide who can be here and who can't. If you profess openness and freedom of speech, why be reclusive?

  • Inside the Mainframe||

    I find it ironic that we're on a website called "Reason" yet the comment section is full of logical fallacies. In your case, you committed two: the ad hominem and the appeal to authority.

    Google them -- or better yet -- ask the "scientific community" about them. :)

  • Sevo||

    "A Malian cattle herder, German environmental activists, leaders from Mexico to China — they're among millions on Friday denouncing President Donald Trump's decision to pull the United States out of the Paris climate accord."
    http://www.onenewspage.com/n/T.....-Trump.htm
    If they were really "leaders", Trump wouldn't have done that, would he? And "millions"? Well, AP long ago crossed the line from news to opinion.

    BTW, the market gained 3% yesterday, seems unbothered by watermelon yapping today:
    http://money.cnn.com/data/markets/dow/

  • Zeb||

    Leaders of cattle.

    And "Mexico to China" includes several tiny pacific island nations.

    Even most of the watermelons know that it's really meaningless and makes no difference. It's just outrage because there's an opportunity to be outraged by Trump.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    It makes a (negative) difference to economic growth and sovereignty which is its true purpose.

  • Fascist loofa-faced shitgibbon||

    "they're among millions on Friday denouncing "

    True fact, millions are also praising him. So what?

  • Chipper Morning, Now #1||

    I guess KMW forgot that Robby was assigned to Friday PM links and that he is no leave to write a book about millenial activismplay that new Zelda game.

  • Half-Virtue, Half-Vice||

    Fuck work to play video games, this is why I liked Robby.

  • Crusty Juggler - lamertarian||

  • Chipper Morning, Now #1||

    Yep, Crusty is posting links. This is now the official PM links thread.

  • Crusty Juggler - lamertarian||

    1 in 10 of your coworkers are having sex at work, according to a survey

    Researchers surveyed over 1,000 people about their in-office behaviour, and found that sex at work is indeed happening – and perhaps with more frequency than you might expect.

    Of the people surveyed, 11% said they'd had sex in the office with a co-worker, while 4% said they'd done it with a non-employee (bringing someone into the building without signing them in? Naughty).

    Just pretend it's the hot ones.

  • Chipper Morning, Now #1||

    I got distracted by this.

  • Zeb||

    That's a stupid question.

  • Half-Virtue, Half-Vice||

    I could have twice -- I didn't because, well it would take a novel length of tear stained pages and feelz to explain my relationship issues.

    Also I couldn't imagine them still being in the office when the whole thing inevitably went up in flames.

  • Crusty Juggler - lamertarian||

    'Alt-right celebrities' are holding a rally in Portland. Who are they?

    No one you have heard of. Also:

    Far-right activists are coming from all over the country to show their support for what they describe as "free speech" and a significant counter-protest is planned in response.

    Apparently they are free speech activists, so there is that.

  • Crusty Juggler - lamertarian||

    Old story, but new to be: Johnny Depp's Reported $2 Million a Month Lifestyle, Explained

    My favorites:

    $30,000 per month on wine "he had flown to him from around the world for his personal consumption."


    At least $300,000/month on a staff of approximately 40 full-time employees.
  • Tony||

    He pays his servants an average of $3.60/hour?

  • Greg F||

    He pays his servants an average of $3.60/hour?

    Math is difficult for Tony as is anything requiring independent thinking.

  • Tony||

    Oh, month. That makes more sense.

  • JWatts||

    "He pays his servants an average of $3.60/hour?"

    You can't really be that bad at math can you?

  • Greg F||

    Yes ... yes he is ... The Dunning–Kruger effect.

    The cognitive bias of illusory superiority derives from the metacognitive inability of low-ability persons to recognize their own ineptitude. Without the self-awareness of metacognition, low-ability people cannot objectively evaluate their actual competence or incompetence.

    Almost makes you want to feel sorry for the guy ... almost.

  • Sevo||

    "You can't really be that bad at math can you?"

    This is a guy who looks at French energy costs at 150% of the US average and declares the French pay a third less than those of us in the US do.
    You're not really asking that, are you?

  • Crusty Juggler - lamertarian||

    Enemy of SIV Jeffery Tucker on the Paris agreement

    Everything about the Paris Agreement seemed structured to play into Trump's narrative of how the world had gone mad. And then he won the nomination. Then he won the presidency. None of this was supposed to happen. It wasn't part of the plan. History took a different course from what the power elite demanded and expected to happen. Not for the first time.
  • OldMexican Blankety Blank||

    Let me pause to protest this "denial" language. It attempts to appropriate the widely shared disgust toward "Holocaust denial," [...] Using that language to silence questions about an attempt to centrally plan the energy sector is a moral low that debases the language of denial.

    This rhetorical trick reveals all you need to know about the desperate manipulation the climate planners are willing to engage in to realize their plot regardless of popular and justified skepticism concerning their regulatory and redistributionist policies.


    What is clear is that the the Angry Volcano God priests betray their complete and total lack of trust on the validity and strength of the science itself, not bothering themselves with the lack of certainty inherent in science, preferring to borrow the moral certainly offered by religious belief, thus their intolerance of those who would dare question their convictions and their catechism.

  • Jerryskids||

    If you're interested in protecting the environment and helping the world's poor, says Lomborg, there are cheaper and more-effective ways to reach those goals.

    What if protecting the environment and helping the world's poor is secondary to having a cushy job as a Chief Deputy Assistant Undersecretary for Ancillary Ephemera in some NGO that spends 90% of its time and budget traveling to conferences to present papers on studies of reports on proposed research into protecting the environment and helping the world's poor? I mean, the best way to help the poor is not be one of them and I've heard the environment up there in the first class section is pretty damn comfortable - it's a start, ain't it?

  • ||

    the best way to help the poor is not be one of them

    Well you can't expect the poor to help themselves! They're too poor!

  • OldMexican Blankety Blank||

    If you're interested in protecting the environment and helping the world's poor, says Lomborg, there are cheaper and more-effective ways to reach those goals.


    The best way to protect the environment and even reduce emissions is by allowing people to get richer. More than once, history has shown that as populations grow their wealth, they have the wherewithal to invest in technologies that improve their well-being, including cleaner sources of energy and cleaner environments. Poor people live in filthy slums precisely because they're poor, not because richer people emit more emissions.

  • Sevo||

    Our local busy-bodies seem to believe the poor moved into those places and thereafter the white folks made them all stinky and dirty.
    The obvious solution is to have those white folks clean up the mess, in which case the places won't be stinky and dirty and the poor folks won't be able to afford to live there and will have to find new stinky and dirty places to live.

  • renewableguy||

    Rich people pollute the planet more because they use more carbon fuels. To pollute less is to go clean energy. 100% renewable energy is the future.

  • freebet||

    Wow Amazing
    Freebet Gratis

  • White Hispanic||

    Simultaneous warming on Earth and Mars suggests that our planet's recent climate changes have a natural—and not a human-induced—cause...data from NASA's Mars Global Surveyor and Odyssey missions revealed that the carbon dioxide "ice caps" near Mars's south pole had been diminishing ...Mars data is evidence that the current global warming on Earth is being caused by changes in the sun...changes in the sun's heat output can account for almost all the climate changes we see on both planets.

  • Sevo||

    I'm sure it can, but regarding the gov't's intrusion into the economy, the question is less the cause than what is the proper response? The catastrophists have 'millions' of people displaced over the next century and therefore 'the gov't must do something!'
    Well, in 1840, there were 4470 people living in what is now called Chicago. Absent any government "help" at all, by 1940, there were 3.4M residents. ( http://physics.bu.edu/~redner/.....icago.html - there are fewer now; the asshole Ds have been fucking it up as best they can)
    I'm waiting for the Tonys of the world to explain how modern transportation and technology is somehow more limiting of movement than it was then.
    I do NOT expect an honest answer. I regularly call Tony nasty names; he deserves every bit of it in that he has never ONCE offered an honest and good-faith argument.
    The slimy piece of shit deserves to be fucked with some rusty farm equipment.

  • Tejicano||

    Ha ha ha! I'm sure they are going to cook up some explanation for how the temperature increase on Mars was induced by humans. Don't you bet against it. And even if it is as kooky as "Mickey Mouse farts are warmer and attracted to the Martian gravitational pull" you know every watermellon out there will be swallowing that line like it was ambrosia from Olympus.

  • renewableguy||

    The sun has slightly cooled in the last 30 years of satellite data

  • renewableguy||

    https://goo.gl/nMlFzd

    WWEA releases 2016 Half Year Figures for Wind Power:
    – 21 GW of new installations in the first half of 2016, same as is the previous year
    – Worldwide wind capacity has reached 456 GW, expected to reach 500 GW by the end of the year
    – Germany, India and Brazil leading in market growth in H1 2016

    We can be a part of this, or we can go backwards in time.

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