1. Skip to navigation
  2. Skip to content
  3. Skip to sidebar
Source link: http://archive.mises.org/10939/physicist-howard-haydens-one-letter-disproof-of-global-warming-claims/

Physicist Howard Hayden’s one-letter disproof of global warming claims

October 29, 2009 by

Physicist Howard Hayden, a staunch advocate of sound energy policy, sent me a copy of his letter to the EPA about global warming. The text is also appended below, with permission.

As noted in my post Access to Energy, Hayden helped the late, great Petr Beckmann found the dissident physics journal Galilean Electrodynamics (brochures and further Beckmann info here; further dissident physics links). Hayden later began to publish his own pro-energy newsletter, The Energy Advocate, following in the footsteps of Beckmann’s own journal Access to EnergyI love Hayden’s email sign-off, “People will do anything to save the world … except take a course in science.” Here’s the letter:

***

Howard C. Hayden
785 S. McCoy Drive
Pueblo West, CO 81007

October 27, 2009

The Honorable Lisa P. Jackson, Administrator
Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW Washington, DC 20460

Dear Administrator Jackson:

I write in regard to the Proposed Endangerment and Cause or Contribute Findings for Greenhouse Gases Under Section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act, Proposed Rule, 74 Fed. Reg. 18,886 (Apr. 24, 2009), the so-called “Endangerment Finding.”

It has been often said that the “science is settled” on the issue of CO2 and climate. Let me put this claim to rest with a simple one-letter proof that it is false.

The letter is s, the one that changes model into models. If the science were settled, there would be precisely one model, and it would be in agreement with measurements.

Alternatively, one may ask which one of the twenty-some models settled the science so that all the rest could be discarded along with the research funds that have kept those models alive.

We can take this further. Not a single climate model predicted the current cooling phase. If the science were settled, the model (singular) would have predicted it.

Let me next address the horror story that we are approaching (or have passed) a “tipping point.” Anybody who has worked with amplifiers knows about tipping points. The output “goes to the rail.” Not only that, but it stays there. That’s the official worry coming from the likes of James Hansen (of NASA­GISS) and Al Gore.

But therein lies the proof that we are nowhere near a tipping point. The earth, it seems, has seen times when the CO2 concentration was up to 8,000 ppm, and that did not lead to a tipping point. If it did, we would not be here talking about it. In fact, seen on the long scale, the CO2 concentration in the present cycle of glacials (ca. 200 ppm) and interglacials (ca. 300-400 ppm) is lower than it has been for the last 300 million years.

Global-warming alarmists tell us that the rising CO2 concentration is (A) anthropogenic and (B) leading to global warming.

(A) CO2 concentration has risen and fallen in the past with no help from mankind. The present rise began in the 1700s, long before humans could have made a meaningful contribution. Alarmists have failed to ask, let alone answer, what the CO2 level would be today if we had never burned any fuels. They simply assume that it would be the “pre-industrial” value.

  • The solubility of CO2 in water decreases as water warms, and increases as water cools. The warming of the earth since the Little Ice Age has thus caused the oceans to emit CO2 into the atmosphere.

(B) The first principle of causality is that the cause has to come before the effect. The historical record shows that climate changes precede CO2 changes. How, then, can one conclude that CO2 is responsible for the current warming?

Nobody doubts that CO2 has some greenhouse effect, and nobody doubts that CO2 concentration is increasing. But what would we have to fear if CO2 and temperature actually increased?

  • A warmer world is a better world. Look at weather-related death rates in winter and in summer, and the case is overwhelming that warmer is better.
  • The higher the CO2 levels, the more vibrant is the biosphere, as numerous experiments in greenhouses have shown. But a quick trip to the museum can make that case in spades. Those huge dinosaurs could not exist anywhere on the earth today because the land is not productive enough. CO2 is plant food, pure and simple.
  • CO2 is not pollution by any reasonable definition.
  • A warmer world begets more precipitation.
  • All computer models predict a smaller temperature gradient between the poles and the equator. Necessarily, this would mean fewer and less violent storms.
  • The melting point of ice is 0 ºC in Antarctica, just as it is everywhere else. The highest recorded temperature at the South Pole is -14 ºC, and the lowest is -117 ºC. How, pray, will a putative few degrees of warming melt all the ice and inundate Florida, as is claimed by the warming alarmists?

Consider the change in vocabulary that has occurred. The term global warming has given way to the term climate change, because the former is not supported by the data. The latter term, climate change, admits of all kinds of illogical attributions. If it warms up, that’s climate change. If it cools down, ditto. Any change whatsoever can be said by alarmists to be proof of climate change.

In a way, we have been here before. Lord Kelvin “proved” that the earth could not possibly be as old as the geologists said. He “proved” it using the conservation of energy. What he didn’t know was that nuclear energy, not gravitation, provides the internal heat of the sun and the earth.

Similarly, the global-warming alarmists have “proved” that CO2 causes global warming.

Except when it doesn’t.

To put it fairly but bluntly, the global-warming alarmists have relied on a pathetic version of science in which computer models take precedence over data, and numerical averages of computer outputs are believed to be able to predict the future climate. It would be a travesty if the EPA were to countenance such nonsense.

Best Regards,

Howard C. Hayden
Professor Emeritus of Physics, UConn

Update: Global warming, false science, and one-world government

{ 251 comments }

TokyoTom November 5, 2009 at 12:23 am

mpolzkill: “A lie can circle the globe before the truth can put its boots on, after all.”

Well said; see here: http://www.google.com/search?q=Howard+Hayden+letter+to+EPA

As far as Quiggin goes, libertarians clearly have themselves to blame for their lack of engagement, and their implicit support for a smelly status quo.

matt November 5, 2009 at 1:28 am

@bala:
Why don’t you answer my question? Here I am, genuinly interested in hearing how a global problem -like- global warming could be solved withouth government involvement, and you don’t want to answer the question. Now I’m left thinking there is no such solution.

And again, we’re not talking about the question if HMGW is real here. Maybe if it’s too difficult for you to separate the two questions, just imagine another global problem. Like the pacific plastic garbage patch. You can take a boat and see the plastic floating around for yourself. Currently each bird on this planet has a few dozens to a few hundred pieces of plastic in it’s stomach. And that amount is increasing. Maybe that’s easier then thinking about CO2.

Now back to the question: how would you imagine a problem like that is going to be solved? And really, I’m fine if we can leave any government out. But I need a real solution. So far the only thing I’ve heard is “there is no problem” and “even if there’s a problem, it’s not mine”. Hope you can do better then that.

Bala November 5, 2009 at 2:16 am

matt,

” Here I am, genuinly interested in hearing how a global problem -like- global warming could be solved withouth government involvement ”

Why are we wasting each other’s time seeking solutions to problems we aren’t even sure exist? I am sure we all have better things to do in life than look for fairies and goblins.

The only reason I am talking about this issue is that there are a lot of people out there who are ready to violate by Liberty and Property Rights because they think they have a (non-existent) problem which they think I am guilty (without clinching proof) of causing. What they propose to do is going to harm not just me but every living person on this planet.

The only solution I can think of to this current mess is to take Climate Science out the “hands” of that monstrosity called the IPCC (maybe even get it disbanded) and the governments that formed that monstrosity. That solution lies in the hands of the scientists currently cooperating with the IPCC. The sooner they boycott this abomination, the earlier we will have a solution. This does not mean that I see this happening.

In the meantime, the only thing that people like you and me can do, and which LvMI and people like Stephan can do, is to spread the message that Climate Science is not settled, that the real problem is the politicisation of Climate Science and the danger that we are all about to lose a lot of our freedoms as a result of this politicisation. At the very best, we can do it in our respective small circles of friends, family and colleagues. Fora like this “comments page” can be additional places to talk about this.

The more the number of people aware of this problem, the better off we are.

Finally, you said

” And really, I’m fine if we can leave any government out. But I need a real solution. ”

Good to see that you are prepared to leave Government out. However, I can only repeat what I said earlier – I do not have any solutions because I am not the free market. That is the only agency capable of solving this problem (if it exists).

p.s. In case you need to understand how dangerous politicisation of science can be, I suggest you read up on Eugenics. A Google search should do.

Bala November 5, 2009 at 2:37 am

matt,

Just adding a couple of thoughts to my earlier reply. I said

” This does not mean that I see this happening. ”

I don’t see it happening as long as Climate Scientists insist on engaging in research that a free market would not be ready to fund thus making them ripe for “recruitment” by Governments and the IPCC.

As an example, read Kristine N’s response to my earlier query where she proudly claimed that Carbon Sequestration is a solution being pursued very seriously.

As I understand it, sequestration is nothing more than the trapping of atmospheric CO2 and putting it in some form somewhere such that it won’t get back in the atmosphere for some time. I don’t see why a private profit-seeking entity would fund this kind of research, unless of course there is a way to make money out of sequestration that I am not aware of and lies outside the free market.

However,the one thing that I can understand is that it is going to cost an ungodly sum to keep this kind of work going. Who else do we have on Earth to fund such money-losing projects in perpetuity but for Governments? Should we then be surprised that these same Governments trot out these projects aimed at “saving the world” as reasons to further infringe upon our Liberty and Property Rights?

newson November 5, 2009 at 3:24 am

quiggin is a career socialist. good luck to anyone who can shake a lifetime’s marriage to keynes. look at his attempt of earlier this year dissecting the austrian school to see how shallow is his understanding even of where we’re coming from.

matt November 5, 2009 at 4:43 am

Ok we’re getting a tiny bit further in our discussion.
- On gov. involvement: as I said, if there is a solution which doesn’t involve gov, I’m fine with that. I only see a role for a gov involvement if any other solution fails.

However, what is still an unanswered question, and you keep ignoring it, is what alternative solution there is. I don’t see how the free market is going to take care of externatility problems like polution. Let’s forget the CO2 story for now, as the “scientists” who have been paid by the oil/energy industry to spread confusion around seem to have been successful with you. So take any other form of pollution, like the plastic pollution. How is a free market going to solve that problem? It’s in no single person’s own interest to quit using plastic. Everybody thinks “I’m not going to do anything unless everybody else does something as well”. So the end result is that nobody does anything. Companies have even less interest in doing anything about it. The only concern of a company is money. The cheapest and most profitable way to do business is to dump any waste they have straight into the ocean. So please answer me: how exactly is a free market going to solve this? And don’t say there are no problems.

Bala November 5, 2009 at 4:56 am

matt,

” Let’s forget the CO2 story for now, as the “scientists” who have been paid by the oil/energy industry to spread confusion around seem to have been successful with you. ”

Now, you are getting really nasty. If you have any doubts, read the 4th Assessment Report of the IPCC and tell me if they are certain that GW & CC are caused by Anthropogenic CO2 emission.

I fail to understand why such discussions always end up with me and my sources of knowledge getting smeared.

” I only see a role for a gov involvement if any other solution fails. ”

Oh!!! The 800 pound gorilla might still end up beating the daylights out of me, would he?

Let’s do one thing. You first leave your gun outside this discussion “room”. No discussion worth mentioning can happen at gunpoint.

Bala November 5, 2009 at 5:10 am

TokyoTom,

You said

” these resources can be managed effectively only if there are usage rules and sanctions if the rules are broken. ”

The question is not whether or not there should be rules or what those rules are but who gets to formulate and implement those rules and how those “subject” to the rules become “subject” to them.

As for the “sanctions”, that too depends more on what the sanctions are, how they are implemented and who implements them.

” …. those rules and sanctions still look like coercion ”

I am saying that they would be coercive if a Government did it. If the set of users did it, I don’t see how it could be coercive unless you define what you mean by sanctions.

matt November 5, 2009 at 9:50 am

“read the 4th Assessment Report of the IPCC and tell me if they are certain that GW & CC are caused by Anthropogenic CO2 emission.”
You have to understand something about how science works. No single scientist is ever 100% certain of something. That’s the whole idea of science. There is always uncertainty. So nobody will ever be able to say that GW&&CC is certainly caused by humans. That’s why they say it’s “very likely”. In their previous report it was “likely”, if I remember well. If you take an aspirin, there’s no certainty it will have an effect. But in 99% of the cases it will. Or 95%, doesn’t matter. It’s all about chances. So even though a scientist will never say he is 100% sure of something, that doesn’t mean it’s suddenly 100% false.

But anyway, that doesn’t matter for my question.

“Let’s do one thing. You first leave your gun outside this discussion “room”. No discussion worth mentioning can happen at gunpoint.”
Not sure I understand what you mean. I don’t like guns anyways, so no worries :)
I said I’m interested in hearing your solution to a problem -like- global warming or global pollution in a system -without- a government. Again, if you don’t believe in GW take a different example, like plastic pollution. Now lets assume we ditched the governments. How can such a problem be solved? Hope my question is clear now

kristine N November 5, 2009 at 10:44 am

Matt–I applaud your doggedness. I am convinced Bala is fully aware of the 1% uncertainty and is exploiting that to say that because there’s any uncertainty at all we can’t know that climate change is happening or that it’s man-made.

We engaged in what could loosely be termed a conversion narrative, in which he disingenuously claimed to not understand, raised a series of “questions,” the answers to which he completely ignored, followed by a profession of his “knowledge” (testimony) as to the falseness of climate change science.

As Bala said, “I choose to ignore science that drags the iron hand of government into my house and to direct how I live my life. Rather, I will fight it…” He’s a religious zealot, whether he realizes it or not, simply because there is no test or set of data one could measure that would convince him.

Bala November 5, 2009 at 11:05 am

Matt & Kristine N,

The answer to Matt’s question is actually simple (and I am stupid not to verbalise it earlier). On a free market, if you think plastic waste is a problem, you shall be free to organise the activity of collecting all the plastic garbage that you wish to using all the means that you are able to gather without initiating force against anyone at all. If you make it a profitable venture, I shall be the first to say “Hats off to you for being smart enough to extract wealth from waste”. If not, you still have the option of seeking voluntary contributions from people who, like you, think the problem of plastic waste is serious enough to need a solution and are ready to part with a portion of their wealth to help you tackle it.

No one shall prevent you from undertaking this activity. But no one shall be free to force me to support you or anyone else in this activity.

That’s how a free market works. It would be the same way for CO2 emissions.

Bala November 5, 2009 at 11:32 am

Kristine N,

” there is no test or set of data one could measure that would convince him. ”

A good beginning would be to show 1 climate model that works – 1 model that predicted the cooling of the last decade and all the other climatic events of the same period – Just the way Dr. Howard Hayden mentioned. Following that, you could give more demonstration of your model by making a few predictions. Once these predictions come true, not just me, but a whole host of people who are currrently skeptical would turn believers.

Until you find that 1 model, I am waiting :)

Michael A. Clem November 5, 2009 at 12:13 pm

It is the people who wish to engage the coercive apparatus of government, and not let the market process work, who are being irrational and unreasonable. People keep asserting AGW, in ALL CAPS and plenty of exclamation points in order to cause panic and hysteria without having to make valid proofs and arguments. In something as complex and uncertain as global climate change is, it makes even less sense to do anything rash and drastic without exploring all possibilities and alternatives. After all, you don’t want to make things worse than they are, do you?
And we know government NEVER does anything to make situations worse, right? The politicians can’t understand what’s the problem with central banking, public education, government welfare, interference in health care, etc., but surely they can be trusted to take care of the environment and Global Warming? I’ve got some federal clearcut forests to show you if you believe that!

matt November 5, 2009 at 12:40 pm

I’m not going further in the discussion of GW, but the idea that there was “cooling in the last decade” is a myth. ’98 was an unusual warm year, recently there has been a cold year. Now any statistician can tell you that drawing a straight line through those two points might give you a downward slope, but that doesn’t say anything about the real trend, which must be measured over many decades. It’s the same as saying this month was very hot so the GW must be going faster.
http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_SCI_GLOBAL_COOLING?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT

@bala: thanks for explaining your idea for a solution. Pretty sure it won’t work, as I don’t see how other people are going to volunteer to clean up after you or me. And besides, the majority of the mess can not be cleaned up, that’s the problem. Once burned, a toxic in the air can never be filtered out again. Once in the ocean, a piece of plastic can never be recovered.

But at least I now know what your ideas are, thanks for clearing that up.

jc fry November 5, 2009 at 1:47 pm

Does Hayden agree to apologize publicly in ten years for the stuff he writes? One example: he writes “not a single climate model predicted the current cooling phase”. ? Is that so? He is dead wrong, soon to be hopping on his two feet from the pain of having shot himself through both. It is quite easy to rebuke just about anything if one is prepared to cheat or if one does not know what one is talking about. Global dimming predicted the present cooling phase AND its consequences. Hayden is as qualified to speak about the climate as the two diplomaed physicists who predicted that the LHC will be blocked by a Higgins boson from the future. You all don’t get it, do you? But then you are from a society where one in five adults still believes that the sun evolves around earth (Miller, Chicago U, 2006, study on science awareness in US adults). This blog is crap, and the comments are idiotic.

Walt D. November 5, 2009 at 3:00 pm

Since we know how much oil and coal we burn, we know that over the past 10 years we have pumped about 300 billion tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere. Since we know the CO2 ppm 10 years ago and now, and the change is of the same order of magnitude, it is reasonable to assume that a large proportion of this CO2 increase is due to this 300 billion tonnes.
The climate warming models predict that ocean temperatures should have warmed by 0.5F to 2F. The problem is that this has not happened – the ocean temperature has not increased at all.
What could explain this? The the heating of the ocean is being mitigated by some other transient effects, and when these transient effects subsides, the oceans will warm up as predicted. Or the actual amount of ocean temperature rise per 300 billion tonnes of CO2 is much lower that predicted. The recent paper by Lindzen and Choi, based on actual satellite data, predict the heating to be about 1/6th or 1/7th of the IPCC prediction (which was inferred from computer models and not from direct measurements). Lindzen and Choi’s analysis gives an explanation as to why we have not seen an increase in ocean temperatures over the last 10 years.
Who is correct?
Bala said.
“Following that, you could give more demonstration of your model by making a few predictions. Once these predictions come true, not just me, but a whole host of people who are currrently skeptical would turn believers.”
It is not enough for the predictions to be true – they have to be right for the right reason. This is why many people use Popper – if the predictions are false then the model is wrong. Here the climate models predicted that the ocean temperatures would rise as the atmospheric CO2 rose. This did not happen. Ergo the climate models are false.

Beefcake the Mighty November 5, 2009 at 3:17 pm

Tom G. Palmer is clearly suffering from AIDS-related dementia.

Bala November 5, 2009 at 7:59 pm

matt,

” And besides, the majority of the mess can not be cleaned up, that’s the problem. Once burned, a toxic in the air can never be filtered out again. Once in the ocean, a piece of plastic can never be recovered. ”

Your business in the area of plastic waste or CO2 emissions can even work on them even before the problems occur. For instance your plastic waste business can focus on “segregation at source” and use a more wide-spread collection network. Your CO2 emissions handlig business could find a way to make people pay voluntarily for sequestration. You could even find a way for others to do their business better without the CO2 emissions. There are a lot of possibilities.

However, the reality that I have to recognise is that whatever I say, the 800 pound Gorilla is going to beat the daylights out of me. ‘Coz you have pre-conceived notions that you have no intention to get rid of.

TokyoTom November 5, 2009 at 11:53 pm

Bala, think of a homeowner defending his property against intruders, or Maine or Nova Scotia lobstermen, from outsiders or each other:

“In Nova Scotia, we burn boats, Ma’am”
http://thechronicleherald.ca/Opinion/1150382.html

To be effectively managed, all “property”, whether community or private, must be defended. Even a dog growling over a bone knows this (as do owners of junkyard dogs).

Eventually, we`ll have SOME system of property rights related to the atmosphere, even if we don`t all agree.

matt November 6, 2009 at 1:06 am

Bala,
the problem is that there is no current cost associated with waste or pollution. I’m a firm believer in free market system (I run my own business). However, a free market system only works if there are prices/costs associated with something.
Now, it is very, very simple market 101. If I burn my waste in my garden, there is no direct cost to me from the toxins that go in the air. If a company dumps its waste, there is no direct cost to that company. There is also not a single penny profit to be made for me to deal with cleaning up that waste or preventing it.
Of course there is a cost, but it’s a cost that is indirect and postponed. If I throw away a plastic bag now, there’s no consequence for me. However, if 6 billion people do that, in 50 years from now the oceans and world will be completely destroyed. Even now, the first signs of problems can be seen. Certain fertility problems in humans and animals are directly caused by toxins in the surroundings, food and water. A certain percentage of the sand on our beaches is not real sand, but (toxic) plastic particles. Etc.

Currently, some rules about what people and companies are allowed to do, prevent to a certain extent that too much pollution takes place. A company has to proof that it dealt with its waste in a sensible matter, for example. If I dump my waste I get a fine. The worst toxins are being tracked, etc

So I fail to see how -removing- the only rules that currently prevent things from getting even worse, is going to solve the problems. It’s going to make things much worse

In theory, an anarchistic free market system could work if the real price of clean air and water would be taken into account. That real price would be almost infinitily high. So it would be highly profitable for companies to make money out of that. However, it’s impossible to set that price. In theory, you could solve the problem by dividing all natural resources over all people on this planet. So everybody would own an equal part of the earth, air and water. Now that would make driving your car very, very expensive, since you would now have to pay other people for using up their clean air. But of course, for this theoretical system to work you’d have to be able to buy and sell each piece of natural resource. Which is impossible. So you’d have to have massive control institutions in place to regulate everything. Exactly what we don’t want.

Bala November 6, 2009 at 3:26 am

TokyoTom,

That sure was an interesting story. However, there are a few points, clarity on which can add a lot to how we think of these issues.

Your statement is incorrect to the extent that the need to “effectively manage” is not the reason property needs to be defended. That which is not/would not be defended from encroachers / “grabbers” is not property. That which cannot be defended can never become property.

IMO, the problem with fishing grounds is that they are difficult to homestead unlike a plot of land which can be marked out. In fact, like common grazing grounds, they constitute a typical case of a resource that is necessarily amenable only to use as a community of users.

No individual who intends to use it as a source of useful products will find it worth their while to homestead the entire generally used fishing area, especially given the resources such people generally have at their disposal. There is no need too for a person to homestead the grounds as he does not lose what he hopes to get from that fishing area given his limited resources. A number of people can simultaneously extract resources from the same pool without depleting the resources in the long-term and with none of them experiencing a shortage in the near-term. This possibility of simultaneous use without conflict is what makes it a “community” resource.

Sustainability comes when rate of consumption

Typically, these rules prevent conflict and get worked out within the community. In such cases, conflict is resolved locally as well.

There are, in my assessment, 2 sources of conflict
1. Usage well over “agreed” amounts by a few members of the group – This type is usually diddicult to handle because everyone in the group would naturally see greater requirement as an improvement in their station (like the ability to own 10 cows instead of 5). That’s when the situation moves towards the “Tragedy of the commons”. Succesful communities are those which manage to stave this off.
2. Entry of external competition for the same resources – This usually becomes a problem when the external competition is not aware of or is not interested in abiding the rules that the community developed to use the resources. The outcome is conflict between the community and the external competition. The conflict becomes all the more intense if the intruder displays behaviour that adversely affects the sustainability of the resource pool. That’s why the Nova Scotians burn boats.

However, viewing the actions of the Nova Scotians as “aggression” (I’m not saying you are doing this) requires us to assume that they are defending that which has they have not homesteaded and which is hence not their property for them to defend thus. This error can only occur because we fail to see that the seas can be just as well homesteaded as land. The difficulty of homesteading (e.g., planting fences around a plot of land to indicate that it is private property) that comes naturally in the deep sea should not lead us into this error.

I am however not sure how you think this forms an effective parallel to the “eventual” evolution of property rights on the atmosphere, especially with respect to CO2 because it is neither proven nor widely accepted (as a means of settling disputes) that CO2 emission by one person is a violation of the Liberty and Property Rights of another. Your statement “Eventually, we’ll have SOME system of property rights” assumes one of the following

1. That it will soon be proven that anthropogenic CO2 emission is the cause of the current GW & CC, that it will eventually affect some people’s property rights unfairly and that the resultant conflict will lead to the system you are referring to
2. That those who currently make these claims will anyway enforce these rules whether or not prove their point through scientific research, conflict or no conflict.

In the former case, you are revealing the possibility that you have bought into the hysterical campaign on GW & CC. Someone like me who hasn’t yet done so be sufficiently skeptical and would hence see no need to engage except to educate the scientific community not to cooperate with the political etablishment and give scientific legitimacy to their soon to come acts of tyranny. As I see it, the real problem is not GW or CC but politicisation of science.

In the latter case, there would in any case be no need to engage because we face an eventuality – fight or flight. Unfortunately, we have nowehere else to fly to but Earth. That’s why fighting is the only option. If you have to fight anyway, you are better off gathering more like-minded people for the fight.

Stephan’s putting out articles like this serves both purposes very well. So, I am unable to accept your criticism of Stephan as a valid one.

TokyoTom November 6, 2009 at 4:46 am

Michael:

You make valid points, though some are overstatements.

“And we know government NEVER does anything to make situations worse, right? The politicians can’t understand what’s the problem with central banking, public education, government welfare, interference in health care, etc., but surely they can be trusted to take care of the environment and Global Warming? I’ve got some federal clearcut forests to show you if you believe that!”

Sure. My point, however, is that the concerns of others about climate presents OPPORTUNITES to libertarians to seek to roll back some of the statist nonsense that underlies green frustration and leads directly to the escalating fight over the wheel of government.

Libertarians who agree with me can be found at AEI, Cato and elsewhere.

Bala November 6, 2009 at 5:29 am

TokyoTom,

” My point, however, is that the concerns of others about climate presents OPPORTUNITES to libertarians to seek to roll back some of the statist nonsense that underlies green frustration and leads directly to the escalating fight over the wheel of government. ”

As I said elsewhere, you are wrong because following your advice would give implicit acknowledgement to the position of the GW & CC hysteria crowd. That’s something one should not do if one does not trust their science, its methods and its conclusions.

Further, your claim that the statist nonsense underlies green frustration is, IMO, completely erroneous. It is you who need to rid yourself of this wrong notion.

If your proposals about deregulation have merit (I am not commenting on that because their merit is not the issue here), you are better off NOT trying to link it up with the GW & CC hysteria crowd’s agenda.

mpolzkill November 6, 2009 at 7:28 am

Complete tools who call themselves libertarians can be found at AEI, Cato and elsewhere, Tom. I liked your dog analogies. The Cato and Reason crowd are like little ones whimpering under the dinner table and occasionally wagging their tails when they get a scrap. Also, a lot of people who want to be considered “cosmopolitan” and/or want to kill Muslims can be found in these places (the main reasons most of them hate Ron Paul)

You keep asking why we type and I keep giving answers. Here’s a new one: hopeless, powerless people still have feelings. Deluded jabbering or just plain jabbering is soothing.

You are not represented. First order of business: since most people are hopelessly in love with government (see Matt and Kristine here), educate them on what *exactly* the only kind is under which they can still be full human beings. That’s a Republic, and this ain’t it. In this world today there are three kinds of people: the power elite, lap dogs and jabberers.

TokyoTomt November 6, 2009 at 7:47 am

Bala, I don`t get you, Stephan or many others here, for whom it`s a mistaken ideological purity uber alles.

Rothbard, Block, Cordato and others have written extensively (1) on the roots of environmental regulation in corporate statism and failure of courts to protect property rights, generating an air and water tragedy of the commons, (2) about the focus of Austrian economics not in denying the preferences of others, but in aiding conflict resoluion and the expression of preferences via cooperation and market transactions and (3) about the enduring political battles that ensue when governments own and administer resources.

Enviros simply don`t fully understand “markets”, and mistrust nuclear power, all of which is hardly surprising given the heavy role of the government in the economy – from the grant of limited liability to corporate owners, to the development of nuclear weapons and power, wars, the provision of roads, and the grant of local monopolies to power companies, etc.

We should oppose wrong-headed proposals of course, but shouldn`t be surprised when, they think instead of trying to create free markets in things like electricity that haven`t been free for many decades the right course of action is to get the government to do something. Indeed, far from simply OPPOSING bad policy, Austrians ought to be trying hard to EXPLAIN what good policy is, and maybe even get their hands dirty in suggesting policy changes.

Lew Rockwell did this a couple of years ago on power deregulation, http://mises.org/Community/blogs/tokyotom/archive/2009/04/23/in-which-i-applaud-another-balanced-productive-post-by-dr-reisman.aspx
and I`ve pulled together here a number of posts of libertarian work on climate and environmental issues: http://mises.org/Community/blogs/tokyotom/archive/2009/11/03/a-libertarian-immodestly-makes-a-few-modest-climate-policy-proposals.aspx

Engaging with what you call the “GW & CC hysteria crowd” (leaving aside for a minute all of the non-enviros who are concerned about CC risks) need not give ANY acknowledgment to their position; rather, it stands a chance of winning them to OUR position, and to pushing policy in directions WE like. Many of them are questioning the merits of the cap-and-trade bill/pork machine, and are very interested in hearing alternatives that will help reduce our impact on nature; in fact, there are plenty of voluntary efforts underway, with business catering to it and trying to monitor their own carbon footprints. Enviros are also reluctantly moving away from their adamant opposition to nukes: http://mises.org/Community/blogs/tokyotom/search.aspx?q=nuclear

I seriously question your opposition to venturing to discuss policy alternatives with enviros; it stands in opposition to Austrian approaches and looks instead like simple tribal pigheadedness.

On the question of labels and ad homs, would it help if I called purported Austrians like you “coconuts”? You know, hard on the outside, but mostly empty inside? Just curious.

mpolzkill November 6, 2009 at 8:32 am

After you let them narrow parameters (their main tool) by accepting what they say is possible and not possible (still curious about when it was you think secession became impossible) and join in their game, you get more than your hands dirty, Tom. Cato hands are stained with Muslim blood, for instance (mixed metaphors, but I’m in a hurry, haha)

It’s a language thing primarily. You probably blanch at my use of “they”. I feel the same way about your “we” and “our”.

Stephan Kinsella November 6, 2009 at 9:15 am

Tokyotom: “Bala, I don`t get you, Stephan or many others here, for whom it`s a mistaken ideological purity uber alles.”

What are you talking about, exactly? My view is easy to follow, and I laid it out above. I don’t believe there is AGW. I think the advocates of this are political partisans and pseudo-scientific charlatans.

Bala November 6, 2009 at 10:19 am

TokyoTom,

” Bala, I don`t get you, Stephan or many others here, for whom it`s a mistaken ideological purity uber alles. ”

No wonder you don’t get me. My objection is not ideological but practical. I have no delusions about the enviros. They are whackos, plain and simple. You just cannot reason with them.

” Enviros simply don`t fully understand “markets”, and mistrust nuclear power ”

But more than all this, they trust the State. Check out the posts of kristine N and matt to verify my statement.

I have said this before, but let me repeat it. The real problem is the politicisation of science. As long as there are masses of scientists happy to feed at the public trough waiting for the grants to come from the State machinery, you don’t have a hope in hell of getting them to listen to your reasoned arguments

” I seriously question your opposition to venturing to discuss policy alternatives with enviros ”

Firstly, if you imagine enviros have any influence on policy, then, I am sorry to use a strong word, you are labouring under a delusion. The enviros just serve the Statists purpose of kicking up a furore and getting enough support from all the lambs-for-slaughter (that’s the 4th category mpolzkill missed out on) for all the policies they intend to bring in with the aim of further enhancing their iron grip on our lives.

Secondly, I doubt your “nuclear alternative” will cut any ice with the enviro crowd. They are busy cheering every small move made in the development of solar, wind, tidal, geothermal and all other forms of energy that they think are sustainable and without the side-effects of thermal and nuclear power. They are too caught up in the clamour for more funds from the State trough for research and subsidies directed at these for any of them to even give you half a hearing.

You’re better off trying to get a few more scientists off the rolls of the State than by canvassing for the support of a few whackos.

” would it help if I called purported Austrians like you “coconuts”? ”

It wouldn’t. The real reason for that is that I don’t even claim to be a purported Austrian. As I said right upfront, I am a Randroid (in the words of a good friend of mine out here) who thinks a lot (or most) of what Austrians say makes a lot of sense.

Michael A. Clem November 6, 2009 at 10:48 am

What’s hard to understand, Tom? If I were to say that I don’t believe that government has any business running schools, would you say that I should be practical and try to change the public school curriculum to include libertarian ideas? What makes the climate change debate difficult is that it is not simply a matter of being for or against it–there’s a whole spectrum of positions one can take.
One can believe that global warming is occurring or not occurring.
If one believes GW is occurring, one can believe that it has purely natural causes, and not human causes.
If one believes GW is occurring, and that it has human causes, one can still believe that a political solution is inappropriate or won’t solve the problem. One can believe that the consequences of GW will be beneficial, and not disastrous, and thus, no real problem exists that needs to be solved;
and so forth.

matt November 6, 2009 at 3:02 pm

mpolzkill
“First order of business: since most people are hopelessly in love with government (see Matt and Kristine here), educate them on what *exactly* the only kind is under which they can still be full human beings.”

Bala
“No wonder you don’t get me. My objection is not ideological but practical. I have no delusions about the enviros. They are whackos, plain and simple. You just cannot reason with them.
” Enviros simply don`t fully understand “markets”, and mistrust nuclear power ”
But more than all this, they trust the State. Check out the posts of kristine N and matt to verify my statement.”

Thanks for the nice words guys. Here I am, interested to learn something about different points of view. Asking very simple questions. Never getting a normal answer. Repeat: never. And then being accused of “being wacko” or being “hopelessly in love with government”. Saying things like that doesn’t mean anything to me and only reflects badly on the person saying it.

Tell me, if you care so much for individual freedom, and you believe in a world in which free, rational, individual people will take care of things and are free to decide for them selves what is right and what is wrong, why don’t you give me the right to think freely and have my own opinion? If we want to live in a free world, we should at least respect each others opinions, shouldn’t we? Or am I, in a free world, only allowed to agree with you?

I would suggest to think about that for a moment.

“They are whackos, plain and simple. You just cannot reason with them”. Maybe we do agree on something ;)

Bala November 6, 2009 at 9:14 pm

matt,

” If we want to live in a free world, we should at least respect each others opinions, shouldn’t we? ”

I still respect your RIGHT to have your opinion. That’s the effect of my respect for your Individual Rights.

What I don’t agree with is your opinion because I consider it ill-founded. That I am free also means that I am free to judge and even express my judgement on your opinion, all the more so when converting your opinion into action automatically involves a violation of my Liberty. This is especially on a forum like this where all people like us do is “jabber away” just to clarify our own thoughts to ourselves and get rid of the cobwebs when we find that they exist in our own minds.

mpolzkill November 7, 2009 at 2:10 am

matt says,

“Tell me, if you care so much for individual freedom, and you believe in a world in which free, rational, individual people will take care of things and are free to decide for them selves what is right and what is wrong, why don’t you give me the right to think freely and have my own opinion?”

As Bala might say, “bad premises”, Matt. I don’t believe in a world in which free, rational people take care of things, I know that I’m in a world where rational people take care of *everything* with whatever small freedoms are left to them (and the useful things the State does are done with the resources extracted from said individuals). Secondly, you should only be free from crime, not free from criticism. And finally, no, people aren’t free to decide everything that is right and wrong. You for instance are dead wrong in wanting anything from the State other than its punishing assault, theft and fraud. You (and Tom too) clearly have misconceptions about what the State is. It is my experience that once a child is trained (by the State) to hold these misconceptions, it is very rare that they can shake them. Prove me wrong, Matt. That would be great, but I won’t hold my breath. (Or for Kristine. Africa? Africa?!?)

matt November 7, 2009 at 4:31 am

But that’s the thing guys. You are the ones who keep getting the government involved in this discussion, not me! Time and again I ask the question how certain problems can be solved in a free market. Without government. Without. No government. Nada. How can I be any more clear than that? I thought you guys could imagine a world without government? Well then, answer the questions I have posted. So far I haven’t seen any answer. Whatever I say, my questions gets ignored or answered in a strange irrational way. It’s as if I’m in the middle of a Monthy Python sketch or something.

I ask a normal question and Bala thinks I want to violate his liberty, while mpolkill is asking me to prove I haven’t been indoctrinated in my childhood by evil government. Instead of answering a simple question you guys assume things about me and attack me for that. Now, who is the one with a bad premise here?

It’s you guys who leave me no other option then to conclude that so far there is no answer to my question about pollution.

mpolzkill November 7, 2009 at 8:55 am

matt, in your very first sentence: “anarchy cannot work”. So what do you want Matt? If you don’t mouth the magic word “government” you’re somehow not talking about it?

“someone must set some simple rules, to steer the direction of the system”

Again, who is that, Matt? This is followed by your speculating on your super-men using the right taxing scheme to get done what you believe needs to be done. Then there is whole lot more of your amateur blah, blah, blah. I’ll skip that. Your latest tactic here (I thought you were the same statist I talked to elsewhere, now I’m really sure because of this):

“mpolkill is asking me to prove I haven’t been indoctrinated in my childhood by evil government.”

I never asked any such thing (never said “evil” government, btw, I strive to cut out redundancy within sentences) Your default setting appears to be that whatever you think is wrong and can’t be solved to your satisfaction by random people on the internet must be fixed by the State. Where on earth did you get this idea (and why do you and almost everyone else have such meager skills in basic logic?) other than directly through the *state run* schools, or through your fellow peasants who also all went through the same schools (not to mention the joke of a media we have)? Bala and I don’t have to explain one damned thing to you to reject your notion that you can steal from us. The onus is completely on you to tell *us* why your morons who confiscated our money to work their miracles in New Orleans and Iraq should be trusted with *anything*.

Finally, you are full of it when you say you are here to learn. You are here to propagandize for the State (unconciously or not) and show all how smart you think you are (and you get almost nada from me in return because you don’t rise to a level that would stir my attention except as an example as to why the State is here to stay, or at least until your generation dies out). If you really want to learn anything, ask for a reading list. You will not be educated in these silly boxes, at any rate. Go ahead, ask and I’ll start off sending you the first lessons as to what exactly the State is (such a mystery why your schools didn’t alert you to these great writings, or denigrated them through false logic!?!)

Bala November 7, 2009 at 8:56 am

matt,

” You are the ones who keep getting the government involved in this discussion, not me! ”

Interesting how you try to twist the discussion. If you remember, Government was an integral part of the discussion on GW & CC for good reason. From there, the moment you realised you had nothing to say and started smearing me, you tried diverting the discussion to what I considered a fairly irrelevant point on plastic waste. In the middle of that discussion (which YOU started, not I), you said

” I only see a role for a gov involvement if any other solution fails. ”

This is a fairly significant statement from you because I don’t see a role for government even if any other solution fails. That’s the difference between you and me – your readiness and my complete aborrence for a role for government in what essentially lies outside the purview of the most minimalist government (which is all I may be ready to tolerate).

And then you tell me I am dragging government into the discussion. Selective amnesia is not a good way of taking a discussion forward.

Gil November 7, 2009 at 9:42 am

Oh come on mploz and Bala. You two know that commons can’t be regulated by market forces. It’s akin to you two walking down a path in a forest being litterbugs while encountering matt walking in the opposite direction. If he says “quit being litterbugs”. Either you would reply “it’s not your land to be givingo orders”. If either of you say “so what? what are you going to do about it?” and if matt laid a finger on either one of you then that would be initiation of force. Littering in the commons isn’t initiation of anything. Hence the commons can’t be enforced through market forces.

mpolzkill November 7, 2009 at 9:54 am

Same thing for you, “Gimme-My-Nukes-Gil”, the onus is on you to show how your supermen are supermen and why they must keep stealing and why we should like it. Apply your scenario here to your beloved State:

Hey D.C., stop your massive littering, especially in Iraq and “Afpak”.

Voluntarism, Gil, look it up. More you read, less you talk.

Bala November 7, 2009 at 10:31 am

Gil,

” if matt laid a finger on either one of you then that would be initiation of force. ”

If matt laying a finger on me is an initiation of force, then how is Government laying a finger on me not an initiation of force? Does Government, by any logic, own the commons till someone homesteads them?

Back up your claims November 10, 2009 at 6:25 pm

An interesting letter and rebuttle to the term Climate Change. Where were the references to supporting data to help strengthen the claims made in your argument?

Personally, irrespective if the world is warming or not, I feel it would be better to stop abusing the earth and live more in harmony with it.

No need to November 11, 2009 at 4:02 am

@previous poster: no need to back up a claim, since any scientists’ work can be thrown out the window here.

About the abusing of the earth: that’s everybody’s individual right, according to the opinion here. So we just have to hope not too many people think like that.

PeterB in Indianapolis November 25, 2009 at 1:00 pm

As you all can see from the recently insider-released emails and data from the East Anglia CRU, “Anthropogenic Global Warming” is now, and always has been a fraud, a hoax, and a “Convienient Untruth”.

While ALL of us agree that to pollute the earth irresponsibly is probably unwise, it is FAR MORE unwise to base policy on blatant falsehood. AGW IS economics, because the farce was designed as a means of furthering control of the world economy.

Climate is a cycle. We go through ice ages, we go through warm inter-glacials. During inter-glacials, there are warm periods (medieval warm period, 1930s, 1990s) and there are “little ice ages” (1350-1800, the one coming up now).

CO2 concentration does indeed PRECEED “climate change”. For the first several hundred years of the last major ice age, the average atmospheric concentration of CO2 was 600-800ppb, which is over twice as high as it is now, and that was during an ice age! It took several hundred years of ice age for most of that CO2 to be absorbed by the oceans.

As far as the pH of the ocean goes, CO2 is not the primary driver of oceanic pH. Sulfur from underwater volcanoes is a far more important driver of oceanic pH than CO2 could ever be. Sulfurous acid is a moderate acid, and sulfuric acid is a strong acid. Carbonic acid is a pitifully weak acid.

The argument that oceanic pH is rising because man-made emissions are forcing more CO2 into the oceans even as they warm is simply fallacious.

PeterB in Indianapolis November 25, 2009 at 1:22 pm

” Littering in the commons isn’t initiation of anything.”

It isn’t?

Freedom is NOT the freedom to do anything you want at any time you want any place that you want, regardless of the consequences. Freedom has natural limits.

Freedom is limited by the fact that I can do what I want, when and where I want, PROVIDED IT DOES NOT IMPOSE UPON YOU.

I think that littering in the commons could be seen as an imposition upon others, albeit a small one. An imposition is; however, an imposition. As such, I would not be free to litter in the commons.

Neo November 27, 2009 at 4:40 pm

The only folks who believe that “any science is settled” are fools, idiots and politicians.

ehmoran November 27, 2009 at 5:22 pm

“CO2 concentration does indeed PRECEED “climate change”.”

BS

CO2 has been shown to lag 2-years behind global temperatures.

CKelly December 2, 2009 at 7:04 pm

Climate change “scientists” have fallen into the same shameful trap as evolutionists did years ago. I believe that we affect every force on earth, as does every living thing and every motion of non-living things as does energy and matter coming our way from space. I also believe in natural selection, as we have proof of that in insect and microbial populations. But to say that either science is exact and that all data supports or proves a single theory is ludicrous.

The scientist is supposed to look at evidence and form a theory based on that evidence and sound scientific knowledge. What global warming “scientists” and “evolutionists” have both been guilty of is trying to explain every relic, every model, every measurement in a way so that it FITS A THEORY IN WHICH THEY ALREADY BELIEVE. That is not science.

Early computer models on climate were designed to speculate on dinosaur extinction. The data was made up to simulate temperature fluxuations, asteroidal strikes, and many other environmental conditions that would have been drastic enough to kill off dinosaurs. They were not, however, used to speculate about competition with better adapted mammals. It was all very interesting. It was all speculative. It was not science, because the conditions being tested WERE NOT MEASURED.

These computer models were then adjusted, with more speculative data, to try to “prove” theories of nuclear winter. Again, no nuclear warfare had taken place, so no conditions were ever MEASURED.

Next, the model that was based on a model was futher adjusted and fed more “made up” data to study climate change and global warming. Remember, however, that at first, these models were used to prove that an ice age was imminent!! That didn’t happen, so we began to speculate about warming.

There was one very serious drawback, however, for ALL of these computer model “experiments.” We only have weather records going back to the 1800s, with a few documented incidences of catastrophies with descriptions of conditions, but NO MEASUREMENTS.

It all may be true. None of it may be true. And there, as the Bard says, is the “rub.”

We do have ONE truth, however: THE “SCIENCE” ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING IS NOT CONCLUSIVE.

Stephan Kinsella December 2, 2009 at 9:43 pm

“Climate change “scientists” have fallen into the same shameful trap as evolutionists did years ago.”

IMO, it is ridiculous to compare global warming claptrap with evolution. But that’s just me.

Mr. Xyz February 3, 2010 at 4:27 pm

“We’ve told so many lies, young scientists are totally confused”

http://climaterealists.com/?id=4960
(a video spoof of climate science)

Cosmic Ray February 8, 2010 at 6:39 pm

Fantastic letter. I hope it reached some people at the EPA…

Stephen February 18, 2010 at 5:36 pm

“What he didn’t know was that nuclear energy, not gravitation, provides the internal heat of [the sun] and the earth.”

Across many different debates, I notice a high correlation between insulting the other side (which this letter does plenty of) and saying things that are just fundamentally wrong.

(re the clarification: spontaneous radiation is widely accepted as only a minor component in the heating of the earth.)

There are so many paper-tigers here it’s impossible to have a real conversation [like point B, that CO2 historically followed rather than led warming ... in other words if every past case of global warming wasn't caused by CO2 than CO2 releases won't cause global warming this time?]

Noel Howse December 5, 2011 at 8:01 pm

Mr. Hayden,

Do you have a crystal clear understanding of what a feedback loop is? From reading your letter, it is far from obvious that you have fully grasped the relevance of the feedback loop to the debate at hand.

nate-m December 5, 2011 at 9:15 pm

Well,
A) This is a re-print of a letter sent by Hayden to the administrator of the EPA from about 2 years ago. So it’s not very likely that he is going to be able to respond to your query.

(This is presuming, of course, that your goal is actual communication rather then throwing out some random hyperbole out on the internet as a knee-jerk reaction to discovering somebody else has a slightly different viewpoint then your own. )

B) I would think that he does understand what a feedback loop is. I also expect that he understands the laws of thermodynamics, conservation of energy, the actual role of IR radiation and CO2′s contribution to keeping the planet warm, and a few other scientific tidbits that most foaming pro-’anthropomorphic global warming theorists’ either completely ignore or do not fathom in the least.

Comments on this entry are closed.

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: