1. Skip to navigation
  2. Skip to content
  3. Skip to sidebar
Source link: http://archive.mises.org/15184/what-no-one-mentioned-the-cult-or-kooky-parts/

What?!? No one mentioned the cult or kooky parts

December 30, 2010 by

Filed under: Any press is good press
I had a letter published in Saturday’s edition of The Columbus Dispatch. I simply stated my views on a story about a local university researcher who is actively pushing a climate change agenda. Nothing too over-the-top in my letter. And nary a mention of my economic or political views or affiliations. Just Jim Public adding his voice to the discussion.

Today the paper published a response and I find out that I am a “Libertarian extremist, a follower of the kooky Austrian School of economics and a former member and continuing collaborator of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, an Alabama-based organization devoted to de-legitimizing the ability of government to take any action for the public good.

It is clear from Fedako’s letter that his adherence to the cult of Ludwig von Mises blinds him to the reality of global warming and its consequences.

I’m shocked. No one mentioned the cult or kooky parts to me. The de-legitimizing and public good parts? Certainly. But never the cult or kooky parts. Did I miss that post?

Note: My real issues are these: I am a current (and future) member of the Mises Institute (every reader should become one and support the Institute and its mission) and a small-l libertarian.

{ 56 comments }

Ken December 30, 2010 at 11:08 pm

Write back and thank them for conceding the argument out of the gate (based on their immediate resort to argumentum ad hominem).

BadgerDave December 30, 2010 at 11:10 pm

Funny how they accuse Fedako of ad hominem attacks and respond with multiple ad hominems. Those crazy statists!! How kooky!

Seattle December 30, 2010 at 11:13 pm

Jim Fedako’s Saturday letter “Thompson reveals bias” is an ad hominem attack on Ohio State University researcher Lonnie Thompson for his efforts to publicize the scientific evidence of global warming and its implications for our future.

I lol’d.

Jim Fedako December 30, 2010 at 11:27 pm

In case anyone is interested, the quote in my letter from William Stanley Jevons is from his book, Elementary Lessons in Logic, available through the Mises Store.

Dave Albin December 31, 2010 at 12:01 am

A great scientist I worked with in graduate school told us that it is our job to do everything we can to destroy our hypotheses with sound, contradictory data. I wonder if he got this from this book? A lot of others I have worked with were guilty of having bias in favor of their hypotheses, and didn’t take kindly to those who questioned them – the great scientist was rare.

Mark Luedtke December 30, 2010 at 11:53 pm

It’s good to know global warming frauds can Google.

Daniel December 31, 2010 at 12:12 am

Maybe next time they might even attack your arguments

HL December 31, 2010 at 12:19 am

I love it. My middle name is kook.

Troy Camplin December 31, 2010 at 2:35 am

Anyone who says of any complex system, whether it be a cell, the brain, the economy, a culture, an ecosystem, or the climate that they know anything about it “for certain” is not a scientist. They are a propagandist. All such people should be called out for being such. I will say, though, that it would help if people pointed out why this is the case: that complex systems cannot be predicted with certainty. We cannot know about all the inputs, how all of the inputs are processed, or all of the outputs. Even the global warming people have acknowledged this in changing the term to “global climate change” — so that any “change” can be attributed to human activity. As though there was no global climate change before humans came on the scene. It is silly to claim that human activity has not affected the climate; it is equally (or, even more) silly to claim that we know what those effects will be. We do not and can not have enough information to understand the system completely. That’s a dream of 19th century science, and it is a dream that any sensible person has discarded as disproven in the 20th century.

Phinn December 31, 2010 at 9:12 am

We do not and can not have enough information to understand the system completely.

And even if we did, predicting the behavior of a system as complex as the earth’s climate would exceed the computational capacity of the universe.

Seattle December 31, 2010 at 10:58 am

Now this is just silly. The earth’s climate itself IS a computational system. Are you telling me the quarks and electrons which make it up is greater than that of the whole universe?

Phinn December 31, 2010 at 12:40 pm

No, it’s not silly. Computing the future state(s) of a system of sufficient complexity quickly becomes intractable.

As you point out, the earth’s climate itself is a computational system. It follows that a computer whose computational capacity is equal to that of the earth’s climate (which includes, I assume, all of the atoms comprising the earth, moon and sun, for starters), would only be able to compute the states of that system in real time. In other words, with such a computer, you would have merely duplicated the climate system. In order to be able to engage in the computation necessary for prediction, you would need an ever-growing computational capacity, to calculate the state transitions, and the effects of those transitions on the state that follows, and so on. That’s a problem that expands exponentially as your prediction goes further out in time.

The only way to reduce the computational load is to simplify the system — to abstract it by ignoring some of the elements that comprise the system. But when you do that, you lose the ability to accurately account for all of the inputs (i.e., the initial conditions). A system as complex as the earth’s climate is highly sensitive to those initial conditions. Over time, those simplifications introduce errors that have ever-increasing effect on the prediction of the behavior of the system.

With a computer that is sufficiently powerful, and a measurement of all of the factors that affect the behavior of the system (measured with sufficient precision and accuracy), it would only be possible to approximate the future behavior of the system for a limited amount of time. The further out in time you go, the less accurate the prediction becomes.

Predicting what the earth’s climate will be in 100 years is simply not possible.

Computing the future behavior of economic systems is also an intractable problem.

Robert December 31, 2010 at 12:51 pm

You mistake is in thinking you have to model every interaction in order to make a prediction. You don’t.

Perhaps Mises could offer some refresher courses in the basic sciences. There seems to be a need.

Much like Christian fundamentalists who believe the Bible encompasses everything humans need to know, there seems to be a population here that thinks that a passing acquaintance with the half-baked diatribes of the Austrian School makes them scientists.

Phinn December 31, 2010 at 2:35 pm

Thank you for your input about the nature of complexity modeling. If you have any papers you’ve written on the subject, or know of any that you would recommend, please link them.

In any event, if your opinion of the LvMI and its adherents is so low, then what motivates you to repeatedly comment here?

We can rule out a couple of possibilities — your behavior conclusively demonstrates that you are not attempting to have a productive conversation about economics, nor have you ever attempted to enlighten anyone about anything. It therefore appears that either you are attempting to quell a nagging doubt about the correctness of your position, or you are motivated by a free-floating desire to experience conflict, strife and derision.

The motives behind trolling are moderately interesting, but I doubt anyone here wants to be an instrument for your exercise of your psychological problems. You would be better off finding a qualified therapist and working out your problems in a private environment.

Seattle December 31, 2010 at 4:16 pm

That’s not really fair; I can’t remember the last time I met someone who thought pi equaled 3 just because the bible said so.

Poptech December 31, 2010 at 4:47 pm

You are correct that you do not have to model every interaction in order to make a prediction, you have to model every interaction to make a useful prediction.

Perhaps you could take some refresher course in basic computer science as there seems to be a need among alarmists.

Iain December 31, 2010 at 8:34 pm

“Much like Christian fundamentalists who believe the Bible encompasses everything humans need to know..”

This is a gross caricature and generalization of a large group of people.

TokyoTom January 5, 2011 at 3:09 am

Robert, you are right – we don’t need to know all inputs to make predictions about outputs. We know that man is dramatically increasing the amounts of CO2 and other ‘greenhouse gasses’ (gasses with a greater number of atomic bonds – and thus a greater ability to absorb and reradiate infrared energy – than those in the N2, O2 and A2 gasses that make up 99% of the atmosphere) and that our other activities reduce the Earth’s reflectivity.

But beyond these influences, as Phinn kindly points out, the climate system itself is a computational system, one whose intermediate outputs are already on display, as Lonnie Thompson’s article notes. The Earth is warming and glacial and polar ice is melting, at an increasing rate:

http://www.abainternational.org/journals/HumanResponseToClimateChangeIdeasFromBA.pdf

Precisely how our continued pressing of the temperature accelerator will play out is, of course, beyond the ability of anyone to predict with any precision. But given the tremendous inertia in the climate system and the difficulty societies have in reaching meaningful agreements across the globe regarding climate, we can safely predict that we can do little in the way of mitigation, so we’d best get ready for a ride in the dark without headlights or brakes.

TT

Chu-hua Zhu January 2, 2011 at 6:54 am

You don’t know what the word ‘computation’ means.

El Tonno December 31, 2010 at 11:20 am

How’s that for starters?

I know for certain that your brain generates waste heat by burning sugar, cannot solve NP-hard problems in polynomial time, will turn to mush due to cell dieoff, won’t sprout tentacles and cannot influence real matter by changing its internal state alone.

Seattle December 31, 2010 at 11:56 am

and cannot influence real matter by changing its internal state alone.

Of course it can. Synapses are just as real as anything else.

TokyoTom January 5, 2011 at 2:37 am

Troy, put this in your pipe and smoke it:

Climate spin: Who changed “global warming” to “climate change”?
http://mises.org/Community/blogs/tokyotom/archive/2008/04/08/why-those-sneaky-enviros-changed-from-quot-global-warming-quot-to-quot-climate-change-quot.aspx

Those slippery Greenies, hiding behind the GOP and fossil-fuel statists!

TT

Anonymous December 31, 2010 at 3:13 am

The only ad hominem I saw in either letter to the editor was in the response by the man-made global warming believer. Apparently, the LvMI is a “cult” and we are all a bunch of “kooks” and “extremists.”

I’m surprised we aren’t hearing more about Global Cooling. I saw an article recently from a British newspaper about how this winter is currently the 2nd coldest winter on record in that country, going back to the mid-1600! The coldest was one winter during the 1680s! As winters continue to get worse year after year, I am surprised that they still think they can convince people that the earth is getting warmer (although Time Magazine seems to think that this is somehow “proof” of Global Warming). I wish CO2 emissions played as great a role in climate as the alarmists claim because it would be nice if we could stop global cooling by increasing CO2 emissions, but that is unfortunately not the case.

JK December 31, 2010 at 8:21 am

Jim,

You have encountered the standard statist tactic. If logic and knowledge fail, call your opponent a name or attempt to discredit them because you are not part of the big government cabal. I comment on the local newspaper’s website articles and I use “libertarian” in my nom de plume. No matter what the topic is and my take on it, there is always a statist or three that will make some wild comment that shows the writer’s total ignorance of libertariansim or Austrian economics. That especially happens when I comment on the Paul Krugman op-ed they insist on publishing (with no regards to his bias or offering any non-Keynesian op-eds although they did publish Robert Higgs once). There is always a statist or two that attack my arguments. So I post the comments Robert Murphy or William Anderson have to the op-ed along with the link to the original. Of course, then I get the “nutty Mises Institute” or “Austrian economics nonsense” comments back.

Stick to your guns Jim.

El Tonno December 31, 2010 at 8:39 am

I this is a cult, where are the scantily-dressed communal-property female members! I DEMAND IMMEDIATE RELIEF.

I’m off to burn incense in front of a Mises Bust and draw pentacles around an effigy of Krugman.

(Did I mention that I consider man-made global warming to be quite likely? Ok, I’m going…)

Jim December 31, 2010 at 9:42 am

Get back in your spaceship and get off my earth!

In other news … I think I’m going to start a second career as a “generic climate scientist” and get some crappy government grant money. That way, I can say whatever I want about anything I want, and anyone who disagrees is immediately a “kook.” That’s gotta be the life. POWER.

Also, a quick good read on the subject of “doom denial”: The Deniers by Lawrence Solomon

Ohhh Henry December 31, 2010 at 11:35 am

LOL, is this letter writer (google informs me) the one who’s married to the gal who wrote “Wanna Win, a Democratic Guide to Fundraising” and who travels across America helping put more Democrats in office? Not that the Republicans are any better mind you, but since he thinks that people’s backgrounds and associations are more important than their ideas, it’s nice to know who’s who.

“Wanna Win, a Democratic Guide to Fundraising” … now that’s a book I would like to see. What kind of donors does it suggest that Democrats approach for fundraising, and what pitches does it suggest?

agdrummer December 31, 2010 at 12:28 pm

I notice they Don ‘t leave a “comments”section for responders.Typical controllists! It”ll be intresting if they will print Jims rebuttal. WIth Social mood on the decline any thoughts against the statist QUO will surely get hammered.I only wish I were an skilled debater. Any suggestions of a book or other to help with that? Thanks

Nick Ruccia no learn english December 31, 2010 at 12:36 pm

NICK RUCCIA labeld Fedko as an ‘Anti-warming writer’. So wouldn’t that make Fedko an ally,or is Thomson a ‘Pro-warmer’?This is a public education at work, where stupidity is a virtue.

Robert December 31, 2010 at 12:43 pm

Apparently, the LvMI is a “cult” and we are all a bunch of “kooks” and “extremists.”

Yes. Did you have a question?

Sione January 1, 2011 at 2:10 pm

Robert

Phinn asked you two questions. You try to should answer them.

Sione

billwald December 31, 2010 at 1:15 pm

Columbus Dispatch:

Editorial: Restore trust
In clouded debate on climate, Thompson’s research, advice can help

Friday, December 24, 2010 02:51 AM

The Columbus Dispatch

Ohio State University climatologist Lonnie Thompson has fashioned a world-class science career studying what is happening to Earth’s climate.

His business always has been tree-ring patterns and ice cores drilled from glaciers at the world’s highest spots and decades of temperature records – not carbon taxes, carbon-trading markets or compromises with carbon-heavy, still-developing economies.

That is critically important. As the world’s societies grapple with this complex problem, political leaders need scientific analysis they can trust as they attempt to decide how to respond. Just as important, the public, beset by partisans on all sides, need scientists who are trusted to explain matters as objectively as possible.

Thompson’s latest scholarly paper, “Climate Change: The Evidence and Our Options,” has made some waves, because for the first time, the respected scientist discusses not just his observations of the atmosphere and geology, but what they could mean for life on Earth.

It is significant, in that Thompson declares that societies have “taken little action to address this global-scale problem,” and that continued inaction eventually will mean suffering. He outlines three options: mitigation, adaptation and – if the choice is inaction – suffering.

For a scientist, outlining options is a better course than being an advocate for a particular policy response.

Science already has established that the climate is changing in unprecedented ways, and scientists are estimating the possible consequences.

It’s up to societies and political leaders to determine how to respond. There are value judgments to be made: Would meaningfully lowering carbon emissions exact such an economic cost that it would be better to adapt to climate change, such as by building seawalls against rising water levels or adapting agricultural methods?

Does the inability to control carbon output by developing economies such as China and India render pointless any sacrifice by Americans?

These are tough decisions, and scientists of Thompson’s stature are invaluable for their ability to provide a foundation of fact and an understanding of available options. But it’s a fine line to walk: If scientists become advocates for a particular policy, they put their scientific objectivity in question, which increases the fog of distrust rather than dispelling it.

———————-

————————–
“Thompson reveals bias
“Saturday, December 25, 2010 02:53 AM

“Based on his interview in Sunday’s Dispatch, it’s clear that Lonnie Thompson of Ohio State University is no longer acting as a scientist. Instead, he’s functioning as both a government contractor and a policy advocate.”

—————-

Anti-warming writer has his own agenda
Thursday, December 30, 2010
… Jim Fedako?s Saturday letter ?Thompson reveals bias? is an ad hominem attack on Ohio State University researcher Lonnie Thompson for his efforts to publicize the scientific evidence of global warming and its implications for our future. Fedako proposes that Thompson?s popularizing efforts are aimed at securing government contracts for himself, and that his research findings do not follow the …

hmm December 31, 2010 at 2:10 pm

I wonder if this is the same guy married to Cynthia Ruccia out of Franklin County Ohio. If so I’m not surprised, they are about as partisan as you can get. Your typical Progressive agenda that allows no room for discourse beyond that which is clearly the right option.

guard December 31, 2010 at 3:40 pm

The debate on global warming is a political debate, not a scientific one.

Iain December 31, 2010 at 8:30 pm

You only wish.

Bruce Koerber December 31, 2010 at 4:38 pm

Both The Ecology And The Economy Are Natural Systems!

The imbalance (economy) that is behind the imbalance (ecology) is caused by the corruption of the natural system (the economy is the natural system just like ecology is the natural system) by ego-driven interpreters and ego-driven interventionists. The system of ecology excludes the addition of humanity to the world of creation. The system of economics includes humans but it is disrupted by human errors just as the ecology of the Earth is disrupted by human activity.

The goal is to minimize disruption and to maximize civilization.

Economic laws, just like ecologic laws are known. It is known that the unhampered flow of knowledge and the social cooperation engendered by division of labor requires the absence of ego-driven economic intervention.

The so-called scientist (Ohio State University climatologist Lonnie Thompson) sees the detrimental effects of human activity on the ecological system but fails to see the detrimental effects of ego-driven intervention into the natural system of the economy. His lack of a proper education does more harm than good! Such ‘scientific work’ is a best irrelevant and at worst it is detrimental to human civilization.

RTB December 31, 2010 at 5:00 pm

Could you clarify what you mean by ego-driven? You use it in every post and it appears you’re using it as some sort of a derogatory term. Aren’t we all ego-driven? Is there some other preferable entity or power that drives some of us by some sort of remote control?

Thanks in advance.

Bruce Koerber December 31, 2010 at 7:26 pm

“Could You Clarify What You Mean By Ego-Driven?”

We as humans have a dual nature and so our ego (love of self) has two pathways to follow. “Know thyself” is the positive pathway and can be ascribed to the spiritual nature of human beings whereas the carnal nature of me versus you is the negative pathway of the ego.

The ego-driven that I refer to in my economic contributions refers to this negative pathway taken by the thieves and oppressors and pseudo-do-gooders who fail to recognize the limitations of their own finite minds and who consequently assume that they can (and have the right) determine what is best in a vast reality that is far beyond their comprehension.

Bart December 31, 2010 at 6:26 pm

What’s funny is this LTE writer with this insulting ad hominem attack probably did more to advance the Mises institute then Fedako did. I’m sure tons of people are looking up Mises Institute on google because of this.

Dave Albin December 31, 2010 at 6:30 pm

No such thing as bad publicity……….

Jim January 1, 2011 at 7:28 pm

Indeed. Nothing like saying “pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!” to make people want to maybe take just a quick peek. The Mises Institute ought to send the kind man of science a fruitcake in appreciation.

Michael January 1, 2011 at 1:53 pm

Wait we are a cult, I feel ripped off. Where is my awesome black robe with the mises emblem on the back of it. Chants mystic enchantment “Tu ne cede malis sed contra audentior ito”

Also why do state cultists get way more cooler stuff; like cool weapons, awesome propaganda machines, secret agents, and regular “coercive offerings” from both believers and non believers. Have you seen their symbol on the back of the one dollar bill, Its a pyramid with a freaking eye on top of it O_O. Not to mention they have a weird chant too “Annuit ceoptis novus ordo seclorum”. I mean c’mon compared to them our cult looks like a bunch of kittens :3.

I guess we are just the peaceful cult fighting against the dark cult of the underworld… or something like that. :D

TokyoTom January 4, 2011 at 5:42 am

Jim:

I simply stated my views on a story about a local university researcher who is actively pushing a climate change agenda.

Poor, misunderstood Jim! You send in a simple criticism about the under-handed agenda of a lying, money-grubbing government-funded envirofascist scientist – suggesting that publicly-funded scientists should never venture to speak publicly on the subject of their research, particularly if it is one they think has grave public import – and from out of the blue, some eager whackado reader “responds” by trying to paint YOU as a kook!

The inquiring reader – at times difficult to find here, to be sure – may want to know more about the “agenda” that Lonnie Thompson is “pushing”, so I’ve collected a few links and excerpts (on top of those billwad has put together):

Here’s the interview you were addressing: http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/science/stories/2010/12/19/getting-warmer.html

Here’s an accompanying article: http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/local_news/stories/2010/12/19/osu-climatologist-takes-stand-on-warming.html

Here’s the associated editorial: http://www.dispatchpolitics.com/live/content/editorials/stories/2010/12/24/restore-trust.html?adsec=politics&sid=101

Here’s the abstract to his naked policy agenda: http://www.abainternational.org/Journals/view.asp?table=TBA&id=855

And here he lays out his full nefarious agenda, suggesting that human societies face a difficult choice of collective action regarding a potentially serious shared problem:
http://www.abainternational.org/journals/HumanResponseToClimateChangeIdeasFromBA.pdf

Great job of flushing him out, and getting positive attention for LvMI to boot!

TokyoTom

PS: Maybe more later.

Jim Fedako January 4, 2011 at 5:24 pm

Interesting. If you reread the links, you will note that I amplified concerns raised by Thompson’s peers. Of course, they discussed appearances while I went a bit further. (note: That sentence is not in a woe-is-me, plaintive voice, it is written to make absolutely clear that I never mentioned any of my economic or political affiliations in the letter or its signature — that your inner voice heard woe-is-me is telling, by the way).

Regardless, the point of this post (which you just might have missed) was the view of anti-statism from the responder.

I could equally call him out for being very politically active, very left, and very pro-government. But that wouldn’t prove whether Thompson is acting as a scientist or not. By the way, the responder never attempted to refute my claims.

Your use of agenda in quotes is cute. A red herring, but cute, nonetheless. We all have agendas, which is why we act (key insight from Human Action).

Finally, I’ll state some things that I am certain you are aware of: 1. When Thompson went looking for government funding for his latest report (the one noted and linked), the conclusion was known before the funding was granted; 2. Newspapers only print the letters they choose to print.

Note: You should make your views on climate change (and government responses to that change) known for full disclosure.

TokyoTom January 5, 2011 at 4:07 am

Jim, thanks for your response.

the point of this post (which you just might have missed) was the view of anti-statism from the responder

Your use of agenda in quotes is cute.

“Cute”? Let’s not be too cute, shall we? At least one purpose of your post here was to make climate scientists like Lonnie Thompson look kooky without actually addressing any of his scientific arguments or public policy concerns – or whether he has any rights to express them – simply by pointing to a leftist reader who couldn’t resist offering an uninformed view on Austrian economics. What a great way to have an unproductive conversation, while getting slaps on the back from fellow critical thinkers!What a great way to have an unproductive conversation, while getting slaps on the back from fellow critical thinkers!

Please tell me again that your statement that Thompson is “actively pushing a climate change agenda” is intended as a neutral statement of a key insight of Mises rather than a slur; maybe I’ll find it more convincing the second time.

Another purpose of your post appears to be to point to ad homs from another reader, while dodging your own: after a lifetime of government-funded field research (in 2007, he received the National Medal of Science, the highest honor the United States gives to American scientists), Thompson has only just now begun to publicly voice his concerns about climate change; yet your letter to the paper confidently asserts that “he writes to obtain government funds”. Why would Thompson now decide to rock the boat on what had been an eminently successful model of pilfering from the Treasury?

Would you also suggest that government scientists studying nuclear physics, cancer, or astronomy also hold themselves back from public discourse, except to state that all they want is more government grants?

You should make your views on climate change (and government responses to that change) known for full disclosure.

What, for the purposes of “full disclosure” while commenting on YOUR post, I have to reiterate my own rather shameless, notorious and extensively argued views? I’m afraid you’ve flushed me out, Jim! But I’m sure it would be MUCH more interesting if YOU would make the first stab at the level of disclosure you consider appropriate; perhaps these links will help?

http://mises.org/Community/blogs/tokyotom/archive/2010/02/10/towards-a-productive-libertarian-approach-on-climate-energy-and-environmental-issues.aspx

http://mises.org/Community/blogs/tokyotom/search.aspx?q=climate

http://www.google.com/search?&q=tokyotom+reisman+mises+climate

Yours in striking at the root,

TT

Jim Fedako January 5, 2011 at 8:27 am

TT –

No point in arguing around the margin: Think Simon-Ehrlich wager (not a monetary wager, but a pride bet) and set your climate value for 2021. Given the slew of models that are so accurate in your view, you should have no difficulty picking a value (and I will accept the fallacious average global temperature if you so choose).

So, what is it?

TokyoTom January 5, 2011 at 10:44 am

i>Given the slew of models that are so accurate in your view

Hmm; I don’t recall taking such a position. How about you actually responding to my points about your points, Jim?

TT

Jim Fedako January 5, 2011 at 1:24 pm

TT –

Here is my proposal: We use the graph contained in Thompson’s article. I say that the average temperature in 2012 will be below the range reflected.

Since you have portrayed Thompson as an altruistic, dedicated scientist, I assume you will defend the scientific truths he holds central to his argument.

Will you?

I notice you never address (in your mode of full disclosure) the introduction to the referenced edition of The Behavior Analyst. Specifically, this statement:

THE ROLE ANDRESPONSIBILITY OF BEHAVIOR ANALYSIS: Behavior analysis, the science of behavior change, can and must help society combat climate change. The very purpose of applied behavior analysis is to develop a reliable technology for improving socially significant behavior (Cooper, Heron, & Heward, 2007; Morris & Smith, 2003). Is there any behavior more socially significant than behavior that could save civilization?

Hmmm.

Jim Fedako January 5, 2011 at 1:49 pm

Oops. 2021, not 2012.

TokyoTom January 5, 2011 at 8:39 pm

Jim, thanks for dropping your absurd position that the purpose of your post here was not to attack climate scientists – especially those whose concerns prompt them to venture from the field and lab to public commentary – and to mock concerned citizens whom your letters leave sadly uninformed about Mises and libertarianism.

you have portrayed Thompson as an altruistic, dedicated scientist
Have I? Where?

Here’s my proposal: that you either seriously address the issues raised by the decision of Thompson, a publicly-funded climate scientist, to go public on his climate concerns, or explain why we should dismiss the strong evidence for ongoing warming and growing risks laid out in his article.

Maybe these will help:

http://mises.org/Community/blogs/tokyotom/archive/2010/08/18/not-that-it-matters-to-libertarians-but-the-conservative-national-post-says-quot-global-warming-deniers-are-a-liability-to-the-conservative-cause-quot.aspx

http://mises.org/Community/blogs/tokyotom/archive/2010/02/10/towards-a-productive-libertarian-approach-on-climate-energy-and-environmental-issues.aspx

TT

Jim Fedako January 5, 2011 at 8:46 pm

TT –

We are long past my post, which had nothing to do with Thompson. It was all about the response. But you know that.

Are you not going to man-up (as they say) and stand with the scientist? A little wager over bragging rights?

And, are you going to wave away the intent of The Behavior Analyst article?

If we are left with throwing links at each other, here is mine WmBriggs.com

TokyoTom January 6, 2011 at 1:30 am

Jim, it’s hard to have a conversation with a guy who insists on responding without addressing the points I raise, and consistently attributes to me positions that I have not taken and are not germane. Why do you NOT want to discuss the evidence of ongoing climate change or what rights, if any, climate scientists have to participate in public debate, the terms under which they should do so, how much their views should be discounted by the public funding they receive?

How is punting all of this for a ‘manly’ wager on temperatures ten years from now at all conducive to a productive discussion of how the science of human action applies to what has appeared for the past few decades to be a difficult problem of collective action and adaptation to the influence of man’s activities on an important, global-scale and un-owned commons?

Is this what Austrian economics and libertarianism calls us to?

my post, which had nothing to do with Thompson. It was all about the response. But you know that.

I know no such thing – but I’m flattered that I’m the only one of your misunderstanding readers who you deemed worthy if correcting on this.

I notice you never address (in your mode of full disclosure) the introduction to the referenced edition of The Behavior Analyst.
are you going to wave away the intent of The Behavior Analyst article?

Why should I address, in my responses to your post and comments, something you had not raised – and even now insist is irrelevant to your point about your non-libertarian responder? Your reference to ‘full disclosure’ is simply puzzling; I’ve done nothing here if not add more and more contexts. But in the interest of productive discussion, I’m happy to jump through your hoops: the prefatory language you refer IS mildly disturbing, but was not a part of Thompson’s article, but rather introductory remarks to a special issue whereby the editors of The Behavior Analyst try to make their profession relevant to a topic that concerns the editors (without government funding, this ‘thousand points of light’ approach would be unremarkable and acceptable to Austrians). I don’t believe that the government is trying to make use of these people to steamroll policy over citizens, but would be certainly outraged if that were the case. In general, I don’t favor government funding of behavioral (or other) science – nor do I approve of the grants of limited shareholder liability and a host of other favors that government gives to the corporate interests that certainly are very intent on manipulating consumer behavior.

Let’s backtrack a bit: you earlier stated:
I’ll state some things that I am certain you are aware of: 1. When Thompson went looking for government funding for his latest report (the one noted and linked), the conclusion was known before the funding was granted

Where do these ‘facts’ come from, how are they relevant, and how/why do you attribute knowledge of them to me? It’s not clear to me that Thompson got any government funding for this summary piece. If he did, it could certainly be fair to question such funding – even as I think Thompson has every right to present a summary and to point out the potential costs of inaction.

Enough for now here; onto your next comment.

TT

Jim Fedako January 5, 2011 at 9:59 pm

TT –

“Jim, thanks for dropping your absurd position that the purpose of your post here was not to attack climate scientists – especially those whose concerns prompt them to venture from the field and lab to public commentary – and to mock concerned citizens whom your letters leave sadly uninformed about Mises and libertarianism.”

The letter writer was not simply Joe Concerned Citizen. I will assume you can Google.

“you have portrayed Thompson as an altruistic, dedicated scientist Have I? Where?”

Is there another TT out there? Someone posing as TT wrote above, “after a lifetime of government-funded field research (in 2007, he received the National Medal of Science, the highest honor the United States gives to American scientists), Thompson has only just now begun to publicly voice his concerns about climate change;”

TT again, “Here’s my proposal: that you either seriously address the issues raised by the decision of Thompson, a publicly-funded climate scientist, to go public on his climate concerns, or explain why we should dismiss the strong evidence for ongoing warming and growing risks laid out in his article.”

You have dismissed his science, which is why you refuse to stand with the graph he so prominently used as the central defense of his argument. I state that the graph was falsified by empirical data. You stated that I was the kook calling the scientist a liar. Yet you have never refuted my claim.

Nor have you refuted the stated intent of The Behavior Analyst article (noted above), which you continue to sidestep (another claim of mine).

Again, this is all settled with the wager as proposed above.

TokyoTom January 6, 2011 at 3:38 am

<The letter writer was not simply Joe Concerned Citizen. I will assume you can Google.

If I Google, I’m not sure I will figure out who the other letter writer was, but I’m pretty sure that I will find that you are not simply Joe Concerned Citizen, but a dedicated libertarian — though sadly one more interested in partisan battles over the state rather than in educating others about use of open discourse and voluntary action and property rights to solve problems. (Where ARE those property rights here, anyway? Ands just how is the identity of the statist kook relevant to any point I’ve tried to make?)

Is there another TT out there?

Jim, you have a hard time following discussion. My citing of facts about Thompson was NOT intended to “portray Thompson as an altruistic, dedicated scientist”, but simply to note he has been quite successful as a NO-VOCAL climate scientist, which seems at odd with your assertion that the sole purpose of him breaking from his past practices and speaking out about climate risks is to get more funding. Do you see the difference between my narrow point, and your taking it as support for Thompson’s bona fides?

You stated that I was the kook calling the scientist a liar.

Another Fedako-fact or are you confusing me with your responding newspaper letter-writer? And did you not as much call the scientist a liar, by insisting that his motives could not have been to express the truth as he saw it, but simply to get more grant money?

I state that the graph was falsified by empirical data. … Yet you have never refuted my claim.

You stated the graph was falsified by empirical data IN YOUR LETTER, not in your post or comments here, so pardon me for not addressing it here BEFORE – especially as the thrust of my comments has been the unproductive nature of your ‘discourse’, and not over your implication that all of Thompson’s claims about ongoing warming and melting, the paleo record and the choices we face can be tossed out because you’re still clinging to hockey stick straws.

I’m sad, but not surprised, that you decline here at LvMI either to (i) seriously address the issues raised by the decision of Thompson, a publicly-funded climate scientist, to go public on his climate concerns, or (ii) explain why we should dismiss the strong evidence for ongoing warming and growing risks laid out in his article – but prefer to trot out the dodge you used in your letter.

If you insist, I’d be happy to explore your claim about Thompson’s use of a version of the hockey stick graph (temps continued to climb through the past decade, btw) – but before we do so, perhaps you can tell me that the following phenomena described by Thompson are disproved by whatever dispute you have with old temperature proxies, or that there is a natural forcing that readily accounts for them?

– The Quelccaya ice cap in southern Peru – the largest tropical ice field on Earth – has retreated 25 percent since 1978;

– Ice fields in the Himalayas that have long shown traces of the radioactive bomb tests in the 1950s and 1960s have since lost that signal as surface melting has removed the upper layers and thereby reduced the thickness of these glaciers;

– All of the glaciers in Alaska’s vast Brooks Range are retreating, as are 98 percent of those in southeastern Alaska. And 99 percent of glaciers in the Alps, 100 percent of those in Peru and 92 percent in the Andes of Chile are likewise retreating;

– Sea levels are rising and the loss of ice coverage in the North Polar region continues to increase annually.

If we are left with throwing links at each other, here is mine WmBriggs.com

William Briggs? I like William Briggs: http://wmbriggs.com/blog/?s=tokyotom&submit=Go. Check the ‘Update’ at the bottom of the relevant post.

As for me, I’m not throwing links, but working at ‘full disclosure’ of my nefarious ‘agenda’ to get ‘libertarians’ to put their thinking caps on.

TT

Jim Fedako January 6, 2011 at 8:37 am

TT –

“William Briggs? I like William Briggs.”

Then you would have read this. So your evidence of [2] does not prove [1]. But you continue to advocate for government interventions based on models that you will not defend. Interesting point of view.

“As for me, I’m not throwing links, but working at ‘full disclosure’ of my nefarious ‘agenda’ to get ‘libertarians’ to put their thinking caps on.”

You, of course, being the lone voice of reason. Now I understand your woe-is-me, plaintive inner voice.

Love the libertarian in quotes, by the way. Keep up the good fight. But I am done here.

TokyoTom January 25, 2011 at 12:37 pm

You’re done here, Jim? Hardly, as you never even started — in the sense of honest engagement.

Once more, as you flee from engagement, you fail to address ANYTHING I’ve actually said, while continuing your penchant for attacking strawmen of your own making. I “continue to advocate for government interventions”, you say? Oh? Anywhere on this thread? I did offer you the following link to my thinking, but if you had troubled yourself to look, you’d see it’s a libertarian proposal for de-regulation: http://mises.org/Community/blogs/tokyotom/archive/2010/02/10/towards-a-productive-libertarian-approach-on-climate-energy-and-environmental-issues.aspx.

You might not like to hear it, but the apparent lack of sincerity in your engagement IS shameful — even if one of a piece of many other libertarian/Misesean thinkers here who forget their thinking caps in favor of falling into partisanship and cognitive traps:

http://mises.org/Community/blogs/tokyotom/search.aspx?q=watermelon

http://mises.org/Community/blogs/tokyotom/archive/2009/11/02/the-road-not-taken-iv-my-other-hysterical-comments-on-climate-science-amp-how-austrians-hamstring-themselves.aspx

http://mises.org/Community/blogs/tokyotom/archive/2010/02/13/bill-gates-roger-pielke-avatar-amp-the-climate-of-distrust-or-can-we-move-from-a-tribal-questioning-of-motives-to-win-win-policies.aspx

My reference to ‘libertarians’ was to this pantheon, who quite obviously have not really troubled themselves at LvMI pages to engage on climate or natural issues, other than in the most pathetic and shallow way.

A good recipe for libertarian irrelevancy, as I keep pointing out. Am I wrong to hope for better?

Sincerely,

Tom

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: