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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/5680/three-cheers-for-a-senator/

Three cheers for …. a senator?

September 26, 2006 by

This corsucating attack on ‘climate porn’ and the green witchfinders’ scientific ‘orthodoxy’ was delivered from the floor by Sentaor James Inhofe.

“…the media must roll back this mantra that there is scientific “consensus” of impending climatic doom as an excuse to ignore recent science. After all, there was a so-called scientific “consensus” that there were nine planets in our solar system until Pluto was recently demoted.”

“Breaking the cycles of media hysteria will not be easy since hysteria sells — it’s very profitable. But I want to challenge the news media to reverse course and report on the objective science of climate change, to stop ignoring legitimate voices this scientific debate and to stop acting as a vehicle for unsubstantiated hype. ”

Well worth a read!

{ 35 comments }

David Spellman September 26, 2006 at 1:16 pm

Predictions of eco-doom are like the predictions of psychics published in the National Inquirer. Except that the National Inquirer is sometimes right. Not one eco-doom scenario has ever come close to fruition. Not one. Not ever. The moral of the story? Read the National Inquirer and forget about global warming.

edhopper September 26, 2006 at 1:32 pm

This is a joke, right?

tebbitt September 26, 2006 at 2:44 pm

“After all, there was a so-called scientific “consensus” that there were nine planets in our solar system until Pluto was recently demoted.”

If I was shown only the text of this speech I’d think it was a parody.

Brent September 26, 2006 at 6:44 pm

I know too many student newspaper types who later went into working for politicians and then go back into media. Ethics and analyitical ability aren’t their strong suits.

TokyoTom September 27, 2006 at 2:19 am

Surprise – Sen. Inhofe is a loyal defender of his corporate sponsors!

Wiki notes that in the 2002 election cycle Inhofe received more contributions from oil and gas companies than any other congressman except Texas Sen. Cornyn, and that contributions to Inhofe from the energy and natural resource sector since taking office have exceeded one million dollars.

Not surprisingly, Sen. Inhofe consistently has also had the climate science all wrong:

http://gristmill.grist.org/story/2006/9/25/17124/9789
http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2006/06/inhofes_war_on_science.php
http://www.grist.org/advice/books/2004/07/21/gelbspan-boiling/
http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?chanID=sa006&articleID=000D5C47-C124-1509-805C83414B7FFDB0

Sen. Inhofe continues to blame the media and environmentalists for creating a global warming myth. Well, he should tell his fellow senators – a majority of whom last year approved a resolultion calling for mandatory caps on GHG emissions – the House Appropriations committee which approved the same resolution this summer, the Bush administration – which is trumpeting new anti-claimate change pork.

He should also tell The Economist: http://www.economist.com/opinion/displaystory.cfm?story_id=7884738

and Robert Murdoch/FOX, who support climate change action.

And what about Christian fundamentalist apostates like Pat Robertson?

Not clear that Sen. Inhofe believes the stuff he spews; I sure hope that you don’t. In any case, as what Sen. spews is so easily refuted, it seems clear that Sen. Inhofe does NOT really want to be CORRECT.

Perhaps Sen Inhofe did not see this latest announcement from NASA:
http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/news/20060925/

One can admire Sen. Ihofe’s persistentce, but if only he were as skeptical about the Administration’s rationale for the war on terror and for the bidget-blowing half trillion spent on that so far (with benefits to favored industries)!

Wrong way, Mr. Corrigan.

corrigan September 27, 2006 at 6:03 am

Oh, of course, the good senator takes money from Big Oil, therefore this is all just ‘spin’ – and, heaven forbid that we might suspect that the ever-impeccable climate luddite might himself have a vested interest in receiving research grants, professorial favour, media attention, and political influence by screaming, “we’re doomed!”, rather than by stating that there is no actual evidence of anything other than natural processes at work, or even by quietly and honestly admitting that, yes, there just m-i-g-h-t be a problem, but actually our science is too primitive and the systems are too complex to determine this.

You might also note that Big Oil may well be less prone to lying and to purchasing specious ‘expert’ reports to further its interests than is Big Government (cf, Iraq) and that the latter positively ADORES the excuse for more intervention, anti-capitalism, tax raising, one-world fabianism, and national security paranoia for which green alarmism so handily provides a (sustainable)cover.

Incidentally, the other main institutions in our corporatist state love this, too: the Money Trust – because trading the nonsensical ‘indulgences’ called carbon permits is rapidly becoming yet another highly lucrative casino table for the investment banks; Big Business because ANY network of regulation and ANY artificial raising of costs stifles the chance that new, innovative, self-financed entrepreneurs might ever truly compete with them.

The real emissions which are damaging humanity originate not from the chimney of any power plant, but from the smokescreen of eco-propaganda: nor should we worry so much about the hypothetical capacity of other so-called religious ‘fundamentalists’ to cause us harm when the zealots of this nasty, puritanical, cult of Moloch are left to spread their pernicious, pre-Enlightenment prejudices largely unopposed.

And, surprise, we can all call up a website or two which collects useful reports to support our views – even if a mere citation count does nothing to constitute a ‘proof’ of the merits of our case.

Below is just one from outside the deluded internet community of ‘post-carbon’, ‘peak oil’, ‘power down’ mystics who, from the modern, sanitized comfort of their Wifi-connected living rooms, seem positively to relish the chance to participate in a hideous experiment whereby all 6.5 billion of us will try to live happily-ever-after as iron-age peasants – an undertaking very few of these armchair ecowarriors is actually likely to survive!

http://meteo.lcd.lu/globalwarming/

banker September 27, 2006 at 6:18 am

1. Stop burning oil and starve/freeze to death.

2. Burn oil and take my chances with the almighty weather. I went through 3-4 hurricanes in a row, its not that bad. I was told that the trains in Tokyo don’t shut down during a typhoon.

Keith September 27, 2006 at 6:39 am

Qoute from TokyoTom: “Surprise – Sen. Inhofe is a loyal defender of his corporate sponsors!”

I knew it was you before I got to the signature line. I’m surprised anybody wastes their time to rebut. “The Economist … and Robert Murdoch/FOX, … support climate change action.” Well, that’s good enough for me.

Roger M September 27, 2006 at 8:36 am

TT, Did I miss your reply to my earlier post on the other thread about the CO2/Temp data from ice cores? I had offered to change my position on GHG to neutral if you could explain the wide variations in CO2 levels over the past several millenia. I’ll even join Al Gore if you can show that those variations were caused by human activity.

TokyoTom September 27, 2006 at 8:59 am

Roger, thanks for your comment.

Tthere’s always just that one more little scrap of information that you need to change your mind, isn’t there? Well there’s reams of information out there, skeptics converting/apostasizing, the Bush administration hiring global warming alarmists, and of course every science academy one can think of, but it’s not quite enough yet, is it? How much time and effort have I put into this, and what have I shirked so far?

Do you understand that there are libertarians and other skeptics like Ron Bailey who have written books from your view and otherwise had their public reputations invested in denying climate change and now, after carefully following developments have changed their minds? Of course that should not persuade you, but the point is there is really no dearth of information. The problem lies simply in cognition, and how our brains are built to filter out inconsitent information.

That’s why intead of trying to prove anything to you on facts I’ve tried to talk with you and others about the property right structure, the rent-seeking and the dynamics of trying to solve open-access problems, just so we can perhaps share some understanding more generally on environmental problems.

As to your question, didn’t Crichton write a book or two about chaos theory?

Have a discussion with me about the economics of pollution problems and public choice theory and then I’d be happy to do so research for you.

Tom

Roger M September 27, 2006 at 9:08 am

TT, I’ve researched the question I posed to you and haven’t found any answers. I was hoping with your vast knowledge of the subject that you could enlighten me.

The issue of what caused increases and decreases in CO2 in the past is critical, because there seems to be a lot of confusion about how much of the current increase is due to humans and how much is natural. GW alarmists give the impression that it’s all human caused. If so, then how do you explain the increases in the past?

If GW isn’t human induced, then there’s no reason to discuss the economic issues involved because there is nothing we can do about it.

TokyoTom September 27, 2006 at 9:31 am

Keith, if you were really surprised that anyone took the time to rebut, then why would you take the time as well? Curious.

If I recall, I hard tried to engage you on this matter six months ago on my first visit to VMI; you ran away, after stating that (1) there is no problem and (2) solving it would destroy civilization. Welcome back.

To save you the trouble of looking back, let me quote in part what I said then:

“Come on Keith, be serious. Acknowledging that the patient is already ill doesn’t mean we shouldn’t treat the patient. An ounce of prevention is still worth a pound of cure, but obviously we should be BOTH getting ready for what cannot be avoided (or what Graeme would say is desired) and to make rational efforts at prevention.

You accuse me of being overdramatic, but what about you – why do you think that fixing market failures will trigger “massive economic depression due to the government control of the economy”? Is this the lesson you learn from your study of the impact of environmental regulation to date? If so, it’s wrong – fixing market failures improves the economy, as I’m sure Lornborg would tell you.

Granted, we could do a better job with our environmental regulation, but even with the obvious inefficiencies the special interests competing for tax dollars produce, we are surely better off now than if we had simply thrown our hands up and hoped that other market failure problems would cure themselves. …

We should not use the difficult nature of resolving climate change issues as a justification to deny the issue. This was noted recently by Steven Hayward of the AEI, in his piece “Is ‘Conservative Environmentalist’ an Oxymoron?” …
http://www.aei.org/publications/filter.all,pubID.22934/pub_detail.asp

The environmentalists are making noises because there are obvious market failure, tragedy of the commons issues that confront us, and very little is being done to address them. We can tell the environmentalists that they do not understand the institutional underpinnings of the problem or the appropriate cure, but responsibility lies in acknowledging that a number of problems exist that we should be working to cure.”

Do you really think that there are no open-access common resource problems (resulting from a lack of enforceable property rights), or that it is impossible to solve them without destroying civilization?

I’m happy you’re not conviced about climate risks simply because I refer to the Economist and Murdoch, or because they’ve changed their minds. I would hope that your information balancing mechanism would have already scored a major tilt in my direction, based on what the major science academies report, the fact that it has convinced so many countries around the world (and ours, start with GHWB), and an understanding of why, with lack of property rights, such a problem could arise. But since it hadn’t, I’m still fishing for that last piece that might do the trick.

Maybe you could go read through what Ron Bailey has to say in the most recent Reason online, as I noted in the other thread?

But I really don’t expect you to make the effort.

Funny how people can seek the vast rent-sseking behind the Bush war on terror policy (see Lew Rockwell’s recent post), but have such a hard time understanding the rent-seeking that delays any effective climate change policy.

Oh well.

TokyoTom September 27, 2006 at 10:01 am

Mr. Corrigan, thanks for the honor of a reply.

I’ve read most of the things in your collection, both on my own and as many faithful deniers here oput me through my paces. Can you trouble your self to actually read through a few of the ones I sent you, are afraid that an open mind is too painful a thing to have?

A few brief points.

1. When, if ever, has Sen. Inhofe quietly ever said anything, much less “honestly admitt[ed] that, yes, there just m-i-g-h-t be a problem” with climate change? I have run across any such thing, despite the countless times he’s been shown to be wrong, and despite the fact that more than half the Senate disagrees with him.

2. I also noted the Bush administration’s love for war as a rent-seeking endeavor, but in my version of reality, Bush did NOT sign Kyoto and drafted a deliberate political strategy to deny climate change and demonize enviros. (Mr. Luntz is now doing the same in Canada.) While you apparently see a devious, submarine strategy for Bush also to ruin our economy by caving into Al Gore, I see someone handing out favors to favored lobby groups – despite the fact that all the industry members in Pew (you know, radical firms like Boeing, GE and Dupont) would like to see the US moving forward.

3. On carbon permits, I would think you would have a better sense of what risk management and derivatives are all about. Creating transferrable private property rights does not choke of entry – its the more rigid, old-fashoned type of technology-forcing regulation that does that.

4. “Eco-propaganda” – is that what you call all of the world’s respected science academies, NOAA, NASA and Exxon itself, not to mention the companies mentioned above? Just curious. Your choice of language serves to mask critical thinking, rather than display it.

Finally, yes there are kooks, and most of our citizens don’t understand economics. That doesn’t mean that sophisticated people can’t understand. Many simply have a hard time changing their minds. The fact that all the apostates are moving in one direction ought to tell you something, though.

Francisco Torres September 27, 2006 at 11:12 am

The environmentalists are making noises because there are obvious market failure, tragedy of the commons issues that confront us, and very little is being done to address them.

This is where you show your limitations, TT. In the first place, environmentalists could not care less about the market or market failures – those are just buzz words. Second, there is NO market failure issue here because an emission of CO2 is NOT pollution (pollution means adding a substance that did not exist previously and that affects life DIRECTLY, like limestone dust or SO2), which is why you would run immediately into a calculation problem if you even tried to place liability upon a “polluter” – we would ALL be polluters, including ants and spiders! How would you manage to fairly establish an emissions measurement so every “polluter” can be held liable, short of imposing a bona fide communist world government a la Pol-Pot upon every living human being, is beyond me.

Your contention that there is a Tragedy of the Commons issue is absurd – we are NOT running out of an atmosphere, and climate (even GOOD climate) is NOT a good. You are misapplying a scenario that only pertains to LIMITED, homesteadable property. Air cannot BE property, TT, unless you live in the moon and you have it shipped there.

We live in a dynamic system, where ANY activity affects it in some way. Trying to keep some status quo is idiotic, to be blunt – the weather, for one, would not cooperate with the romantics.

M E Hoffer September 27, 2006 at 11:44 am

TT,

this, from Corrigan: “Incidentally, the other main institutions in our corporatist state love this, too: the Money Trust – because trading the nonsensical ‘indulgences’ called carbon permits is rapidly becoming yet another highly lucrative casino table for the investment banks; Big Business because ANY network of regulation and ANY artificial raising of costs stifles the chance that new, innovative, self-financed entrepreneurs might ever truly compete with them.”

This, from you: “..Creating transferrable private property rights does not choke of entry..”

If you don’t understand, the “emissions”-credits are granted, in large part, to firms already in existence. As such, those greater rewards increase the distance a potential(new) competitor must travel in his/her race against the Status Quo.

If you do understand, and I’d wager you do, this is another example of your intellectual dishonesty, willingly deployed, in pursuit of your, oft-stated, top-down goal of “Cap ‘n Trade” in re: “GHG”.

tokyotom September 27, 2006 at 10:13 pm

Hoffer-san:

All right, Mr. Smart Guy, what’s your “intellectually honest” proposal – both on this since it’s the present topic and on all of the otherr common resources whose destruction you have exhibited so much concern about? What’s the correct, pure Misean solution? And is that the solution that recognizes the present realities and contains the incentives needed to get everyone to budge? Inquiring minds want to know!

As for me, you are reading too hard between the lines. I am in favor neither of blindly wasteful use of open-access resources nor of giveaways to solve them.

You are right that if the government plays a role in creating property rights where before there was just an unregulated use of the open resource, then there are certainly distributive effects if the government just grants such rights, without charge, to private parties. My personal preference would be that the rights be sold to the highest bidder at an auction open to all, or that the rights be allocated to US citizens, who can then sell them as they wish, but others could disagree – who, after, really has the best claim as an owner of the resource? Citizens, or the industries that actually make the most use of the resource?

I am really not so concerned about this question of distribution – I just want to stop the destruction by settling the rights issue expediently so that finally the allocation issues can be addressed and the obvious, ridiculous and unnecessary waste and destruction can end.

It is clear that the fossil fuel industry (oil and coal) and large industrial users (NAM, utilities and autos) have been massively using the common resource for free, are not happy to give up without compensation this benefit and have been acting to block policy. Even though their action on the levers of government can be seen as rent seeking (and I have used that terminology), frankly I am sympathetic to their position. It is unfortunate that they feel it difficult to have an open discussion of it, and instead have chosen a course of dissembling, misdirection and political attack, together with their opportunistic political parasites (the same phenomenon identified by Lew Rockwell in his post on the “War on the American pocketbook” – er, war on terror), because that has not only delayed action here, but blocked the path to an effective international accord and encouraged China to lock in tremendous amounts of coal-fired plants using old technologies that will be expensive to retrofit. So I’m mad at them and at the Bush administration/Congress.

It would be far better simply to give the big users transferrable property rights to what they’ve been using for free, so that true market transactions can start. Even if the rights were auctioned, new entrants would have to buy some to get in, so I do not see that they are particularly disadvantaged (there is a distributive benefit to existing users only if you take the position that they have no right now to be using the common resource).

I see the world in shades of gray, Mr. Hoffer, and some things I do not understand or clearly perceive at all. I wish I had the clarity of vision that you have to say that or others are being “intellectually dishonest”, but my own view is that our predispositions get in the way of understanding things, so we find it easier to defend criticisms and to see the splinters that others have in their eyes, and we each struggle to make sure that we are not filtering out or misperceiving the real world. Paradigm shifts, even in our own minds are difficult, much less convincing others.

In other words, I fully accept that I may be wrong about certain things, but I have worked long and hard to understand. Can I use more help? Certainly. But I would hope that I have earned some grudging acknowlegement that I am simply an idiot rather than a liar.

Tom

TokyoTom September 27, 2006 at 10:30 pm

Roger:

I think the economics can still be profitably discussed – after all, there are many other open-access resource problems to be solved, of the nature that so concern Mr. Hoffer that he thinks I should focus on them rather than climate change.

As to whether or not GW is in part human-induced, as I have pointed out, the voices from the scientists has become increasingly coherent on this point, and many skeptics persuaded, over the past year or two. May I suggest that, if you are really interested in this factual issue, rather than me trying to explain it to you (being a layman on these issues), your time may be more profitably spent on why scientists and converted skeptics think that is clear that man plays a substantial role in causing climate change.

Respectfully,

TT

M E Hoffer September 28, 2006 at 12:05 am

TT,

This: “…there are many other open-access resource problems to be solved, of the nature that so concern Mr. Hoffer that he thinks I should focus on them rather than climate change.”–is a classic example, from you, that leads me to tie you, together, with “intellectual dishonesty”.

No where, have I ever laid the many ecological/environmental difficulties we face at the altar of “open-access”/”tragedy of the “commons”". Those are your terms of Art. Terms that you keep associating with myself.

Please do show me a “commons”, such as you keep referring to.

Past that, you are correct, I do encourage you to focus on the concrete, and readily provable, as opposed to the ethereal. You are certainly rhetorician enough to persuade many by using easily seeable/provable examples.

Though, you think U.S. policy: “…encouraged China to lock in tremendous amounts of coal-fired plants using old technologies that will be expensive to retrofit..” ?? Don’t you realize that under your beloved “Cap ‘n Trade” schema that that investment pays doubly? Less expensive now, and Way more Profitable later ?!

And this: “…Even if the rights were auctioned, new entrants would have to buy some to get in.” isn’t the least bit true. “Clean Coal” is a Reality, and “Smokestacks” are, indeed, a living anachronism. See http://www.sasol.com for starters. Those dudes have been at for 30+ years. The basic Chemistry, Fischer-Tropsch, http://www.fischer-tropsch.org/ has been with us for the better part of 80 years. (sad to note, that website has been “hit” scarcely more than 5300 times)

You ask me for the “pure Misean” solution–others are more well-steeped in his works than I–though, for myself, I’d say: Human Action shapes the ‘morrow we’ll trod. To be cognizant of the effect of our Demand is our Responsibilty as Freepersons.

If you have questions, or need of clarification, feel free…

Sione Vatu September 28, 2006 at 1:56 am

Goodness gracious! There’s that crank Tom again!

Some months ago he was challenged to provide all the proofs for his position. After all he is asserting the positive. But he couldn’t. Failed completely. Had nothing. Impotent.

One would have thought he’d have understood the basics his position necessarily relies upon. Of course in the absence of those proofs it’s all baseless supposition and cant…

So where are those proofs?

Still waitin’.

Sione

Keith September 28, 2006 at 6:27 am

Qoute from TokyoTom: “Welcome back.”

Welcome back yourself. Unlike you, I don’t have time in my life to rant and rave endlessly about the latest fad. If you choose to interpret my failure to respond as “running away”, feel free. I care less for your opinion of me, than of your opinion on the world’s climate.

I used to find it entertaining to read others on this blog refute your claims with facts, but it soon became obvious that they might as well be arguing with a stone. Now your verbose responses are simply tiresome, but I salute those who still take time to shine light on your empty arguments.

Roger M September 28, 2006 at 8:47 am

TT:”…your time may be more profitably spent on why scientists and converted skeptics think that is clear that man plays a substantial role in causing climate change.”

I think it’s clear why there are so many converts to human-induced GW. It’s certainly not the evidence. It’s political pressure. In the 1980′s and 1990′s, lively debate took place between scientists. Then proponents of human-induced GW got into positions of power and decided to squelch debate. Suddenly, it became dangerous to one’s career to oppose the “high priests” of GW. Very few scientists have the courage to stand in the minority and defend the truth at the expense of their careers.

If you go back to the 1980′s and look at the evidence on both sides of the issue, you’ll find that we have very little more evidence today. If the evidence hasn’t changed much, what has? The political atmosphere.

Look at how you debate on this blog. You offer almost no evidence for your position, but you ridicule opponents, drop names of famous people, hide behind the majority opinion, appeal to authority, and generally try to intimidate opponents. That’s exactly how the proponents of human-induced GW work on a national scale.

TokyoTom September 28, 2006 at 8:54 am

Keith:

I regret the slight prickliness in my prior post, but you were poking, no?

Hmm … persistence and calm discourse is “ranting and raving”. Seems to me that you’ve simply got your mind closed. No wonder you don’t find my attempts at persuasion entertaining.

You don’t want to talk with me? No problem – don’t start a conversation.

But to show I mean no harm, here’s a little more ranting, in the form of a treatise on property rights approached to environmental problems: http://www.cato.org/pubs/regulation/regv23n1/adler.pdf

And here is Roy Cordato on them: http://mises.org/daily/1760

Now explain to me what property rights exist that are enforceable or allow us to engage in private transactions in the atmosphere or result in prices reflecting the value of that resource.

Finally, a quote from Exxon:

“ExxonMobil has conducted and supported climate science research for 25 years. Our work has produced more than 40 papers in peer-reviewed literature, and our scientists serve on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and numerous related scientific bodies.

Based on this experience, we recognize that the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere poses risks that may prove significant for society and ecosystems. We believe that these risks justify actions now, …even with many scientific uncertainties.”"

But it doesn’t really matter what ANYBODY else says on this subject, because they’re ALL lying, money-grubbing, self-seeking crackpots, right?

TokyoTom September 28, 2006 at 10:00 am

Hoffer-san:

I apologize for trying to enlist you as an ally when I don’t even understand you.

Are you the same ME Hoffer who said “We are, nothing but, of Nature. When we choose to degrade it, we degrade ourselves. The preservation of Nature is our greatest possible Selfish act.”?

The same Hoffer who suggested I focus on “Real pollution(clean Air, clean Water, clean Soil depletion) problems, many hardily abetted by the same “Government”"?

The same one worried about the destruction of “the remaining Rain Forests” and suggests my time “might be better used by illuminating the, literal, destruction at the end of many of the chains of demand most of us are pulling.”

And what do you suppose fuels the destruction which concerns you, other than the absence of clear, enfoceable property rights?

Perhaps you’ll let me hear your paradigm, if you don’t like the property rights one. I beleive that references to open-access resources and commons are rather commonly used lingo, as well, but perhaps you could explain why you why you dislike them?

Perhaps you will also allow me to choose which matters I comment on, even as I share your concerns?

Tom

Keith September 28, 2006 at 10:21 am

Cha-ching, I win the bet. Nine paragraphs in less than 3 hours.

Only poking.

M E Hoffer September 28, 2006 at 12:02 pm

TT,

“And what do you suppose fuels the destruction which concerns you, other than the absence of clear, enfoceable property rights?”

“And what do you suppose fuels the destruction which concerns you”– Ignorance, alone, and that leading to an unquestioning faith in State(s) that have been proven, for those with courage enough to seek and see, as unmitigated Frauds and unrelenting Failures.

“…other than the absence of clear, enforceable property rights?”– these would be the same “property rights” that we entrust the State to support and defend, right?

TT, please show me the “commons” which you keep describing.

M E Hoffer September 28, 2006 at 1:46 pm

TT,

Also, I’m more than happy to be associated with my own words, at any time, in any forum.

TokyoTom September 28, 2006 at 10:37 pm

Hoffer-san:

“unquestioning faith in State(s) that have been proven, for those with courage enough to seek and see, as unmitigated Frauds and unrelenting Failures.”

Surely, this is not me or anyone else here. Nevertheless, while distrusting States in general, they are not all as bad even though they share the same characteristics. The US is not China for example, and even with levels of corporate statism that have risen to disturbing levels citizens and property owners still have a relatively high degree of liberty and protection of property rights.

While the State may always be the enemy, it is not disappearing anytime soon and in the meanwhile performs functions for which market, libertarian-acceptable alternatives have not developed. An acknowledgement that we rely on our State for some aspects of the defense of our liberty and property rights does not constitute an “unquestioning faith in States”.

The law review article Property Rights Solutions For The Global Commons: Bottom-Up Or Top-Down? by Terry Anderson, director of PERC and economics professor at MSU, and Bishop Grewell, Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, provides a thorough discussion of the legal status of “commons” or open-access resources and the particular difficulties in finding appropriate property rights regimes for them. If you take a look you’ll get a fair idea where I’m coming from.

Tom

TokyoTom September 29, 2006 at 5:55 am

Roger:

If you are so dismissive of the advance in the science since the 80s, can you please explain how your inquiry below was honest?

“Data from ice cores show significant, regular swings in both temperature and CO2 for the past few millenia. If GW scientists can tell me what caused the swings in CO2 in the past, I’m willing to become neutral on the issue. If they can tell me how humans caused them, then I’ll join Al Gore.”

As you know, human impacts on CO2 have become significant only with industrialization, though our agricultural activities have long had effects on methane. I’m sure you’re aware of that, so you show your dishonesty in setting up proofs that are both impossible and irrelevant. The earth is clearly warming, even though we left the prior ice age 20,000 years ago. If you can explain why you think that our pushing up levels of CO2 (universally acknowledged as a greehouse gas) to ones they haven’t been been for hundreds of thousands of years will NOT have any effect on climate, the I’LL convert. In responding, don’t forget to explain away the oncoming feedback effects from the massive methane releases already being seen as the Arctic warms.

Your explanations to explain things away are longically inconsistent – the only thing consistent is your inability to change your mind. I can’t do that; only you.

Didn’t the political pressure switch when Bush came into office? Where are all the politicians in the Administration or Congress on climate change witch-hunts? Sen. Ihofe and Joe Barton? Yeah, but don’t they take the ANTI-climate change position? And what scientists are actually being muzzled by their employers, as opposed to being castigated by their peers? Bush has the purse-strings – don’t tell me he can’t shove money at those poor oppressed fellows. They just need to cook up credible research proposals, right? And what ever happened to Linzen’s famous “lensing” theory that he posed would save us from the CO2 forcing?

“Look at how you debate on this blog. You offer almost no evidence for your position, but you ridicule opponents, drop names of famous people, hide behind the majority opinion, appeal to authority, and generally try to intimidate opponents. That’s exactly how the proponents of human-induced GW work on a national scale.”

Support this, please.

I can drag up all of my posts just as easily as you to show that all I’ve done is try to patiently explain, and offered innumerable links to data and to others more authoritative than me. What very little ridicule I offer pales in comparison to the invective I receive, and is directed towards arguments, not people per se.

How have I tried to intimidate anyone? I call what I’ve done attempts to PERSUADE a rather hostile audience with logic that I think might touch them.

As to what climate change scientists and others have done, I would also call that persuasion. Maybe you can ask libertarians and skeptics like Ron Bailey of Reason and Michael Schermer of Skeptics Mag why they changed their minds? And why a majoirty in the Senate agree? I’m sure they won’t tell you how they were really forced at gunpoint or by the climate of fear coming from those big bad Dems (but didn’t GHWB start this, anyway?) and will spot some weasily science or economic argument at you, but you really know that they just caved, right?

Roger, I really do admire your fortitude.

TokyoTom September 29, 2006 at 6:15 am

Francisco -

Thanks for your relatively measured, but obviously frustrated response. I share your frustration.

However, it does not seem that your response is either coherent or holds together on review.

“In the first place, environmentalists could not care less about the market or market failures – those are just buzz words.”

Nonsense. I could through cite after cite to you of environmentalists who care about these terms. Just look up “free market environmentalism”, and try PERC, FREE, the CEI and Cato. Some might be Pigouvians or Coaseans, but don’t forget Rothbard, Block and Cordato.

“Second, there is NO market failure issue here because an emission of CO2 is NOT pollution.”

This confuses two things – whether there are any private or commonly managed property rights in the atmosphere, and the nature of the damage that people suffer as a result of the anbsence of any ability to engage in market transactions to express their personal preferences.

“Calaculation problems”, “Air cannot BE property, “etc.

The air is obviously a resource – the whole of mankind’s enviroment is. Don’t take my word on that, ask Dr. Reisman.

The existence of these problems is real, and in the absence of them the atmosphere would already be privatized or commonly owned and managed – same as with many other open access resource problems. The scale of the problems may make one want to through up their hands, but for Pete’s sake, it’s not a reason to deny the problem altogether!

Maybe this piece, Property Rights Solutions For The Global Commons: Bottom-Up Or Top-Down? by Terry Anderson, director of PERC and economics professor at MSU, and Bishop Grewell, Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, might help put us on more of a common understanding.

I do appreciate your continued interest in this discussion.

Roger M September 29, 2006 at 9:43 am

TT:”If you can explain why you think that our pushing up levels of CO2 (universally acknowledged as a greehouse gas) to ones they haven’t been been for hundreds of thousands of years will NOT have any effect on climate, the I’LL convert.”

It’s clear from the data that large fluctuations in CO2 and global temps occur together and that they are a natural cycle of the planet, having occurred for thousands of years. The fact that the cycles of CO2 and temps occur simultaneously indicates that both are effects of a third factor, probably cycles in the sun’s energy as the latest research is demonstrating. Some feedback effects from GHG’s do occur, but they’re obviously not permanent, as the cycles indicate. In each cycle, CO2 has fallen naturally after reaching a peak.

Human contribution to GHG’s appear minimal and will not stop the cycle. Eventually, the cycle will reverse itself and the planet will start to cool as it did before the recent mini-ice age 200 years ago. Human produced CO2 can’t stop it.

M E Hoffer September 29, 2006 at 11:52 am

TT,

Two things: 1.) the link doesn’t seem to work, and 2.)with this: “The US is not China for example, and even with levels of corporate statism that have risen to disturbing levels citizens and property owners still have a relatively high degree of liberty and protection of property rights.”–Again, you’re kidding, right?

Please understand, Patrick Henry taught us all the political triangulation we need to know. Ideas like “free-est”, and “relatively high degrees of Liberty”, aren’t worth the electrons they take to transmit.

TokyoTom September 30, 2006 at 7:45 pm

Hoffer-san:

Sorry about the link – but it`s easy enough to figure out if you just look at the address. The correct one is http://www.law.duke.edu/journals/delpf/articles/delpf10p73.htm.

As to comparisons of governments, I disagree. Noonly can it be done, it SHOULD be done, so we can all see who has the greatest liberty and to compare the results. Everything we do is question of balance, even writing on things we feel strongly about. Wait, are you saying I`m TOO balanced? That`s the type of criticism that is music to my ears!

Tom

TokyoTom September 30, 2006 at 8:04 pm

Roger:

In a prior post, you asked “GW alarmists give the impression that it’s all human caused. If so, then how do you explain the increases in the past?”

The first statement is a strawman, because that`s NOT what climate scientists say – they give a much fuller version the explanation that you have just capably summarized. There are many factors affecting climate, with the longest regular influences being the Milankovich/orbital irregularity cycles, irregular cosmic ray influences, and solar radiation cycles. Ocean circulation patterns also matter, and are affected by whether North and South America are linked.

But whatever the myriad of factors that need to be fully teased out and understood, there is the indisputable fact that we are drastically changing CO2 and methane levels, that we have had a discernable impact on climate and that the feedbacks for now lead only towards more warming.

As I asked in my last post, I would be VERY interested in hearing WHY you think that these don`t matter. The arrival of industrial man is a new thing on the planet – please explain why it is irrelevant in discussing climate, especially as the effects are already evident.

Please also respond to my questions about what you find about my manner of responding to be so intimidating and improper. I am practically the only one who comments in opposition to the prevailing opinion here and my approach has always been to convince, and as the minority I always thought the intimidation factor ran against me rather than in my favor, so it really puzzles me to hear that I`m oppressing the debate.

Regards,

TT

Tokyotom October 1, 2006 at 10:55 pm

Roger:

Further to your request for more information on GHG feedbacks, I ran across these articles that I thought you might find interesting, about ADDITIONAL positive feedbacks from GHGs:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/05/060522151248.htm
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/05/060522150948.htm
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2006-09/fsu-ggb090606.php
http://illconsidered.blogspot.com/2006/02/co2-lags-not-leads.html

Regards,

TT

Barsuk June 12, 2008 at 8:46 am

Try to look here and may be you find what do you want:,

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