This blog has hosted some, shall we say, interesting debates on the question of global warming. For those who are convinced that it is an urgent issue that requires action, I have a question. Suppose, for the sake of argument, that claims about global warming are all true. It is happening, we are causing it, and it will change the environment. In this way, global warming reminds me of terrorism. It exists. It’s bad. It causes real harm to people. It also gives rise to apocalyptic predictions about how terrible the consequences will be if we do nothing, it becomes “a threat to our very way of lifeâ€, and it is of course a problem so huge and intractable that only collective action coordinated by the government can stop it. So it was with terrorism. But what were the results that we got? The government’s solutions were at best inefficient and counterproductive and at worst gross violations of people’s rights. We now have prisons where we hold people without trial and torture them, we’re being spied on by our own government, we’re sending the young men and women of my generation to be maimed and bleed out their lives in a faraway country and an unwinnable war. It has become yet another reason for the state to devour more power, more money, and more lives. And six years later, we are no safer. Terrorism is not gone. The problem is not solved; indeed, our leaders speak of a war against it that will last beyond our lifetimes. It will consume our money, our freedom, and our people with no end in sight. So even if every single terrible prediction about global warming is true, why should I have any confidence whatsoever in state-sponsored solutions to the problem?