MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘Climate Change’

What Universities Won’t Teach College Students About the Economics of Climate Change | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on June 10, 2019

projects that if governments “did nothing,” total global warming would reach about 4.1 degrees Celsius. In contrast, if governments implemented the “optimal carbon tax,” as Nordhaus would recommend in a perfect world, then total warming would be about 3.5 degrees Celsius.

And yet, Nordhaus’ own work—not shown in the figure above, but I spell it out here—clearly concludes that such an aggressive target would cause far more damage to humans in the form of reduced economic output, that it would be better for governments to “do nothing” about climate change at all.

https://mises.org/wire/what-universities-wont-teach-college-students-about-economics-climate-change

I recently gave a talk to a student group at Connecticut College on the economics of climate change. (The video is broken up into three parts on my YouTube channel: onetwo, and three.) In this post I’ll summarize three of my main points: (1) There is a huge disconnect between what the published economics research actually says about government policies to limit global warming, and how the media is reporting it. (2) President Trump taking the U.S. out of the Paris Agreement doesn’t really affect anything on the margin, even if we stipulate the alarmist position on climate change. And (3) If I’m wrong, and human-caused climate change really does pose a dire threat to humanity in the next few decades, then scientists are currently working on several lines of research of practical ways to actually deal with the problem.

The “Consensus Research” Does Not Justify Radical Political Intervention

I first clarified to the students that throughout my talk, I wasn’t going to grab results from right-wing think tanks, or from “fringe” scientists who were considered cranks by their peers. On the contrary, I would be relaying results from sources such as the work of a Nobel laureate William Nordhaus (whose model on climate change policy had been one of three used by the Obama Administration) and from the UN’s own periodic report summarizing the latest research on climate change science and policy.

To demonstrate just how wide the chasm is between the actual economics research and the media treatment of these issues, I described to the students the spectacle I observed back in the fall of 2018, when on the same weekend news came out that William Nordhaus had won the Nobel Prize for his pioneering work on the economics of climate change and that the UN released a “Special Report” advising governments to try to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

The media treatment (sometimes in the same story) presented these events with no sense of conflict or irony, leading regular citizens to assume that Nordhaus’ Nobel-winning work supported the UN’s goals for policymakers.

But that is not true at all. Here’s a graph from a 2017 Nordhaus publication that I included in my presentation:

slide-2.png

As the figure shows, Nordhaus’ model—and again, this isn’t cooked up by the Heritage Foundation, but instead was one selected by the Obama Administration’s EPA and was the reason he won the Nobel Prize—projects that if governments “did nothing,” total global warming would reach about 4.1 degrees Celsius. In contrast, if governments implemented the “optimal carbon tax,” as Nordhaus would recommend in a perfect world, then total warming would be about 3.5 degrees Celsius.

Anyone remotely familiar with the climate change policy debate knows that such an amount of warming would terrify the prominent activists and groups advocating for a political solution. They would quite confidently tell the public that warming of this amount would spell absolute catastrophe for future generations.

My point here isn’t to endorse Nordhaus’ model. My point is simply that Americans never heard anything about this when the media simultaneously covered Nordhaus’ award and the UN’s document calling for a 1.5°C limit. And yet, Nordhaus’ own work—not shown in the figure above, but I spell it out here—clearly concludes that such an aggressive target would cause far more damage to humans in the form of reduced economic output, that it would be better for governments to “do nothing” about climate change at all.

With or Without the United States, the Paris Agreement Was Going to “Fail”

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Climate Change Activist Admits: Being Green “Requires the End of Capitalism” | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on March 27, 2019

https://mises.org/wire/climate-change-activist-admits-being-green-requires-end-capitalism

Well, at least they’re now being honest about it. A headline this week in The Guardian reads: “Ending climate change requires the end of capitalism. Have we got the stomach for it?”

The article, by Phil McDuff, goes on the discuss the “Green New Deal” currently being peddled in the US Congress, and declares a radical turn toward socialism is really at the heart of saving the planet from climate change:

The radical economics isn’t a hidden clause, but a headline feature. Climate change is the result of our current economic and industrial system. GND-style proposals marry sweeping environmental policy changes with broader socialist reforms because the level of disruption required to keep us at a temperature anywhere below “absolutely catastrophic” is fundamentally, on a deep structural level, incompatible with the status quo.

The “status quo,” we have now is a form of capitalism that is highly regulated by states, manipulated by immensely powerful central banks, and distorted by global NGOs like the World Bank. Nevertheless, this system contains enough of a semblance of market-based freedom that many leftwing ideologues regard it as a type of radical laissez-faire capitalism marked by unrestrained and fossil-fuel powered consumption.

Not surprisingly, they think this system must be abolished.

Unfortunately for the billions of human beings who have benefited from what market freedom exists, the new green-socialist global state imagined by McDuff will undo decades of gains against grinding poverty — gains enjoyed by the world’s most at-risk and poorest populations.

The Decline of Poverty — and Its Effects — In the Developing World

Quality of life indicators have been consistently moving upward in recent decades…

But, pointing to a photo of a low-income women slaving over a wash basin, Rosling asks: “How can we tell this woman that she isn’t going to have a washing machine?”

It’s a good question, and it’s also a reminder that much of the talk over carbon taxes and climate regulations smack of first-world chauvinism. The rich world already has its cars and its washing machines. Sure, a global climate scheme would reduce the wealth of people in the rich world, but the impact in China, India, Africa, and South America — where most live closer to subsistence levels —would be far more devastating.

For many environmentally-minded suburban upper-middle class people in North America and Europe, this is just tough luck and bad timing for everyone else.

Be seeing you

9d5a5-nasa-sun-0208

 

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OCASIO-CORTEZ ON MILLENNIALS: ‘WE’RE LIKE THE WORLD IS GOING TO END IN 12 YEARS IF WE DON’T ADDRESS CLIMATE CHANGE’

Posted by M. C. on January 22, 2019

Don’t buy long term bonds.

https://news.grabien.com/story-ocasio-cortez-millennials-were-world-going-end-12-years-if-w

By Tom Elliott

The world is going to end in 12 years unless the government takes action, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) said Monday at a Martin Luther King forum in New York City.

Here’s an excerpt from her interview with Ta-Nehisi Coates:

“And I think the part of it that is generational is that millennials and people, in Gen Z, and all these folks that come after us are looking up and we’re like, the world is gonna end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change. You’re biggest issue, your biggest issue is how are going to pay for it? — and like this is the war, this is our World War II. And I think for younger people looking at this are more like, how are we saying let’s take it easy when 3,000 Americans died last year, how are we saying let’s take it easy when the end person died from our cruel and unjust criminal justice system?

How are we saying take it easy, the America that we’re living in today is dystopian with people sleeping in their cars so they can work a second job without healthcare and we’re told to settle down. It’s a fundamental separation between that fierce urgency of now, the why we can’t wait that King spoke of. That at some point this chronic reality do reach a breaking point and I think for our generation it reached that, I wished I didn’t have to be doing every post, but sometimes I just feel like people aren’t being held accountable. Until, we start pitching in and holding people accountable, I’m just gonna let them have it.”

https://caching.grabien.com/c/streams/0542/fUFan8F4APxbRwRCJP2_WQ/1548205580/542883.mp4?key=fUFan8F4APxbRwRCJP2_WQ

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Fake News? How About No News? – EPautos – Libertarian Car Talk

Posted by M. C. on January 10, 2019

And the American press doesn’t want you to know about it.

https://www.ericpetersautos.com/2019/01/09/fake-news-how-about-no-news/

By eric

 

Trump gets flak for characterizing the mainstream press as purveyors of Fake News. But what about no news at all?

Isn’t lack of coverage even worse than biased coverage?

Well, how much news have you heard or read about the gilets jaunes – or “yellow vest” – protests in France? CNN hasn’t got anything on its main page today (Jan. 9). Neither did NBC or CBS. Lots of the usual – endless – carpet-chewing coverage of Trump, though…

Which is very interesting, given what the yellow vests are protesting. This being chiefly the purposely punitive taxes on fuel – diesel especially – imposed by the French President, Emmanuel Macron. In the name of “climate change” – but really in the name of squeezing average Frenchmen (and women) out of their cars. These taxes – already extortionate and brutally regressive – were on track to increase the cost of a gallon of fuel to more than $7. Read the rest of this entry »

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U.N. Secretary: Rise of Nationalism Threatens Fight Against Climate Change

Posted by M. C. on November 30, 2018

Give up your sovereignty, its for your own good.

Straight out of the Soros play book.

https://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2018/11/29/u-n-secretary-rise-of-nationalism-threatens-fight-against-climate-change/

United Nations (U.N.) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres saidin an interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Thursday that the trend in favor of nationalist policies around the world is making it harder to promote a global approach to fighting climate change.

“I think that it is clear to me that the world is more polarized. We have more and more nationalist approaches being popular and winning election or having strong election results,” Guterres said. “We see the trust between public opinions and institutions — governments, political establishments but also International organization … being eroded.”

The BBC journalist who interviewed Guterres pressed him on President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement. 

“Is it a problem that the world’s most powerful man is a climate change skeptic?” BBC’s New York correspondent Nick Bryant asked Guterres.

Guterres did not criticize Trump but instead said it is more important that the fight against so-called manmade climate change should be a grassroots effort.

“It always helps if everyone is in line with what we think, but we shouldn’t reduce the discussion about climate change to the individual position of this or that leader,” Guterres said…

Be seeing you

mark of the beast

The Mark of the Beast

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EconomicPolicyJournal.com: The Difference Between What is Going on Between Privately-Owned Forests and Government-Owned Forests, and the California Wildfires

Posted by M. C. on November 26, 2018

“The [privately] managed forests are green, healthy and thriving. The neglected federal forests are densely overcrowded and often scarred by fire because we can’t even salvage the fire-killed timber while it still has value.”

http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2018/11/the-difference-between-what-is-going-on.html#more

By Richard A. Epstein

Over the past several weeks, California has been gripped by two of the most deadly forest fires in its history: the Camp Fire north of Sacramento and the Woolsey Fire in Ventura and Los Angeles counties. At last count, the toll of this disaster includes 76 dead and hundreds missing, the destruction of nearly 10,000 homes, and unhealthy air quality—now called the “dirtiest in the world”—throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, leading to the postponement of many local events, including moving the “Big Game” between Cal and Stanford from November 17 to December 1.
An enormous debate has developed over the cause of both fires.  Outgoing California Governor Jerry Brown has loudly proclaimed that climate change deniers are “definitely contributing” to the onslaught of new fires. But the best evidence says otherwise
Local variables have transformed California far more dramatically than climate change. Thanks to a large influx of new residents to California in recent years, new homes have been built close to the forests, as happened in the now torched town of Paradise, where the many new homes burnt to the ground were quite literally in harm’s way. On the forest floor, as explained in the Wall Street Journal, an accumulation of dead wood, coupled with too much new growth, stymied the efficient growth of healthy trees that are better able to resist fires.

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Study: Climate Change Activists are Hypocrites | The Daily Bell

Posted by M. C. on May 16, 2018

https://www.thedailybell.com/news-analysis/study-climate-change-activists-are-hypocrites/

A strange thing happens when you don’t trust the government. You take responsibility for your actions, instead of shirking your duty and handing off the burden to the collective.

I’ve long suspected this. People assume the government will actually do what it says it will. If you think your tax dollars will feed the hungry, house the homeless, and provide for the poor, why bother donating to charity? You have done your part.

This comes down to differences in the collective versus individualist philosophy.

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Report: 485 Scientific Papers Published in 2017 Undermine Supposed ‘Consensus’ on Climate Change

Posted by M. C. on January 10, 2018

Climate change models have always been in question even by the IPCC as evidenced by the climategate emails. Not that anyone would know about that from the lamestream media.

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2018/01/10/report-485-scientific-papers-published-in-2017-undermine-supposed-consensus-on-climate-change/

Author Kenneth Richard found that during the course of the year 2017, at least 485 scientific papers were published that in some way questioned the supposed consensus regarding the perils of human CO2 emissions or the efficacy of climate models to predict the future…. Read the rest of this entry »

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‘This Is Crazy’ – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on November 14, 2017

Can’t be right. The science is settled. New ideas not allowed.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2017/11/tyler-durden/this-is-crazy-antarctic-supervolcano-is-melting-the-ice-caps-from-within/

Surprisingly active supervolcanos have been documented in ItalyNorth Korea and, now, Antarctica after scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) have found new evidence to support a theory that the breakup of Antarctic ice may be caused in part by a massive geothermal heat source, with output close to the scale of Yellowstone National Park.

Of course, if accurate, this theory would help rebut the notion that man-made climate change is in part responsible for the melting iceRussia Today reports. Read the rest of this entry »

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Raising Taxes — ‘Fair Share’ & the Rich | National Review

Posted by M. C. on October 1, 2017

Taxes are like climate change and war. They are a racket.

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/425829/what-democrats-mean-paying-your-fair-share-thomas-sowell

It is one of the many signs of the mindlessness of our times that all sorts of people declare that “the rich” are not paying their “fair share” in taxes, without telling us concretely what they mean by either “the rich” or “fair share.” Whether in politics or in the media, words are increasingly used, not to convey facts or even allegations of facts, but simply to arouse emotions. Undefined words are a big handicap in logic, but they are a big plus in politics, where the goal is not clarity but victory — and the votes of gullible people count just as much as the votes of people who have common sense.

More

Yah, MORE! That’s what I want, MORE!

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