I saw this on my blog feed and I just want to point out two issues I have with what I am reading…
Take a look at the 17 different possible projected paths of this hurricane over the next several days based on computer forecast models. We can’t predict the path of a hurricane over the next week but we can predict “man-made” global warming over the next 50 years? How can a rational, logical, objective person square those two statements with a straight face?
I noticed that several states are preparing states of emergency for the not inevitable landfall of this hurricane. Let’s call it what it is. Several states are preparing to trigger a legislative free money spigot where millions of Federal dollars stolen from the taxpayers in every other state that doesn’t touch the Atlantic Ocean can flow like a high-tide flood to the benefit of taxpayers that choose to live in areas subject to hurricane damage and flooding.
And I’ll close with this…
I was listening to a podcast recently about the hundreds of predictions that environmental toads have been squirting on all of us for the past 30 years and how none of them have come true. How the entire business model for the environmental movement is fear mongering, and ignoring past false predictions in lieu of making new, modern, fresh fear mongering false predictions. Stefan mentioned how he remembers hearing about the world running out of oil in 1985 and the dampening effect that had on his childhood. How that instills a small sense of hopelessness in children, that fear.
Then I remembered what it was for me. It was the repetitious hammering into my young child brain about the disappearance of the rain forests and how by the time I had children they would all be gone. I have children. The rain forests are still here.
In fact, I just recently learned that the rain forests aren’t the “lungs of the earth” that we were brainwashed with as kids. The “lungs of the earth” are actually the forests that ring the southern edge of the north pole and extend thousands of miles south. These forests are so massive, they dwarf the rain forests.
Lies, lies lies. My life has become a daily exercise in discovering all of the lies I’ve been told. I’ve spent ten years unwinding what I’ve been told during the first 30.
“The sea has been rising for 200 years, but Obama wants to blame you for the last two inches.”
Categories: Government Failures
I can’t predict any details about the next automotive fatality that will occur, but I can say with confidence that around 30,000 of them will occur in the U.S. over the next 12 months. Climate science is similar. No single event can be attributed to climate change, but we can predict that the changes cause a greater number of events of a given severity.
If 97% of mechanics told you that your brakes were near the point of failure, would you go for a high speed run on the highway? What good is it to have people that specialize in climate science if we’re going to ignore them?
The difference is between a complex and a complicated system. A Swiss watch is complicated. It has dozens and dozens of moving parts, and only by carefully taking it apart, and carefully putting it together, could you make it work as well as before you started.
To make a Swiss watch complex from complicated, the moving parts would have to change shape, randomly, at random times, with each shape taking on a random number of other shapes, unpredictably, and as one of the dozens of shapes changes, it makes changes in one, all or none of the other shapes, etc…
The earth is a complex, not complicated system. As a brief concept analogy, as the sunlight hits the earth’s surface, the oceans heat up causing more water to evaporate into the air producing clouds, which increases cloud cover. The more clouds, the more the cloud albedo (reflection) of the sunlight back out into space which lowers the earth’s temperature again. However, this assumes that the level of solar energy is fixed, which it is not. It fluctuates and with it, the amount of energy transferred to the oceans for evaporation. It assumes the atmosphere allows the exact same amount of solar radiation through, which it doesn’t. The currents in the ocean carry water from all over the globe, and different parts of the globe are heating and cooling based on thousands of local variables, thus varying the temperatures and densities of those currents. So the water exposed to the sunlight will vary in its ability and speed to evaporate based on its temperature and density which is determined by where it came from, the temperature and movement of the earths core, seismic activity, volcanic activity, changes in particulate densities in the atmosphere and a dozen other variables all changing other variables, or changing in response to other variables which in turn change other variables and those variables yet react to and change still more variables. Complex! Not complicated. Then we have the reflectivity of the poles, and of snow from around the world, which is based on rainfall volumes, which only in combination with sub freezing temperatures would produce snow of various amounts, raising and lowering the reflectivity of the earths surface depending on how much it rained in any given place where it also happened to be below freezing, how long it remained below freezing and how deep the snow was – the deeper the snow, the longer to melt, the longer the reflectivity of the sunlight back into space. We also have to consider the level of foliage converting CO2 into oxygen and what impact that would have on evaporation, the creation of clouds, rain, snow, impacts of all of these things on the ocean currents, the jet streams, impact of solar radiation on all of these variables, volcanic emissions, how much of the earth is covered in plants, and which types of plants since different plants process and release different gases at different rates under different conditions, and the plants change their growth and gas emissions based on local conditions, another 100 variables, and on and on and on and on….
Your example of 97% of car mechanics advising me that my brakes might fail is an accurate one, because a car mechanic only has four or five variables to consider. I would be stupid to not listen to a car mechanic that only has four variables to consider, knows each of them intimately, and knows EXACTLY how each one impacts the other. If the earth was complicated, like a brake system, we would know every variable, and every possible outcome of every change in every variable on all the other variables. We don’t. The earth has tens of thousands of variables, and a change in one changes none, some or all of the others, and each change in any one of them changes, none, some or all of the others, and on and on. There is no computer model that manage that. That is why we can’t predict the weather even a week from now.
Computer models of the earth’s atmosphere are like those programs people used to buy to predict the next lotto number. Every day, they would type in that day’s lotto numbers and the idea was that after a year or two, the computer could spit out what numbers appeared MOST OFTEN in all those numbers listed every day for the past two years. And it was right. It was DAMN ACCURATE. It said EXACTLY which numbers appeared MOST OFTEN in the 800 days. And knowing that was COMPLETELY USELESS in predicting what the next set of numbers would be in the lotto drawing because the possible combinations of all of those variables was far too large for any program to calculate. The earth has even more variables than that, changing every minute, and changing other variables every minute.
I’m not saying the earth is not warming. I am saying that we are naive to think we know everything there is to know about and so can make an accurate prediction and a bit narcissistic to assume it is us, and a bit selfish to assume a warmer earth is a bad earth, and also to assume that without us the earth cannot stop it, and to assume the earth would even want to stop it since the only animal on earth that will care about a warmer planet is us. Let’s assume we are warming the earth. Who is to say that the earth wasn’t warming anyway? Or going to warm anyway? What’s to say if we were still stuck in the stone age that the earth wouldn’t be warming right now despite us?
Only humans would say a warming earth is bad anyway. That’s our narcissism. Only humans would say that the earth RIGHT NOW….TODAY…is the bestest mostest awesomist perfectist earth ever-ist!!!! As if the millions of years behind and in front of us, the earth sucked. Just sucked ass. Only as it is RIGHT NOW…is the earth PERFECT and the MOST AWESOME-ist. Humans hate change, whether that is when the local Starbucks closes down or the earth warms 0.5 degrees. We react the same way. We treat the earth like every animal on it was created on the surface exactly as it is today at 8:57pm, versus the fact that they have changed thousands of times in minute ways to adapt to our ever changing earth.
If the earth warmed up, the patterns and biomes of the earth would change and while some areas would get worse (only as WE define worse) other areas would get better (only as WE define better). In some areas, the local animals and plants would die,or mutate into something to adapt to it, and in other areas plants and animals would flourish and explode in population. Who are we to deny the very CREATION of plants and animals that have yet to come into existence as they adapt to our ever changing earth? Are we so CRUEL? So MEAN? Do you see where this is going? Who are we to say what is “better” for the “earth” whatever those two words mean outside of what they mean to us. The earth has been a range of temperatures and climates throughout its history, all supporting life – different life at different times in different places and always moving and changing. The truth is, it is our selfish narcissism that even cares the earth is warming at all.
So it seems that your reply could be summarized as follows:
1 – Climate and weather are too complex for us to make any meaningful predictions about.
2 – The earth might be warming.
3 – We shouldn’t care if the earth warms or cools because we shouldn’t be making judgements about whether that is a good or bad thing.
Do I have that all right?
I would only alter #3 to say that we might care only insomuch as it impacts where and how we live, but I have yet to see anyone determine if the amount of economic activity squelched or lost in an effort to stop a warming trend that may or may not be happening, and may or may not be stoppable costs more or less than not doing anything at all and just adjusting our lives and assets to whatever the new normal decides to be. In addition, assuming we were able to stop a presumed warming, what next? We can not possibly be saying that the earth is supposed to be perfectly balanced, neither warming nor cooling. That would be impossible. So if that is impossible, then our efforts would have to create cooling, and has anyone determined what the negative effects would be to our lives and assets if the world were to begin global cooling and if that cost is more or less than the cost of global warming or the cost of doing nothing at all? I’ve never seen anyone discuss these points, which are clearly necessary to determine if we should do anything at all.
What in the world are you reading or listening to that would make you think that anyone knowledgeable on the subject would say that the earth is or was at some perfectly balanced point in time and that we should be trying to artificially cool the earth? This statement, along with your thought in your blog post that there should be a meaningful connection between predicting the path of a hurricane and predicting long term, global climate change makes me wonder where the heck you’re getting your information.
Climate scientists are concerned because there is a record of natural fluctuations in the global climate and the current rate of change is radically faster than previous changes on record.
To make an analogy – we used to fight forest fires with the view that they are dangerous and no fire is a good fire. At some point, we realized that inhibiting that aspect of the natural forest cycle had a cost and we have been attempting to better balance our forest management. What you’re arguing is that not only should we stop managing the fires in any way, we should pour gasoline on them because you think that gas is cheaper than water.
I never suggested that a perfectly balanced world was a documented fact or something someone purported. I’m simply pointing out that the earth will always be either cooling, or warming – and I would argue that whichever direction it’s going, the politicians and environmental warriors will declare the need for massive intervention on our part. In other words, since the world can never be “perfect” we are destined to environmentalist hell for eternity regardless of the temperature direction.
Yes, I am aware of the fire analogy. Sequoia National Park for example discovered that natural fires were what allowed the cones to open and drop the seeds onto what was now fertile soil from the burnt trees, and the more open canopy would allow more sunlight for the seedlings since the weak trees had been burned away. For years we prevented these fires, until we learned this. Again, I get it, and I agree. I was a backpacker, hiker and camper for 10 years when I was younger. I climbed and hiked all over California. I love nature as much as any tree hugger.
My issue, as a Libertarian, is that I don’t want to pay for the cleanup of the planet. And you can’t make me. I want to be educated on what I can do, if I feel like it, to help the planet. As a result, I recycle all my paper and glass and cardboard. I recycle all my beer bottles and soda cans (but also so the State does not get the money instead) <- and this is MORE work since I could just toss it into the recycle bin but instead I separate it. If the state did not TAX ME upfront with a CRV, my life would actually be easier, but only because I hate the State so much do I take the time to break it out from my other recyclables. I have replaced almost all of my light bulbs with LEDs, even though they are more expensive, and I just spent $800 to install a smart water sprinkler system for the yard. i buy organic and free-range and no hormone.
I didn't need any laws or regulations or penalties to make me do any of those things. I do them because it lowers my bills in the long run, its healthier, and it's the "right" thing to do. It's no different than making sure my cup goes in a trash can at the park instead of just pitching it onto the side of the path, or NOT throwing garbage out of the car, or picking up my candy wrapper when i drop it on the ground. It's just the RIGHT THING TO DO.
My problem is when other people MAKE ME do things. I'm a Libertarian. I only care what the science says insomuch as I choose to do something about it in my own life. Warming, cooling, we are doing it, not doing it…I don't care. What is the RIGHT THING to do? That is all I care about.
If I am offered a means in which to lower my electric bill, water bill, or recycle without too much effort or expense on my part, I will do it, because it's the right thing to do. What I don't want are billions of dollars spent and laundry lists of rules controlling what I can and can't do, taxing the shit out of me to subsidize some pet green project that will make an insignificant dent in what is largely just a perceived problem. That is unethical and against Libertarian principles. In the end, that is the only point I care about it.
If you only care about finding the right thing to do, perhaps you should find better sources of climate science information. Are Libertarians so alarmed about possible policy changes due to climate change that they are in the same denial camp as entrenched energy interests?
You missed the point. What is this thing you speak of? Policy changes? Are you suggesting that the Government in some way regulate in any manner the free market in order to reflect a “policy change” which I assume would be based on whatever climate science the Government has deemed as the correct one?
I am saying I do not want any policy changes. A policy change implies the use of force. Since Libertarians do not support the use of violence, force or coercion, then any policy change, regardless of whether I agree with the science behind it or not, is a bad one.
I view regulation as the floor that we put on acceptable behavior to collectively (yes, there he is, burn the collectivist!) achieve a goal while keeping things fair for everyone. Nobody wants to do all the work themselves. Automotive emissions are one example. Not many consumers would want to pay a premium to help clean the air we all breath if a large portion of the population was simultaneous choosing to keep polluting at high levels. You feel that policies forcing manufacturers to make cleaner cars is unjust, while I see it as effective protection of a public resource that the market has abused to externalize its costs.
I understood your point. What I asked is if your desire for no policy changes is inhibiting your ability to consider the scientific information. You say that you want accurate information so that you as an individual can make informed decisions, but it appears to me that you are drawing poor conclusions from whatever information you’ve consumed thus far. I conclude that you either got bad information and/or that your judgement is clouded by fear of what the science may mean for public policy.
Then we fundamentally disagree. I will never support the coercion or the use of force that you support on other people.
You say, “we” but who is “we?” Define “we.” I am not “we.” I don’t want to be part of “we” and why are you forcing me to be?
What gives you the right to leverage force, coercion or threats of violence against me? When were you given the right or the authority to control me in some way?
When did I agree to that? By being born?
Ethics demands my resistance against the use of force (aka policy changes) and this is independent from my interest in climate science, or any other topic.
The difference between us is that I believe in the right of individuals to make their own decisions based on rational self-interest with the information available. Not the right to force individuals to concede to what I believe is good for me, them, and everyone else. That would be arrogant. That I pretend to know all that needs to be known about any particular thing such that I can force others to my will and my decision? That is the basis for your society, not mine.
Only each of us, based on our own unique experiences, our own personal situations at the time, our own resources, our own education, our own capabilities, our own faults, can make a rational, objective, logical decision. And nobody else has a right to make that decision for us, and use force to impose it.
So sure, I will read about climate science, and healthcare, and GMO’s, and taxes and bonds and interest rates and the thousands of other topics that impact me on a daily basis and based on all of the very personal and unique criteria above related to ME, I will make the best decision FOR ME, and nobody else, and I will never force MY DECISION onto someone else.
To quote a pithy t-shirt I saw recently, “I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery.”
Slavery means…enslaved to the will and decisions of my neighbors who pretend to know what is best for “we” and then force me to be “we” against my will.
I am not a we.
Oddly enough, I was reading Rothbard’s “Anatomy of the State” for the third time yesterday and the first chapter is relevant to your comment.
The link is for the pdf of the book, only 50 pages. But I put the first chapter below.
Click to access Anatomy%20of%20the%20State_3.pdf
“The State is almost universally considered an institution of social service. Some theorists venerate the State as the apotheosis of society; others regard it as an amiable, though often inefficient, organization for achieving social ends; but almost all regard it as a necessary means for achieving the goals of mankind, a means to be ranged against the “private sector” and often winning in this competition of resources. With the rise of democracy, the identification of the State with society has been redoubled, until it is common to hear sentiments expressed which violate virtually every tenet of reason and common sense such as, “we are the government.”
The useful collective term “we” has enabled an ideological camouflage to be thrown over the reality of political life. If “we are the government,” then anything a government does to an individual is not only just and untyrannical but also “voluntary” on the part of the individual concerned.
If the government has incurred a huge public debt which must be paid by taxing one group for the benefit of another, this reality of burden is obscured by saying that “we owe it to ourselves”; if the government conscripts a man, or throws him into jail for dissident opinion, then he is “doing it to himself” and, therefore, nothing untoward has occurred.
Under this reasoning, any Jews murdered by the Nazi government were not murdered; instead, they must have “committed suicide,” since they were the government (which was democratically chosen), and, therefore, anything the government did to them was voluntary on their part. One would not think it necessary to belabor this point, and yet the overwhelming bulk of the people hold this fallacy to a greater or lesser degree. We must, therefore, emphasize that “we” are not the government; the government is not “us.” The government does not in any accurate sense “represent” the majority of the people. But, even if it did, even if 70 percent of the people decided to murder the remaining 30 percent, this would still be murder and would not be voluntary suicide on the part of the slaughtered minority.
No organicist metaphor, no irrelevant bromide that “we are all part of one another,” must be permitted to obscure this basic fact. If, then, the State is not “us,” if it is not “the human family” getting together to decide mutual problems, if it is not a lodge meeting or country club, what is it?
Briefly, the State is that organization in society which attempts to maintain a monopoly of the use of force and violence in a given territorial area; in particular, it is the only organization in society that obtains its revenue not by voluntary contribution or payment for services rendered but by coercion. While other individuals or institutions obtain their income by production of goods and services and by the peaceful and voluntary sale of these goods and services to others, the State obtains its revenue by the use of compulsion; that is, by the use and the threat of the jailhouse and the bayonet.
Having used force and violence to obtain its revenue, the State generally goes on to regulate and dictate the other actions of its individual subjects. One would think that simple observation of all States through history and over the globe would be proof enough of this assertion; but the miasma of myth has lain so long over State activity that elaboration is necessary.”
And I added this part as well…
“The great German sociologist Franz Oppenheimer pointed out that there are two mutually exclusive ways of acquiring wealth; one, the above way of production and exchange, he called
the “economic means.” The other way is simpler in that it does not require productivity; it is the
way of seizure of another’s goods or services by the use of force and violence. This is the method
of one-sided confiscation, of theft of the property of others. This is the method which Oppen-
heimer termed “the political means” to wealth. It should be clear that the peaceful use of reason
and energy in production is the “natural” path for man: the means for his survival and prosperity on
this earth. It should be equally clear that the coercive, exploitative means is contrary to natural law; it is parasitic, for instead of adding to production, it subtracts from it. The “political means” siphons production off to a parasitic and destructive individual or group; and this siphoning not only sub-
tracts from the number producing, but also lowers the producer’s incentive to produce beyond
his own subsistence. In the long run, the robber destroys his own subsistence by dwindling or elim-
inating the source of his own supply. But not only that; even in the short-run, the predator is acting contrary to his own true nature as a man.We are now in a position to answer more fully the question: what is the State? The State, in the words of Oppenheimer, is the “organization of the
political means”; it is the systematization of the predatory process over a given territory.”
I think regulation is a very appropriate way to control polluting of shared resources like the atmosphere and water supply. If you can point to a modern nation that abides by your libertarian principles, I’d love to know about it. I believe you referred to 19th century U.S. the last time I asked this question, but unfortunately my time machine is broken so something more current would be helpful.
So your argument is that because there is currently no “Libertarian” state from which to make an example of, we must simply consider the varying degrees to which each nation-state currently enslaves their own population to each other, and default to the state of least oppression as the best example of what we can ever hope for, that being perhaps America at present?
So let’s imagine it’s the year 1214, one year before the Magna Carta – deep in the typical government type of the time – which was feudalism, and I am debating with you the benefits of laissez faire capitalism, free markets, voluntary association and the non-aggression principle. All of which later become basic fundamental building blocks for America, which provided the most freedom, highest standard of living and the greatest wealth and prosperity the world has ever seen and any individual has ever enjoyed.
But because I could not point to an “America” at the time of that conversation between us in 1214, you would argue that because “America” currently does not exist, it could never be possible?
That is the position you want to defend?
No, it’s just easier to envision what you imagine to be ideal if you can point to a current example. Otherwise, when you present your position, I just imagine many entities crapping into the air, the water, etc, because that’s what has happened in the past when there weren’t restrictions on it. It was a genuine question because I don’t know what a libertarian paradise looks like.
Much of the world has organized itself into varying forms of representative government and while outcomes vary, they all seem to employ similar techniques, including government regulation.
The problem with that line of thinking is that, just because such a example does not exist, then the way we’ve always been doing it must be the only way that works. Or, alternatively, if we can just tweak the current system with 10,000 more laws or regulations, we can somehow find that “magic” balance of regulation and freedom.
How about the fact that such an example not exissting, means that it could, potentially, be even better than what we have now. What if it were possible to have the non-aggression principle level of freedom, with zero to almost no government at all?
Shouldn’t the maximization of freedom be the ultimate goal? And as such, what if that were possible without all of the government rules and regulations, AND still have same results we have today, or better. In fact, wouldn’t it be preferable to find out if we could replicate current standards for “environmentally friendly” and ALSO have total freedom?
What is the excuse for not finding out if we can do that? Why do we have to accept enslavement as a pre condition for clean water and air – when, as you said, there is no example of what I am talking about.
It’s like arguing against a round earth because nobody can point to an example. Shouldn’t we go ahead and put some ships to sea and find out? I mean, I am sure they were happy and comfortable and all where they were in Europe – but if we want to move humanity forward, isn’t exploring something better worth working towards?
Let’s try the reverse since we’re not getting anywhere in this direction. Tell me which of the existing countries you believe is the closest to your idea of government perfection.
I don’t know why you are spending energy attacking me and what you think I want or don’t want. I’m just asking for an explanation or example of how you’d like it to work. I’d love to hear ideas I haven’t heard before, but so far, you haven’t provided any specifics. Please explain what alternative system you would prefer.
I came across this article recently and thought of you, since your feelings on climate change seem to echo some of Cruz’s: http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/12/10/3729732/ted-cruz-and-science-have-a-rocky-relationship/
This is not a reply to your comment directly, I just wanted to point out the problem with this quote (below) from that article. And this is not a judgement of the point of the article, simply pointing out how the game is played on both sides. Here is the bit from the article….
What Science Says: The last time CO2 was this high, humans didn’t exist, and the planet was a terrifying place.
According to Ted Cruz, the carbon dioxide humans emit can’t be harming the planet, because the planet had more carbon dioxide in its atmosphere before the industrial revolution.
This is a pretty easy one to debunk. Yes, the earth had more carbon dioxide before the industrial revolution — but that was literally millions of years ago, before humans existed. During that time, “Megatoothed sharks prowled the oceans, the world’s seas were up to 100 feet higher than they are today, and the global average surface temperature was up to 11°F warmer than it is now.” Right now, the amount of carbon in our atmosphere is matched only by that terrifying time in the history of the planet, and before.
My response is…and? This response to what Ted Cruz says SUGGESTS, does not say, but IMPLIES indirectly, that somehow the world would descend into some kind of “terrifying place” to quote directly from the article, if the temperature were to rise to pre-human levels. It states that humans were not around, but implies somehow that humans could NOT be around at those CO2 levels.
Yes, yes, it doesn’t say those exact words, but it’s clear the response is to make us feel like higher temperatures would return the earth to prehistoric times with the possibility that man could not survive it, what with the “magatoothed sharks” roaming the oceans and such.
Cruz said the earth had higher CO2 temps in the past. Fact. How does talking about sharks, higher water levels, and an 11 degree increase in temperature debunk that fact? Or even suggest that it is a bad thing? These are the kinds of responses that show the bias that exists on this side AND the other side.
Why not just admit its a fact, then discuss the direct impact of that CO2 on the current planet from a biological point of view? Would plants that grow fruits and vegetables perform better and provide more food for the population of the earth since they have more CO2? Would colder unproductive tracts of land suddenly be warm enough for humans to live and farm in? etc… Then weigh in the negative aspects as well, allow people to choose for themselves which they would rather have, objectively, based on this one data point. They can then address other data points and perhaps draw a blanket conclusion. Just pointing this out.