by Tyler Cowen
on December 19, 2011 at 12:11 pm
in Uncategorized |
1. Deborah Weiss used to ask me about this.
3. Caplan reviews Bauman.
4. The Austro-Chinese business cycle, from Krugman, and from Bloomberg.
5. What has changed in the climate change debate, and Ireland yes but not only.
What changed in the climate debate is pretty obvious- reality set in.
Yep, human activity is clearly changing the environment and climate for the worst.
No one in China is cheering about the smog and the claims that it is just fog is considered absurd, and no one claims the smog is just natural pollution that human activity does not cause.
And the predictions that increased green house gases from human activity will cause global warming and that will cause greater weather variability is also being proved true.
And still we have the conservatives denying the ability of man to have an impact on the planet because man is just too puny and that it is the unseen gods who are causing the wrming and storms and droughts because man isn’t killing gays and anyone who doesn’t believe the words of god according to the most extreme Christian group.
smog =/= AGW, and the claims are being proved false.
Don’t sweat it, Tall One. Some people get their news from the New York Times and have therefore never heard of ClimateGate, 1.0 or 2.0. Doesn’t fit the narrative, you see.
>>”this [carbon taxation] might speed up the arrival of wind or solar as a major player and that indeed might have some real upside effect.”
That’s quite a lot of “mights.” Here’s another one: Scarlett Johannson might agree to be my live-in girlfriend. I’ll keep you posted. Let me know how your wind thing goes, too, OK?
There was nothing to see in “climategate”, it was just scientists being normal, doing everyday work, it’s perfectly normal to remove data from plots that disagree with your claims or try to redefine the peer-reviewed literature to get contradictory theses removed, as long as you don’t succeed. This is just normal science, everyone knows about it and it happens all the time, no impact whatsoever on the quality of the work.
And if the scientists involved were falsifying data in order to make things look worse than they are, that’s probably just a sign of (justified) extreme confidence in your theory and dire concern that something bad will happen if the public doesn’t share your concern, as Tyler_Cowen has ably reminded us.
“There was nothing to see in “climategate”, it was just scientists being normal, doing everyday work,”
From my perspective, I believe in AGW. I think there is good evidence the average temperature of the Earth is increasing, that CO2 is increasing and that there is probably a causal link.
All that being said, the continuous claims that “climategate” was much ado about nothing is absurd. It’s pretty clear that a lot of the ‘personalities’ (I’m not going to call them scientists) were more concerned with winning a public argument than they were about actually performing science. It’s blatantly obvious that the ‘personalities’ went to great links to deny the underlying data to their ideological opponents. That’s not science, that’s politics. Science is not about guild secrets or proprietary data. A core component of the scientific method is allowing others to review your data and replicate the results independently. There is no caveat that says you don’t have to show the data to people you don’t like!
Well, all of economics advocating free markets is proved false everyday in the occupy Wall Street demonstrations and the gold bug websites.
And obviously Tyler is advocating his bogus and fraudulent economic theories purely to get rich and obviously will do anything to push his radical extremist economic agenda for his personal profit.
So, let’s apply the same standards of criticism to economics and economists you apply to physicists, geologists, archaeologists, oceanographers, climatologists, biologists, ecologists, environmentalists, physicists, in dismissing the work of tens of thousands of scientists over at least a century which overwhelmingly links human activity to changes in the environment on a global scale.
Economics by your standards just religion pushing an agenda to impoverish people and make other people extremely rich.
And you can’t question my truth on economists and economics because I’m not required to do any research and my papers can’t get published because of a global conspiracy by the economics establishment that won’t let anyone who doesn’t agree to promote the establishment religious economic agenda and just won’t let me get a degree because I tell the truth about Milton Friedman being a complete fraud and making up his data and Adam Smith just publishing nonsense purely as part of his hatred of the English who oppressed the Scots.
There, I think I’ve captured the spirit of the science deniers who dismiss all the evidence that justifies job creating environmental regulation.
Re the Vienna-Beijing axis , see also
You know, a link to Modeled Behavior might be a good thing for this blog.
I’d been wondering about how we can make sure that the average person can have some prosperity while reducing the energy availability of a country’s citizens. Energy efficiency is great, great stuff and a something we need to keep around–we want to maximize utility for a given energy expenditure–but when it comes down to preventing energy from being available, that’s, y’know, abominable.
I heart Karl Smith.
“There is no simple correlation with the side of the road on which people drive: Londoners funnel to the right on pavements, for example.” And they’re told to keep right on escalators.
The post on climate change has several problems. The first is that “tax carbon” was never remotely on the table for a variety of reasons, including the fact that Europe had gone with tradeable permits, aka, cap and trade in accordance with the Kyoto Protocol, an approach originally advocated by the US that they followed in order to please us, but failed. While there were advocates of tax carbon among prominent US economists, including both Mankiw, Stiglitz, and Nordhaus, it was never remotely a viable option for policy, also for the obvious poltiical reason in the US that the GOP had turned totally “no new taxes.”
Another problem is that the move to fossil fuels is not due to Keystone, although support for fossil fuels goes along with that. It has more to do with natural gas fracking and the expansion of oil production in North Dakota. However, while the US may gain fossil fuel rents from expanding natural gas production, the idea that this will amount to more than a hill of beans for oil is a joke, with the prospect of US dependence on foreign oil likely to be barely dented by the new oil production appearing in the US.
More serious is that with the stagnation of the economy and high unemployment, there is simply little support for doing anything that might have a near term economic cost, particularly as the net economic gains in the near term for the US from combatting global warming are nil (indeed, in the very near term they are negative, as the gains from reduced heating bills for the moment offset losses in other areas).
Oh, and Yancey Ward, if by reality you meant this last paragraph, I agree. If by your remark about reality you meant that there is no global warming or there is no human input to it, or it has no negative consequences, sorry, but you are out to lunch along with most of the commentary one hears from those who wish to dismiss the issue.
Are you offering a revenue-neutral carbon tax?
Is there any major Dem that has? It was always possible that a revenue-neutral carbon tax had a significant chance of peeling off some moderate Repubs, but after the Dem takeover of gov’t in 2008, they weren’t interested in moderate proposals, and they got creamed in the polls for it.
It would have been very interesting to watch a serious revenue-neutral carbon tax proposal get lobbied over the wall, especially if it had some real red meat for conservatives– how about repealing the entirety of our corporate income tax and replacing it with carbon taxes? How about repeal of significant chunks of the EPA, lower top rates and new carbon taxes? Properly structured, these types of proposals could have real merit. Any sort of substantive compromise with the right would have been helpful to their cause. Instead, the Dems have stayed fixated on their bizarre mono-fixation for ever higher levels of revenue.
Reality in that nothing is going to be done about it because it simply isn’t doable. We will be generating the majority of our energy burning fossil fuels a century hence, if we aren’t burning wood.
“We will be generating the majority of our energy burning fossil fuels a century hence”
That’s probably not true. It would only be likely if we totally refuted nuclear power after Fukushima and we discovered a lot more oil and natural gas. It’s quite probable that the worlds economically extractable oil reserves are at least half gone. They certainly won’t last another 100 years at anywhere near current consumption rates.
Rising oil prices over the next 50 years will convert the world to an electricity based economy with liquid fuels being reserved for high cost, long distance transportation. It’s possible a lot of the electricity will come from coal, but I expect it to be less than half. Whether natural gas will be plentiful enough 100 years from now to be used for electricity production or whether it will be reserved for transportation is debatable, but I lean toward believing it will be a relatively expensive commodity.
If I understand the global warming “debate” (or whatever it is called) correctly, the greens were worried that economic growth was doing irreversible damage to the planet’s environment, and called for a series of measures that amounted to reducing economic growth. Lots of people successfully opposed this, for obvious reasons, calling into question about whether economic activity was really that damaging to the environment.
The greens won! Economic growth has been reduced worldwide. So various policy measures to reduce climate change are off the table, since economic growth has been reduced without them, also reducing whatever environmental threat it posed.
No, you don’t understand it correctly. Go with “economic growth” -> “fossil fuel emissions.”
Are you stupid, or just playing stupid?
On supervillianornewt, #5 is “Allow selective agricultural corporations to form monopolies in order to advantageously manipulate the price of basic food items such as milk.” The correct answer is “supervillian,” citing an old Wonder Woman storyline involving nazis.
But this has been de rigeur policy for Congress and state legislatures for decades. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dean_Milk_Co._v._City_of_Madison,_Wisconsin
5. Not bad, but — “Thus failing compromise, the politics has mutated into pro and anti fossil fuel camps.” I disagree, the AGWers were anti-fossil-fuel long before they were AGWers; they aren’t so much anti-externality as anti-industry, especially today when air and water are the cleanest that urbanized civilization has ever enjoyed.
Also, apart from the prospects of fossil fuels, I suspect a lot of people are looking at failed predictions, falling sea levels, junk science practices, all amidst billions spent, and concluding AGW is more enviro gravy train than existential threat.
Worse than that – we’re only pro-fossil fuels because we seem to have lost the debate on nuclear. Personally I’d much rather see nuclear plants than coal plants; much rather live near one of the former as well.
It’s also the reason I believe you’re right that they’re anti-industry and couldn’t care less about their stated justifications. If they were serious about limiting carbon/fossil fuels, they’d be enthusiastic to switch to nuclear.
I’d rather live near hydro power than nuke or fossil fuels. However, I learned many years ago that the co2 tax people hate hydro worse than the electric gen methods. Even when the power generators build special streams around the damns for wildlife to use.
Like Ted turner says, they want to reduce the population to a few hundred million.
Also interesting how the co2 taxers like to focus on co2 instead of mercury, sox and nox…which I prefer not to have in my air AND can be dealt with for reasonable prices. After dealing with these people a while you see what they really want.
Yes, they aren’t anti-pollution they are anti human.
To be fair, climate-change alarmist Jim Hanson is very pro-nuclear.
#2 is fun, but here’s a more fun meme:
which has now been superseded by
Link 2 isn’t nearly as good as, say, Unabomber or Al Gore, because it depends on quibbling overinterpretations of things Newt says rather than direct quotations.
It is interesting how climate change is such a cultural issue, argued by emotions rather than empiricism. I wonder why that is.
Because when you control the data, your “empiricism” can tell you whatever the hell you want it to say.
Because controversy gets more ratings than science.
For empirical discussions of climate change, most journal articles are suprisingly readable. When Nature publishes an article on it, it tends to be very accessible to laypeople.
I’m more concerned about a planet-killing asteroid than I am global warming.
I’m also significantly more confident in our ability to prevent harm from a planet-killing asteroid than I am in the UN’s effort to reign in global warming.
I took the supervillianornewt test and came up with 50% — no better than randomly guessing. So, statistically, News *is* a supervillian.
@jousha – link 1 is cool!
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