Capitalism vs. the Climate

by Judith Curry

There is a question from a gentleman in the fourth row.  He introduces himself as Richard Rothschild. He tells the crowd that he ran for county commissioner in Maryland’s Carroll County because he had come to the conclusion that policies to combat global warming were actually “an attack on middle-class American capitalism.” His question for the panelists, gathered in a Washington, DC, Marriott Hotel in late June, is this: “To what extent is this entire movement simply a green Trojan horse, whose belly is full with red Marxist socioeconomic doctrine?”

So begins an article in the current issue of  The Nation,  entitled “Capitalism vs. the Climate,” by Naomi Klein, author of “The Shock Doctrine.”  The paragraph cited above is the article’s opening paragraph, which begins by describing the Klein’s impression of the Heartland Institute’s Sixth International Conference on Climate Change,  “the premier gathering for those dedicated to denying the overwhelming scientific consensus that human activity is warming the planet.

Before those of you who are ‘unconvinced’ dismiss this article, there is some interesting and provocative analysis here.  Some excerpts:

The deniers did not decide that climate change is a left-wing conspiracy by uncovering some covert socialist plot. They arrived at this analysis by taking a hard look at what it would take to lower global emissions as drastically and as rapidly as climate science demands. They have concluded that this can be done only by radically reordering our economic and political systems in ways antithetical to their “free market” belief system. As British blogger and Heartland regular James Delingpole has pointed out, “Modern environmentalism successfully advances many of the causes dear to the left: redistribution of wealth, higher taxes, greater government intervention, regulation.” Heartland’s Bast puts it even more bluntly: For the left, “Climate change is the perfect thing…. It’s the reason why we should do everything [the left] wanted to do anyway.”

Here’s my inconvenient truth: they aren’t wrong. Before I go any further, let me be absolutely clear: as 97 percent of the world’s climate scientists attest, the Heartlanders are completely wrong about the science. The heat-trapping gases released into the atmosphere through the burning of fossil fuels are already causing temperatures to increase. If we are not on a radically different energy path by the end of this decade, we are in for a world of pain.

But when it comes to the real-world consequences of those scientific findings, specifically the kind of deep changes required not just to our energy consumption but to the underlying logic of our economic system, the crowd gathered at the Marriott Hotel  [Heartland Conference] may be in considerably less denial than a lot of professional environmentalists, the ones who paint a picture of global warming Armageddon, then assure us that we can avert catastrophe by buying “green” products and creating clever markets in pollution.

Here is where the Heartlanders have good reason to be afraid: arriving at these new systems is going to require shredding the free-market ideology that has dominated the global economy for more than three decades. What follows is a quick-and-dirty look at what a serious climate agenda would mean in the following six arenas: public infrastructure, economic planning, corporate regulation, international trade, consumption and taxation. For hard-right ideologues like those gathered at the Heartland conference, the results are nothing short of intellectually cataclysmic.

The meat of the articles discusses implications in these six arenas.  The summary paragraph:

So let’s summarize. Responding to climate change requires that we break every rule in the free-market playbook and that we do so with great urgency. We will need to rebuild the public sphere, reverse privatizations, relocalize large parts of economies, scale back overconsumption, bring back long-term planning, heavily regulate and tax corporations, maybe even nationalize some of them, cut military spending and recognize our debts to the global South. Of course, none of this has a hope in hell of happening unless it is accompanied by a massive, broad-based effort to radically reduce the influence that corporations have over the political process. That means, at a minimum, publicly funded elections and stripping corporations of their status as “people” under the law. In short, climate change supercharges the pre-existing case for virtually every progressive demand on the books, binding them into a coherent agenda based on a clear scientific imperative.

The latter portion of of the essay addresses the realities of the solutions:

How will we adapt to the people made homeless and jobless by increasingly intense and frequent natural disasters? How will we treat the climate refugees who arrive on our shores in leaky boats? Will we open our borders, recognizing that we created the crisis from which they are fleeing? Or will we build ever more high-tech fortresses and adopt ever more draconian anti immigration laws? How will we deal with resource scarcity?

We know the answers already. The corporate quest for scarce resources will become more rapacious, more violent. Arable land in Africa will continue to be grabbed to provide food and fuel to wealthier nations. Drought and famine will continue to be used as a pretext to push genetically modified seeds, driving farmers further into debt. We will attempt to transcend peak oil and gas by using increasingly risky technologies to extract the last drops, turning ever larger swaths of our globe into sacrifice zones. We will fortress our borders and intervene in foreign conflicts over resources, or start those conflicts ourselves. “Free-market climate solutions,” as they are called, will be a magnet for speculation, fraud and crony capitalism, as we are already seeing with carbon trading and the use of forests as carbon offsets. And as climate change begins to affect not just the poor but the wealthy as well, we will increasingly look for techno-fixes to turn down the temperature, with massive and unknowable risks.

The only wild card is whether some countervailing popular movement will step up to provide a viable alternative to this grim future. That means not just an alternative set of policy proposals but an alternative worldview to rival the one at the heart of the ecological crisis—this time, embedded in interdependence rather than hyper-individualism, reciprocity rather than dominance and cooperation rather than hierarchy.

Half of the problem is that progressives—their hands full with soaring unemployment and multiple wars—tend to assume that the big green groups have the climate issue covered. The other half is that many of those big green groups have avoided, with phobic precision, any serious debate on the blindingly obvious roots of the climate crisis: globalization, deregulation and contemporary capitalism’s quest for perpetual growth (the same forces that are responsible for the destruction of the rest of the economy). The result is that those taking on the failures of capitalism and those fighting for climate action remain two solitudes, with the small but valiant climate justice movement—drawing the connections between racism, inequality and environmental vulnerability—stringing up a few swaying bridges between them.

The right, meanwhile, has had a free hand to exploit the global economic crisis to cast climate action as a recipe for economic Armageddon, a surefire way to spike household costs and to block new, much-needed jobs drilling for oil and laying new pipelines. With virtually no loud voices offering a competing vision of how a new economic paradigm could provide a way out of both the economic and ecological crises, this fearmongering has had a ready audience.

Far from learning from past mistakes, a powerful faction in the environmental movement is pushing to go even further down the same disastrous road, arguing that the way to win on climate is to make the cause more palatable to conservative values. This can be heard from the studiously centrist Breakthrough Institute, which is calling for the movement to embrace industrial agriculture and nuclear power instead of organic farming and decentralized renewables. 

The first problem with this strategy is that it doesn’t work. For years, big green groups have framed climate action as a way to assert “energy security,” while “free-market solutions” are virtually the only ones on the table in the United States. Meanwhile, denialism has soared. The more troubling problem with this approach, however, is that rather than challenging the warped values motivating denialism, it reinforces them. Nuclear power and geoengineering are not solutions to the ecological crisis; they are a doubling down on exactly the kind of short-term hubristic thinking that got us into this mess.

This deliberate attempt to shift cultural values is not a distraction from the “real” struggles. In the rocky future we have already made inevitable, an unshakable belief in the equal rights of all people, and a capacity for deep compassion, will be the only things standing between humanity and barbarism. Climate change, by putting us on a firm deadline, can serve as the catalyst for precisely this profound social and ecological transformation.

Culture, after all, is fluid. It can change. It happens all the time. The delegates at the Heartland conference know this, which is why they are so determined to suppress the mountain of evidence proving that their worldview is a threat to life on earth. The task for the rest of us is to believe, based on that same evidence, that a very different worldview can be our salvation.

Reactions

Delingpole has a post entitled “Only a totalitarian New World Order can save us now

JoNova has a lengthy critique.

Keith Kloor sums it up well with this statement:  “I’m not sure whether Naomi Klein’s big cover story in The Nation qualifies as a stink bomb or as the kind of straight talk that will help cut through all the posturing and subtext in the climate debate.”

A number of environmental blogs have linked to Klein’s article, but I haven’t seen much in the way of analysis yet.

JC comments

This is a provocative analysis, with some significant insights.  It clearly defines the battleground between environmentalists and groups like Heartland.

The climate debate seems to be increasingly becoming the framing for a massive political and cultural battleground, which does not bode well for climate science to return to some sort of ‘normalcy’ anytime soon.

I think that the UNFCCC strategy has resulted in climate and energy policy being between a rock and hard place.  I discuss the problems with this policy strategy in a general sense in a previous post Decision making under uncertainty: Part I.  I think the ways forward in dealing with the climate change challenges need to consider broader decision making strategies as outlined in Can we make good decisions under ignorance?  Without rethinking our decision making strategy on climate and energy, the political and cultural clashes over this issue will probably just get worse.

Another insight that struck me is about the impact of community based green movements.  These are often scoffed at by saying such efforts can have no impact on global CO2 concentrations.  But Klein correctly identifies the significance of such efforts as representing a culture shift. Local efforts  characterized as adaptive governance can secure the common interests of the community.  This kind of adaptive governance doesn’t seem to be likely to result in a monolithic culture shift as envisioned by Klein, but could result in more resilient and sustainable communities.

683 responses to “Capitalism vs. the Climate

  1. That left/totalirian political motives underlie 90+% of CAGW thinking is surely by now blindingly obvious.

    • No, you’re getting it wrong. The argument goes the other way round.
      Kleins point is that all the serious solutions to the climate crisis being discussed right now happen to be leftist concepts – regulation, distribution and the end of overconsumption by the happy few on this planet and so on. But I’m sure anyone really concerned about climate change is more than willing to take a pragmatic look at any solution that is out there, be it left or conservative. If you know of an effective conservative/capitalist strategy to mitigate climate change, here is your chance to tell the world.

      • paul,
        YOU missed it: The entire issue exists because the leftist filter has confabulated a problem where none exists, a la eugenics, and it is no surprise that the solutions happen to come out of the same miasma that lefties dominate.

      • You are right Oliver. Governments are lousy when it comes to doing business or science. Governments funding of the main-stream climate science is the root cause of this social-political mess. They should stop funding this bad science, and if they do not, public vote will force them to do so with time.

      • Assuming votes are counted.

      • The point of the article is Imo completely incorrect when it identifies the issue of being capitalism vs. the climate.

        Imo the issue is one of reality vs. some imagined perception of how the world should be governed.

        In the real world we have 200 different countries in different states of economic development that would potentially be impacted by a warmer world in different ways. Some nations would benefit and some would be harmed. Understanding the realities of motivations for each of these 200 nations to want to increase CO2 emissions or to be able to reduce those emissions is the key.

        An individual countries governance/economic system (capitalism, communism, socialist, monarchy, etc) is not important, it is just rhetoric. If a country needs more energy for it citizens that country is going to take those steps regardless of the governance/economic model that they utilize.

        In this imagined world of Martha, Robert, etc. what these individual nations think should be done in their own nation’s best interest does not matter. In the imagined world what matters is what they (cAGW believers) think is best for the overall world and the citizens of the world will simply comply.

        In the imagined world funds are provided by those that have it to those that don’t, borders do not exist, bla bla, bla.

        I live in the real world and think decisions must be made on that basis. Many countries (over 80%- an approximation) want lots more energy for their citizens. The citizens of the other 20% feel no significant obligation to subsidize the energy production of the 80% since that would harm their citizen’s standard of living.
        It would be easy to write a whole paper on this, but I have actual work to accomplish. You know we capitalists, we just keep getting ever more wealthy.

      • I mostly agree but its ‘reality’ versus the ‘not quite’.
        I am to the left of most who post here.
        Apparently I do not fit the stereotype.
        I am unconvinced that there is such a thing as the greenhouse effect.
        Britain is built on coal yet not much is mined for IPCC reasons.
        At the same time 27,000 died of hypothermia last year.
        A large percentage of the population are officially classed as being in fuel poverty.
        Yet even more are about to join as fuel bills rise by 25%
        The growing masses of unemployed watched stationary windturbines last winter as they froze.

        When will the madness stop?

        Perhaps in time I will be proved wrong about my greenhouse scepticism.
        But then, on the other hand I wont have to change my politics.

      • Bryan

        You response shows why the true argument is between cAGW believers and those who do not believe there is evidence to agree. I disagree with your position regarding CO2 having an impact, but we both disagree regarding the case has not been made to fear additional CO2

      • No, notwithstanding Klein’s article, this is just an extension of a war that has gone on between left vs right for more than a 100 years. The left went quiet for a while after the end of the Cold War but it is well and truly back now. Although I accept that there are genuine believers, mostly CAGW is merely a trojan horse for the left.

      • paul

        You are right, so far as you go.

        Indeed, claims that the only solutions proposed require, “redistribution of wealth, higher taxes, greater government intervention, regulation” is blinkered beyond belief.

        Indeed, I say this is far more a case of Heartland vs. Capitalism than of Capitalism vs. Climate.

        For one thing, Capitalism is a naturally redistributive system. Wealth under Capitalism flows both from those who do not contribute to the Economy to those who do as well as from those less capable negotiators to those more capable. Who are the losers in this? Slothful incompetents who can’t be inspired to productivity and can’t close a sale, and free riders who exploit weaknesses in non-Capitalist systems.

        What a Capitalist abhors is not redistribution of wealth; it is unearned redistribution of the type that curtails the efficiency of the Market, producing unfairness to just participants.

        Which proposition is more like this unearned redistribution?

        A) Fossil fuel industries get gifts from governments such as the power to expropriate land below Market value and hold it without paying the same property tax rates as other landholders, avoid paying the same corporate and retail tax rates as other industries, shirk standards of conduct in tort issues as trustees of those public goods degraded by their practices look the other way and fail in their duty to preserve the value entrusted to them, thereby distorting the price of fossil alternatives (such as is represented in such public-decision formulae as LCOE, for instance) and producing drags on the Market while enriching those free riders who waste the fossil resource due its steep discounting all while lining the pockets of the few at the unbalanced expense of the many.

        B) The British Columbia or Australian redistributive carbon pricing schemes that levy a fee on CO2 emitting fuels and pay back (in BC’s case all, in Australia’s case half) to citizens per capita the revenues from the use of the public carbon cycle resource.

        As to higher taxes, this too is a complete fabrication of reactionaries. British Columbia’s example is again salutory. The ‘carbon tax’ is a wash, it’s a neutral rate, that in fact leaves the 70% of its population who use the least fossil fuel significantly better off than before in terms of tax balance, that is — except for those excessively wasteful few who choose to use far more fossil fuel than their share — carbon tax lowers net tax.

        Likewise, simply removing all subsidies to the fossil and fossil-augmenting biomass industries so they pay their fair share levels out the tax burden to all other businesses, putting everyone on a flat field of play, allowing the only valid decision maker in the Market — the individual participant — to make democratic Market choices based on true price, not on the distorted price deemed correct by some politician who owes his job to his fossil industry backers.

        Indeed, the greatest government intervention has historically been on behalf of these fossil industries. Look at Nebraska, where one major complaint of Nebraskans was that Canadians could walk in under eminent domain and steal their land for pipelines, with no defense against this invasion.

        EPA, comparatively, is a pip on the back of a flea to all the huge body of regulation that has multiplied due the demands of the fossil industry for a ‘well-regulated’ (in their favor) Market and government employees maintaining highways fit almost solely to the benefit of fossil vehicles, even to being paved with fossil byproducts — the waste of the refining process that the fossil industry has contrived to have the taxpayer pay for.

        Regulation?

        Charge a fair market price for CO2 emission, as high as the Market will bear; return all revenue from that price to citizens per capita; see how much ‘regulation’ is needed after that as price pressures lead to technology advances and efficiency increases, to the net benefit of all.

        Heartland’s logic is _worse_ on economics than on physics, in every way.

      • Indeed, claims that the only solutions proposed require, “redistribution of wealth, higher taxes, greater government intervention, regulation” is blinkered beyond belief.

        No, the denial of this is is blinkered beyond belief. All proposed ‘solutution’ to the real or imagined ‘problem’ involve government.

        And you clearly do not understand the implication of “redistribution” – ir coercive, means – political.

      • Punksta

        Denial? @@

        I’ll certainly grant that there are imagined problems, and some imaginative solutions that would make things worse, much like the subsidies — that is, distortions of democratic forces by coercive government power to tax and redistribute — for fossil industries make for waste of the carbon cycle.

        Wherein do you believe the Capitalist argument is rooted, if not in the distinction between earned redistribution by Market forces and unearned redistribution by coercive political means?

        Indeed, many Europeans and others brought up in socialist thinking cannot distinguish between one form of regulation and another. Some types of regulation by government, no principled philosophy objects to except pure anarchism, though socialists sometimes mistakenly believe Capitalism abhors all regulation.

        A Fair Market Capitalist endorses, albeit with regret, such regulations as are necessary to maintain the strength and security of Market mechanisms.

        Do you believe a Capitalist ought object to currency, Punksta?

        Do you object to it?

        Fiat currency is a product purely of regulation.

        Command and control regulation is what Capitalism generally disparages. As you can see, my proposal for setting a price on the use of the carbon cycle is not command and control, but simply administrative. No mechanism not already used to price land, or goods, services or bandwidth is needed to constrain CO2E emissions and encourage CO2E mitigation through Market forces.

        Sure, there’ve been problems with ill-fashioned cap & trade programs; however, these are often overblown and the baby is tossed out with the bathwater.

        Certainly, Pigouvian Carbon Taxes have issues of committee fixing of prices when they are applied in isolation, but these too are no worse and in many ways superior to other taxes simply as revenue generation — which we all recognize governments will do, whether we like it or not.

        However, simple CO2E Pricing and Payment, as British Columbia (sort of) does it, 100% or more revenue neutral and every penny paid out per capita to every citizen could work.

        The differences between the BC Carbon Tax (which you can see if you Google it) and my proposal are many — its price is fixed by government, not by the Market; its price is very low compared to what the Market would set; the amount of money paid to citizens is only in the $100’s, not the $1000’s annually; it isn’t so universal nor so simple as I’d do it — but it’s been around for over three years now, and BC remains one of the strongest performing economies of any in the world of its size (comparable to South Carolina in population, but far lower unemployment and other measures of misery).

        I acknowledge that the world is heading toward some mix of all three mechanisms; this is an inevitability regardless of climate issues. Energy subsidy does not improve or stimulate economic well-being; minimized distortions of the Market does improve and stimulate economic health. Each of these mechanisms is far sounder in this sense than energy subsidies.

      • “…If you know of an effective conservative/capitalist strategy to mitigate climate change, here is your chance to tell the world….”

        N.U.C.L.E.A.R. E.N.E.R.G.Y.

      • Nope, sorry. From the totalitarian, eugeonicist, eco facists, I claim nuclear power for our ‘side’

      • Surely James Lovelock’s not a totalitarian eugenicistic ecofascist! Get Gaia on the line; we need the straight poop.
        =================

      • There is hope.

        But then I am most certainly biased in favor of nuclear energy.

      • False challenge. First, disprove the null hypotheses that:
        a) CO2 has an insignificant effect on temperatures
        b) Warming is a benefit to virtually all species
        c) Human emissions are insignificant noise in the natural carbon cycles.

        Then we can discuss whether guaranteed penury due to panicky mitigation to avoid low-probability disaster is better than maximizing wealth and resources to facilitate responding and adapting to whatever occurs (including a far more probable Cooling Crisis).

    • No, you’re getting it wrong Paul. The (soloe?) reason CAGW is being pushed – financed by poltics – is precisely that it works to justify left/totalitarian policies, ie more politics.

      • Your equation of the left with totalitarianism is laughable in itself. Totalitarianism has historically shown both on the left and the right. Secondly, the left is usually concerned with making the world a better place (compared tot he right defending the status quo and the rich), so why should they invent a huge problem for humanity which will force everyone of us to reduce our consumtion and/or convenience? For which, by the way, the left has fought for the last 150 years. Social democratic parties in Europe emerged for this lone reason: to make life better for workers by allowing them to get parts of the profits they helped create.

        This is of course what Klein gets wrong: The climate crisis not only poses a threat to the capitalist worldview, but also the the old left goals of (endlessly) rising standards of living for everyone. Both capitalism and socialism have the concept of materialism as incentive and goal at their cores and both ideologies now have to account for ending ressources, a growing world population and dangerously high CO2-levels.

        Alltogether though, Klein gets it right: The left worldview has more coherent ways to adopt and to adequatly view the climate crisis as a social question.

      • No, your refusal see leftism with totalitarianism as closely linked, is what is laughable in itself. The left always wants more state control, which is the very definition of totalitarianism – ie tending to TOTAL state control.

        …why should they invent a huge problem for humanity which will force everyone of us to reduce our consumtion and/or convenience?

        For the very obvious reason that it appears to be a watertight argument for more state controls.

      • What about: South Africa in pre-Apartheid days, the many military regimes which took control in South America in the last 50 years, & present day Israel ?

        They all had, or have, strong central government. So, this means these regimes all are, or were, “left wing”?

      • “both ideologies now have to account for ending ressources, a growing world population and dangerously high CO2-levels”

        You are right, and show a sophisticated rationality and moral sensibility.

        Nice. :-)

      • You remain clueless Martha.

      • “Secondly, the left is usually concerned with making the world a better place”.

        Oh really. A better place like the USSR under Lenin, Stalin et al; like China under Mao, like Bulgaria, like East Germany, like Poland, like Yugoslavia, like Albania, like North Korea … There are dozens more examples showing the indisputable links between ‘left’ and totalitarianism. The confusion is caused by the Socialists Mussolini and Hitler who found the traditional socialists not radical enough and started new movements based largely on the same totalitarian-left socioeconomic policies. All was fine until Hitler turned on his socialist buddy Stalin (both of whom had eerily identical left-wing backgrounds and methods) and Stalin then branded Hitler ‘right-wing’ in order to sell the war effort to his people. This branding was jumped on by European fellow-travelers also keen to distance themselves from the ‘bad-socialists’.

        The linkage between left and totalitarianism goes something like this:

        1. Left wing socioeconomic policies do not work very well.

        2. Growth and investment fall and economic outlook deteriorates.

        3. At the same time the social costs of welfare, unemployment etc increase. A financial crisis ensues (See Greece, Italy, Spain etc currently. Britain would be in the same boat without a timely change of government)

        4. The left see a danger in loosing power. In their ideology (denial, dreams) this would be a disaster for the poor so they resort to extra-constitutional means to retain power. In Britain recently this has involved questionable electoral reform, several cases of electoral fraud, manipulating immigration to attract potential followers and countless examples of bribing the electorate. Fortunately they failed.

        5. In some cases they fail to hang on, in some they just take control of the Army …

        I hope this helps your understanding. Left and Right are so often abused that they are hardly worth using any more.

      • Absolutely. It has always irked me the way that the left has always described Hitler as ” far right”. He was nothing of the sort and his party was a socialist party.

        They are stil at it, branding the BNP as “far right” when their policies are, to a large extent, entirely of the left – nationalisation of industry, etc.

      • There are several trains of thought on this. Some classify on this left-right basis and distinguish between Stalin and Hitler’s forms of government as being the exact opposite when in fact they are virtually the same.
        There are other models of the political landscape as a diamond that seem more accurate. (see world’s smallest political quiz for example).
        There is an excellent quote in Toland where adolf (speech of May 1, 1927) goes on and on railing against capitalism and its evils and for socialism.

      • Bill,

        No, the political structure of the USSR and Nazi Germany were the same. Their economic systems were not.

        The USSR had classic socialism, government ownership of the means of production.

        Fascism tries to combine the two, a “third way’ if you will. Private ownership of the means of production (to harness the efficiencies of capitalism) with complete government control of the economy through regulation and taxation (to feed the lust for power).

        The Chinese are just the latest group of dictators trying this experiment. They won’t be any more successful in the long run, for the same reasons.

      • Gary M,

        I did say virtually the same. In practice, in fascism, you end up with cronies running many of the businesses, just as we have on a smaller scale in our economy now. And in the USSR, the business were also run by cronies of the gov’t but they were party members. Just as in nazi germany, you would have to join the party to be allowed to stay an owner of an important business. Even with their economies they were similar. If something is regulated and taxed enough and you are on a war footing and the gov’t is dictating most of the spending then this is not that far from govt ownership.

        But I think we agree on the results and have a similar understanding.

        Both Hitler and Mussolini considered themselves socialist, not communist. So, no, not identical but similar and not free market.

      • “The USSR had classic socialism, government ownership of the means of production.

        Fascism tries to combine the two, a “third way’ if you will. Private ownership of the means of production (to harness the efficiencies of capitalism) with complete government control of the economy through regulation and taxation (to feed the lust for power).”

        The difference can described as difference between a government renting property and owning property. Not a big difference.
        Where they are the same is everything else. Govt controls price and therefore customers and buyers. The buyer has little choice, the seller has little choice. Competition is only in political sphere- though with political power have lots of choices, though without political power have little choice. Most people are told what they can or can not do- they debased to animals.

        “The Chinese are just the latest group of dictators trying this experiment. They won’t be any more successful in the long run, for the same reasons.”

        The difference of Chinese is they operate in free market- they can sell internationally, they buy international. And of course same goes for domestically. There is huge difference in this regard.
        The problem China will face is when people want more than simple material weath. It simply let those people leave china- [there ideology which is against this idea, btw] and therefore china could in theory last as long as international markets are significant to China.

      • There is a difference between fascism and socialism as explained as follows:

        Socialism: You have two cows. The government takes one and gives it to your neighbor.
        Communism: You have two cows. You give them to the Government, and the Government then gives you some milk.
        Fascism: You have two cows. You give them to the Government, and the Government then sells you some milk.
        Capitalism: You have two cows. But there is a recession. You try to sell one and sell the milk from the other. But the workers have lost their jobs so can’t afford to buy either.
        Naziism: You have two cows. The Government shoots you and takes the cows for the war effort.
        Bureaucracy: You have five cows. The Government has subsidised you to buy the extra three. They pay you a subsidy on the milk they buy back from you and then pour the milk down the drain.

      • Social democratic parties in Europe emerged for this lone reason: to make life better for workers by allowing them to get parts of the profits they helped create.

        Now that is truly laughable. “Social democracy” is just a euphemism for a system of organised crime on a grand scale, where the many plunder the few, using the state as an offensive weapon.

      • Would someone please mention “Statism” so that we can call out BOTH the “Left” and the “Right” for their ugliness? I get so sick and tired of Statists pointing the finger of blame at the other Statists. Meanwhile, Liberty is squashed into the back corner of the room so that everyone can pretend that their form of Statism is better than the other.

      • it requires redefining the old term statism. The old term was about the transition between the government being the king or emperor rather than something that exists beyond a single ruler. Since all societies are now controlled by governments rather than individual rulers, the original meaning of the term statism has little meaning and is fair game (IMO) to be redefined to the meaning you desire to use the term to mean. Clearly, the socialist philosophies of hitler and stalin are simply competing approaches to the same thing with minor variations and both ultimately depend on capitalism (or its remnants) to exist. Communists destroy capitalism and then like leaches, bleed their victims of conquest dry to maintain their own existence while the national socialists simply perverted capitalism without totally destroying it immediately. Perhaps, the realization that the Left Right concept simply applies to the amount of government present with far left being total tyranny and far right being total anarchy is the simpler route to go. There, a one dimensional graph would simply show hitler and stalin on the far left and the libertarians on the far right, just before the true anarchists and conservatives actually in the middle.

      • It didn’t originate that way, and even now, people in Britain can get GP/hospital care totally free.

      • I think that’s what Punksta is objecting to. He thinks they are stealing from those who have been forcibly deprived of their tax money. In his vision of society, they should be allowed to die if they are irresponsible enough not to take out the right health insurance.

    • Not to Dr. Curry. Note the false equivication of bring “Heartland” into the conversation.

      She can’t leave her natural culture (leftist) behind and simply isn’t honest about it on these topics.

    • My impression is that confused and muddled thinking can ‘achieve’ far more than any political motive or conspiracy!

      I’d guess that most of the people in the pro-AGW camp, genuinely believe what they are saying – they just assume that other people’s data tells the message a bit more clearly than theirs!

      Mankind is susceptible to irrational scares – which is why so many women were burned to death a few centuries back.

      • David, the eco-Marxist doctrine is clear even on these threads. Robert, Joshua, Martha are all garden variety leftist moonbats of different types. When you or Dr. Curry minimize the relationship in the greater “expert” community a dishonest straw is created’ “it’s really a science debate”. This is nonsense.

        AGW policy is Soviet Science, it promotes authority and a Marxist policy goal. This is how far the establishment left globally has sunk. The irrational “period” is the occassional Eutopian platitude excuse and power grabs of a mob supported by an elite faction with very different motives. Think of how Caesar viewed the mob in the case of pols or what happened in Russia, France or even England during revolutionary periods. AGW is a symptom of irrational behavior but it’s political in its root.

        China banned stop watches during the Cultural Revolution at sporting events, too much competition which is equated with capitalism. Anythiung can be rationalized with political zealotry. AGW belief is a cousin of this pattern. A deep reactionary hatred of “industry” and pining for state authority to offset the imaginations of a leftist mob that can been seen clearly at the OWS events. When AGW is rejected the mob is rejected, this is why the reactions are so strong and defensive by the eco-left. It’s why Dr. Curry is clinging to watered down left fantasy about “local” authority as if it might turn out differently. Consider how the Khmer Rouge worked out with essentially little central planning or Jones town in micro examples of strong radical beliefs and “small scale local leadership”.

  2. While I would definitely be a “denier” according to Klein, I don’t think it’s as simple as a giant leftist conspiracy. It’s more a matter of confirmation bias. If those solutions sound like reasonable things to you, then you’re very receptive to anything that confirms them. If they sound odious, then you’re going to want to be really damn sure about the justification.

    • Agree confirmation bias, with the undelying green thinking (of some) that capitalis or more acuurately industrilastion is bad, ie polluting, CO2 is a byproduct of that, therefore must be bad, etc,etc,etc.

      You can easily see where that train of thought goes, and why it focuses on all the worst case scary scenarios, to give a reason, why industrilastion must stop.

      • Yes indeedy.

        Confirmation bias is obviously more characteristic of greens, progressives, liberals, and climate scientists.

        And the fact that conservatives reach such a conclusion is entirely coincidental.

      • randomengineer

        Say, genius, confirnation bias requires a thesis to confirm. By definition here the “right” or the “capitalists” or the “deniers” (choose any or all that make your day) have no thesis to confirm; they’re not claiming that the world is warming due to mankind. The alarmist contingent needs to prove this.

        So no, there is no tit for tat here. Try harder.

      • The thesis is that people’s opinion that the world is warming due to mankind and this requires action is the result of confirmation bias, idealogical reasons etc. rather than an objective assement of the facts .

      • Josh,

        He wasn’t saying that confirmation bias occurs only with the left side of the political spectrum. He was showing where it is apparent in this case.

      • tim –

        He wasn’t saying that confirmation bias occurs only with the left side of the political spectrum. He was showing where it is apparent in this case.

        Think that one through a bit more.

      • Joshua, nobody actually said it was more prevalent on the green side of things. I think you fail your own test of presenting the other isde accurately. I notice you tend to do this on occasion.

  3. We are cooling, folks; for how long even kim doesn’t know.
    ==============

    • January of 2011 was 17th warmest in the record. 2011 got off to a very cool start. As the months have passed, 2011 has gradually been climbing up the warmest-year ladder. Through the summer it was stuck at 11th warmest year. With La Nina predictions abounding in the fall and winter, breaking into the top 10 seemed an impossibility, especially if we folks are on a planet that is, as you say, cooling.

      January through October, 2011 is the 10th warmest January through October in NOAA’s record.

      • While 2011 is the 10 warmest on record, it is also the 10th warmest fo the last 14 years, making it also the 5th coolest. Since the turn of the century (millenium), only 2008 has been cooler.

      • Thanks for helping me make my point.

      • The trough of a wave on a rising tide is lower than the peak of the wave.

        Doesn’t make the tide lower.

        Just allows you to surf in the swell.

        The rising swell.

        The one going up.

        Higher than it would be at low tide.

        Which was lower, in the past.

        Hence now is higher.

        Except, tides run in cycles, and the current temperature trend degenerates the cyclic signal in the data, a sure fingerprint in Chaos Theory of an external perturbation, such as the forcing due CO2 rise, which in turn has the sure fingerprint of anthropogenicity.

        For how long are we cooling, kim? 17 years or less, 95% of the time, 19 times in 20, on a net warming trend due anthropogenic causes.

      • ……… and your point is what JCH?

      • That there is nothing out there indicating the earth is cooling.

      • Not in the Pacific NW.

        Second coolest winter and spring on record.

    • I have a real good way to tell about how long the cooling will last. Look at the history of how long the last cooling lasted. There were a few hundred years between the peak of the Medieval Warm Period to the coldest point in the Little Ice age and a few hundred more years to the current warm period which has maxed out or nearly maxed out. We will most likely cool for a few hundred years to the coolest point of the next cool period that we are now entering. The Arctic Ocean is thawed and the snows that will bring the next cooling have started.

  4. It’s interesting that she cites the 97% of scientists agree soundbite (ie Doran survey) Delingpole actualyl got that bit right, a myth/construct..

    when LIndzen, Christy Mckitrick were asked about it, the same 2 questions ‘cherry picked’ for the 97% soundbite, they also said it was very badly worded, and that they would also agree with them (as would I)

    Ie I’ve got an actualy copy of the full Doran (MSc thesis) survey..

    And Apendi F&G. with respondents comments makes very interesting reading (ie they sound unimpressed by the questions, and are very critical, plus many ‘sceptical’ comments)

    • Yeah i must say, there are a bumber of points in her piece that are either just plain wrong (and demonstratably so) or that appear to be nothing more than rampant conjecture.

      The whole thing read to me as a very poorly written propoganda piece. It’ll resonate with those who are on the same track, and that’s it.

      While i agree that the only way to reduce emissions is through a mind-set shift, that doesn’t actually mean you have to opt for the diametric opposite- socialism (effectively). That’s a fallacy often pushed by those wanting change.

      You know, don’t fix whats wrong with the current system (which arguably, isn’t capatalism either), but completely trash it and go for the direct opposite.

      • Indeed, she comes out with the usual cr@p about “heat-trapping gases”. Have idiots such as Klein never been taught any physics?

  5. Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway also make similar points in Merchants of Doubt. Not that I agree with them. I think it’s nothing but wishful thinking, an attempt to replace an unrealistic strategy with an even less realistic one. Because the problem is not free-market ideology, it’s what Roger Pielke Jr calls the “iron law of climate policy”. Economic growth is not something that happens to satisfy the political right wing, it’s there to improve the lives of ordinary people. Especially in countries like China and India.

    http://thebreakthrough.org/blog/2010/10/yalee360_pielkes_iron_law_of_c.shtml

  6. Did you ever here the ‘Carbon Fairy ‘ story, where a group of environmentalists/greens, etc were asked if the ‘carbon fairy, could wave the CO2 problem away, but keep western lifestyles, only one or 2 hands went up..
    Not a myth – Solitaire Towsned (Futerra) recounted it on the BBC (transcript, MIke Hulme was in the program as well)

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/spl/hi/programmes/analysis/transcripts/25_01_10.txt

    TOWNSEND: I was making a speech to nearly 200
    really hard core, deep environmentalists and I played
    a little thought game on them. I said imagine I am the
    carbon fairy and I wave a magic wand. We can get rid
    of all the carbon in the atmosphere, take it down to
    two hundred fifty parts per million and I will ensure
    with my little magic wand that we do not go above
    two degrees of global warming. However, by waving
    my magic wand I will be interfering with the laws of
    physics not with people – they will be as selfish, they
    will be as desiring of status. The cars will get bigger,
    the houses will get bigger, the planes will fly all over
    the place but there will be no climate change. And I
    asked them, would you ask the fairy to wave its
    magic wand? And about 2 people of the 200 raised
    their hands.

    ROWLATT: That is quite shocking. I bet you were
    shocked, weren’t you?

    TOWNSEND: I was angry. I wasn’t shocked. I was
    angry because it really showed that they wanted
    more. They didn’t just want to prevent climate
    change. They wanted to somehow change people, or
    at very least for people to know that they had to
    change.

    ROWLATT: I noticed early on in my year of living
    ethically that all sorts of the advice you get from
    greens has little if anything to do with tackling global
    warming. Organic food, for example, is often more
    carbon intensive to produce than super-efficient
    industrial agriculture; locally produced goods can
    sometimes have a higher carbon foot print than
    imported goods. Greens are concerned about these
    other objectives because the environmental
    movement has been around a lot longer than the
    climate issue indeed most of its preoccupations and
    themes predate it, says the sociologist Lord Anthony
    Giddens.

    • the BBC transcript is well worth a read, as it covers much of the ground in the Klein article.. Attendees were ALL very much from the Pro AGW side of the debate:

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/spl/hi/programmes/analysis/transcripts/25_01_10.txt

      ANALYSIS
      ARE ENVIRONMENTALISTS BAD FOR THE
      PLANET?

      Taking part in order of appearance:

      Solitaire Townsend Co-founder and Chief Executive
      of Futerra Sustainability Communications

      Professor Mike Hulme Founding director of the
      Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research
      Professor of Climate Change, University of East
      Anglia

      Lord Anthony Giddens Sociologist

      John Gummer MP

      John Sauven Greenpeace director

      Jonathan Porritt former chairman of Friends of the
      Earth, the Green Party and the Sustainable
      Development Commission

      Andrew Simms policy director of the New
      Economics Foundation

    • Carbon fairy story. HA HA ! What a crock !

      • The carbon faerie is a potent pixie in the laboratory; coiled and curvaceous sky dragons breathe fire on her twinkly gas, though and make her wish for never-never land puissance peter out, not pan out.
        ================

    • There are some reasonable points about ‘the greens’ here though they obviously also extend to groups mentioned by Klein. People tend to identify themselves as part of social and/or activist groups which have a particular social and historical narrative. When issues such as climate change come along they are treated not as discrete problems but as part of a wider polemic about the world.

      However, Townsend’s analysis of the response to his carbon fairy question is simplistic. It’s very similar to the old question about whether or not people would willingly trap themselves in a virtual reality world if they would always be happy and fulfilled and had no conception that it wasn’t real. Apparently, most people respond that they wouldn’t consent to enter such a virtual world. Does this mean most people don’t want to be happy and fulfilled? (hmm.. I think some might answer “yes” to that).

      • If the audience really consist of “really hard core, deep environmentalists” then I would imagine they are of the view that if “cars will get bigger, the houses will get bigger, the planes will fly all over the place” this is likely to cause big problems regardless of climate change and they did not want to give the impression that this was a desirable thing. I expect they would rather see solutions which prevented climate change and made these tings less likely as well. They might even of thought that it was bullsh*t question not worth responding to. I’m not a mind reader at the best of time, especially not back in time across the internet but I suspect the latter might be the case, and I would agree.

      • you have to read the whole transcript. The case for energy reduction ticks a lot of boxes for many diverse groups, including capitalists, for reasons that have nothing to do with a warming planet.

      • James,

        I certainly agree with that.

      • It certainly wouldn’t be the first time that hard core environmentalists were incapable of discerning the difference between a thought experiment and a rhetorical question.

    • `Come!’ purred the clays and gravels,
      `On our plains there is room for armies to drill; rivers
      Wait to be tamed and slaves to construct you a tomb
      In the grand manner: soft as the earth is mankind and both
      Need to be altered.’ (Intendant Caesars rose and
      Left, slamming the door.)

      from In Praise of Limestone, W.H. Auden

  7. Naomi Klein writes “The heat-trapping gases released into the atmosphere through the burning of fossil fuels are already causing temperatures to increase. If we are not on a radically different energy path by the end of this decade, we are in for a world of pain.”

    Shades of Tom Lehrer’s Vatican Rag. “Genuflect, genuflect, genuflect” If you start with this sort of nonsense, you are bound to come to the wrong conclusions.

    • Yep, no effect from CO2 demonstrable yet. Naomi Klein is a very insightful woman, but her ‘swaying bridges’ are over ice chasms in a glacier.
      ===================

      • As I posted above, a little knowledge of physics and they would be embarassed to talk about “heat trapping gases”. What cr@p they spout.

  8. Judith,

    This climate debate has done a great deal of twisting facts, fiction and fantasy.
    First off direct correlation of CO2 was the blame for greenhouse gases and trapping heat was mans fault. Very little on natural causes.
    No ones disputing that the HEAT was increasing.
    The dispute was CO2 as the main driver.
    Climate Scientists went through extraordinary lengths to influence the population and are still trying to do so. Using any nasty trick in the bag to keep the temperatures up as high as they can calculate out.

  9. Motives are interesting to know why politicians and journalists say what they say. And probably it’s a clue to know why people think what they think. But it doesn’t add a cent to an argument, an evidence, and so on.

    The joint venture socialists of all short have with CAGW theory is too obvious. Not worth to mention. But it doesn’t make the theory wrong. As much as Exxon interests doesn’t make sceptics wrong.

    • Plazaeme, the root cause of the controversy is indeed big oil, or more specifically big “Fat”. Simple linear non-threshold modeling proves with statistical significance that lack of ingested saturated fats in the diets of progressives produces an imbalance of the good serotonin to bad serotonin ratio in the human brain. I am actively involved in developing the better buttermilk biscuit which increases the good serotonin levels by direct ingestion of butterfat with soothing fluffiness and flakiness factors that stimulate satiation and love of all things Southern.

      So far the results are promising.

  10. The Big Lie is that warmer is worse than cooling, and it’s been repeated often enough that some of the most insightful people on Earth have been fooled.
    ================

    • kim,

      At some point we will have overheating as the world dries up but that is well over a billion years from now.
      Salt was never considered. So now we are in a full blown glaciation.
      The ocean levels have dropped over 5 mm this year.
      Means heavy precipitation!

    • A simple experiment you can do at home will show you it’s the other way around. Put your left hand in a hot frying pan for a few seconds. Then put you right hand in the freezer for a few seconds. Which hand feels best?

      I was just kidding. Don’t actually do this experiment.

      KIM, DON”T ACTUALLY DO THIS EXPERIMENT.

      • Listen to poor old M. carey, who speaks from bitter experience.

      • I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen ice. Fire warms the shelter and cooks the food. Ice is to be feared unless it’s thick enough to build walls against the cold with.
        ==============

      • A real man can eat his food raw and isn’t bothered by a little cold.

      • Right, M. carey, ‘nasty, brutish, and short’ doesn’t bother me at all. But you do.
        =============

      • kim, are you male or female? I presumed you are male.

      • M. Carey. Kim is a “bot.” and only appears to be human.

      • Yeah, this is one thing that we will defer to M. Carey’s personal research on the matter and take him at his word that his left hand still hurts. Maybe that is why…..

      • I take it this illustrates the extent of your understanding of physics and climate.

        And even using your analogy – if your hand is cold, placing it on something moderately warm makes it feel good. Placing even a warm hand in the freezer will eventually lead to problems.

      • John Carpenter

        M. carey, you didn’t really think through your experiment too well. Hot frying pans may have a temperature around 450 F. Freezers are typically around 0 F. Room temp is 75 F. The delta for the freezer and RT is around 75 F while the delta for the frying pan and RT is around 375 F. As you can see the temp difference to the freezer is much less. To make a better comparison, you should be plunging your hand into liquid N2, around -350 F, the delta is closer to that of the frying pan. Either way, you wouldn’t be able to feel any difference, are gonna hurt a lot.

  11. Go the NYT archive, enter EUGENICS and TEMPERANCE, click on “All results from 1851″.

    Then despair.

    Klein’s article doesn’t deserve any attention for now. In 100 years it’ll be fodder for books about the Madness of XXI Century Climatists.

  12. I say get busy building the walls. It sounds like we will need them either way. I’m just not sure if we will need them to keep people out or to keep people in.

  13. Judith,

    How many climate scientist have “vested interests” to keep global warming alive?

    • Are there more than a handful of climate scientist that do not have vested interests in keeping global warming alive ?

    • If you were a scientist and wanted to increase funding for your department would you be insisting that the science in your discipline is “settled”, as many who post here seem to think is happening? Or would you be talking up the uncertainties?

  14. Judith,

    Why is it that Climate Scientists have absolutely no intention of curing uncertainty and every intention of keeping uncertainty as a crutch?
    Is it to cover massive mistakes?

  15. The ‘political skeptics’ will be going nuts on this one.

  16. The shift from ‘denier’ to ‘kulack’ is already beginning.

  17. What are Naomi Klein’s qualifications for writing about climate?

    • She didn’t write about climate. She is writing about culture. She assumes climate disaster from warming, which will pale in comparison to the tragedy of cooling, for which she and all of her fellow travellers on Pachauri’s doomed Express are blindly unprepared.
      =================

    • You don’t need any qualifications to write about catastrophe, all you need is a fundamentalist certainty, and for most of us that is all too easy to come by. Hence a significant proportion of humanity has been saying “we are heading for disaster” every day since man learned to speak. It is, for a lot of people, just a feature of reality. And to all of them all the time it appears that THIS time it really is serious, and all the one thousand and one previous apocalypses that never arrived were false alarms. This one is for real…..

      Naomi Klein’s rhetoric when taken piece by piece suddenly loses all of its power – and most of its bombast. She says, presumably without a hint of self-doubt –

      “If we are not on a radically different energy path by the end of this decade, we are in for a world of pain”

      This is not the product of reason, or science, or sober assessment. It is blind, fundamentalist certainty built of weak-minded speculation, and is par for the course for those that fear the dark, the future and their uncontrolled imaginings. We can call it the ‘common hysteria’ because it has always been with us – it simply takes on the form that fits the fears of the day. And of course, there is no hope of reasoning anyone out of it, because they didn’t reason themselves into it.

      It amuses me in situations like this when I hear people talking about ‘the debate’. A debate is the last thing people like Naomi Klein want – she just wants to shout louder than anyone else.
      By coincidence I heard Michael Tobis claiming yesterday – on this very topic – that the time for debate with those that disagreed with him [cf 'those who are blind to the obvious truth'] was over. The only thing left to determine, was just how bad it was going to be – and how much worse than we thought. Nothing on earth is going to get between Michael and the certainty of his belief in the apocalypse. And people think this behaviour and this ‘thinking’ hasn’t been going on for thousands and thousands of years.

      Perhaps one of the truest things ever said is that people will give up and renounce any pleasure you like – there are those who wait most of the year for Lent to come round so they can let go of a pleasure or two. But worry? fear? suffering? We will do everything in our power to hang on to those and when we have a good solid picture of a coming disaster we are like a starving dog with a bone. The cruellest thing you could do for many of the chronically ‘alarmed’ is to quietly prove that climate change will be benign and irrelevant. You’d be stealing many people’s sole reason for living.

      i

      • Anteros –

        Do you check for certainty about whether we’re headed for disaster outside of the question if impact from climate change?

        How about the destruction of our society due to the secularism of libz, or the increase of moral depravity? How about the destruction of our society due to statist libz interfering with the free market? How about the end of Europe due to the take-over from those fast-breeding Muslims? And of course, we also have the obvious, such as millions of fundamentalist Christians who are predicting the end of the world any minute now.

        Would you apply your dog-with-bone metaphor to those and other proclamations of impending doom that is typically associated with “conservatives?”

      • Traditionally, cartoons are at the end of the paper, and amusing.
        ================

      • Joshua, We know to take the dooms day predictions from most groups with a grain of salt. Most groups is a pretty large set.

      • dallas –

        I don’t think that you’re reading carefully enough. Many of the posts in this thread already explain how a doomsday mentality is the product of the defective reasoning of libz and greenz. And I’m sure there will be many more to come.

      • No group has a monopoly on dooms day prediction. It is the perception of what dooms day that changes. To a Christian, the rapture is not dooms day. To a socialist, one world order is not dooms day. To a Moslem, one world religion is not dooms day. I think I got the point.

      • Joshua

        The world has been “heading for disaster” ever since humans began deliberating about doomsday.

        But it has never gotten there.

        Max

      • Joshua –

        Conservative doomsters, socialist doomsters – it’s all the same to me. It sounds like you might have made an assumption that I have ‘leanings’ – perhaps not to the left? I can assuage your fears – I have not witnessed any such leanings in my disposition, but will keep a ready eye out for them and will be sure to let you know should any appear :)

        There are perhaps some subtle differences between the kind of fear that is predicated on the power of nature, and the kind solely concerned with other people or peoples. However the way the fears subordinate reasoning is probably very similar.

        Every group has its own selection of favourite demons, and why not? Who would decry us our own special fear?

        Having said that, it does come to my attention from time to time that it is only environmentalists who seem to fear (or hate) virtually everything. Which seems a little greedy when you think about it..

      • Having said that, it does come to my attention from time to time that it is only environmentalists who seem to fear (or hate) virtually everything.

        So after explaining that you haven’t seen any leanings in your disposition, and explaining that the distinctions in demon-finding are more superficial than substantial, you then go on to find a substantive difference in the way that (only) environmentalists fear – by virtue of magnitude or lack of discrimination.

        Hmmmm.

      • Joshua –
        It is not such a conundrum as it first appears. Having demons and fears is one thing, observing their manifestation is another.

        As I said – it is something I happen to notice from time to time. This is something you surely must appreciate; after all, you spend countless hours ‘noticing’ the defective reasoning of ‘skeptics’ and the inconsistency of ‘skeptics’, so you are aware that some of us have a particular eye for certain sorts of idiosyncrasy.

        Mine is to notice the emotional motivations of a lot of environmentalists. Indeed, I have witnessed a veritable cornucopia of malignancies, from general misanthropy, to self-loathing to resentment-filled envy. Sometimes all of these and more at the same time. It is often necessary to keep ones wits at the ready to avoid missing a rare or fleeting psychic deviancy. Practice helps though, and there is no shortage of material for study given that I frequent arenas where the natural world doomsday archetype is so prevalent. A happy coincidence methinks ;)

      • Anteros –

        Mine is to notice the emotional motivations of a lot of environmentalists. Indeed, I have witnessed a veritable cornucopia of malignancies, from general misanthropy, to self-loathing to resentment-filled envy. Sometimes all of these and more at the same time.

        Thanks, so much, for further explaining how you see no leanings in your views about environmentalists.

        It was a joke, right? Tell me you’re joking.

      • Joshua –

        You misquote me. I clearly indicated my lack of leanings as far as conservatism is concerned, as that is what you seemed to assume.

        Environmentalists are a different bucket of swill.

        Joking? The very thought never crossed my mind. I have never knowingly been in the presence of an environmentalist at the same time as the presence of a joke. If only.

        If one overarching commonality linked all my experiences of greenie types it would be the pernicious coupling of humourlessness and hate. It seems something of a pity that it can’t be left facing inwards, but I have a suspicion that would be too much poison for each green ‘unit’ to bear. So, the unpleasantness is shared by all….. but then again, it is always gratifying to be of service and to dilute the suffering of others :)

      • Anteros –

        Sorry for my misunderstanding.

        It is duly noted that your assignation of pernicious attributes to environmentalists is not an obvious reflection of “conservative” biases.

      • By coincidence I heard Michael Tobis claiming yesterday – on this very topic – that the time for debate with those that disagreed with him [cf 'those who are blind to the obvious truth'] was over. The only thing left to determine, was just how bad it was going to be – and how much worse than we thought. Nothing on earth is going to get between Michael and the certainty of his belief in the apocalypse. And people think this behaviour and this ‘thinking’ hasn’t been going on for thousands and thousands of years.

        Anteros,

        You seem very dismissive of MT’s certainty that if we carry on BAU the consequences will be very serious. Yet you seem absolutely certain that they will not.

        As for MT’s assertion that the time for debate with those who disagree with this proposition is over, well what is the point of having a debate when neither side will persuade each other, or in fact find any meaningful common ground? The question of what to do about AGW is difficult and complicated and coming up with the right answers will take a lot of debate. I think the point MT is making is that getting involved in pointless and unresolvable arguments is a distraction from this., and I agree (notwithstanding the fact that I am commenting here regardless).

      • Andrew Adams –

        I take your point quite seriously. Indeed I spend much of the time thinking about the possibilities of having any kind of ‘debate’, and understand that from your and MT’s point of view it is worthless. My dismissive-ness is perhaps born of frustration. I understand your position quite well, but there is a powerful asymmetry here. I of course am happy to debate and discuss everything concerned with the climate because the whole nature of it is shrouded in uncertainty. However, it seems to me the belief that something definitely bad is going to happen is arrived at without the assistance of reason, which strikes me as why a discussion is pointless.

        There is not much more to be said. I’m not sure I have the same certainty as MT – what I definitely don’t have is ‘alarm’ and I think that is a big difference. So for me, ‘what to do about AGW isn’t difficult or complicated’. My observation is pretty simple – I see not a snowballs hope in hell of large quantities of fossil fuel being left in the ground. I seriously don’t think it’ll happen. So I wonder what there is to debate about? The debate over the last 23 years has produced precisely nothing – no fossil fuel has remained umburnt.

        I should add that I can empathise. I know it doesn’t sound like it, but I know what it is to have a firm conviction. I just don’t share yours on this issue.

      • Anteros,

        It’s not true that no fossil fuel has remained unburnt over the last 23 years; clearly attempts to reduce emissions have not been nearly as successful as many of us have hoped but they have not been a complete failure either. Whether it will ultimately be politically possible to leave significant amounts of fossil fuel in the ground is open to debate – it is certainly very difficult, but not IHO impossible. However it’s certainly possible to disagree but still think that AGW is a real threat, it is just necessary in that case to consider what alternate actions will be required. Actually I would find this much more alarming rather than less.

        As for the “assymetry” to speak of, you’re just plain wrong – at least in the direction you think it lies. It is simply untrue that my or MT’s positions are arrived at without the assistance of reason. It’s arrived at from considering an extremely extensive body of scientific research which overwhelmingly points to that conclusion. Maybe you have looked at it and come to a different conclusion, well I’m not going to try to persuade you you’re wrong – I think we both agree little will be achieved.

      • Andrew Adams –

        I agree that we may very well just disagree, but the issue of leaving fossil fuels in the ground is something I think worthy of a discussion – it concerns facts.

        My contention is that whatever may happen in future, no fossil fuel has remained in the ground (that would otherwise have been burned) as a result of climate change policies. At all.
        The reason for this is twofold. Firstly the nature of the world market. The price of the three reasonably distinct fossils fuels is one of the determinants of the annual rate of consumption. A reduction in demand in one region (say, Europe) reduces the price and allows an increase in consumption elsewhere – demand may stay broadly the same. Unless there are universal agreements, and restrictions, consumption will carry on barely altered. I don’t see ‘reducing emissions’ as doing any such thing.

        Secondly, the fossil fuels must stay in the ground not for a year or a decade, but essentially forever. To believe this scenario you have to picture there being many hundreds of billions of gallons of oil equivalent in proven reserves, that are economically (even cheaply) recoverable, and everybody, every single nation on earth, in perpetuity, agreeing to leave them there.

        You must bear in mind that for many nations, this fossil fuel has another name or another meaning – it is electricity for those with none, it is hospitals for those who are sick and it is food for those who are hungry. For the foreseeable future you are going to have a make a case for poor nations to do without the electricity, hospitals and food, because you have a belief that ‘problems may occur’ if the fuels are utilised – ever.

        What do you think your chances are and how do you feel about it morally?

      • Anteros,

        To take your first point, some countries have undertaken policies which have certainly reduced their fossil fuel consumption by a non-zero amount. Your argument AIUI is that this will have reduced demand and therefore the price of fossil fuels and resulted in higher consumption elsewhere. I’m not convinced by this and would want to see some actual research providing credible evidence. There is still plenty of demand and many other factors influening the price. But in any this obviously won’t be a factor if there is international agreement to limit emissions and therefore consumption of fossil fuels.

        Which brings me to the second point. Clearly expecting countries to leave relatively cheap sources of energy in the ground for ever is a big ask and is against most countries’ interests. But the argument for this is predicated on the assumption that it is also against countries’ interests to let climate change get out of control, and this is something that the vast majority of world governments accept. So governments will have to decide how to weigh those two conflicting facts, and any agreement will have to address the question of how to ensure developing countries will be able to provide clean and affordable power to those who do not currently have it. There were certain mechanisms agreed in principle at Copenhagen although they are going to be difficult to achieve in the current economic climate. But we have cheap fossil fuels at the moment and large numbers of people without clean and affordable power so the price and availability of fossil fuels is clearly not the only issue.

      • aa,
        Germany, in response to their AGW approved belief in the climate apocalypse, is responding by increasing their reliance on coal.
        AGW policies are always found to be pure bs when examined.

      • hunter,

        The point of Germany’s move away from nuclear is to increase reliance on renewables not coal. You will no doubt think this is madness, I’m actually skeptical about whether this is the right strategy myself, but it will certainly be interesting for both of us how things develop.

  18. I guess this won’t surprise you: I agree with ‘the Klein’ on many points.

    She is ‘the Klein’. And along with spouse and broadcaster Avi Lewis (son of Canadian social justice activist and beloved politician Stephen Lewis), she regularly provides searingly intelligent perspectives, in the media. Please don’t correct that typo. :-)

    The ‘go local’ focus should not, however, be misunderstood as separate from elements that can only be addressed at a global level; and she has made that clear in her past analyses of globalization.

    I wonder if American culture has been particularly ill-equipped to have this cultural discussion. I ask this, because the same features of independence that make it great, bold, successful and hopeful, seem to be barriers to reflection and relating to others. That spirit of independence is a remarkable strength, but in some conditions, like many strengths, it will be a weakness. Cultures that are used to values of collaboration may be more successful and resilient, at this time in the progress of societies.

    An analysis like Klein’s serves the function of critique but within liberal capitalist values, there is plenty of room for a more resilient and compassionate capitalism, and that is most likely what will emerge from all this.

    The elements of Bush-era type concepts of the economy are at the centre of criticism and should be, because this largely caused the American financial collapse and brought much additional suffering to Americans. It can be fixed but reflection is required.

    Congratulations on a wise and mindful post. I was sure you had it in you. :-)

    • The elements of Bush-era type concepts of the economy are at the centre of criticism and should be, because this largely caused the American financial collapse and brought much additional suffering to Americans

      The elements in question being excessive state interference in finance designed to advance socialist causes.

      • You think ultra-conservative ideologue George W. Bush, was a socialist?

        Known for tax cuts, the withdrawal of government from the private sector, and crippling expenditure on war, I find it hard to believe anyone would try to argue that. Maybe you have insight that you can provide to the rest of us, to explain your view.

      • See my 8:15 reply below, Martha. The American political party which collaborated unconsciously but greedily in the destruction of the housing finance, and all the derivatives now overflowing the banks, was the Democrats, and all your blame-shifting and crying of innocence won’t erase what the moving hand has writ.
        ==========

      • The American political party which collaborated unconsciously but greedily in the destruction of the housing finance, and all the derivatives now overflowing the banks, was the Democrats

        And what did the Republicans do to rectify this?
        Nothing – indicating their acceptance of the underlying socialist principles.

      • Amusing point, but the Republican Administration was blocked by Democrats from increasing financial regulation.

        Yes, the ironies convolute, integrate, devolve, & here we are.
        ============

      • Dang, I should’ve said ‘the ironies congregate, convolute, integrate and devolve, and here we are’. It makes the politics so much more clear.
        =====================

      • Punksta,

        There are all too many progressives still in the Republican Party. But we’re working on it.

      • Bush was a tool of the so-called neoconservatives, an influential cabal that is neither new nor conservative.

      • Believe it or not, not everything can be broken down into 2 camps, one good, and one evil. Many republicans mistakenly think that by doing favors for business, that this is “free market” when in fact it is a form of crony capitalism (or crapitalism as some call it). Many progressives are in favor of the same things in order to push “green” energy and other things they think will save the world. So both parties have similar policies and spend money like crazy and both are engaged in a form of “socialism” if you will that is called crony capitalism. The irony is that we have had this for 75-100 years and Bush was as much a big gov’t president as Obama just in different areas, much as Hoover had similar big gov’t policies to those of FDR. When progressives push for this, they end up hurting the little guy, helping connected businessman, and causing the gaps in income that they think they are against.

        Bush actually started the TARP bailouts, created the huge prescription benefits plan (Medicare – D??), as well as the huge Homeland Security agency, several wars and a huge defense budget. He was in no way small gov’t. Then you have the whole social conservative issue where they want to push their beliefs on others, but that is really separate from the economic issue but in many of the Repub. politicians you get both.

        It is possible to be a classical liberal and be for both social and economic freedom and for a more limited gov’t and NOT be a conservative in any way, shape, or form.

      • Did state controls and expenditure decline significantly under Bush?
        No ? Then you agree with me.

    • Naw it was the corruption around the Community Re-Investment Act, the phony statistics in the Boston Fed study, and the connivance of one American political party that caused most of the housing financial mess. It was government overview gone desperately collaborative, but against the interests of the people.

      Check your ticket stub, Martha. Where do you think you are going?
      ===============

      • Blame the housing crash on the Community Re-Investment Act plays well with the KKK.

      • You can play the race card, but you are betting that guilt is the gold in the game, and there is far worse racism in the misapplication of mistaken ideals by the Democrats than in expecting repayment of debt.
        ============

      • The KKK wouldn’t like to blame the housing crash on the Community Re-Investment Act?

      • Hmmm, it seems it’s the only card you hold. Play it at your own moral peril.
        ===========

      • M. Carey,
        Denying that granting FNMA guaranteed loans to people not likely to payback the loans was a bad idea is something only a lefty idiot or a democrat (but I repeat myself) could promote.

      • hunter, do you think it’s only the poor and minorities who have been defaulting on mortgages?

      • Or that large numbers of the loans to people who were unable to repay them were not made by the private sector.

      • M. Carey,
        Did you see me use the words “poor” or “minorities”?

      • large numbers of the loans to people who were unable to repay them were not made by the private sector.

        Because regulation required it.

      • hunter, the subject is the Community Re-Investment Act. If kim or anyone else is going to lay the blame for the housing bust on this act, they should support their allegation by citing what percent of the total mortgage default amount in is attributable to the act. I have yet to see such evidence.

      • Here’s what Randy Kroszner, govenor of the Fed says

        Some critics of the CRA contend that by encouraging banking institutions to help meet the credit needs of lower-income borrowers and areas, the law pushed banking institutions to undertake high-risk mortgage lending. We have not yet seen empirical evidence to support these claims, nor has it been our experience in implementing the law over the past 30 years that the CRA has contributed to the erosion of safe and sound lending practices.

      • This should be a banning offense. Not just because the viciousness of the baseless, slanderous smear is so over the top, but also because it is so ridiculously stupid.

        Is it necessary now to trot out the quotes from the powerful environmentalists who have applauded the deaths of millions of children from malaria because they see them as beneficial to the earth?

      • Blame it on Muslims and presidents with “Muslim sympathies.” kim won’t take offense to that.

      • Answer this – In a real estate mortgage portfolio, what is the ratio of current to delinquent loans that must be maintained in order for the entire portfolio to remain profitable? If you don’t know the answer then you have no authority telling us that CRA did not set up the conditions for the real estate meltdown.

      • First you need to distinguish what % of the problem loans in your portfolio were issued by banks covered by the CRA.

        50%f of sub-prime loans came from mortgage companies not covered by the CRA. Another large % came from subsidiaries and affiliates that aren’t fully subject to the CRA. I’ve seen that one in four sub-prime loans were made by institutions fully covered by the CRA.

        Of course, also, banks covered by the CRA engaged in less dangerous lending. Independent mortgage companies made sub-prime loans at twice the rate of CRA banks.

        The CRA, increased the volume of lending to low and moderate income families. That is not necessarily instructive as to how much in increased the problem lending, as it largely increased the volume of responsible lending to those families (as well as, I would imagine, increased the volume of irresponsible lending to some degree).

        The CRA was enacted in 1977. The sub-prime crisis occurred some 25 years later. The bump in CRA activity was largely over by 2001.

        Keep in mind, the role of Fanny and Freddie is not the same thing as the role of the CRA.

      • Joshua,
        The CRA pressured all lenders: Either make your portfolio look like America or get sued and harassed by ACORN and pals.
        And a great deal of it was FNMA or FMAC conforming, but you are unlikely to understand any of that, so we can skip over it.

      • The CRA pressured all lenders:

        God forbid that lenders should be pressured to not discriminate.

        And I’m sure that it was only the CRA pressure that forced banks that weren’t covered by the CRA to issue sub-prime loans at twice the rate (and leveraged themselves up to 40 – 1 to do that lending, which multiplied the impact of the loses exponentially). The motivation of profit wasn’t a “pressure” at all, right?

        The fact is that the portfolios of the non CRA institutions had more sub-prime loans, and that the CRA loans sub-prime loans performed better.

      • Progressives really don;t get the whole isue of gvernment involvement in the housing debacle. The CRA and its regulatory cousins were just one side of the coin.

        Even with political pressure, banks were not going to lend money to poor risks if they had to hold the mortgages themselves. That was why the Dems forced Fanbnie Mae and Freddie Mac into the market of purchasing the sub-prime mortgages. Once Fannie and Freddy purchased them,, bundled them, and resold they, they had the new patina of an implicit government guarantee against default by the mortgagor.

        This was probably a greater cause of the sub prime bubble than the CRA.

        Derivatives did not create the bubble, they just spread it throughout the national and global economy. Frankly, institutional investors knew the implicit government guarantee was not enough to prevent huge losses. That was why derivatives were initially created. Spread the risk. It is also why so many of them bought insurance from AIG.

        It was all a house of cards, and the government printed the deck.

      • In focusing on Fanny and Freddie, you’re getting closer to the mark, Gary – at least in comparison to the CRA-is-the-root-of-the-sub-prime-crisis meme.

        Now all you need to do is objectively consider the (up to) 40-1 leveraging, the role of faulty risk assessment, the role of self-interested rating agencies, the issuance of “insurance” by massively leveraged “insurers,” the impact of the CFMA, the appeal of Glass-Steagal, and the underhanded marketing techniques of mortgage companies, and you’ll start to have a fully-balanced perspective.

      • Joshua,

        Oh, I’ve considered all those factors and more. I represent mortgagors in several cases who who took out mortgages that should never have been written.

        Unfortunately for you, the government is involved in every issue you list. The CRA, Fannie and Freddie have already been addressed. Do you know why the ratings agencies had and have so much power? Because of legislation and regulations that require companies to base their investment decisions on those agencies opinions.

        The insurance issued by AIG and others? It was largely a product of the inflated confidence in the continued increase in value of real property created by the implicit guarantees of Fannie and Freddie of the underlying mortgages that they purchased, bundled and resold.

        The lack of regulation of derivatives that led to excessive exposure compared to reserves? That was a direct consequence of the government’s push to have anyone who wanted a home to be able to buy them. If mortgage lenders could not sell their loans after underwriting them, they would not lend to sub prime borrowers. If the buyers of those mortgages could not distribute the risk (through derivatives), they would not buy the mortgages. The government decided not to regulate derivatives because such regulation would have brought the sub prime market to a screaming halt.

        The same with the repeal of Glass-Steagall. By bringing down the wall between traditional banking functions and investment banking, the government made it easier for favored firms like Goldman Sachs to engage in the sub prime market without being restricted by the reserve requirements of traditional banks. Too big to fail brought with it more implicit government guarantees ala Fannie and Freddie. The failure of Lehman Brothers seemed to bring the whole system so close to collapse that the implicit guarantee became explicit.

        Greed of crony capitalists like Obama’s economic farm team, Goldman Sachs, certainly made things worse, and spread the weakness globally. But the whole debacle was the intentional creation of government progressives.

        A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. And you know a little about what happened, but not a lot.

        BY the way, did you know the government is trying to force lenders to start making sub prime loans again? Or do the Huffington Post and MSNBC not report on things like that?

      • Gary –

        Unfortunately for you, the government is involved in every issue you list.

        You seem to think that I want to absolve “government” of any responsibility for the mortgage crisis.

        I’m not a binary thinker, Gary. It is possible for me hold various factors in mind without my head exploding.

        Government is neither a panacea nor the root of all evil. The problem I have with extremist libertarians isn’t that they believe that government overreach is problematic and causes unintended consequences (I agree those viewpoints), it’s that they get stuck in the belief that any problems associated with anything are to be blamed on government.

        Gubmint wasn’t singularly responsible for the mortgage crisis, nor was the private sector.

      • Josh & Gary,

        I think you two are far closer to being in agreement on this than opposed. But as the topic isn’t the mortgage crisis, I’m skipping the rest of the debate.

      • Joshua said November 16, 2011 at 5:09 pm “

        Of course, also, banks covered by the CRA engaged in less dangerous lending. Independent mortgage companies made sub-prime loans at twice the rate of CRA banks.

        From what I’ve found, the difference between CRA loans and subprime loans is that in many cases, the rates for subprime loans jumped up after a few years which is one reason for their higher default rate. In addition, CRA loans were also subsidized via things like lower rates (rates lower than the average person doing the right thing would get), down payment assistance, and also there were organizations that also helped people with CRA loans to make late payments when needed.

      • M. carey said “
        Blame the housing crash on the Community Re-Investment Act plays well with the KKK.

        The roots of the housing crash have to do with the Clinton admin pushing banks to make more loans to people with bad credit and minorities.

        The CRA led the way to the roots of the housing crash.

      • the connivance of one American political party that caused most of the housing financial mess.

        Right.

        The CFMA – which allowed for derivatives to be unregulated, and the banking deregulation that allowed for the exponential growth in the impact of the housing crises (where massive financial institutions leveraged their assets up to 40 to 1 to buy bad debt, and insure that bad debt with “insurance” that was issued by “insurers” that were also heavily leveraged) was due to the “connivance” on one party only. Repeal of Glass-Steagall was obviously also irrelevant, and the ballooning of derivatives only after the Glass-Steagall and the CFMA, despite the existence, for decades prior, of the policies kim feels were responsible, is purely coincidental.

        Just ask Michael Bloomberg. I mean he said the other day that banks had nothing to do with the financial crisis, and it isn’t as if he’s biased in is reasoning, right?

        Oh, and kim – can’t you find some way to blame Muslims as well? I mean really, I know that libz were mostly responsible, but surely there must be a “dot” that links to Muslims.

        I do believe we’ve just seen the tip of the iceberg about Rezko and Obama’s Muslim sympathies and associates. There are a lot of dots to connect there, and you know with dot to dot you don’t need to connect them all to have a revelatory picture.
        ==================================

        Posted by: kim | June 19, 2008 at 09:08 AM

      • There is enough blame, Joshua, to spread around and cover all ten bases in the infield, but the re-regulation of housing that I’m talking about was around 2005, blocked by powerful Democrats corruptly involved in the housing mess.

        Inadequate fear of Sharia is just frosting on your cake, Joshua. Salud.

        Also where is the link to your little searchbot quote, Joshua? That old quote of mine is from a wonderful thread about a prominent Democrat unethically interfering in an approved vaccine trial, denying access to the trial to little black girls in Chicago.
        ===============

      • What’s a searchbot, kim?

        Yeah – a wonderful thread where you talked about “connecting dots” and Obama’s “Muslim sympathies.”

        Dots. Dots. No need to connect them all to paint your visions, eh kim?

        Oh. My sides.

        But I certainly agree that there’s enough blame to go around. Creating policies that disproportionately advantage the economically advantaged is a largely (although not quite completely) a non-partisan activity.

        Nice to see that you’ve backed down from your prior focus on blaming one party.

      • Heh, won’t link so people can see for themselves? Bah, searchbot.
        ======================

      • Bah, bah, Searchbot,
        Have you any fools?
        Yes, Sir, yes, Sir,
        Many threads full.
        =========

      • kim –

        Heh, won’t link so people can see for themselves?

        Here’s what’s interesting. You repeatedly claim that I “won’t” provide the link because somehow I’m afraid that people will find something in the context of your claims about Obama’s “Muslim sympathies” and “connecting dots.”

        Yet I keep providing the link.

        Is your failure to hold onto conclusions despite repeated evidence that your conclusions are wrong reflective or your reasoning about climate change?

        http://justoneminute.typepad.com/main/2008/06/michell-obama-.html

      • er… “failure to revise your conclusions” in light of contradictory evidence…..

      • Thanks for the link, J; wonderful thread there, the whole thing.

        But that was yesterday, and yesterday’s gone.
        =============

      • Joshua said “The CFMA – which allowed for derivatives to be unregulated, and the banking deregulation that allowed for the exponential growth in the impact of the housing crises (where massive financial institutions leveraged their assets up to 40 to 1 to buy bad debt, and insure that bad debt with “insurance” that was issued by “insurers” that were also heavily leveraged) was due to the “connivance” on one party only. Repeal of Glass-Steagall was obviously also irrelevant, and the ballooning of derivatives only after the Glass-Steagall and the CFMA, despite the existence, for decades prior, of the policies kim feels were responsible, is purely coincidental.

        Joshua, what specific “banking deregulation” “allowed for the exponential growth in the impact of the housing crises?” (I’m assuming you’re talking about the exponential growth in housing prices).

        Joshua said “Just ask Michael Bloomberg. I mean he said the other day that banks had nothing to do with the financial crisis, and it isn’t as if he’s biased in is reasoning, right?

        He’s just a democrat that sometimes poses as a republican.

      • Joshua, what specific “banking deregulation” “allowed for the exponential growth in the impact of the housing crises?”

        Well, for one the deregulation that loosened capital requirements (exacerbated if not necessarily caused the crisis). Let’s start there. And have you looked at the CFMA?

        Lack of enforcement of existing regulations, and lack of the development of new regulations also (say, controls on predatory lenders) obviously, played a part also. IMO, deregulation was not singularly the cause, but it was a necessary element.

      • Joshua said “Well, for one the deregulation that loosened capital requirements (exacerbated if not necessarily caused the crisis). Let’s start there. And have you looked at the CFMA?

        Well, you said in your 8:43 AM post “The CFMA – which allowed for derivatives to be unregulated, and the banking deregulation that allowed for the exponential growth in the impact of the housing crises (where massive financial institutions leveraged their assets up to 40 to 1 to buy bad debt, and insure that bad debt with “insurance” that was issued by “insurers” that were also heavily leveraged) was due to the “connivance” on one party only” which sounds to me like your blaming bank dereg for the exponential growth and the CFMA for derivatives.

        Anyway, if you think the CFMA is responsible for the growth in housing prices, recall that it was passed at the end of 2000.

        Now take a look at the following growth in housing prices from a 1997 NYTimes article:

        http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2006/08/26/weekinreview/27leon_graph2.html?ref=weekinreview

        Notice that the housing bubble started in 1997 which means the CFMA was not the cause of the housing bubble. And if you are going to look for what specific deregulation that caused it, it would have to be legislation that was passed before 1997.

    • Martha,
      I think many of us have thought you might be Klein writing pseudonymously: The same labored, unoriginal thoughts. The same lack of reference to reality or history.
      The same dogged dedication to misrepresenting those with whom you disagree.
      The same false labeling.
      Thanks for sharing,

    • Corporate Message

      Mr Stephen Lewis seemed to be able to dutifully ignore NDP Lefty Leader Jack Layton’s little one-man probe into underage white slavery .

      When it comes to things like that, juvenile prostitution and it’s “Jack”s human rights go out the window.
      Jack was left, after all.

  19. Actually, I’m beginning to appreciate Naomi’s ‘swaying bridges’ metaphor. Proof that there is no global leftist conspiracy, at least not a sane one, is that this effort seems to be happy to barrel onward blindly seated smugly on Pachauri Jones’ speeding train over what is obviously bridges unable to bear the load. There will be cultural catastrophe alright, for those whose tickets are punched for his imaginary destination.
    ================

  20. In case there are and “skeptics” heads that are left unexploded after reading the Klein article, I offer this link:

    http://wakeupfreakout.org/film/tipping.html

    • Power grabs of this magnitude have always ended messily and expensively, in treasure and lives, leaving the people to re-establish sanity in their own agora.

      Re-establishing sanity in their climate agora will be local, whether the adaptation is to warming or cooling, but it will be a lot easier for people in a warmer world than a colder one.

      Universal mitigation of a potential agent of slight warming, at huge social cost, is a bridge too far. Guilt applied to anthropos over CO2 is inappropriate at present, and probably forever.

      And that’s a long time.
      ============
      ============

    • Joshua,
      At first I thought the article, for its over the top ignorance and style of writing was from The Onion.
      When I noticed it was real, I nearly fell out of of my chair laughing.
      Only lefty hack journalists could write that sort of bilge and be serious.

  21. Judith,

    Did you mean the heavily subsidized green technology crap that came out from the Climate scare? Or the carbon market that came out from the climate scientists predictions?

  22. Here’s my inconvenient truth: they aren’t wrong. Before I go any further, let me be absolutely clear: as 97 percent of the world’s climate scientists attest, the Heartlanders are completely wrong about the science. The heat-trapping gases released into the atmosphere through the burning of fossil fuels are already causing temperatures to increase. If we are not on a radically different energy path by the end of this decade, we are in for a world of pain.

    Wrong!

    IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report projected for a warming of 0.2 deg C per decade, but observation shows a slight cooling:

    http://bit.ly/szoJf8

    We have to trust the observation more than the claim of “as 97% of the world’s climate scientist attest”

  23. Right along there with fluoridation, vaccination for cervical cancer and the conspiracy of the month to kill capitalism.

    The wingnut never falls far from the conspiracy.

    Allow Eli to lay it out for you. If things are not nearly as bad as the worst case large areas of the Earth will become uninhabitable in 2-300 years. Well before then areas of significant population will be emptied. The black helicopters will fly friends and that is what those of us who understand the physics, chemistry and biology of the matter and value freedom are trying to alert folk to.

    • The Rabett should eat his carrots and lean to read better.
      It was a Republican governor who proposed vaccinations for cervical cancer. Vaccinations of children causing autism, and denying children vaccinations are delusions widely held on the left. And GM foods are a construct of leftists almost entirely. And then we can get to the lies lefties are spreading about frakking and who is behind those.
      But Rabetts are not know for nuanced thinking, are they?

      • The vaccination strategy for HPV is actually a case book example of how science, culture and politics are all intertwined.
        My daughter, than at 14 had the vaccine, and my son then at 12 had the first shot. Then they decided not to vaccinate boys.
        Now the whole point about vaccination is that one attempts to increase the size of the immune population so that the expansion of the disease throughout the population is arrested. Reservoir species, species that can become infected with a disease that human get, are the major cause of epidemic initiations. Thus, Ducks, Chickens and Pigs are the main flu reservoir species. The Texan vaccination strategy for HPV would have made males a reservoir species for HPV, which sort of defeats the entire exercise.
        The prudishness of American culture with regard to SDT’s would be amusing if it wasn’t so lethal.
        Mass vaccination, iodine supplementation of table salt and as the Hare-Brained one states, fluoridation of water are all cases where a certain amount of governmental bullying can be justified on the grounds of public health. However, good cases can make bad law.
        The embryonic stem cells debate is rather interesting in the way the left/right split has taken opposing positions, which are typically occupied by the ‘other’ side.
        Many on the left take the view that the health outcomes of research involving embryonic stem cells are so potentially vast that it is worth doing.
        The right state that making human embryo for the purpose of research is ethically wrong, as they constitute humans. They state that the protection of the individual, in this case a small collection of cells, outweighs the potential benefits.
        So far so god. The ‘lefts’ position is in keeping, and in many ways an extension of the ‘pro-Choice’ agenda and ‘rights’ position is in keeping, and in many ways an extension of the ‘pro-Life’ agenda.
        However, to get the human eggs you need, young, women and you need to dose them with very powerful steroidal hormones. Not only will this reduce their reproductive life-span it has possible long term health consequences. Moreover, the majority of the women who agree to be donors will be poor, doing it for the money, or as occurred recently, young scientists who were pressured by their employers into allowing their bodies to be used for experimentation. This is to aid Patentable research in many cases in collaboration Big-Pharma.
        On the face of it, exploiting women in an asymmetric power relationship in the aid of Big-Pharma is not what one would expect of the left.
        The position of the right on the same issue is also somewhat odd. They wish to increase governmental regulation, increase the power of the courts, hold back capitalists who wish to make a lot of money by improving human health.
        On this issue at least, the ‘right’ is anti-Capitalists and the ‘left’ pro-Capitalist.
        What I find most odd about the American approach to public discourse on medical research is the inversion between experimentation on animals vs. human embryos. The ‘left’ generally support the latter and not the former, whilst the ‘right’ have no problems with animals, but humans embryos are a no-no.
        I work with both animals and aborted human brain tissue, thus I am in the best of all possible worlds, the left-wing animal rights people hate me and the right-wing Pro-Lifers also hate me. I do not get my balance because I have a chip on each shoulder.

      • Doc,

        Eli has an interesting problem. Since he became a local politician, he has to vote on Fluoridation of the local water supply, not a small sum of money.

        The issue is that the studies mainly relate to the times of old when people actually drank tap water and didn’t know water filters and softeners existed. Now with better overall health and dental care, less tap water consumption and primarily, linear no threshold model studies for reference, he has to make a decision. Interesting conundrum.

      • Doc –

        If you can stomach reading a post by a “Nazi.”

        The right state that making human embryo for the purpose of research is ethically wrong, as they constitute humans.

        And as such, the argument from the right is, to some degree, a straw man argument, as there are many already existing embryos that will never mature and that could be used for stem cell research.

        And obviously, Doc, we’d have all been much better off if everyone had your non-partisan perspective. Millions more dead from small-pox? No problem.

      • From what human perspective is a war of genocide over land better than a plague of smallpox?
        \============

      • “And obviously, Doc, we’d have all been much better off if everyone had your non-partisan perspective. Millions more dead from small-pox? No problem”

        I never stated my position. I stated my interpretation of the left/right split in the USA.

        Personally, I have no problems using embryos that were generated for the purpose of providing people with babies. I do have a problem with giving women fertility treatment to provide eggs for research purposes.
        In the same way I would not allow women to be paid to become pregnant so that we could abort the fetus at a specified time to obtain brain tissue; but will use tissue from aborted fetus’s that result from an unplanned pregnancy.

        “So, if a son that is by his father sent about merchandise do sinfully miscarry upon the sea, the imputation of his wickedness by your rule, should be imposed upon his father that sent him: or if a servant, under his master’s command transporting a sum of money, be assailed by robbers and die in many irreconciled iniquities, you may call the business of the master the author of the servant’s damnation: but this is not so: the king is not bound to answer the particular endings of his
        soldiers, the father of his son, nor the master of his servant; for they purpose not their death, when they purpose their services
        .”

        However, you would be surprised at the very small number of medical researchers who have a soft spot for diseases like smallpox.

      • Maybe in the US this is the case, I can’t say. In the UK it is the right who pushed vaccines causing autism and opposed vaccinations for cervical cancer.

      • “vaccines causing autism” ???

        The consensus of scientific opinion would suggest not.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MMR_vaccine_controversy

        However, if anyone took too much notice of some comments on this blog, they’d end up thinking, if there was a consensus, then it must be wrong!

    • Far more of the world will be habitable if it is warmer than if it is colder.

      We’ve had about enough of your rabbit hole hallucinations. What’s in those carrots, anyway? I suspect some sort of genetic modification, how else to explain the ‘unnatural’ ideas?
      ===========

      • Kim,

        The Rabett is not that bad. He is arrogant and opinionated, but that is not always a character flaw. More importantly he actually thinks instead of reciting stuff he hasn’t actually looked into. More often than not his silence is more descriptive than his verbiage, which is obviously pretty cryptic.

        He is even planning on hosting Raypierre’s online Greenhouse effect class. Something I plan to audit from the back row.

      • Years ago, when someone at Climate Audit suggested I’d accidentally entered the wrong classroom, I responded that I was just auditing the class.

        One of my best.
        =============

      • That is a good one. Are you the same kim that got run off from The Blackboard?

      • If you don’t know the answer to this question then you don’t know the answer to this question. lucia would probably object to my logic, but would also probably agree that ‘no’ was part of the answer.
        ==============

      • Right. Warmer deserts and tropical rain forests. Just what everyone wants. HA HA !

    • Apparently you didn’t notice who wrote that?

    • Gee, Eli, you don’t think the Left hates captialism? Have you listened to the OWS protests and watched them shutting down businesses?
      As far as the disaster, in my recent paper
      Loehle, C. 2011. Criteria for Assessing Climate Change Impacts on Ecosystems. Ecology and Evolution doi: 10.1002/ece3.7
      I show that the impact studies tend to be pretty sloppy, and the better ones show less impact or even positive ecosystem response. To worry about something 200 yrs from now seems a little iffy to me and really stretches the credibility of models.
      Finally, natural gas puts out 1/2 the CO2 as coal per BTU, so why isn’t the green movement embracing the shale gas revolution? half as much CO2 output sure beats any progress due to windmills.

      • First, of course, you have to define what you mean as the left. Then, of course, you have somehow equated everyone who thinks there is a significant risk from climate change with the left.

        Yet further, of course, yours is the type of sloppy thinking that inhabits Loehle, C 2011.

      • Asking if the left really hates Capitalism isn’t quite as a dumb a question as it may appear.

        Who wrote this for instance? ” It [Capitalism] has been the first to show what man’s activity can bring about. It has accomplished wonders far surpassing Egyptian pyramids, Roman aqueducts, and Gothic cathedrals; it has conducted expeditions that put in the shade all former Exoduses of nations and crusades.”

        It could well be argued that the author was obsessed with Capitalism rather than Socialism. Although he is remembered for being a proponent of the latter he had remarkably little to say about it or what it may be like.

  24. I can’t see anything ‘interesting’ in this, nor any ‘significant insights’ except for the insight it provides into the ill-informed hysteria of someone wikipedia describes as a ‘social activist’.

  25. Dr. Curry, the article has realproblems. These problems extend from not a lack of knowledge of people, or climate science, but ecology. Since the Odum brothers’ work on man, energy and environment, the proper framework is how effective and how efficient energy use by man determines the interaction of man and the environment. Take the quote above how that nuclear goes down a failed path as indicated by the author. The problem is inherent to the assumptions. Change the assumptions on energy use, and nuclear becomes the saving solution, since the ability to produce depends on energy. The vision by the author is static. Yet, the changes man has accomplished since recorded history and before, show innovation, and the ability to use energy in a deterministic, and successful continously improving manner.

    The analysis is flawed in its assumptions prior to development. In this respect the author is also wrong in painting the conservatives and business, and this error can be seen in the demonization of capitilism, corporations, and their support. However, the author almost paints the denialism of the greens correctly. However, I do not blame the author for not wanting to point out the absolute correctness of the denialism of the greens, since with such poor assumptions the author appears to be self blinded to the correct way to draw the system that includes amn and his environment in order to make relevant comments about it.

  26. “Your equation of the left with totalitarianism is laughable in itself. Totalitarianism has historically shown both on the left and the right.”

    Left wing totalitarianism:

    Russia
    China
    North Korea
    Cuba
    East Germany
    Poland
    Chzecoslovakia
    Albania
    Bulgaria
    Romania,
    Yugoslavia
    Vietnam

    What have they all got in common?

    They’ve all moved to the capitalist model and in everyone of their countries they are beginning to get the standard of living we’ve taken for granted for the last 40 years, and they’re very happy to do so.

    • All moved to which capitalist model?

    • If you’re quoting East Germany as a positive example of totalitarianism moving to democracy and capitalism, we’re not that far apart. They were given the mostly successful social democratic, huge state, big welfare, healthcare for all, big incentives for green energy, caring for climate change, no firearms, high taxes system of West Germany. Welcome!

      • As it happens I knew a biochemist who successfully acquired a former East German NBC proofed-Tank as part of a grant. you see he worked on Kidney disease and examined the levels of kidney damage in former-East Germans at plastics and lead-acid battery factories.
        Not only did all the workers he examined have kidney damage, so did all the locals. What he needed to do was perform an inspection of the various disposal pits that littered the industrial landscape, and which leached slowly into the water table and surged into the streams when it rained.
        The majority of these pits were so dangerous and so large, that samples couldn’t be taken, even wearing a chemical hazard suit.
        Hence, he bought a Tank.
        They converted to tank into a mobile sampling laboratory so that they could examine the levels of pollution in the pits, lagoons and tips that doted the former East Germany.

        His work on kidney disease in East Germany was really difficult. Normally in science one has an affected and unaffected, control, population.
        He never found a control population in East Germany.

        The West Germans found more than 65,000 large waste sites in the East.
        Last count it had cost about a trillion dollar or so to clean the place up.

      • To me, it is amazing that the western partner there could pick up the eastern spouse, rehabilitate it at such huge expense, and the pair still be the powerhouse of European finance et industrie.

        Could it happen in Korea? You betcha. What’s that economic model now, again?
        ============

  27. “The deniers did not decide that climate change is a left-wing conspiracy by uncovering some covert socialist plot. They arrived at this analysis by taking a hard look at what it would take to lower global emissions as drastically and as rapidly as climate science demands. ”

    Left kooks and right kooks taking a hard look.

    I missed the plan to invade China to make them stop emitting CO2.

    • Craaaap! Now that everyone knows about the invasion….

    • gbaikie

      Obama is holding off on the invasion until solar-driven tanks and bombers can be developed.

      A sensible move to limit the US military carbon footprint.

      Max

  28. Dr. Curry,
    But it seems clear that the perception of climate has become a way for people on the general left to demand a re-ordering of world society.
    In that sense AGW is a religious movement: A set of axiomatic beliefs centered around CO2 and how people must be controlled to attain the faith-based goals that grow from those axioms.
    In Donna’s book and from the actual records, it is clear that the IPCC early on went hard against any deep reviews of basic claims. It is clear that the IPCC which held itself out as a repository of peer reviewed work, reviewed by the very best in the relevant fields was fibbing. It is clear that many of the catastrophist claims are simply untrue and that the horizon for when doom arrives is steadily receding.
    But look at the believers here and elsewhere: they largely do not care, and are angry at skeptics for pointing these things out. It seems like what Klein is writing about is how a social movement with roots in some pretty nasty ideas has largely hijacked a science and made itself politically very powerful.
    All without actually delivering one single policy, program or technology that actually works.
    It is amazing,and if the extremist believers were not working themselves up to do even dumber things, it would be hilarious.

    • Good point Hunter!

      Look at the MASSIVE waste of funding throughout the whole world on what?
      How much good science was trashed for this movement?

    • In the “olden days” after folks had heard the snake oil salesman tell them the earth was going to burn up and it turned out after several years that it was actually getting colder, they took things into their own hands. The tar and feather industry quelled a lot of problems then. Oh for the good old days :)

  29. “These are often scoffed at by saying such efforts can have no impact on global CO2 concentrations. But Klein correctly identifies the significance of such efforts as representing a culture shift.”

    This is unclear are the scoffers wrong about “impact on global CO2 concentrations”? Or are they wrong because Klein correcly identifies a culture shift?

    If the second, I see no evidence that this alleged “culture shift” is burgeoning or even large and influential enough to impact global CO2 concentrations in the correct direction i.e. a downwards.

    “could result in more resilient and sustainable communities” doesn’t seem very informative.

    I see an implication that deep down the right is afraid the left has the only “solution”. I think that may be right in that I think the left and right fear each other for the same chimerical reason. But what are the rest of us to think of these two sides being scared of each other? Solution to what?

    Outside the Klein-ian, GUardian, Telegraph, NYT, talking shops the real developmental potential of the world meanwhile manages to improve a lot of things such as poverty, hunger, political freedom and even carbon intensity (yes, shale is better than coal) when looked at clinically at the epidemiological level, without any kind of new cultural intervention invented in the salons of New York and London elites.

    Naomi Klein and Delingpole both strike me as similar sides of one coin, people who need a role in looking important talking about stuff that, God help us and preserve democracy, they will never really be able to influence in the real world.

  30. There are several kinds of capitalism (e.g., laissez -faire, Corporate, State). I’m not sure Klein is making a distinction. Many might consider laissez-faire (government hands-off) as pure capitalism, but I don’t know of any country that has a laissez-faire economy.

    • There are several kinds of capitalism

      Only if “capitalism” ceases to really mean anything.

      “Corporate Capitalism” just seems to socialism (ie state favouritism) for capitalists.

      “State Capitalism” : who knows? Probably just gibberish.

      • Punksta, will you define “capitalism,” and then identify the countries that practice the capitalism you have defined?

      • Of course, human activity can’t really be operationalized, like the subjects of real science. Which means that any attempt to reduce words used to describe human society is inherently bound to alter the meaning that we really have in our heads when we hear the word.

        Still, the attempt to come up with an operationalized definition can be a useful task for sharpening our understanding. I would say that “capitalism,” in its purest form, is the economic system in which the government enforces individual private property rights and contracts, forbids fraud, maintains a monopoly on violence, and otherwise does not regulate the economy.

        Of course, no country has ever practiced perfectly pure capitalism. It’s a matter of degree. What we do know is that the prosperity of the people, including the poor, is generally improving at a rate proportional to the degree to which the government’s economic policy agrees with these ideals. In theory, the correlation could be made stronger by skillful regulation to internalize externalities, but that hasn’t yet been accomplished in practice.

      • Don’t disturb a sophomore in the middle of regurgitating a lecture. That can have catastrophic consequences.

    • I don’t know of any country that has a laissez-faire economy.

      That’s part of what’s so amusing about the nexus of libertarian extremism and climate “skepticism.”

      They hold fundamental beliefs about fantasy economies that never have existed, in hopes that suddenly citizens in “socialist” democracies like the United States will completely reverse their historic patterns, and suddenly trust deregulated capitalists to not exploit toxins for profit, begin to allow poor children to be refused treatment for illness if they show up at a hospital., etc.

      Government regulation and progressive taxes = totalitarianism, economic ruin, and oppression, even though all over the world (and from an historic perspective), government regulation and progressive taxes are positively correlated with civil rights, individual freedoms, and a high standard of living.

      So, they hold these beliefs and then are convinced that that majority of climate scientists, so afflicted by confirmation bias, fail to see that their beliefs don’t reflect physical realities.

      It is too laugh.

      • I, 2, laff.
        ======

      • Corporate Message

        to funny !

      • Government regulation and progressive taxes = totalitarianism, economic ruin, and oppression, even though all over the world (and from an historic perspective), government regulation and progressive taxes are positively correlated with civil rights, individual freedoms, and a high standard of living.

        Laughable nonsense. Robbing some people via taxes, and giving the money to others, is not promoting civil rights or indidual freedom. It’s just organised crime.

        Totalitarianism IS state control; that’s what the word means. Whether that’s what you like, is a separate question.

      • Punksta –

        Please explain how you see that progressive taxation and government regulation aren’t correlated with civil rights, individual freedoms, and a higher standard of living.

        Please note – I’m not asserting causation. What I’m doing is pointing out the faulty reasoning that finds a causal relationship between progressive taxation/government regulation and totalitarianism, lack of freedom, etc.

        I think an assertion of that causal relationship is ahistorical and a counterfactual, but I’m open to reexamining my understanding. Please, provide some examples that serve to show the flaws in my thinking.

      • Awesome wing-nuttery.

      • Please explain how you see that progressive taxation and government regulation aren’t correlated with civil rights, individual freedoms, and a higher standard of living.

        Eh?? Please explain how they are correlated. How does group A using the violence of the state to plunder and exploit other groups do any of this. You may as well highway robbery increases the civil rights of those who practice it.

        And progressive taxation etc doesn’t cause totalitarianism, is totalitarianism – state control over formerly consensual social relations.

      • punksta –

        You do understand correlation, right?

        Look at countries you can identify with progressive taxation and government regulation. How do they compare with countries w/o progressive taxation and government regulation?

        Compare across countries in our contemporary world, and compare across history.

        Do you not find a correlation between government regulation and progressive taxation and increased civil rights, individual freedom, and raised standard of living for majorities of citizens?

        Here’s a place to start. Look at Somalia.

      • Actually you have it exactly backwards.

        http://www.heritage.org/index/ranking

        The more centralized economic control, the less freedom. Freer capitalist states may appear to have higher nominal tax rates, but that is only because those economic wonderlands like North Korea, Zimbabwe and Cuba don’t let their people earn anything to tax.

      • Actually you have it exactly backwards.

        Take a look at where Singapore is on your list, Gary, and get back to me.

        We’ll talk.

      • Joshua said:
        “They hold fundamental beliefs about fantasy economies that never have existed ….”
        _________

        The US had close to a Laissez-faire economy more than 100 years ago, but the resulting ills wouldn’t be tolerated today. The lack of regulation resulted in hazardous working conditions, contaminated food, polluted water and air, mines and mills using child labor, etc.

        China’s state-directed economy has some of the same ills today. As I pointed out elsewhere, there is irony in the fact that China’s economy is not laissez-faire but needs a laissez-faire or free-market world economy to exploit the advantage of its state-directed economy,

        The Chinese seem to be more practical than ideological. They don’t care what color the cat is, as long as it catches the mouse. Perhaps some Americans are too concerned about the cat’s color.

  31. Some sad news to report.

    Ms. Klein was hit by a large chunk of falling sky and after repeated calls of “Wolf, wolf, wolf” she was finally found and is now getting medical treatments for her delusions of grander and political dementia.

  32. Let’s forget the classical “left/right” (centralized socialism versus laissez-faire capitalism) arguments for a moment.

    These are interesting, but what we have here is a classical “chicken and egg” situation.

    Did the “politics” come before the “science” or vice versa?

    Sure there were guys like Arrhenius and others, but It can be historically documented that the entire AGW hysteria of today started with the creation of IPCC, a political body charged with determining whether or not humans were causing our climate to change, whether or not there would be any negative effects or impacts from such human-induced climate change and, if so, what should be done about it.

    So the first act was political.

    Then came the follow-up:

    No significant human-induced climate change = no need for IPCC to continue to exist

    No adverse effects or impacts from human-induced climate change= no need for IPCC to continue to exist.

    No political committee wants to declare that it is no longer important and should therefore be disbanded (see C. N. Parkinson), therefore:

    There must be scientific evidence to gain public support for the premise that:humans are causing our climate to change significantly, which will result in negative effects or impacts unless we undertake actions to mitigate against them.

    Many of the politicians, who were deciding on funding climate research with billions of dollars of taxpayer money, were also the same ones who were pushing for a trillion-dollar global (direct or indirect) tax on carbon, which would give them even more taxpayer money to shuffle around, and hence more power.

    Is this a case of “capitalism versus the climate”?

    I hardly think that’s the main issue here.

    It is a case of politicians wanting more power and (mis)using scientists to achieve their objectives.

    And it almost worked until Climategate…

    Max

    • Max, it’s not “centralized socialism” vs ” laissez-faire capitalism.” It’s more like corporate capitalism vs state-directed capitalism.

      The irony is China’s state-directed capitalism would do best in a world market that’s laissez-faire.

      • They have free housing for Vikings too, from what I have seen.

      • M. carey
        Oh, and they can always kill their competition. Talk about your: Cultrural Revolution. A new long march for everybody:)

      • Well, don’t buy anything made in China. Demand China stop lending us money.

      • In Greenland?

      • M. carey

        You are starting a second discussion, but let’s go on with it.

        China’s rulers are doing what (they believe) is good for China (and for the continuation of their power by avoiding social unrest and uprisings).

        This includes allowing capitalism within China’s communist structure as a GDP-producing engine to gradually improve the welfare of its population.

        Is this “good” or “evil”? No comment here.

        Is it proving to be successful? (Looks like it to me.)

        The current USA rulers are doing what (they believe) is good for the USA (and for the continuation of their power by re-election).

        This includes schemes for “wealth redistribution” from the wealthier to the less affluent (whom they see as their voting base) plus plans to socialize medical care and tax carbon (neither of which seem to have gained much popular traction as yet), all the while giving lip service to helping turn around the flailing economy at the same time printing dollars to throw at the problem and racking up more debt..

        Is this “good” or “evil”? No comment.

        Is it proving to be successful? (The economy will recover or not recover, no matter what the US government does, but let’s see how the next election results turn out.)

        Max

      • Max, I don’t think China is using the economic model that conservatives and libertarians are trying to sell, although I’m not sure what model or models they are trying to sell.
        Do you know?

      • Chinese leaders are doing the same thing Goirbachev did with perestroika. And it will end the same way. Must I re-post the link to the massive ghost cities that the brilliant Chinese leaders have constructed?

        When you start out with over a billion people living on less than $1,000 per year, and try to micro manage a new pseudo-capitalist economy, well, no one has done it successfully yet. And the signs are the Chinese are not faring any better than the Russians did.

        They are already experiencing large scale civil unrest throughout the country, even int the fairly centralized prosperous areas. Economic freedom is necessary for a successful economy. Economic freedom leads inevitably to the desire for political freedom. (Just ask Gorbachev.)

        When their economic bubble bursts it is going to make our depression look like economic heaven.

      • Gary M

        And the signs are the Chinese are not faring any better than the Russians did.

        What planet do you live on?

        http://www.marketwatch.com/story/imf-bombshell-age-of-america-about-to-end-2011-04-25

      • I live on the same planet where the New York Times is published.

        “The violence was the latest outbreak of civil unrest in China fueled by popular discontent over industrial pollution, police misconduct or illegal land grabs that leave peasants with little or no compensation. Such ‘mass incidents,’ as the government calls them, have been steadily increasing in recent years, providing party leaders with worrisome proof that official malfeasance combined with a dysfunctional judiciary often has combustible results.”

        http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/24/world/asia/land-dispute-stirs-riots-in-southern-china.html

        Or the Wall Street Journal.

        “In 2010, China was rocked by 180,000 protests, riots and other mass incidents—more than four times the tally from a decade earlier. That figure, reported by Sun Liping, a professor at Tsinghua University, rather than official sources, doesn’t tell the whole story on the turmoil in what is now the world’s second-largest economy.”

        http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111903703604576587070600504108.html

        You need to extend y0our reading beyond the Huffington Post and MSNBC. If even a few of the writers at the NY Times sees how volatile things are in China, it must be “worse than we thought.”

      • GaryM,

        You could be right that there is social turmoil in store in China. There is likely to be a three way power struggle between the old Communists, the new Capitalists, and an emergent working and middle class.

        But any dynamic economy will always have those internal contradictions. You might read what a certain Karl Marx has to say on that. But you’d have to be particularly brave, or particularly foolish, to make any sort of prediction as to exactly how it will turn out in the end.

    • it’s not “centralized socialism” vs ” laissez-faire capitalism.” It’s more like corporate capitalism vs state-directed capitalism.

      Socialism means coercive centrol/ownership. the polar opposite of laisser faire/capitalism. “Corporate capitalism” & “state-directed capitalism” are really just mumbo-jumbo terms.

      • Punksta, unless you can identify countries with economies that are pure laissez-faire or pure socialism, the distinction you make is not realistic.

    • Max,

      What do you make of the 1979 NRC Charney Report, which states:

      ‘For more than a century, we have been aware that changes in the composition of the atmosphere could affect its ability to trap the sun’s energy for our benefit. We now have incontrovertible evidence that the atmosphere is indeed changing and that we ourselves contribute to that change. Atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide are steadily increasing, and these changes are linked with man’s use of fossil fuels and exploitation of the land. Since carbon dioxide plays a significant role in the heat budget of the atmosphere, it is reasonable to suppose that continued increases would affect climate.

      These concerns have prompted a number of investigations of the implications of increasing carbon dioxide. Their consensus has been that increasing carbon dioxide will lead to a warmer earth with a different distribution of climatic regimes. In view of the implications of this issue for national and international policy planning, the Office of Science and Technology Policy requested the National Academy of Sciences to undertake an independent critical assessment of the scientific basis of these studies and the degree of certainty that could be attached to their results.

      • Paul S

        The Charney report was interesting, but did not change much in this world..

        The establishment of IPCC did.

        Max

      • Max,

        I’d suggest it was the IPCCs first report, at least as far as you are concerned.

        If they’d come out with a more sanguine assessment on the climate risk you’d have had no quarrel with them at all.

    • manacker –

      How do you see the historic roots of “climate skepticism.” Not skepticism in general, mind you, or “scientific skepticism,” but “climate skepticism” as it is most prominently manifest in today’s world.

      If we look at “climate skepticism” today, we see an obvious correlation with “conservative” political ideology.

      Chicken?

      Egg?

      • Climate alarmism sprang (or blossomed from) a search for excuses to make society more coercive, ie the dream of political totalitarians.

        This was eventually spotted by non-totalitarians, from which point skepticism commenced.

      • This was eventually spotted by non-totalitarians, from which point skepticism commenced.

        Leaving aside questions of the accuracy of how you cleave “non-totalitarians” from “totalitarians,” essentially what you’re saying here is that ideological orientation preceded “climate skepticism” (at least when speaking generally about the roots of the current “climate skepticism” nexus with “conservative” political ideology).

        I agree.

      • Joshua

        It is not conservative vs. liberial but it may well be totalitarian vs. individual freedom.

        You want all to comply with your views. Some want to be able to decide to do what they think is best. You view is unrealistic and will not be adopted on this planet in the foreseeable future.

        That is simple, can you follow?

      • Rob –

        Some want to be able to decide to do what they think is best.

        You seem to be mistaken that somehow I want policies to be implemented by fiat. That’s not the case.

        Where have I ever said anything that supports your, apparent, assumptions about my views?

        If you can’t find anything like that, then I suggest that you examine why you projected such a view onto my beliefs. I would offer motivated reasoning as a potential explanation.

      • “Climate change,” aka global warming, aka CAGW, was a political movement from the start. Why would it surprise anyone that those who have been fighting progressivism from the start also respond to this latest iteration of progressive propaganda?

        And skepticism in general of the claims of climate scientists is not limited to conservatives. Steve McIntyre is a liberal/progressive, Steve Mosher is, Dr. Curry is a “moderate,” etc. etc.

        So there are conservatives, liberals, moderates and libertarians who are skeptical of the broad claims of certainty made by progressive climate scientists.

        There are no genuine conservatives who support CAGW.

        Blaming conservatives for tribalism in the climate debate (where progressives have been using it from the start to justify centralization of power they have been seeking through other means my entire lifetime), is like blaming the U.S. for responding to Pearl Harbor and the taking of the Philippines.

      • There are no genuine conservatives who support CAGW.

        This is classic.

        By your definition, no genuine “conservative” could believe that AGW might be harmful, because the belief that AGW might be harmful disqualifies someone from being a genuine “conservative.”

        With such a process of creating definitions, you can uniformly denigrate “progressivez” and beautify “conservativez,” and never be guilty of overgeneralizing.

      • Clean togas all around. Those are not stains on them, they are stripes, earned ones.
        =========

      • We should all chip in and buy Joshua some reading glasses.

        Or are just being pedantic constantly trying to conflate CAGW with AGW?

      • GaryM,

        You say “There are no genuine conservatives who support CAGW.”

        My first inclination is to disagree with you. Surely if they were intelligent and scientifically well informed they would be just as likely as anyone else to come to the conclusion that there was a potentially serious problem, if not catastrophic, with the uncontrolled emission GH gases. If they were looking at the science dispassionately that is.

        But, I fear you may be right. I’m not sure that “genuine conservatives” can forget their politics for long enough to be dispassionate. Is that what you were meaning?

      • Tempterrain,

        That sure is a funny way to look at it. “Skepticism,” in the sense of rejection of CAGW, are found across the political spectrum. There are conservative, liberal, moderate, independent, and libertarian skeptics. There are also conservative, liberal, moderate, independent, and libertarian luke warmers (accepting AGW, but not CAGW). But CAGW proponents are virtually exclusively progressives.

        Yet you see the CAGW skeptical position as being determined solely by politics.

        “Curiouser and curiouser” cried Alice.

      • C stands for catastrophic right? You mean like the Venus effect? If so then virtually no-one is saying that.

        However, what sensible people across the political spectrum are saying is that a 3 deg warming from a doubling of CO2 levels is seriously bad for the climate and we should take mitigating measures to prevent that happening.

      • GaryM,

        “Climate change,” aka global warming, aka CAGW, was a political movement from the start.”

        So, if you were actually living in a world in which AGW was the problem conventional science says it to be, how would it be any different from this one?

        It wouldn’t be would it? Scientists would be saying the same thing. You, Hunter and Wagathon etc would be saying the same thing. Judith would be still banging on about the size of the error bars and bigging up her uncertainty monster. She’d still be wanting to drive on both sides of the road.

        Ever thought that is actually the world you are living in anyway?

      • It sounds like you’re agreeing with Joshua’s point by saying that the first act of ‘climate change skepticism’ (as a movement) was political – perceiving totalitarian dreams of others – and everything since has been a follow-up to that perception.

      • Leaving aside questions of the accuracy of how you cleave “non-totalitarians” from “totalitarians,”

        The more state control you want, the more totalitarian you are. Hardly rocket science I would have thought.

        What you sneakily try and skip over, was that the inaugural (and still overpowering) preexisting ideological orientation, was the totalitarianism that is that the fundamental driver of alarmism. This was only much later spotted by others.

      • Do you not think painting your opposition as totalitarians is an alarmist practice?

      • Paul S, you leap from lame to challenged like a Rocky Mountain Sheep of the Alps.
        =============

      • Another good post. Keep it up.

      • Wither where we will,
        Alarmist uncertainty
        Scares Hell out of ‘em.
        =============

      • Joshua

        Rather than reverting to political “left/right” arguments, let’s stick with “skepticism” as it applies to climate science.

        “Rational skepticism” (or “scientific skepticism”) as it applies to any science is defined by Wiki as

        the practice of questioning the veracity of claims lacking empirical evidence or reproducibility, as part of a methodological norm pursuing “the extension of certified knowledge”

        Those who are “rationally skeptical” of the IPCC claims on the human impact on past climate change and the projected future climate forecasts are referred to as “climate skeptics”.

        [I personally would have preferred the more specific term "rational skeptics of catastrophic human-induced climate change ", but that is a bit too long.]

        It follows logically that if one is rationally skeptical of the science supporting the claims of past human-induced climate change and the resulting forecasts of catastrophic future human-induced climate changes, one will also be rationally skeptical of any proposals to mitigate against these future changes, especially if it appears that the cost/benefit analyses for such mitigation actions show that we cannot perceptibly change our planet’s climate no matter how much money we throw at it.

        So that would be my explanation for you, as one of the “rational climate change skeptics”.

        Max

      • Max, If you were really a “rational climate skeptic” would you have ever been foolish enough to write this?

        “Forget all the junk science by so-called experts that are all in on the multi-billion dollar climate research scam”. “It’s all a hoax.”

    • Max, you can’t sever those things. This is the latest aria in an opera that’s been going on for longer than any of us has been alive. Nikita Khrushchev promised the west in general and America in particular that he would bury us. When he sad that, it wasn’t a military threat, it was an economic one. Feeling his oats from Sputnik, he was convinced that the greater efficiency of communism made its ultimate triumph inevitable.

      It didn’t turn out that way, and 30 years later the whole thing caved in on itself.

      That left a lot of followers with no Jim Jones to follow. They had to admit to themselves that communism would never out-perform capitalism. So what is a true believer to do?

      Sour grapes. We never wanted all that productivity anyway. We’re better off being poorer. And that is the essence of the Klein piece. She came out and said what everybody already knew – that they’re willing to lower standards of living in order to defeat capitalism.

  33. “Far from learning from past mistakes, a powerful faction in the environmental movement is pushing to go even further down the same disastrous road, arguing that the way to win on climate is to make the cause more palatable to conservative values.”
    To make the “cause” now where have I heard that word before and is it the same Mike Hume.
    From: Joseph Alcamo
    To: m.hulme Rob.Swart
    Subject: Timing, Distribution of the Statement
    Date: Thu, 9 Oct 1997 18:52:33 0100
    Reply-to: alcamo
    Mike, Rob,

    Sounds like you guys have been busy doing good things for the cause.

    I would like to weigh in on two important questions —

    Distribution for Endorsements —
    I am very strongly in favor of as wide and rapid a distribution as
    possible for endorsements. I think the only thing that counts is
    numbers. The media is going to say “1000 scientists signed” or “1500
    signed”. No one is going to check if it is 600 with PhDs versus 2000
    without. They will mention the prominent ones, but that is a
    different story.

    Conclusion — Forget the screening, forget asking
    them about their last publication (most will ignore you.) Get those
    names!

    Timing — I feel strongly that the week of 24 November is too late.
    1. We wanted to announce the Statement in the period when there was
    a sag in related news, but in the week before Kyoto we should expect
    that we will have to crowd out many other articles about climate.
    2. If the Statement comes out just a few days before Kyoto I am
    afraid that the delegates who we want to influence will not have any
    time to pay attention to it. We should give them a few weeks to hear
    about it.
    3. If Greenpeace is having an event the week before, we should have
    it a week before them so that they and other NGOs can further spread
    the word about the Statement. On the other hand, it wouldn’t be so
    bad to release the Statement in the same week, but on a
    diffeent day. The media might enjoy hearing the message from two
    very different directions.

    Conclusion — I suggest the week of 10 November, or the week of 17
    November at the latest.

    Mike — I have no organized email list that could begin to compete
    with the list you can get from the Dutch. But I am still
    willing to send you what I have, if you wish.

    Best wishes,

    Joe Alcamo
    End of Email

    So doing great things for the cause goes back at least to 1997. Fantastic isn’t it that public servants are discussing fabricating the number of supporters and that they appear to consider Greenpeace relevant to the science

  34. The reports from Copenhagen were pretty clear. When Chavez spoke, every time he ripped capitalism the delegates cheered wildly. Copenhagen had the same socialist/communist political orientation Klein describes.

    Go back to the sentiments expressed by socialist Maurice Strong. The IPCC is his brainchild. “Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn’t it our responsibility to bring that about?” – Maurice Strong, head of the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro and Executive Officer for Reform in the Office of the Secretary General of the United Nations.

    • stan, do you have a video of the entire speech, and the identity of all the attendees who applauded, and the identities of all attended the conference? The reason I ask is … it’s easy to use snippets from videos to create a misleading impression.

      • Entire speech –http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=405×28130

        He starts with praise for Marx and quotes Castro and other extreme lefties. The essence of the speech is all about the evils of capitalism and the west. All news reports I saw said the applause was thunderous.

        ” a spectre is haunting Copenhagen, to paraphrase Karl Marx, the great Karl Marx, a spectre is haunting the streets of Copenhagen, and I think that spectre walks silently through this room, walking around among us, through the halls, out below, it rises, this spectre is a terrible spectre almost nobody wants to mention it: Capitalism is the spectre, almost nobody wants to mention it.

        It’s capitalism, the people roar, out there, hear them.

        I have been reading some of the slogans painted on the streets, and I think those slogans of these youngsters, some of which I heard when I was young, and of the young woman there, two of which I noted. You can hear among others, two powerful slogans. One: Don’t change the climate, change the system.

        And I take it onboard for us. Let’s not change the climate, let’s change the system! And consequently we will begin to save the planet. Capitalism is a destructive development model that is putting an end to life; it threatens to put a definitive end to the human species.”

        Note that he even acknowledges the roar of the crowd in response to his attack and he then references all the anti-capitalism signs and slogans of the delegates.

      • Does Chavez take Big-Pharma chemotherapy and have treatment from a Capitalist Gamma-Knife, or is his cancer therapy all herbal?

      • stan, I was curious about the Chavez speech at COP 15 so I went to the COP 15 web site and listened to it both in Spanish and in the English translation. I recommend you do the same.

        http://webcast.cop15.dk/kongresse/cop15/templ/play.php?id_kongresssession=2720&theme=cop15

        News reports of thunderous applause are gross exaggerations. Too hear for yourself, listen to the speech in Spanish first to hear the audience, because the translation is isolated and you will hear only the translator.

        Chavez is a left-wingnut who shares some surprising similarities with right-wingnuts. Listen to how he bashes Obama, suspects conspiracies, and dislikes banks.

      • M. Carey,
        “bashes banks”…you mean like that infamous right wing movement Occcupy Wall St.?

  35. Uh, oh. Now you’ve gone and done it, Dr. Curry.

    You’ve recognized that some people have noticed there’s an elephant in the room.

  36. Judith – there is something quite ironic going on here. Even compared to the everyday bickering and tribal mudslinging, this post has brought out the most virulent partisanship. But you introduced the topic by saying –

    “The climate debate seems to be increasingly becoming the framing for a massive political and cultural battleground”

    And what has happened here? Without a seconds thought, the thread has become a ‘massive political battleground!’

    Are you sure this isn’t an amusing social experiment where we’re all reacting according to type??

    Still, if I hadn’t worked out everyone’s political prejudices, they’ve all been laid out on the table today….

    • I haven’t seen anyone agreeing whleheartedly with Klein, although some of us have sympathy with some of her arguments. OTOH there seem to be a number of people expressing views which are just as extreme and fundamentalist in the other direction.

  37. All very interesting, Judith, but all this political red meat gets very repetitive and predictable. Can we now have another scientific thread to argue about please?

    As an aside, what was your purpose in posting this? The other guinea pigs would be interested to know I’m sure.

    • As a suggestion for another thread, what about the latest Spencer/Braswell discussion?

    • Perhaps she wished to see if conservative blogs would accuse her of spreading disinformation?

    • RobB,

      Think of this site a communist version of Our Lady of Mercy’s Mission to the Poor. You’ll get your soup, but first you have to listen to the proselytism from Sister Judy.

      • But I’ve done my penance, can’t I have some soup now please!

      • On reflection, perhaps her intent is to allow the storm to rage and then blow itself out so that once all the energy has been released the debate can move on to something a bit more objective. The trouble is, some of the denizens never run out of energy when it comes to these political threads so the storm continues unabated. And with that thought, I’m going back to lurking. I don’t like being manipulated.

      • I’m very sorry to report, RobB, you’re manipulated while you lurk; the strings tug more faintly and are harder to see.
        ===========

      • Hint, delurking shatters bonds. Loose the tongue, out the gag.
        ================

  38. Wait for it … wait for it ….

    “The climate debate seems to be increasingly becoming the framing for a massive political and cultural battleground, which does not bode well for climate science to return to some sort of ‘normalcy’ anytime soon.”

    There it is.

    Gee Judy, that was a pretty long winded excuse for your next foray into “post normal science” – AKA avowed communist Jerry Ravetz’s “trick” for hoodwinking the public into thinking that replacing the scientific method with leftist political ideology is science.

    There was no need to go on as long as you did. The end of the first paragraph above is the perfect segue:

    “To what extent is this entire movement simply a green Trojan horse, whose belly is full with red Marxist socioeconomic doctrine?”

    You could have just pablumed a Mullerian denial of the obvious, planted tongue in cheek, and started in on your next episode of the fairy tale entitled “How the brave little deniers amateur scientists conquered the horrible Uncertainty Monster, by going down the Trail of No Leftist Regrets.”

    Try to be more efficient in the future.

  39. Leftist politicians begat
    Leftist governments which begat
    Leftist educational institutions which begat
    Leftist scientists who are now selling political leftism via Climate Science

    The circle was completed a long time ago, and now we get to have fun.

    Andrew

    • What is left and what is right?

      Is left communist? – well the Chinese think they need to increase CO2 emissions, so left must not be communism.

      • Rob,

        Left is Power of the State. Keep that tidbit of info handy.

        Andrew

      • BA

        But under that definition, the Chinese central authority, which is communist; would supposedly be supporting the idea that they should not build CO2 emitting power plants and that they should be subsidizing “clean energy” power plant construction worldwide in poor countries.

        In fact, China is doing what a rational person would expect-they are doing what is good for China. The left vs. right idea does not hold up.

      • Rob,

        You present a very convoluted argument. Statists can be Nationalists too. China doesn’t need to operate the way you imagine they should operate to make them leftist. They can do whatever they want as long as state authority is never diminished. They don’t need to conform to your imagination.

        Andrew

      • Bad

        So if I am understanding your definition, a monarchy is left since it has power centralized. Sorry, I just don’t follow the logic

      • Rob,

        A monarchy is typically understood as having a king or queen by heredity. We don’t really do that stuff anymore. Today they are “elected” and we call them dictators, and more diplomatically, Presidents and Secretaries of The Party and stuff like that. Keep your eye on the ball, Rob. Power of the State. Don’t overthink. You’ll just confuse yourself further.

        Andrew

      • Bad

        Think more and consider Saudi Arabia (an absolute monarchy) and any military dictatorship you want to pick as examples. Both have highly centralized power in their government. Neither would be considered “left”.
        “Left” is generally considered the belief of progressive socialism or communism. I just do not see that as relevant to the issue at all. Countries that are both “left” and “right” have not agreed to implement the actions that those who fear cAGW believe is correct.

      • Rob,

        Just because AGW doesn’t sell in a particular country doesn’t mean that that the idea is not being used to empower governments. Maybe El Presidente sees that it isn’t true and simply chooses to operate based on reality. But the AGW as a Leftist Marketing Tool is still there.

        And again the tool is there to extend the power of the state. You seem adverse to accepting the idea, but it’s really pretty obvious.

        Andrew

      • Rob,

        Sure, but OTOH there are very few who disagree in principle that action is needed. The arguments are more about who pays and the balance of responsibilities between the developed and developing world than about whether there is a problem which needs to be addressed.

      • Carbon dioxide has demonstrably been a huge boon to human society, and will probably continue to be demonstrably so, unless it turns out to be as powerful a warming agent as the most alarmist among us have feared.

        Really, how likely is it that the Gorebellied Fools of this world have been correct? For how long now have we been looking intensively for the CO2 effect on climate and for how long have we been failing to do so?

        No wonder the Faerie Magician Kevin Trenberth has to announce that it is everywhere; it’s because he can’t find it anywhere.

        Honest, Kevin, if we do find your missing heat, it’ll be useful.
        ==============

      • Andrew
        When you write that there are few who disagree that action is needed I would agree. The disagreement is whether the actions should accomplish something or be nonsense examples of some philosophy.

        Doing normal thing like building proper infrastructure to retain water and help prevent flood damage are actions that I support and think make sense for all countries to implement. I see zero reason for US citizens to subsidize these actions in other countries. I see the tax policies of Tobis as completely without merit. He agreed that the tax he helped get implemented in Ireland did nothing for the climate.

        Does it make sense to implement actions that do nothing? These are the suggestions of people like Bart and Robert.

      • Rob,

        Well my main point was that the fact that countries of varying political persuasions have failed to sign up to a legally binding agreement does not mean that they do not agree that action is needed. Actually a lot of what was agreed in principle at Cancun and Copenhagen is worthwhile and could have real benefits, of course whether it is actually put into practice is another question altogether.

        In general of course we should only take actions which will make a difference, although symbolic actions can sometimes have their place. But don’t confuse actions which are inherently flawed with those which are on too small a scale to be effective on their own. Of course Ireland instituting carbon taxes or Australia setting up a carbon trading scheme will on their own have a minimal impact, I’m sure MT does not claim otherwise, just as the tiny amount I give to Oxfam every month will not solve the problems of the third world. But if enough others do it it can certainly make a difference.

        As for your comment –

        Doing normal thing like building proper infrastructure to retain water and help prevent flood damage are actions that I support and think make sense for all countries to implement. I see zero reason for US citizens to subsidize these actions in other countries.

        there are a number of justifications. Firstly, the moral case for wealthy countries to assist poorer ones which underpins foreign aid in general, secondly the fact that it is us who bear a large share of responsibility for creating the problem of AGW, and there are also the political ramifications of large numbers of people being forced to relocate and the efffect it could have on stability in some countries.

  40. randomengineer

    The corporate quest for scarce resources will become more rapacious, more violent.

    If you’re predisposed to presume corporations are inherently evil by definition then the link between “rapacious corporations” and bad climate change is automatic. The line of (anti-capitalist) thinking is predictable.

    How will we adapt to the people made homeless and jobless by increasingly intense and frequent natural disasters?

    Again this presumes increase in disaster intensity and frequency.

    ***

    This attempt at scholarship by Klein is absurd. It’s little more than recycled argument that was recycled because it already failed.

  41. Professor Richard Betts, Head of Climate Impacts at the UK Meteorological Office and lead author of IPCC past and current reports

    I prefer to distinguish between “climate scientists” (who are mainly atmospheric physicists) and “climate change scientists” who seem to be just about anyone in science or social science that has decided to see what climate change means for their own particular field of expertise.

    Most climate scientists* do not subscribe to the 2 degrees “Dangerous Climate Change” meme (I know I don’t).

    Professor Richard Tol, Professor of the Economics of Climate Change

    I agree with Richard Betts that there is nothing special or particularly alarming about a global warming of 2K.

    I would add that it is perhaps physically impossible and certainly politically infeasible to meet this target. See

    http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eneco.2009.10.013

    The worrying thing is of course that when the 2K warming comes to pass (e.g., when you move from Dublin to Brighton) and nothing terribly bad happens, people lose confidence — not just in the likes of Kevin Anderson, but in all experts.

    For once I agree with Tol, if Anderson is to be discredited by the non impact of 2K warming can one argue that pseudo experts such as Klein, Martha & Rabett will be opprobriated.

  42. Fine, the world needs a radical turn. Who then gets to drive the bus? Who has enough wisdom to actually turn the world away from disaster without becoming corrupt from the power? Anyone?

  43. One of the mistakes being made in the CAGW argument is the assumption that anthropogenic emissions are causing 100% of the accumulation of CO2 in the atmosphere and that reducing emissions will proportionally reduce the rate of accumulation. My calculations, indicate that around 95% of the accumulation is natural. http://www.retiredresearcher.wordpress.com. If that is true, reducing emissions by 50% would only reduce the accumulation rate by 2.5%. Is it worth the cost of international controls to reduce possible future damages by only 2.5%?

  44. The Medium is the Message:

    It is impossible to speak passionately about capitalism versus the self-defeating nihilism of secular, socialist liberal fascism without being blackballed by government-funded schoolteachers.

  45. I’ll admit it right up front. I’ve never heard of Naomi Klein before I read this post. And after I read the post, I had in my mind’s-eye an imagined Naomi Klein that was a dumpier and drabber kin to Bella Abzug. Sort of a Andrea Dworkin in decline type.

    But the JoNova article, linked in the post, has a picture of the improbable Ms. Klein. Whoa there cowboy! That’s Naomi Klein! Tell me that lady hasn’t seen the inside of a shopping mall or two. Or maybe even the inside of a private-jet or two or three.

    • This is a good post, and the message is clear: public vote is in and climate scientist are out. Unless climate scientist do a better job in figuring out the science behind climate change, we will continue to live in this social-political mess.

  46. It’s rather obvious that some look at the measures advocated by Klein, et al. and (wrongly) base their opinion of the science on that.

    It’s also rather obvious that some (wrongly) base their opinion of the science on the fact that they believe it supports their political ends.

    We have two separate issues and neither dictates the other. Klein’s contention to the contrary does her side no good in that it stakes out an extreme position where a centrist one is the only option in a free society.

    History shows that policies predicated on changing human nature will fail.

    • Gene. I don’t know about that. It used to be the nature of many people to want slaves. I think that has changed, but I can’t speak for everyone here.

      • You err, the urge is to be a slave.
        ==========================

      • You’re confusing the symptom with the underlying drive. Otherwise slaveholding would be a more universal feature of human society and its abolition would not have occurred so quickly and easily (both quickly and easily being relative terms).

      • Kim, I do miss the days when I could throw beer cans from my car, then plunk ‘em with my 22. That’s only one of many freedoms I have lost. Just yesterday I wanted to pour used motor oil down the drain and burn some old tires in my backyard, BUT NO, totalitarian government won’t allow me these freedoms.

      • GaryM, the kool aid bust was in Georgia, a GOP strong hold where Republicans preach free-enterprise but practice restraint of trade.

        Kids sell lemon aide in the area where I live, which is predominately Democrat. Not that I would buy any. You never know what’s in it.

      • M.carey,

        As I wrote elsewhere on this thread, there are all too many progressives in the Republican Party. It was Republicans after all who gave us the EPA, wage and price controls, medicare drug entitlement, TARP.

        There is a fundamental difference between being a conservative, and being a Republican.

      • Actually M carey,

        The “koolaide” busts occured in several states, Oregon and Maryland being among them.

      • randomengineer

        That’s because you haven’t done these things. You throw beer cans from a pickup bed, and you use at least a .38. Get it right. Geeez.

      • You are right about the pickup but wrong about everything else. I through them out, then turned around and drove back to plunk ‘em.

        We practiced on moving targets by throwing beer cans in the river. We also exercised our freedom by shooting colorful birds. Did you know Cardinals are easier to hit than Hummers(the bird not the vehicle)?

      • 1911 on butterflies. Naw, boa coughs et catches breath netless.
        ===============

      • I’m shocked, M. carey. Hummingbirds pause. Sit, so to speak, said the tit.
        ============

      • Yes, Kim, Humming birds are harder to hit than Cardinals, although I never tried to shoot a Hummer with a shotgun.

        That was the old me, when I was Libertarian in my thinking. As I matured, I came to believe Libertarians are butt holes. Yes, I used to be one.

      • Well the good thing about us “butt holes” is we tend to own things bigger than .22 LR.

      • randomengineer

        Rubbish. For an example read Lucifer’s Hammer which although a novel makes the argument well enough — take away the tech and the societal niceties and we humans will have slaves and none of the more PC women’s lib (125 lb firefighters) etc as per what we humans can afford to do at the time. Change in condition isn’t fungible with the notion of change in human nature.

  47. Norm Kalmanovitch

    The western essentially capitalist society depends on energy to power the economy and most of this energy comes from fossil fuels. There has been no gl;obal warming for the past decade so reducing CO2 emissions from fossil fuels for the sake of saving the world from catastrophic global warming is clearly not a valid rational for reducing CO2 emissions from fossil fuels.
    The political exclusion of China and India from the Kyoto accord has allowed their economies to grow unhindered by the fossil fuel energy constriants imposed on the western world such as the implimentation of wind power and the stagnation of fossil fuel sourced power generation that has crippled the western economies.
    As a result all that these initiatives have done nothing to reduce CO2 emissions which have grown by over 35% since the initiation of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change mostly as a result of increased emissions from India and China and more importantly in spite of all efforts by western countries to reduce emissions.
    This is not very convincing evidence that the main purpose is to save the planet from global warming, and since the only rational ever stated for AGW was that the hockey stick showed that increases in global temperature were inconsistant with natural variation so global warming must be caused by humans; perhaps we can use the same logic and state that since there is no global warming to stop the sole purpose of AGW initiatives is to attack fossil fuel energy and therefore attack the primarily capitalist western economy

    • Norm, I think a more rational argument is you and I probably won’t live long enough to be adversely affected by man-made climate change, so why should we care. It’s not like future generations of humans ever did anything for us, is it?

      • M. carey

        It’s not like future generations of humans ever did anything for us, is it?

        Well, we are setting it up so they will pay for the debts we are racking up today…

        Max

      • I never thought of it that way. What a clever scheme ! We see to it that future generations will be doing something for us without us doing anything for them.

      • M. carey

        Aw, c’mon – we’ve got to feed them and send them to school, so they can pick up our debt burden. And, what-the-hell, they’ll pass it on to their children, anyway…

        Max

      • Ponzi’s was archetypal, Social Security the first mass application and the question now is how long can the experiment be continued before it becomes unethical.
        ================

      • Max, I was thinking about future future generations, not our kids and grandkids. Of course they (mine) will be getting something from me, but maybe not as much as they hope. It’s best to keep them guessing.

      • Social Security is not a Ponzi scheme. People who say it is don’t know what the hell a Ponzi Scheme is.

      • M. carey said “Social Security is not a Ponzi scheme. People who say it is don’t know what the hell a Ponzi Scheme is.

        Chris Matthews Admits Social Security Is Ponzi Scheme

        Read more: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/matthew-sheffield/2011/09/09/shocker-chris-matthews-admits-social-security-ponzi-scheme

      • Well – now that Chris Mathews has “admitted” it, the debate is settled.

      • Joshua said “
        Well – now that Chris Mathews has “admitted” it, the debate is settled.

        Was it settled in M. carey’s November 16, 2011 at 12:24 pm post that claimed “Social Security is not a Ponzi scheme. People who say it is don’t know what the hell a Ponzi Scheme is?”

      • M C,

        Just to make sure I have this correctly,

        Our kids and grandkids don’t really matter (along with all of the kids in the less developed world). We need to stop thinking about them and worry about some non-specific group of people far into the future?

        I think I’ll work and making sure my kids are capable of making their way in the world and contributing something to it along the way. That method has proven time and again to work best at ensuring their kids do the same. With the likely result that by the time we have reached some distant future, things will turn out not anywhere near as bad as some seem to envision today. Amazing how that works.

      • An interesting thing about the Social Security system is that it cannot default. There is no contract. As a pay-as-you-go system, there is no defined benefit. There are no assets. Future retirees will get what they get with no legal recourse. Let’s say you put in a couple hundred grand and you get ten grand (or nothing) out. Oops, sorry about that. Better luck next time.

      • randomengineer

        The only rational argument is the one involving China and India. All else is a fart in a windstorm. If their level of tech doesn’t surpass the west and they want to have a similar lifestyle then given their populations then what the western world does is completely immaterial.

        Meanwhile the west could implement scalable green power today in the form of solar power satellites but doesn’t due to idiotic rhetoric from the Kleins of the world who would rather BYPASS anything resembling a rational solution for energy and instead focus on socialist politics. Just think, it’s the socialist screeching about progress that is what’s stopping progress. Had you left this to the mean old rapacious capiltalists completely they/we would have had spaceborne power operational a couple of years back.

      • Now, that would heat us up.
        ============

  48. Curious Canuck

    As one of the formal Liberal Party of Canada’s Ministers of the Environment, Christine Stewart, put it.

    “No matter if the science is all phony, there are collateral environmental benefits… [C]limate change [provides] the greatest chance to bring about justice and equality in the world.”

    This is not limitted to the smallest crannies of national cesspit that is Naomi Klein’s mind.

    In the larger scheme of all this, the science doesn’t matter, as long as it supports or remembers not to undercut the appropriate causes

  49. What a fabulous article! Here we have a CAGW true believer saying what the skeptics have been saying all along — centrally controlled wrenching lifestyle changes, death to capitalism, and all. The issue storm this generates will be wonderful to watch. Of course it is overstated, but that is their thing, here turned upon themselves.

  50. Laying aside, for a moment to consider something else, my understanding that there is very reasonable disagreement with the idea that there is a credible basis for alarming/concernist AGW by CO2 from fossil fuel.

    Laying aside, for a moment to consider something else, my understanding that increasing CO2 has impact on Earth’s life which, based on geological evidence is beneficial, overall, to the broader aspect of life on earth.

    Laying aside, for a moment to consider something else, my understanding that the dynamics of the carbon cycle are not certain enough to yield a reasonable basis to say that manmade CO2 is a significant portion of the atmospheric CO2 changes.

    Laying aside, for a moment to consider something else, my understanding of reasonable doubt about many other claims made by the so-called consensus/convinced/settled science which is centric to the IPCC’s assessment. Some of the issues are about climate sensitivity and lack of equitable funding for research into skeptical positions.

    After all that is temporarily laid aside (phew) . . . I have found the fundamental argument to discuss with ideological environmentalists is the irrationality of their premise that man’s fallibility must be removed by man to prevent inevitable destruction of earth that they posit must result from freedom (laissez faire capitalism). They advocate, as men, to forcibly prevent man’s fallibility. That is self-refuting. That kind of irrationality only works in a quasi-religious framework where special infallible knowledge is processed by the few.

    I love this quote:

    Ludwig von Mises said,
    “”””If one rejects laissez faire on account of man’s fallibility and moral weakness, one must for the same reason also reject every kind of government action.”””””

    John

    • John Whitman

      Got another “laying aside” for you:

      Laying aside, for a moment to consider something else, my understanding that there have been no specific proposals to reduce human GHG emissions, which can be shown to have any perceptible theoretical impact on our planet’s climate

      Max

      • Do you mean perceptible or theoretical, or do you mean both?
        ==========

      • . . . the perception is in the eye of the theorist?

        . . . the theory is a perception in the eye of the beholder?

        John

      • manacker,

        Thanks for another temporary laying aside thought.

        I think we need to temporarily lay aside a lot of problems with the IPCC centric climate ‘science’ (using the word science loosely there) to clearly show the irrationality of the ideology that manipulates it and advocates it.

        I have maintained for the past few years that ideological environmentalism (IE) is the irrational base advocating the IPCC centric climate ‘science’. The fundamental philosophy at the base of IE, by my analysis, is a nihilism of shockingly malignant variety; weird stuff.

        John

    • The quote is silly. Laissez faire has been rejected, government action hasn’t.

      • M. carey,

        Thanks for your rejection.

        It is understood capitalism/laissez faire has been rejected by those who reject it. Duh!

        It is understood authoritarianism has been rejected by those who reject it.

        It is understood mixed economies (of authoritarian elements and capitalistic/laissez faire elements) which historically become fully authoritarian over time are rejected by both capitalist/laissez faire supporters and authoritarian supporters.

        This battle between the two has always been paramount and it always will be. It is profoundly a philosophical battle. The authoritarians seem to be in a ragged retreat. However, it is necessary to maintain constant vigilance wrt their agendas.

        The authoritarians must always collapse in failure because they inherently are anti-achievers and non-productive. We all know this. And we know the ideological environmentalists (IEs) support the authoritarians because they know there will be government rationing of ever dwindling consumption under it; which seems to be the IEs view of paradise.

        John

    • That is a great quote! I’ve never heard it before…

  51. I would call muself ‘right-wing’. I have not benefitted much financially from capitalism, but the wealth it has generated over the past 2 centuries paid my way through an education at a world-class university (yes, back in those days they paid students to get educated! Also, from the spelling, yes I’m British).

    The real reason I am ‘right-wing’ is because of the Greens. At school in the 70s most of my classmates were drooling over the Club of Rome, the Limits to Growth, Paul Ehrlich. The only ethical branch of science was ecology and all machinery was evil and we must scrape for food and haul water from the well and never venture more than 10 miles on foot from our rustic technology-free self-sustaining village.

    They probably all became bankers.

    I liked the idea that we’d gone to the moon; that nuclear power could generate power 24*7; that fusion was attainable, and that the inventive, inquiring human spirit could one day soar to the stars. I didn’t like the Greens.

    So when the Greens came up with global warming as the latest doomsday scenario to bend us towards their ideology it was clear from the start what was in store: repent your ways, or else the flood/drought/cold/warm/wet/dry will get you. “See, it’s raining, and that’s YOUR fault!”

    I don’t know whether AGW is true or not, but it was inevitable that it would be used by the Malthusians.

    It isn’t so much Capitalism vs Green, it is an ideological disagreement between those who welcome human progress (economic, science, health) and those who distrust it.

    Who was it who said ‘if a clean, cheap, reliable source of energy was ever discovered it would be a disaster’? I just hate people like that.

    • There really is two quite disparate visions for the soul of humanity. I’ll go with the classical winner.
      ==========

    • “So when the Greens came up with global warming as the latest doomsday scenario”

      That never happend. Sorry. Science came up with global warming, the greens were the first to aknowledge it as a major problem in the making. (The science itself is not political, but that is so hard for the right to accept that they constantly making up rediculous conspiracy theories about scientists.) Don’t blame the greens for being right two decades before everyone else.

      Also, I think your dichotomy between (anti-technology)greens and technological progress loving capitalists is a thing of the past. Every green denying the need to embrace technology to solve the climate crisis is a fool and there shouldn’t be many left who do.

      • “Also, I think your dichotomy between (anti-technology)greens and technological progress loving capitalists is a thing of the past”.

        The Green block in the European Parliament are trying to stop funding for ITER, the international nuclear fusion research facility. Surely if they are no longer the anti-technology luddites of the past, they would welcome ALL arrows in the quiver to deal with the issue. I don’t think they’ve changed a jot, although there may now be disagreement between pro- and anti-fission cadres.

        PS: My bad. I should have said ‘latched on to global warming’ rather than ‘came up with’.

      • No, James Hansen and his progressive congressional patrons started the whole global warming movement. It was political, and progressive, from the start. Other “climate scientists” just jumped on the funding train as it left the station. Confirmation bias and their own predilection for progressivism did the rest.

      • Paul, the scientists came up with the theoretical possibility of dangerous global warming, but it was the greens that turned it into a full scale policy issue. This has been their method since Silent Spring. It is a political movement based on shaky scary science, one that has grown steadily in power for 50 years. The problem is that the power the movement tried for this time was far too much, so now we have a backlash. Every political movement ultimately expires from an excess of its own principles. So be it.

  52. “The science itself is not political”

    …and totally inadequate for the conclusions drawn from it.

    Andrew

    • You the same BA from arstechnica?

      • “arstechnica”

        Never heard of it.

        Are you the kramer from Seinfeld? ;)

        Andrew

      • Nope, not the same kramer.

        There is a poster in the arstechnica.com forums with the same name who I have discussed AGW with before. I thought you might be the same person.

      • kramer,

        I’m around here, Bishop Hill, WUWT sometimes, The Air Vent and I’ve snuck a couple past the goalie over the years at Climate Audit. I used to comment alot at The Blackboard until Lucia :P decided to moderate me.

        Andrew

  53. Joshua commented on this article a couple days ago on the Public Engagement on Climate Change thread. My comment:

    I enjoy reading The Nation – really bright progressives, good writers who are generally honest about their ideology and intent. Christopher Hitchens was their brightest star until he came to his senses (mostly).

    The article fairly accurately describes what the progressive activists driving the politics behind “climate change” intend.

    “The deniers did not decide that climate change is a left-wing conspiracy by uncovering some covert socialist plot. They arrived at this analysis by taking a hard look at what it would take to lower global emissions as drastically and as rapidly as climate science demands. They have concluded that this can be done only by radically reordering our economic and political systems in ways antithetical to their ‘free market’ belief system. As British blogger and Heartland regular James Delingpole has pointed out, ‘Modern environmentalism successfully advances many of the causes dear to the left: redistribution of wealth, higher taxes, greater government intervention, regulation.’ Heartland’s Bast puts it even more bluntly: For the left, ‘Climate change is the perfect thing…. It’s the reason why we should do everything [the left] wanted to do anyway.’

    Here’s my inconvenient truth: they aren’t wrong.”

    But this applies to movement progressives. Those who have immersed themselves in the movement, have read extensively on progressive economic and political theory, and are politically active – leaders of the movement. It does not apply to what I call default progressives – those who believe, argue and vote progressive because that is what they have been taught, and what almost everyone they know believes (think Joshua, Martha, and Louise).

    Most climate scientists are not movement activists, they are by and large default progressives. The fact that the research they publish inevitably coincides with their political beliefs is not a result of their joining in a conspiracy. It is merely a product of confirmation bias and other phenomenon discussed at length here previously.

    But progressives of any kind are progressives first and everything else second. Hansen, Schmidt, Mann, Trenberth, et al. are not part of some diabolical cabal. They are merely progressives first, and scientists second.

    • GaryM – You say “It does not apply to what I call default progressives – those who believe, argue and vote progressive because that is what they have been taught, and what almost everyone they know believes (think Joshua, Martha, and Louise).”

      I’ve never knowingly voted ‘progressive’

      I live in the UK and I voted for Margaret Thatcher – there’s not a lot of folk over here that would call her ‘progressive’ if this means what I think you want it to mean.

      I work in the private sector, for a major defence company, and always have worked in defence. I’ve had to shoulder my way through protesters at ‘arms fairs’ (trade shows). I fully support nuclear power as the only future for mankind. I believe we should minimise the influence of government on individuals’ lives, we shoud treat grown ups as grown ups but we should also protect those in our society that cannot protect themselves. Is this ‘progressive’?

      • Louise,

        There is a difference between big C British Conservatism, and small c ideological conservatism. Elsewhere on this thread you mentioned voting for Conservatives in Britain. That does not make you an ideological conservative.

        “Working in defense,” supporting nuclear power and “minimizing the influence of government on individuals’ lives” are also not conservative tenets.

        “Working in defense” is not conservative. Favoring a strong defense, rather than pillaging the defense budget for redistributive social programs, is.

        Supporting nuclear power is neither conservative nor progressive. There are too many in both camps who support nuclear power. But objection to nuclear power is primarily a progressive phenomenon.

        And finally, whether “minimizing the influence on individuals’ lives” is conservative or not, depends on how you mean it. If you mean the secular humanism that allows for the sexualization of children at ever younger ages; legalizing drugs that decimate people, families and communities (think crack, methamphetamine and heroine, not pot); and yes abortion on demand, then you are a progressive (or liberaltarian).

        If on the other hand you mean allowing individuals more control over their lives in the economic sphere, then that would be conservative.

        In general, there are three legs to being a “genuine” conservative. If you embrace all three, you are a conservative: 1) free market capitalism; 2) the Judeo-Christian ethic (not the religions themselves, but the morality that has developed and became a commonly held set of moral principles in the west); and 3) democratic/republican form of government with protections for individual liberties like those set forth in the US Bill of Rights (not the “positive rights” so favored by progressives – ie. a “right” to healthcare, housing etc.).

        It is acceptance of, and adherence to, this set of principles that makes one a conservative, or not. Not voting for a particular politician or government program.

      • Louise,

        As to helping those who cannot help themselves, that is more a conservative policy. Every time a poll is done of actual charitable giving, it shows that conservatives give far more on average than progressives. When a conservative sees someone in need, he gives him money. When a progressive sees someone in need, he votes to take other people’s money and give it to him. Oh, and he might also try to get a job with the government agency of NGO that redistributes that money taken from other people. If he’s a politician, he might also tell that poor person he has to vote for progressives to keep the government largesse coming.

        Poverty Is a win-win-win situation for progressives. That is part of the reason none of the progressive programs purportedly designed to deal with it ever succeed. If there we no abject poverty, who would vote for progressives?

  54. Dr. Curry,
    This is a good post, and the message is clear: public vote is in and climate scientist are out. Unless climate scientist do a better job in figuring out the science behind climate change, we will continue to live in this social-political mess.

  55. Naomi did an even better job that Donna in getting all kinds of folks to come out from under their rocks and expose themselves to the light.

    But (on second thought) it’s really Judith that did it…

    Max

  56. Agnostic Carnivores and Global Warming: Why Enviros Go After Coal and Not Cows

    Forget ending dirty coal or natural gas pipelines. As the WPF report shows, veganism offers the single most effective path to reducing global climate change.

    For all the passion fueling his efforts, though, there’s something weirdly amiss in [McKibbon's] approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions: neither he nor 350.org will actively promote a vegan diet.

    • I am much closer to being a vegan than I used to be. One thing that did it for me was being advised to cook beef to kill the possible presence of “e coli ” or whatever it’s called. That stuff is from the cow’s bowels, which means the beef you buy could be contaminated with excrement. When you cook sh*t, you get cooked sh*t. Not very appetizing.

      • Real men shouldn’t be bothered by a little of their own, clean, ox butchering.
        ==========

      • Clean and sacred, if you please.
        ==========

      • kim, eat all the cooked sh*t you want. Wash it down with urine.

      • It’s a wise man who knows his own fodder.
        ====================

      • M. Carey,

        Careful, or you’ll end up moving into a plastic bubble like John Travolta in The Boy in the Plastic Bubble.

        http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/45030025/t/pumping-gas-germy-proposition/

      • I am too much of an outdoors person to live in a plastic bubble. I hike in the woods a lot. Not much to worry about, except the deer ticks and rabid foxes.

      • M. carey, I wouldn’t be so flippant about rabid animals – last time I looked, only one person is known to have contracted rabies and lived to tell the tale.

      • I’ve no problem with a bit of crap in my dinner. Mankind has used sewage as fertilize for millenia. Cook it properly or, if you’re going to eat it raw, wash it in fresh water if you can, but just how do folks think we survived as a species without chlorine in our water?

        Beef is no less likely to be contaminated with e-coli than vegetables. The last major outbreak of e-coli in Europe was caused by beansprouts, hardly the fare of the raging carnivore.

      • PS – I just read that back. I don’t mean for you to wash the sewage before you eat it :-D, just the food LOL

        PPS Don’t eat the sewage

      • After some worry words about e. coli, M. carey said, “I hike in the woods a lot. Not much to worry about, except the deer ticks and rabid foxes.”

        You know what those deer do in the woods. The same thing bears do in the woods.

      • Louise,

        Whatever issues we may disagree on, I’m coming to the opinion that I like you. I see a lot of common sense and at the end of the day, I think that is more important than where we might stand politically.

      • Thanks timg56 – I like you too (but then I always tend to like people that like me , it shows a certain intelligence ;-))

      • So, you think veggies are safe? Or do you cook things like lettuce and cucumbersto death?

        http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/may/30/ecoli-outbreak-death-toll

        German authorities have warned consumers to avoid eating cucumbers, lettuces and tomatoes and have ordered some products removed from store shelves.

      • No, Bob, some purchased raw vegetables are not safe, so it’s wise to assume no purchased raw vegetables are safe, and take the necessary precautions.

      • At first glance, I thought you said you were much closer to being a virgin!!! ;-)

        On a serious note though, e-coli is ubiquitous – it’s not only found in sh*t, least of all the variety from cows and other grass-eaters

      • I might as well return to being a virgin.

      • M. Carey,

        I think we’re simpatico in our shared aversion to BS–your distaste for trace amounts of the same in hamburger neatly matches mine for the BS by the bucket-full found in greenshirt agit-prop. As you so eloquently put it–“Not very appetizing.”

        Little known fact: The metabolism of earthworms includes an alimentary function.

      • You need to look deeper into what happens during plant harvesting and processing The American Southwest had an outbreak of hepatitis spread by strawberries. Europe had something spread through spinach just this past summer, and the US had it two summers ago. Besides that, many veggies contain toxins that cause cancer in laboratory animals; the toxins have evolved to help the plants resist insects and other herbivores.

      • Matt, I have worked both on farms and in food processing plants. I could tell you stories that would turn your stomach, but I don’t want to spoil your next meal.

        Thank God there is some regulation.

      • You seem to have undermined the post I was responding to.

      • M. carey

        You should visit a mushroom farm, or any farm for that matter, or even the fertilizer section of your garden centre

      • M. Carey,
        A trained butcher is rarely going to nick the entrails and expose the meat to the insides of the guts.
        Additionally, the dressed carcass is always cleaned well. And cooking kills bacteria, besides making beef taste yummy.
        Germany and the US have suffered much more from contaminated fruit and vegetables over the past several years than from contaminated meat.

      • You are aware that e coli are rounding around your digestive system as we type?

        And then there is the saying “What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.” Which in this case might mean a little bit of foreign e coli is just what the system needs to ensure your little band of the stuff stays nice and healthy.

        Honestly, what you choose to eat is your business and if going vegan is where you are at, good for you. All I ask is that you don’t try to force me to follow suit. You are free to try and convince me to do so, so long as I can say thanks, but no thanks.

        BTW – anyone want to guess on how long before the EPA trys ressurecting their fart tax on the beef and dairy industry?

      • Who said anything about forcing you? Not me. Eat all the cooked doo doo you want.

        But remember, you are what you eat, so don’t blame me when you become a pile of doo doo.

      • M carey,

        If you support EPA findings and government policy – such as a tax on fat, sugar, etc – then you are forcing people into making choices counter to what they may otherwise make. You personally may not be the one standing there telling them what to do, but that is immaterial. The point is people having less choice due to some people believing they are better at making decisions for people than those people themselves.

      • Surely that is the essence of ‘organic farming’. A return to using ‘natural’ fertilisers (i.e animal sh*t) rather than factory produced ammonium nitrate.

        Back to the ways of the Middle Ages when everything you ate was likely contaminated with nasty bugs. Life expectancy was about half of what it is today and plagues and cholera stalked the land.

    • Actually on RC I once suggested the USMC would love to shoot all of India’s cows. As long as somebody gets to eat our horses. Did my best to kill off two sacred cows with one stone.

  57. You know if I had suffered the same fate as Tom Hanks in Cast Away, been spared the bitter and constant battle of AGW, found instead a gentle companion in “Wilson”, and then was “rescued” to face reading this, I would without doubt beg for a return to the sanity of seclusion and the warm company of my friend.

  58. Wilson was a progressive, sitting around on the beach all day, letting Tom do all the work, a constant elitist smirk on his face….

  59. East Germany and the USSR polluted their environments horrifically, with little economic benefit to show for it. The people who devastated Easter Island don’t seem to have been capitalists. The first immigrants to Australia burned vast tracts of forests, and they were not capitalists. The first immigrants to the Americas killed the last of the megafauna (and the Plains Indians may have been exterminating the American buffalo, though slower than the Europeans who came after them), and they were not capitalists. The first inhabitants of the Amazon Forest altered its ecology over a wide region permanently through slash and burn, without being capitalists, though the widespread char is very supportive of the plants that replaced the forest primeval.

    The title is a mistake and the word “capitalism” is a distraction.

    After reading a few pages of the article in response to Joshua, I concluded that it was worthless. I had not liked Naomi Klein’s previous writings, such as I had read of them, and this one struck me as another misdeed. I conjecture that if it had been up to her, there never would have been crop breeding, animal breeding or mass production of vaccines in the first place.

    • Matt some you say weren’t capitalists, were capitalists, although it’s true you can be hard on the environment without being capitalist, as the USSR and others have shown.

    • @MattStat

      “East Germany and the USSR polluted their environments horrifically, with little economic benefit to show for it.”

      They didn’t aim for sustainability or conservation so this is hardly a valid argument against Kleins case for eco-socialism. In my opinion you could probably archieve some positive outcomes within a (green) capitalist framework but possibly not enough to save humanity from the climate crisis. I don’t know the answer but Klein at least shows some way foreward and makes some coherent proposals, while all the die hard capitalist keep ignoring the problem.

      • They didn’t aim for sustainability or conservation so this is hardly a valid argument against Kleins case for eco-socialism.

        I didn’t dispute her case (that can wait for another time), I asserted that “capitalism” was and is a distraction. You can destroy or save the environment with or without capitalism.

      • paul,
        teh environmental ethic grew out of the abundance of the West, not the socialist paradises of the Eastern bloc.
        Your dismissal of MattStat’s comment and defense of Klein’s childish ideas does not speak to the actual issues, but is more of an evasion.

    • Matt –

      (and the Plains Indians may have been exterminating the American buffalo,

      Just curious, (this probably more of a political tangent than even the typical Climate Etc. discussion), but do you have any evidence for that speculation?

      • but do you have any evidence for that speculation?

        The buffalo had been exterminated in the areas of the plains that were the eastern-most part of the ranges of the Cheyenne and Sioux at the time that those peoples acquired horses; the Cheyenne and Sioux, at the time the European-Americans escalated the war against them, were already moving westward and abandoning their eastern origins, driving other plains Indians out. I am sorry that I don’t have references for these claims. The fact that our European ancestors (some of mine, anyway) perpetrated a near annihilation of the Cheyenne, Sioux, and buffalo (and others) has tended to warp our view of how things were before our ancestors fought and won that war.

        What I read was that, at the rate the populations of the Plains Indians were growing (before the European diseases), and the rate the buffalo were being killed, the buffalo herds would probably only have lasted a few more generations. I hope to read something definitive about whether my memory and the previous papers are accurate. I sort of hope that I am wrong, but it fits with the extinction of the other megafauna and the eastern woodlands buffalo. One of the practices of the plains Indians was to drive (i.e. stamped) buffalo herds off of cliffs, and then recover what they could from the piles of carcasses. They would also drive the buffalo into rivers and drown them (one buffalo can swim across a river, but a herd of panicked buffalo trying this altogether kills many of its members.) They avoided at every opportunity the practice of chasing down individual buffalo and shooting them because it was so costly in lives.

        “May have been” I think is appropriate. I hope to read something definitive.

      • My bet is that the introduction of the horse had a lot to do with growing Indian populations and declining Buffalo.

      • Matt –

        Sorry – originally deposited in the wrong nest:

        http://judithcurry.com/2011/11/16/capitalism-vs-the-climate/#comment-139461

      • BTW – I highly recommend visiting Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump if you haven’t already. Well worth the effort.

        http://www.head-smashed-in.com/

      • Damn, Josh you beat me to the “run them off a cliff” point.

        Nice work.

      • And prior to the introduction of the horse, their primary means of hunting buffalo was to start a prairie fire (or devise some other means) to stampede a herd over a cliff.

        I love it when I hear about how native Americans were so intune with their environment (a statement with some truth, in that they had a rather intimate relationship with it) and were great care takers of it. For example, I’ve read that the Willamette Valley in Oregon used to consist primarily of forest, until the natives burned if off.

      • The plains indians had little impact on bison until they got horses & guns. The particular problem bison had was that if you shot one, they did not all run away.
        But the noble savage fantasy is just that. Indians burned the landscape constantly to increase game and decrease pests.

    • They had nothing on Ceausescu’s Romania. I’ll never forget driving from Belgrade to Bucharest, approaching the city of Craiova, seeing a huge yellow cloud in the distance. As I got closer, and closer the cloud because bigger and bigger, until upon entering the city, it was all around. Eventually, on the East side of town, the highway went past a huge factory with smokestacks in the back belching this yellow stuff that looked like SO2 (but couldn’t have been because I really couldn’t smell anything). It was like the worst photoshop pictures that Greenpeace publishes, only it was completely real.

      As I left town, I eventually got to a distance where there was merely a big yellow cloud in the rear view mirror. It was the most unbelievable thing I’ever seen, and continues to be to this day. I have no idea what they were making there, but it was ugly. And the factory workers and all the city’s people were breathing that stuff night and day.

      That was Ceausescu’s worker’s paradise.

      • P.E.
        I recall driving from Bucharest to Constanza, and watching the elderly ladies plowing their fields behind teams of mules.
        I recall getting sick from the air pollution pouring out unfiltered from smoke stacks around Constanza Harbor. I recall the TV news showing the incredibly filthy chicken coops that tested positive for slamonella. Among many other memories of that place.

      • http://abcnews.go.com/Health/consumer-reports-chicken-salmonella-campylobacter-bacteria/story?id=9210116

        “Estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say more than a million people have salmonella poisoning every year from a variety of causes. About 25,000 people get so sick they seek treatment at a hospital and about 500 people die every year. Symptoms of an infection generally show up 5-7 days after contamination and can include diarrhea, stomach cramping and fever.” – I think this is in USA (but I’m happy to be corrected)

        You cannot blame salmonella in chicken on ‘socialism’ or even communism

      • Louise,
        I blame salmonella in the modern world on either a specific accident, similar to the one that infected some American spinach a few years back, or corruption/breakdowns.
        In Romania, at that time, it was due to systemic failures in the social/economic system: No one was getting paid much and few on time, and there was little money to fux things.
        That has substantially changed for the better.
        Romania is a lovely country that I hope to return to someday.
        It is an ancient country with an amazing history, and is very distinctive regionally.
        My bet is that much of the Black Sea basin will prove to be rich in shale oil or coal seam gas prospects, and with a bit of entrepreneurial success, I will have a good reason to return.
        As for voting ‘right wing’, most ‘right wingers’ I know are not quite as sourpuss as you come across. But this is easily the most interesting thing you have posted- I hope to learn more.

      • Hi hunter, I believe that salmonella in high intensity poultry and/or egg production is common. A quick Wikipedia search calls up
        “About 142,000 (reported) Americans are infected each year with Salmonella enteritidis from chicken eggs, and about 30 die”

        I wonder how many go unreported?

        142,000 sounds endemic to me and nothing to do with subsistence farming, communism or specific accidents.

      • @hunter: “No one was getting paid much and few on time, and there was little money to fux things.”

        There was little money to fix things. From what you’ve described, there was more than enough to fux things.

        Or maybe you’re a New Zealander?

      • Alex,
        lol.
        There is always just enough money to fux things up, I am afraid.

    • Matt –

      According to historian Pekka Hämäläinen, Native Americans also contributed to the collapse of the bison.[46] By the 1830s the Comanche and their allies on the southern plains were killing about 280,000 bison a year, which was near the limit of sustainability for that region. Firearms and horses, along with a growing export market for buffalo robes and bison meat had resulted in larger and larger numbers of bison killed each year by the white and mixed Native market hunters.

      I would suggest that your implied divorce of the impact of Native Americans on buffalo populations from influences related to capitalism are not well-sustained by the evidence I could find, and what seems to be reasonable speculation.

      Particularly when you consider that increases in firearms and horses could not reasonably be separated from capitalism.

      • Particularly when you consider that increases in firearms and horses could not reasonably be separated from capitalism.

        Conquistador capitalists? Who knew…I thought the Spaniards hung on to mercantilism even longer than most.

      • OK – fair point – up to an extent.

        Increases in horses and firearms wasn’t strictly due to Conquistadors. And there is the concept of “merchant capitalism.”

        But yes, my comment didn’t sufficiently differentiate capitalism from other forms of profit-based economies – including mercantilism.

      • I surely would not deny the role played by the feral horses. So for my point I’ll stick with the megafauna. The bison were a minor tangent.

  60. Naomi Klein

    What a pure propaganda article.

    What you have not realized exist (or what you ignored intentionally) is that what skeptics say in public is what climate scientist say in private. So they are also deniers.

    I think we have been too readily explaining the slow changes over past decade as a result of variability–that explanation is wearing thin. I would just suggest, as a backup to your prediction, that you also do some checking on the sulfate issue, just so you might have a quantified explanation in case the prediction is wrong. Otherwise, the Skeptics will be all over us–the world is really cooling, the models are no good, etc. And all this just as the US is about ready to get serious on the issue. …We all, and you all in particular, need to be prepared.

    • Girma, it sounds like you are quoting one person, not identified, as “climate scientists.”

      Do you know one is one, not two or more?

  61. Naomi’s participation is toxic to science and it confirms the bias. She will do more harm than good for the left.

    • Nope, they’ll see the error in time to avoid a fatal outcome. Oh well, where would we be if the left were permanently discredited.
      ===============

  62. I’ve thought for a long while now that the first signs that the battle is being lost for the warmists is when they start fighting among themselves. This amazing essay will be seen as an act of pure sedition precisely because of her (by now almost quaint) climate change orthodoxy (Klen writes: “as 97 percent of the world’s climate scientists attest, the Heartlanders are completely wrong about the science.’) She’ll be accused of giving aid and comfort to the enemy, and that should hopefully lead to some awfully entertaining internecine feuding.

    I must say though I’m in complete agreement with the following, if we’re to have any hopes for bringing our once proud country back from the brink of economic ruin. I’m sure I’ll be accused of socialism, but that’s fine. I can take it:

    Naomi Klein writes: “Of course, none of this has a hope in hell of happening unless it is accompanied by a massive, broad-based effort to radically reduce the influence that corporations have over the political process. That means, at a minimum, publicly funded elections and stripping corporations of their status as “people” under the law.”

    • Of course, none of this has a hope in hell of happening unless it is accompanied by a massive, broad-based effort to radically reduce the influence that corporations have over the political process.

      They have succeeded in doing that in Russia, but I don’t think we want the same thing in the USA. Corporations are successful to the degree that they offer products and services that people want. Such providers should have a say in politics.

  63. Does everybody on this thread realize that this conversation would have NEVER started prior to November, 2009……. :)

    • Oh this conversation was going on among conservatives long before climategate. There was a great hue and cry about the SPM of the AR4 when it was first released, and then about the AR4 itself, as politicized science. But progressives, moderates and independents wouldn’t have heard about it because they were programmed to stay away from any sources of conservative dissenting opinion.

      Many of the arguments you see today were being made long ago. It just wasn’t fashionable until liberals/moderates started making the same complaints.

      • You are correct….. I keep forgetting how new I am to the party :) I’m a control engineer and when I read the things in climate gate and heard about Gore’s “tipping point” that was my skeptical birthday. It’s been all fun since :)

  64. The out-of-the-box rejection of nuclear power shows the true colors here.

    • This makes John Daly an interesting study. He was one of the first onto the watermelon activists abusing a GHG theory (The Greenhouse Trap was published in 1989) and, at the same time, was very much against nuclear power.

    • I am somebody who acknowledges the physics behind the science that shows that AGW is a real threat to mankind’s current way of life.

      I firmly support Nuclear Power as one of the ways to help to mitigate the worst impacts of AGW. If I could ‘magically’ replace all fossil fueled power supplies with nuclear in an instant, I would do it.

      • It won’t be magical, and it won’t be instantly, but it’ll happen, louise; those hydrocarbon bonds were much too lovingly made to be destroyed merely for the energy within them. We need them for structure, to house and clothe the teeming billions. And to contain all their ‘stuff’.
        ==============

      • “I am somebody who acknowledges the physics behind the science that shows that AGW is a real threat to mankind’s current way of life.”

        Louise,

        Could you share with us the process that showed you AGW is a threat?

        Andrew

      • It’s called science Andrew, you should try it some time.

      • I suspected it wasn’t anything specific. Thank you.

        Andrew

      • Louise,
        If you want nuclear power, you are on the wrong side of the issue.
        If you think the science shows we are facing a cliamte crisis, you are confusing science fiction with reality.

      • hunter – my point is that this artificial sides thing is just that, artificial. I vote right wing (I recognise that man is inherently greedy and so will look after his own much better than any state would do so, given the right environment), I recognise the threat of AGW from uncontrolled release of CO2 from fossil fuels, I also recognise that nuclear power is the future. I see no dichotomy in any of this – it’s what the science tells us.

      • Luoise,
        I attempted to post a reply to this earlier but it did not show up.
        This is your most interesting post yet and gives me a lot to consider.
        I disoute the assertion you make that the science supports your interpretation of the evidence that we are facing a climate catastrophe.
        I believe there are good reasons for my dispute on that issue.
        it is fascinating to me that you vote rw and still hold such a gloomy outlook.
        I look forward to learning more.
        regards,

      • Hunter,

        Be careful about agreeing to quickly. It depends on what the definition of “right wing” is. I remember a brief discussion with Michael Tobis once in which he claimed that economically Barack Obama was a conservative practitioner of the Chicago School of Economics.

        Dang near shorted out my desk top with a spray of Coca Cola when I read that one.

        I would be very curious which “right wing” candidates Louise voted for in a general election. (Lots of progressives vote in Republican primaries trying to give the nomination to the weaker candidate.)

      • Agreed, Gary. There’s much that doesn’t smell correct about that.

      • Gary,
        Louise gave a surprising answer and I welcomed it, thanked her, and look forward to learning more. I meant it sincerely. If she was not sincerely expressing herself, time will tell.

      • GaryM – I don’t vote democrat or republican ‘cos I live in the UK but I do vote Conservative. We don’t have primaries, this is not tactical voting, this is because I trust them better to look after the economy.

        We had a left wing government as we headed blindly into the last recession. There was no attempt to put money by for the bad times during the good times. Instead the left wing government increased public spending to buy votes but then the bubble burst and they had to admit they couldn’t pay their debts any longer.

        As I said elsewhere, man is inherently greedy and lazy. Apart from looking after those that cannot look after themselves, the chronically disabled, etc, the state should leave people to look after themselves because that’s what they’re best at.

  65. “we break every rule in the free-market playbook and that we do so with great urgency. We will need to rebuild the public sphere, reverse privatizations, relocalize large parts of economies, scale back overconsumption, bring back long-term planning, heavily regulate and tax corporations, maybe even nationalize some of them.”

    Brings to mind Year Zero in Cambodia.

    That turned out well, didn’t it ?

  66. It seems to me that the article makes clear in two ways the difficult issues involved in making decisions in the face of uncertainty. First, Liberals tend to accept catostrophic global warming despite the uncertainty that exists in the science because it supports policies that they would have advocated anyway. Conservatives seek a much higher level of certainty before they are willing to advocate policies that they would otherwise strongly oppose and view as likely to cause their own disasters.
    Second, if one goes back a level, the same political views effect how one assesses the evidence and the degree of uncertainty that one believes exits. From my own viewpoint as a political conservative, I think that liberals have gotten ahead of the science in terms of the degree of confidence one can place in a field of science that is in its infancy. They overstate confidence levels because by doing so they able to promote their policy agendas.

  67. I can’t find the post now, but someone was complaining environmentalists were responsible for millions of children dying from malaria. So I thought perhaps the rise in the environmental movement was accompanied by a rise in malaria death rates. So I looked up mortality rates for malaria around the world, and found the rates have been declining since 1900.

    http://cmr.asm.org/content/15/4/564/T3.expansion

    • Right. Now go back to your link and take a good, long hard look at those figures.
      You can start by comparing the figures, all of them, between Europe/North America and those of sub-Saharan Africa. Notice how, in the former case, malaria has been virtually non-existent since the 1950’s, whereas deaths in Africa, far from declining, have risen hugely since around the same time.
      It was around the time that environmentalist Rachel Carson’s book, “Silent Spring”, led to a de facto ban on DDT, after it had been used to virtually eradicate malaria in much of the rest of the world.
      The number of children who have died in Africa alone as a result, is greater than the total number of people killed by Stalin, Pol Pot and H****r put together.

      • Do you think that there could by any chance be a relationship between the increased number of deaths from malaria and the fact that less die of all those other once common place childhood diseases such as diptheria, smallpox, etc?

        Perhaps if they had died of one of these other, once common place diseases, they would not have lived long enbough to contract malaria. You cannot take of these statistics in isolation without looking at the context.

        Both arguments are suspect.

      • If you want to be taken seriously then you’re going exactly the wrong way about it by sprouting such unmitigated balderdash.
        Go check out the figures for those other diseases and then get back to us.

      • Gosh, I’m just so flattered that you noticed little ol’ me

      • Louise,
        think of the kind of notice you are getting to the things one might notice if you turned on the lights suddenly at night in a dirty kitchen.

      • My kitchen is never dirty, just what are you implying Sirha?

        i.e spell it out Petunia

      • Louise,
        It was a joke- a reference to night crawlie things that surely do not live in your kitchen.
        Blogs are verbally rough, and that leads to a loss of nuance.
        I certainly did not intend to make a snark too far.

      • Hi hunter, ref “I certainly did not intend to make a snark too far” – I recognised that and thought that I too had replied tongue in cheek. Not easy to type the nuances though so I failed to get that across, sorry

      • Louise,
        I suspected as much, but wanted to not make an assumption.
        I am glad we are at least can share a laugh.

      • Peter, you sure are gullible. DDT was never banned world wide, and the decline in the malaria death rates in Africa, Asia, and Latin America reflects the growing use of malaria prevention methods other than DDT. Otherwise, the death rates wouldn’t have declined so sharply.

        You might also consider whether countries(European and American) that banned DDT, have experienced rising malaria death rates since the ban.

      • Let’s wait for Peter to get back to us on the epidemiological estimates of what would have happened had indiscriminate usage of DDT for agricultural purposes (the usage that was targeted, as opposed to usage for vector control) continued in countries that lacked the infrastructure to ensure proper usage. It’s easy to blame eco-Nazis for more deaths than Hitler when you ignore the resistance that had already started prior to efforts to limit DDT usage, and when you can ignore that even in countries where DDT continued to be used (largely the type of indiscriminate usage for agricultural purposes that was the target of the limitations) deaths from malaria have continued to be a major problem.

      • Gimme a break! I never said anything about agricultural use.
        And get your facts straight before going on the attack.

      • Gimme a break! I never said anything about agricultural use.

        What usage was “banned,” Peter?

      • Joshua, find a dictionary and look up the meaning of “de facto

      • Go back and read my comment carefully again, as well as the figures you linked to, before sprouting your e coli
        And I know only too well what happened in Africa because I was there at the time

      • It was around the time that environmentalist Rachel Carson’s book, “Silent Spring”, led to a de facto ban on DDT, after it had been used to virtually eradicate malaria in much of the rest of the world.

        It is truly amazing how ubiquitous this meme is. My favorite variety is when it is claimed that DDT usage was why malaria was eradicated in the U.S.

      • You mean they didn’t strap buckets full of DDT onto buffaloes and run them over a cliff?

  68. Klein’s piece is either propaganda or fantasy. Capitalism isn’t an ideology; it’s a natural behavior. People trade with each other and devise ways to make their physical existence better. One of these ways is to work corporately and to raise capital to finance projects larger than what a single person can afford. Where capitalism is corrupted by other human behaviors (greed, laziness, collusion, fear), it ultimately fails (see Enron, for example). The so-called Progressive solutions to these negative behaviors actually end up encouraging them — any plain reading of history will lay it out so clearly you’d have to be deliberately blinded not to see. The free-market, regulated by the free-flow of information about who is behaving badly and how badly they are misbehaving, is the best avenue for punishing miscreants. Collective authorities are too easily corrupted (see the IPCC or any governmental scandal). The vast public at-large requires a lot more incentive to go along with bad behavior than a few officials insulated from scrutiny.

  69. Judith,
    I’m glad you posted it, but when I read it earlier I thought it was a terrible piece of work for something to be published in an avowedly ‘intellectual’ journal. I wondered at her over-weening, thoughtless confidence about everything. And I doubted that such a piece would have been published in either the UK or Australia — editors would have sent it back, with a long list of suggestions for improvement.

  70. I think that many people, including Judy, do not understand the depth of hatred of, and the reasons for, authoritarian power structures by some of the posters here.
    Many people truly believe that power corrupts and institutions have a strong tendency to acquire power for their own benefit, rather than for the purpose that were set up. Human history is littered with murderous regimes, but very importantly, they were run not by amoral monsters, but by ordinary people.

    The British think of WWII as a good war. In 1940 the elected leadership sat down, planned and set in motion the development of the RAF’s bomber command. Quite reasonable, moral people, worked very hard to work out the best way to blast and burn the civilian populations of German. Just think about that for a minute. This is my nation here, elected leaders worked out the best way to kill as many civilians as possible, at the lowest possible cost.They justified their actions on the grounds that destroying Germany as a political/industrial power was necessary.

    As individuals, and most especially in groups, people do horrid things. Not spur of the moment horrid things, but also slow, drip, drip, drip horrid things.
    I read Mary Chesnut’s civil war diary. She comes across as a reasonably nice, compassionate woman. Her entire world was based on slavery, yet she was nice. That’s the way people are.

    If people believe passionately about something, they can justify almost anything. Wrath, inordinate and uncontrolled feelings of hatred and anger, is not one of the seven deadly sins for nothing. Dehumanizing ones political opponents rings warning bells for me. People who do not buy into the CAGW are dismissed as ‘deniers’, dispute flaky evidence in support of CAGW. We are informed that, like Mary Chestnut, our whole existence is based on misery; not the misery of present day slaves, but on our grandchildren and their future decedents. Opposition to CAGW is now akin to racism.
    Yet, the same people who treat us with contempt for our ‘unscientific’ disbelief in CO2 drive photon recycling hate nuclear power, fracking and genetically modified crops. We know nuclear power stations work, we know we can get methane where we couldn’t before and we know that genetically modified crops grow, but are told to accept that this is unacceptable science.
    We ask for a simple thing.
    Give us an unambiguous proof that atmospheric CO2 CAUSES an increase in the amount of HEAT on the planet. Do so using a transparent methodology, analyzed using classically defined statistical techniques, with positive and negative controls.
    That’s all.

    • Doc –

      Did you forget to mention how Lincoln was a dictator, that prosecuted a war of “Northern aggression?”

      Dehumanizing ones political opponents rings warning bells for me.

      Clearly. That’s why you called me a Nazi and morally depraved.

      Give us an unambiguous proof that atmospheric CO2 CAUSES an increase in the amount of HEAT on the planet.

      Some would argue that the effectiveness of the small pox vaccination is not unambiguous.

      http://www.halexandria.org/dward056.htm

      And historically, vaccinations were forced over the objections of such totalitarian policies.

      http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2011/04/great-reads-pox/

      So, as long as we have “a transparent methodology, analyzed using classically defined statistical techniques, with positive and negative controls,” you would accept “authoritarian” policies such as forced vaccinations – right?

      • Your personal issues are not that interesting, Josh. If Doc called you a Nazi, he must have had good reason. Check yourself Josh. You often beg others to re-read your posts. You do it. You might learn something about yourself that will help you not be such a punk.

      • Such masterful insights, I may have to swoon….

      • PWAHO –

        http://tiny.cc/y7qwa

        Still chasing me around threads, eh Don? Despite your numerous claims that you would stop?

      • I am a much bigger dog than that, and not a sweet tempered breed. My mere physical presence would no doubt intimidate a little yapping chihuahua like yourself. Don’t take yourself so seriously Josh. It won’t hurt so much when you are rejected.

      • Just can’t stop yourself, can you Don?

      • You crave attention Josh. I know you welcome my occasional interruptions of your fetid filibusters. Carry on with your hypocritical foolishness. I am done with you, for a while. Back to you Doc.

      • I am done with you, for a while.

        Looks like you’re finally admitting to your obsession, Don. That is the first step, so I applaud.

      • “That’s why you called me a Nazi and morally depraved”

        No I didn’t, there was a neo- in there.
        The medical profession has decided that they are not allowed to treat a person who retains their full mental capacity, without informed consent. They arrived at this position based on historical actions of other medical professionals in the USA, and also in Nazi Germany.
        members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints believe that blood transfusions are wrong. Sick or injured members of this congregation will refuse, in front of witnesses, medial treatment in the form of blood/blood products. Doctors treat them, without transfusions, and in some cases they die. Children who suffer life threatening conditions are typically made wards of court and judge makes a decision what is best for the child.
        You stated that doctors, under direction of the state, should be allowed to vaccinate people against their will. In doing so you crossed the Rubicon.
        Morally you are in the same position as those who demanded that people with HIV have ‘AIDS’ tattooed on their foreheads.
        Forcing medical treatment on mentally competent people is outlawed in international law as it is in breach of the Nürnberg Code; a code developed post-WWII. I quote;

        Trials of War Criminals before the Nuremberg Military Tribunals under Control Council Law No. 10. Nuremberg, October 1946–April 1949. Washington, D.C.: U.S. G.P.O, 1949–1953. Page numbers corresponding to those in the trial record are provided in brackets [ ].

        [page 181] Permissible Medical Experiments

        The great weight of the evidence before us is to the effect that certain types of medical experiments on human beings, when kept within reasonably well-defined bounds, conform to the ethics of the medical profession generally. The protagonists of the practice of human experimentation justify their views on the basis that such experiments yield results for the good of society that are unprocurable by other methods or means of study. All agree, however, that certain basic principles must be observed in order to satisfy moral, ethical and legal concepts:

        1. The voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential.

        This means that the person involved should have legal capacity to give consent; should be so situated as to be able to exercise free power of choice, without the intervention of any element of force, fraud, deceit, duress, over-reaching, or other ulterior form of constraint or coercion; and should have sufficient knowledge and comprehension of the elements of the subject matter involved as to enable him to make an understanding and enlightened decision. This latter element requires that before the acceptance of an affirmative decision by the experimental subject there should [page 182] be made known to him the nature, duration, and purpose of the experiment; the method and means by which it is to be conducted; all inconveniences and hazards reasonably to be expected; and the effects upon his health or person which may possibly come from his participation in the experiment.

        http://www.ushmm.org/research/doctors/codeptx.htm

        You may be completely unaware of medical ethics, but it is not much of an excuse is it?

      • Doc –

        You stated that doctors, under direction of the state, should be allowed to vaccinate people against their will.

        Actually, I stated no such thing. What I have implied is that the issues aren’t as black and white as would suggest.

        These are complicated issues – not well served by binary thinking.

        I care for a loved-one who is mentally ill. I fully respect the laws that ensure his consent to any treatment, and I’m also very aware of the problematic aspects wrt his welfare. I respect that assistance of the state in helping me care for my brother, even as I confront, on a regular basis, the downsides of state bureaucracies.

        With your binary approach, millions would have died from small pox. That doesn’t mean that I approve of the forced vaccination of immigrants (by law enforcement and public health officials) in the slums of New York City. It means that I recognize the complexity of the questions involved.

        That makes me neither a Nazi nor a “neo-Nazi.” It doesn’t make me morally depraved either.

        IMO, your moral judgments of me (based on blog comments) are far more instructive of your reasoning process (and, interestingly, particularly wrt assignation of “authority) than they are about my morality.

      • You mean JW not LDS, Prof.
        ==========================

      • I knew a post partum bleeding case.
        =================

    • Dear DocMartyn,
      This is a good request. Even if someone, at this time, can prove that CO2 is the cause of global warming using transparent science, they will not listen. And this applies to both sides of the global warming debate. It is sad but true. Older generations of the climate debate has to go and be replaced with newer, younger, and uncontaminated scientists who are unafraid of the truth about the earth. We need those true scientist who seek the truth.

    • Give us an unambiguous proof that atmospheric CO2 CAUSES an increase in the amount of HEAT on the planet. Do so using a transparent methodology, analyzed using classically defined statistical techniques, with positive and negative controls.

      You’re not convinced of the existence of the “greenhouse effect”?

      • Andrew

        It another simple question I’d appreciate you answer:

        What evidence do you rely upon to think/believe that a warmer world will be worse for humanity, overall, over the long term?

  71. Ms. Klein concludes: “In the rocky future we have already made inevitable, an unshakable belief in the equal rights of all people, and a capacity for deep compassion, will be the only things standing between humanity and barbarism. Climate change, by putting us on a firm deadline, can serve as the catalyst for precisely this profound social and ecological transformation.”

    Claptrap founded upon ignorance and utter naivete.

    What Ms. Klein completely ignores is history … the history of human nature.

    Human nature over the eons, right up to the present, has always involved elements of humanity and barbarism … always has and always will. Over the past two centuries, notable progress has been made to reduce barbarism, yet it still exists … even in fairly civilized cultures.

    Simply read your daily newspaper … barbarism occurs every day, sometimes within mere miles of one’s home.

    In her idyllic dream of a “profound social and ecological transformation”, Ms. Klein ignores how that state of nirvana will be governed, and who will do the governing. Once again, the answer to “who” relies on that same human nature we already know, a human nature that contains those of barbaric bent.

    Finally, her offering of “climate change” as a catalyst for societal and ecological change simply underscores what we have observed ever since (1) the likes of Al Gore and Michael Moore began their hypocritical preaching and (2) the UAE emails became public. The “science” has been managed for purposes other than honest science as it once existed.

    All of which suggests that Ms. Klein does, perhaps, place reliance upon at least one idea from history: “The end justifies the means.”

    Is it the humanitarians or the barbarians who are most likely to justify whatever “means” it takes to attain their “ends”?

  72. Re: what the “solution” to the problem looks like, we have a dandy example–North Korea, whose per capita energy use is very very low (no lights at night, for example). Funny, but they do not have a problem with illegal immigration.

  73. This is a provocative analysis, with some significant insights. It clearly defines the battleground between environmentalists and groups like Heartland.

    It clearly defines the battleground between Heartland and Naomi Klein. Is she representative of your typical environmentalist? I would tend to think not, exhibit A in that case being her books and articles: she is an ideologue, and radical, polarizing opinions are how she makes her money. There are numerous examples of this strategy across the political spectrum. They are symbiotic with one another, in that radicals from one side exploit radicals on the others side to stir up emotion and distort our sense of those on the other side.

    It’s an interesting piece, and I’m going to analyze on my own blog before long, but if it typifies anything, it is a small fringe (of the left in this case, but the right is subject to the same silliness) which at any crisis always proclaims “The only way forward to survive this revolutionary situation is to remake society in exactly the way I have been demanding that we remake society at every crisis for the last twenty years.”

    Needless to say, I find this totally naive. Sure, we could radically rework our economic system to fight global warming, and that might or might not be a good idea. But it’s totally unnecessary. Capitalism, properly regulated, is perfectly adequate to the task.

    • You amaze me with a comment that is neither obnoxious nor irrelevant. Almost cogent too..

      In the spirit of engagement I would ask do you think that there is someone who is representative of a typical environmentalist? I know you like to imagine all sceptics are the same and you obviously create a typical straw man when you do so, but I’m surprised that you would suggest the same would be true of environmentalists.

      No, she’s not typical, but she’s one of a type.

    • Robert,

      For what it’s worth, I find your last to be a very interesting comment and an intriguing “cut” on the Naomi Klein article. Something of an “insider’s” view, it seems. Thank you.

      I look forward to reading your expanded thoughts on the subject in your forthcoming blog post.

  74. There is a hilarious video where some students go with a petition to other students seeking to implement a “grade-sharing” plan on campus, where A students give up part of their grade to help D students. No one will sign it.

    Someone mentioned chicken and egg—we can solve this by noting that 1) the climate change disaster was proclaimed in the early 1980s by Maurice Strong and others at the UN before climate science and the models were in any sense capable of making any forecasts and 2) the same NGOs that now push climate change were pushing the same “sustainable development” (ie, don’t let the Africans get roads and electricity) before they embraced climate change as the over-arching issue.

  75. To obviate an ecological catastrophe, lines in the sand have been drawn making the fundamental issue in conflict to appear to be political binary: right vs left. The right is described as capitalism and the left described as Marxism. As one who likes choices in general, I am adding a third economic/social/cultural option: Fascism. Yes I know, Fascism is viewed with askance as it played out in Italy, Spain, Germany and possibly countries in Latin America, nevertheless, Fascism claims a pox on liberal democracy and social Marxism substituting instead all policies focused upon the good of the state. Wikipedia in part:
    ” fascists oppose economic liberalism (as a bourgeois movement) and Marxism (as a proletarian movement) for being class-based movements.[16]Fascists present their ideology as that of an economically trans-class movement that advocates resolving economic class conflict to secure national solidarity.[17] Fascists advocate: a state-directed, regulated economy that is dedicated to the nation; the use and primacy of regulated private property and private enterprise contingent upon service to the nation or state; the use of state enterprise where private enterprise is failing or is inefficient; and autarky.[3] They are hostile to finance capitalism, plutocracy, the “power of money”, and internationalist economics.”

    Let me repeat: “Fascists advocate: a state-directed, regulated economy that is dedicated to the nation.” Instead of an ethnic minority as a galvanizing political issue, we substitute carbon mayhem for that galvanizing political issue doesn’t the whole cAGW now look more familiar? Haven’t we seen this before? Instead of a territorial boundary, we are to envision the Greater World for which the greater good is being pursued? Censorship, imprisonment of “d……..” naw, let’s just say “naysayers”, etc., etc., etc. Instead of trying to pigeon-hole advocates of impending climate doom as on the “Left” politically, don’t they more easily fall into the category of Fascists? A study of the rise of Fascism during the 1920’s reminds me at least of the discussions and the directions the movement took with its world view, and in particular in Germany, the contribution of the environmental movement to Fascism rise.
    I may be reading the tea leaves all wrong, but the current strident global environmental message appears to me to similar to the messages during the birth of Fascism.

    I really like having options when deciding my own fate. Maybe someone else has more than the right/left possibilities.

    • Yes – calling people Fascist is certainly a well-practiced art among “skeptics.”

      However, I don’t think that you should limit your options.

      Monckton, for example, calls people that disagree with him about climate change Facists and Nazis, alternately, and many of Climate Etc.’s “denizens” prefer terms such as Marxist, communist, statist, authoritarian, and eugenicist. Eco-Nazi is also a useful term.

      And kim probably would applaud the use of “Muslim sympathizers.”

      • Joshua,
        Thank you for validating that there are now three options in play. Care to suggest another?

      • Joshua

        What term is appropriate to describe a position that advocates that the citizens of one country be forced to work to subsidize the things the people in another country desire?

      • Rob,

        The EU?

      • Joshua,
        If so, it was only from a great deal of due diligence, as well as annoyance at skeptics being refered to in terms implying neo-nazi sentiments.
        When AGW extremists stop acting like fascists, we can move on to other areas.
        When AGW extremists stop acting like neo-eugenicists, we can all happily move on.

      • Joshua said “
        Yes – calling people Fascist is certainly a well-practiced art among “skeptics.”

        However, I don’t think that you should limit your options.

        Monckton, for example, calls people that disagree with him about climate change Facists and Nazis, alternately, and many of Climate Etc.’s “denizens” prefer terms such as Marxist, communist, statist, authoritarian, and eugenicist. Eco-Nazi is also a useful term.

        >Defying climate deal like appeasing Hitler- UK minister

        http://af.reuters.com/articlePrint?articleId=AFL6E7IL0MF20110721

        >His comments at the Commonwealth Club in Santa Clara were even more brutal, rejecting the Texas firms’ claims they were trying to protect jobs in California. “This is like Eva Braun selling a kosher cookbook. It’s not about jobs at all. It’s about their ability to pollute and protect their profits,” he said.

        http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/oct/28/arnold-schwarzenegger-proposition23-oil-climate-change/print

        >Well, what do you expect from an organization whose chairman, the egregious Rajendra Pachauri, reached for the repellent reduction ad Hitlerum when Bjorn Lomborg applied well-accepted cost-benefit analysis to the IPCC’s policy agenda. Pachauri told a Danish newspaper in 2004: “What is the difference between Lomborg’s view of humanity and Hitler’s? If you were to accept Lomborg’s way of thinking, then maybe what Hitler did was the right thing.”

        http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2011/06/any-prospect-for-a-green-reformation.php

        >Bernie Sanders compares climate skeptics to Nazi deniers

        http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0210/33371.html

        >Noam Chomsky Compares Right-Wing Media To “Nazis”

        http://www.mediaite.com/online/oh-boy-noam-chomsky-compares-right-wing-media-to-nazis/

      • Ah yes, the “Mommy, mommy, they do it toooouuuuu (did it firrrrrrssst) defense.

        Gee. I’ve never seen that before.

      • Joshua said “Ah yes, the “Mommy, mommy, they do it toooouuuuu (did it firrrrrrssst) defense.

        You said earlier that “calling people Fascist is certainly a well-practiced art among “skeptics.”

        As you can see, you’re earlier statement directly above is only half right.

        What you should have said is:
        ‘calling people Fascist is certainly a well-practiced art among both the left and the right.’

        Right? :-)

      • Come on Josh,

        Kramer clearly shows that name calling – in particular the fascist / Nazi sort of name calling – is not some monopoly of skeptics.

        Show a little class and acknowledge that you overstated the issue and really don’t have a point on this one.

    • I really like having options when deciding my own fate. Maybe someone else has more than the right/left possibilities.

      I prefer quadrants…left/right + down (collectivist)/up (individualist). Uncle Joe winds up lower left, Adolph lower right.

  76. This may be the most revealing thread at Climate, Etc. yet.

  77. Judith,

    Climate scientists did not listen to the skeptics before.
    They are not listening to them now.
    And will implode before admitting ANY mistakes which will collapse the whole experts being able to run free without being double checked.

  78. There is no denying that both left and right both go into the debate with pre existing prejudices. I saw Michael Meacher MP on TV the other night berating oil and gas companies for warming the planet just for their own obscene profits. Of course he heats his house and uses electricity and buys food and goods transported from half a world away by the magic of fossil fuels. There is a real reality disconnect among the “intelligencia”. It must feel so satisfying to flout your moral superiority because you believe in thermageddon. And no self-sacrifice is actually required to achieve this smugness, because it’s never you, the consumer, that demanded all these energy intensive things is it? It’s just those nasty multinationals forcing the energy down your throat against your will and that silly government that refuses to “act” to stop it.

    I’ve been supportive of alternative fuels all my engineering life. It would be really, really nice if they became competitive and gave us renewable, clean, cheap energy. But I’ll be damned if I deny that fossil fuels have meantime brought enormous benefits to everyone; to the extent of lifting huge chunks of people out of poverty and into the middle classes while simultaneously saving our forests.

  79. We all have our belief systems, ideologies or biases. Some are socialists, others capitalists, others are religious.
    We are trying to get beyond our beliefs and examine the facts, the physics, the data, the science.
    Ms’ Klein contribution in this domain is null. She wouldn’t recognize a fact even if she stumbled on it. She is pure ideology, devoid of any grasp of science, evidence, laws of physics.

    Ms Klein gets her beliefs (she claims) by polling “scientists” (the 97%).
    We try to form opinion by examining data and calculations.

    So I don’t see the point of mentioning her essay on this blog, that we thought was dedicated to the science part. I didn’t know this blog had a op-ed discussion corner.

  80. You must understand Canadian politics to understand Kleins’ pieve. Klein is a duughter-inlaw in the Lewis family which was a major factor in left wing politics in Canada. The grandfather and father were leaders of the NDP (New Democratic Party). This is a social democratic party. The policies which Klein advicate here are typical of the NDP in the eastern provinces of Ontario and Quebec. It is just standard NDP rhetoric against the evils of captialism dressed up to address AGW.

    Nobody in Canada pays attention to ths branch of the NDP. They trumpet their own virtue and are sure in their belief that they are right and everybody else is wrong.

    • “They trumpet their own virtue and are sure in their belief that they are right and everybody else is wrong.”

      This is one of those criticism that sounds good, until you think about it.

      Doesn’t everybody think that they are right, on any given issue? If they thought they were wrong, they would change their position, no? And if they are right, wouldn’t that mean that everyone who agreed with them, is wrong?

      I mean, what positions do you hold on which you think you are wrong and everybody else is right?

      • Most politicla parties try to gain power to do something. The faction of the NDP to which Klein’s family belongs does not aspire to this. They would rather be right than be in power. They trumpet their own virtue

      • “They would rather be right than be in power.”

        Would that that were true. Progressive true believers want power every bit as much as squishy progressives (which would include many Republicans). Society is much better served when given an actual choice between the two competing theories of government.

        The muddled middle, populated by most politicians, is just as disastrous as unrestrained progreessivism – just at a slower pace.

      • Gary,

        I am not certain if I am “right” on all issues. For example, I used to be a firm believer in the death penalty. Now, I’m not so sure if I am “right” on that issue. I tend to think that corportations should not have the same rights under the law as individuals, at least without eliminating the protections they have that individuals don’t. But I am not certain if that is a good position to take, if for no other reason then I don’t know enough to follow and evaluate all of the consequences of such a change.

        I guess you could say I’m skeptical even of my own opinions. One observation I’ve had is the more I learn, the more I’m convinced of how little I know.

  81. What is Capitalism?


    Capitalism is a social system based on the recognition of individual rights, including property rights, in which all property is privately owned.

    The recognition of individual rights entails the banishment of physical force from human relationships: basically, rights can be violated only by means of force. In a capitalist society, no man or group may initiate the use of physical force against others. The only function of the government, in such a society, is the task of protecting man’s rights, i.e., the task of protecting him from physical force; the government acts as the agent of man’s right of self-defense, and may use force only in retaliation and only against those who initiate its use; thus the government is the means of placing the retaliatory use of force under objective control.

    ….

    Capitalism demands the best of every man—his rationality—and rewards him accordingly. It leaves every man free to choose the work he likes, to specialize in it, to trade his product for the products of others, and to go as far on the road of achievement as his ability and ambition will carry him. His success depends on the objective value of his work and on the rationality of those who recognize that value. When men are free to trade, with reason and reality as their only arbiter, when no man may use physical force to extort the consent of another, it is the best product and the best judgment that win in every field of human endeavor, and raise the standard of living—and of thought—ever higher for all those who take part in mankind’s productive activity.

    It is the basic, metaphysical fact of man’s nature—the connection between his survival and his use of reason—that capitalism recognizes and protects.

    In a capitalist society, all human relationships are voluntary. Men are free to cooperate or not, to deal with one another or not, as their own individual judgments, convictions, and interests dictate. They can deal with one another only in terms of and by means of reason, i.e., by means of discussion, persuasion, and contractual agreement, by voluntary choice to mutual benefit. The right to agree with others is not a problem in any society; it is the right to disagree that is crucial. It is the institution of private property that protects and implements the right to disagree—and thus keeps the road open to man’s most valuable attribute (valuable personally, socially, and objectively): the creative mind.

    The action required to sustain human life is primarily intellectual: everything man needs has to be discovered by his mind and produced by his effort. Production is the application of reason to the problem of survival . . . .

    Since knowledge, thinking, and rational action are properties of the individual, since the choice to exercise his rational faculty or not depends on the individual, man’s survival requires that those who think be free of the interference of those who don’t. Since men are neither omniscient nor infallible, they must be free to agree or disagree, to cooperate or to pursue their own independent course, each according to his own rational judgment. Freedom is the fundamental requirement of man’s mind.

    http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/capitalism.html

    • Girma says:

      “Capitalism is a social system based on the recognition of individual rights, including property rights, in which all property is privately owned.”

      Capitalism is a social system in which all property is privately owned, including the schools, roads, water ways, military bases, and parks? Then it’s a system which doesn’t exist. It’s s fantasy.

      Girma, do you think thing through before writing?

  82. Political Junkie

    Naomi is just as credible as Paul Ehrlich, but smarter.

    Ehrlich (the man who’s been demonstrably wrong about more major issues than anyone else on earth) made the mistake of making predictions that failed to pass during his own lifetime. Klein avoids that error!

  83. None of the problems we face are a consequence of capitalism per se.

    They are a consequence of governments abusing the capitalist system by using taxpayer money to buy voter support.

    It was predicted by de Tocquville long ago.

  84. Judith, I posted early in the life of your blog and drew similarities between the sub-prime crisis and the climate change industry. To characterise the debate as Capitalism v. Climate is to play into the hands of those who rely on division and distraction to avoid the truth emerging.

    One must always ask, cui bono, ie. who benefits?

    In the sub-prime crisis it was everyone involved: The house buyers who either bought houses they couldn’t afford or to make a fast buck selling the property on. The real estate agents were profiting from rising commissions. The lenders were growing profits from increased lending. The ratings agencies quadrupled their turnover between 2000 and 2006. And of course the issuing banks, Goldman Sachs and others, were making money from issuing and trading sub-prime securities, insured their losses with AIG and bet that the value of the securities would go down, against their own clients. The former and current CEOs of Goldman colluded to agree the $128 billion bailout of AIG of which GS received $13bn.

    Who suffered? Everyone else, and the debt/leverage mountain continues to grow as governments and central banks advocate issuing more and more debt to solve the spiralling global debt problem.

    So what has this to do with climate change? Cui bono?
    Well the IPCC for a start. Its mission is to assess the threat of human induced climate change (euphemism for CAGW) and make recommendations to save the planet! As Lamb’s graph showed in AR1, there was no evidence to suggest an urgent need to “de-carbonise” our economy, yet the IPCC gravy train rolled fuelled by the hockey stick and all the other falsehoods since. The IPCC process is dominated by those with a vested interest in its perpetuation.

    Goldman Sachs, big oil and multinationals can just smell the money belching from the climate change agenda: carbon trading, government subsidies, green investment and billions in loans to the developing world to meet the “challenges” of climate change. I’ll come back to the loans. But suffice to say “capitalism” (or today’s perverted version of it) loves global warming.

    The pro-warmists are characterised as leftie tree huggers and this is beauty of the scam. Corporate interests have captured the environmental movement in much the same way they captured the 60’s movement. And they now have starry eyed grassroots supporters willingly supporting their cause. Eg. The WWF is backed by the Rockefellers and has been leading the charge for dramatic action on climate change with false claims.

    Meanwhile, real environmental issues go unpublicised and neglected. Eg. the removal of ancient forests and driving indigenous peoples from their land to make way for eucalyptus trees as carbon sinks. Or fracking which is poisoning the water table.

    And let’s not kid ourselves that a few million dollars from Koch Bros et al can in any way influence the climate change debate with the $billions committed to CAGW.

    But let’s return to the loans. Across the western world we have an economic crisis to which there is no solution within the current economic paradigm. The politicians and talking heads talk sagely of quantitative easing, financial stability boards, fiscal stimulus etc. but they all mean one thing, issuing more debt. The economic house is on fire and they are dousing it with kerosene.

    Too few people understand our banking system which is legalised fraud and has some inevitable consequences:

    – It underpins an exponential economic growth system which is unsustainable

    – More than 50% of the price of purchases, on average, is interest which means we are paying twice as much for things than we need

    – Interest ensures wealth and power is transferred from those with less money than they need to those who have a surplus

    – debt grows faster than the ability to service it which is also unsustainable

    Why is it legalised fraud? Because banks create money as debt from nothing and enjoy the interest paid having provided nothing of value in the first place. For a clear description of modern banking read “Mystery of Banking” by Murray N Rothbard, a right wing economist who wrote this over 25 years ago but it is even more relevant today: http://mises.org/Books/mysteryofbanking.pdf

    If that sounds a bit heavy going this 45 minute video, “Money as Debt” is a good introduction:

    The basis for an alternative money system is contained in “Interest and Inflation Free Money” by Margrit Kennedy:

    http://userpage.fu-berlin.de/~roehrigw/kennedy/english/

    Back to the loans:
    I read daily of hundreds of millions of dollars loaned to developing countries to meet the challenges of climate change. Debt which will line the pockets of those nations’ elites while enslaving their people with a debt obligation for a mythical problem.

    Disappearing atolls? Sea levels, according to NASA’s satellites, are falling, 6mm in 2010 and at an average of 2.5mm pa since 2007.

    The truth is we have a corrupt banking system which is corroding the fabric of western civilisation. It corrupts politics, the media and public institutions. When inequality reaches these levels, there follows an abrupt redistribution of wealth: eg. the French Revolution of 1792 and the Russian Revolution 125 years later. Inequality is accelerating, as is debt and unless we come up with an alternative money system, rolling revolution is inevitable.

    The current economic turmoil eclipses the climate change debate while the AGW gravy train rolls on. It is but a symptom of a civilisation in crisis. The cancer at the heart of our economic system is the debt based monetary system.

    It’s time to wake up and smell the coffee.

    • Because banks create money as debt from nothing and enjoy the interest paid having provided nothing of value in the first place.

      This is untrue. When banks (other than central banks) lend money it has to come from deposits or their own capital. There is no way of them magically creating money from nowhere. As for interest, it is a charge for a service provided – clearly that service has value to those who use it.

      • Hi Andrew

        Your understanding is incorrect. Fractional reserve lending means that banks lend money that they don’t actually have in terms of actual cash. They can lend c. 10 times their reserves which means 90% is money created as debt from nothing. And because the banking system is a closed system, when the money from the loan is used to pay someone else and is deposited in another bank, it is reduced by the reserve factor. Ten times this new amount may be lent, repeating the trick of creating money out of nothing. In theory, original reserves may be leveraged up to 90 times.

        Before claiming “This is untrue” I suggest you read Mystery of Banking which explains clearly how the process works.

        In so far as there was no value to begin with, interest for this “service” is fraud. The way for governments to extricate themselves from the debt spiral is to issue their own interest free money. Why pay the banks interest when they can create money themselves?

      • Hi Clive,

        I’m familiar with the concept of fractional reserve lending, but I think the way it is portrayed as something sinister is just wrong. It’s just what banks do – they take deposits from some people and lend the money to others, both of which are entirely necessary functions in a capitalist society. You say

        “they can lend c. 10 times their reserves which means 90% is money created as debt from nothing”

        but I don’t think this is an accurate portrayal. They actually have to keep c. 10% of deposits in reserve and can lend the rest – so if they take $1m in deposits they can lend $900k, not $10m. To do the latter they would have to find an additional $9m from somewhere, they can’t just magic it into existence because when the borrower wants to actually withdraw the money the bank needs to have sufficient cash on its account at the central bank.

        I’m familiar with the concept of fractional reserve lending, but I think the way it is portrayed as something sinister is just wrong. It’s just what banks do – they take deposits from some people and lend the money to others, both of which are entirely necessary functions in a capitalist society. You say

        “they can lend c. 10 times their reserves which means 90% is money created as debt from nothing”

        but I don’t think this is an accurate portrayal. They actually have to keep c. 10% of deposits in reserve and can lend the rest – so if they take $1m in deposits they can lend $900k, not $10m. To do the latter they would have to find an additional $9m from somewhere, they can’t just magic it into existence because when the borrower wants to actually withdraw the money the bank needs to have sufficient cash on its account at the central bank.

        As for interest, “value” is created wherever one party performs a service for another that the latter is prepared to pay for. It doesn’t matter whether that service is lending them money or shining their shoes, and there is no reason why there should be a charge for one but not the other.

      • Sorry, bit of a cut and paste malfunction there.

      • Andrew, your understanding is only partially correct.

        Let’s start with the reserves. They can lend up to 10 times which means that 90% of their loan book is back by nothing other than the loan agreements. ie. Money from nothing.
        eg. $1m reserves results in $9m created from nothing.

        That $9m is used to pay for goods and services and the receipts deposited in banks. That is reduced by a factor of 10 ie. $900,000 against which banks can lend another $8.1m which didn’t exist previously and in turn is deposited in banks. This is reduced by the reserve factor to arrive at $810,000 which is leveraged up again. If this process continues, eventually $90m of new money is created from the original $1m, as I said this is the theoretical maximum.

        I would urge you to watch the video Money as Debt.

        One of the factors in the American War of Independence was the colonies issuing their own, interest free, money which deprived the British of what they considered to be their rightful tax receipts and British bankers of their power over the money supply of a thriving colonial economy. “The refusal of King George to allow the colonies to operate an honest money system, which freed the ordinary man from clutches of the money manipulators was probably the prime cause of the revolution” -Benjamin Franklin, Founding Father. Having wrested control from the British, the founding fathers sought to protect the American people from the power of banks. However, through buying influence over members of congress, the banks managed to achieve legislation to create a central bank in 1791 but its unpopularity was such that its twenty year charter wasn’t renewed. An another attempt was made in 1816 but it too failed to get its charter renewed, in 1836. Andrew Jackson, who became president in 1828, denounced the central bank as an engine of corruption. However, the banks maintained their persistence and in 1913, the Federal Reserve Act, creating the Federal Reserve Board, was signed into law. The act passed on 23rd December when there were only three senators present for the vote. Woodrow Wilson, the president who signed the act into law, wrote that it was the biggest regret of his term in office. Following the stockmarket crash of 1929 and the ensuing depression, the banks were brought partially to heel by the Glass-Steagall Act but in the last thirty years progressive financial deregulation has awarded banks unprecedented power and not just over the economy. Financial interests dominate political, military, media and commercial activity.

      • I always thought that the bank ledger system was a bit different. It is the only business I know of that carries their deposits as liabilities and their loans as assets. This would explain their over leverage though, dosen’t it?

      • Tom,

        One party’s deposit is another party’s loan. So if a company deposits money with a bank it is an asset for the company (because the bank owes them) and a liability for the bank (because they owe the company).

      • Clive,

        I still have a problem with some of that but I’ll watch the video before I respond.

      • Clive,

        OK, I watched some of the video but I can’t say I’m inpressed.

        Firstly, reserve requirements stipulate the ratio of reserves to deposits, not to loans (see http://www.federalreserve.gov/monetarypolicy/reservereq.htm). So given a 10% reserve requirement, if $1m is deposited the bank is required to keep $100k in its reserves, which means they can lend or otherwise invest the other $900k. That $900k is likely to be re-deposited and lent out again, again subject to reserve requirements, so the part of the video that describes that process is correct. But that’s just the same money circulating through the economy as it naturally does, it’s not new money being created. Sure, the amounts of deposits and loans on the balance sheets of the banks increases but each loan is funded by money taken on deposit, it’s not created out of thin air as the video claims.

        But what comes just before that is total nonsense. It describes a hypothetical new bank which has reserves of $1,111.12 deposited at the central bank. Someone then comes along and requests a loan of $10,000 and according to the video the bank is able to magic the additional $8,888,88 into existence by creating a loan in its books and crediting his account. The borrower then writes a cheque for the $10k and uses it to buy a car and the seller deposits the $10k into their bank. But the video leaves out what happens when the cheque is presented for payment – the borrower’s bank has to pay the $10k to the seller’s bank from its account at the central bank. But its account at the central bank only has $1,111.12 because at that point it has no depositors. Unless the bank’s owners inject some new capital pretty quick the bank is going to be in big trouble.

      • Andrew, you’re forgetting that the deposits are usually cheques or transfers of money that were originated by a loan (or at least 90% of the money). And so when the $10k (that originated in a fractional reserve loan) is deposited, it is reduced by the reserve fraction (in the film they use 1/9th). £1,112 is added to the bank’s reserves (not $10k) and that, when all the loans in circulation are reconciled, is what is netted off in the transfers of reserves at the central bank. In practice, because of the volume of loans created, very little money is moved between accounts at the central bank.

        As far as your first para is concerned, I think you are falling into the trap that most people do. The simplicity of the fraud, the fact it has always been done this way and is legal makes one assume it is a function of our economy and quite normal. But think about it. Money from the loans is used to purchase real goods and services and therefore increases the money supply by a significant multiple. That is fundamentally inflationary and banks are earning interest on the basis of fictional assets.

        Governments could issue their own interest free money and avoid the debt spiral.

        Listening to the news tonight on the euro crisis and whether the ECB will stand as the lender of last resort really brings home how bereft of understanding policy makers are. Adding more debt to solve a debt crisis is madness.

        Now you’ve watched the video, I would suggest you read the first chapter of Interest and Inflation Free Money which highlights four misconceptions about our economic and monetary system:

        http://userpage.fu-berlin.de/~roehrigw/kennedy/english/

      • Clive,

        I agree that the amount of loans made by banks has an effect on the economy – too much easy credit can indeed by inflationary, but too little available credit can cause problems too.

        It’s also true that in the real world that on a daily basis banks will have any number of amounts settling over their central bank account relating to new loans, repayments, deposits and withdrawals, and the net amount will be relatively small compared to the overall volume. Some days they will have an excess and others a shortfall and in the short term they can manage the latter through loans from the money markets, or sometimes from the central bank. But ultimately if they keep creating new loans without a corresponding increase in deposits or the repayment of existing loans they are going to get in trouble. This is preceisely what happened to Northern Rock in the UK – they were writing mortgage loans and funding them through the money markets, but then other banks decided they didn’t want to lend to them and they were scr*wed and they ended up having to borrow massive amounts from the Bank of England at punitive rates. Banks simply can’t lend money they don’t have.

        So going back to the example from the video. The bank has loaned $10,000 but only has $1,111.12 in its central bank account. When their customer’s cheque is presented they will be debited by the central bank with $10,000 so unless they are fortunate enough to receive new deposits of $10,000+ on the same day then they are going to be in trouble.

      • Adam, you’re still missing the fractional reserve element. It is this amount which moves at the central bank, not the full amount of the loan. So in your example $1112.12 moves, not $10,000. So you have “real” money which moves between accounts at the central bank and “debt” money which doesn’t feature in the central bank accounts.

        Northern Rock tested the limits of the system and was punished accordingly. But fundamentally, every bank is doing the same thing, it is a question of degree and confidence.

        My original point stands, money creation, left in the hands of those who benefit from its expansion has created an exponential debt spiral from which their is no escape. Banks make an exceptional return on capital:
        $1m in reserves, allow them to lend $9m they never had. At 5% on the whole $10m gives a return of $500,000 which is a 50% return on capital, while everyone else pays interest for value that never existed in the first place.

        This will end in collapse.

      • Banks are leveraged.
        They are typically capitalized at something in the neighborhood of 8% in a healthy environment.
        That means a bank capitalized at $1,000,000 could lend out up to ~$12,000,000. This means the profits from the 12MM can be very small indivudually, but quite large for the capital.
        Conversely, small losses in the 12MM are magnified due to the leverage of the bank. Large losses can wipe out the capital altogether.
        This is a very general view. More detail is avaiable here:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capital_requirement

        Bank assets are loans and investments. Their liabilities are deposits and debt issued by the bank.
        The challenge is to measure the health of the assets, and to maintain the health of the assets- just like in any business.
        So inducing banks to make investments that are less than prudent by any pressure- whther corrupt insiders or government folly, noble cause corruption or lack of good analysis or any other reason can be deadly to bank health.
        And if banks go under, the loans dry up. Government spending is no substitute for healthy banks.

      • hunter,

        I have no problem with most of that. Under-capitalisation (and risky lending) has indeed been a big problem in recent years, which is why we now have the Basel III requirements. In fact despite this some European banks will still need to be recapitalised due to the problems in the Eurozone.

      • Andrew, ah yes BasleIII under the auspices of the Bank of International Settlements, privately owned by banks as are the IMF and the Fed:

        Ownership is stipulated in the Federal Reserve Act and the capital of the Federal Reserve Banks is subscribed by member banks. The member banks receive a 6% dividend annually. The Act also provides for money to be paid over to the government but this in no way means that the Federal Reserve isn’t under the bank member/owners’ control.

        Federal Reserve Act

        Section 5. Stock Issues; Increase and Decrease of Capital

        1. Amount of Shares; Increase and Decrease of Capital; Surrender and Cancellation of Stock

        The capital stock of each Federal reserve bank shall be divided into shares of $100 each. The outstanding capital stock shall be increased from time to time as member banks increase their capital stock and surplus or as additional banks become members, and may be decreased as member banks reduce their capital stock or surplus or cease to be members. Shares of the capital stock of Federal reserve banks owned by member banks shall not be transferred or hypothecated. When a member bank increases its capital stock or surplus, it shall thereupon subscribe for an additional amount of capital stock of the Federal reserve bank of its district equal to 6 per centum of the said increase, one-half of said subscription to be paid in the manner hereinbefore provided for original subscription, and one-half subject to call of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. A bank applying for stock in a Federal reserve bank at any time after the organization thereof must subscribe for an amount of the capital stock of the Federal reserve bank equal to 6 per centum of the paid-up capital stock and surplus of said applicant bank, paying therefor its par value plus one-half of 1 per centum a month from the period of the last dividend. When a member bank reduces its capital stock or surplus it shall surrender a proportionate amount of its holdings in the capital stock of said Federal Reserve bank. Any member bank which holds capital stock of a Federal Reserve bank in excess of the amount required on the basis of 6 per centum of its paid-up capital stock and surplus shall surrender such excess stock. When a member bank voluntarily liquidates it shall surrender all of its holdings of the capital stock of said Federal Reserve bank and be released from its stock subscription not previously called. In any such case the shares surrendered shall be canceled and the member bank shall receive in payment therefor, under regulations to be prescribed by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, a sum equal to its cash-paid subscriptions on the shares surrendered and one-half of 1 per centum a month from the period of the last dividend, not to exceed the book value thereof, less any liability of such member bank to the Federal Reserve bank.
        [12 USC 287. As amended by act of Aug. 23, 1935 (49 Stat. 713).]

        The illusion of a government controlled central bank is perpetuated and while some aspects of the bank are at the direction of government, monetary policy is not and clearly there are conflicts of interest. And as the Fed is responsible for regulating banks, member banks are effectively regulating themselves.

        When the financially literate are misled in this way, what hope is there of ordinary folk understanding the truth about the banking system?

        The banking and monetary system lies at the root of the economic turmoil in the world (and supports the climate change industry). When people wake up to the reality of how banking works, we can to return to sanity in respect of climate science and many other issues including the elimination of the spiralling debt.

        Amschel Rothschild in 1838: ”Let me issue and control a Nation’s money and I care not who makes its laws”

      • The monetary policy of the Fed is set by the FMOC, Federal Open Market Committee. The FMOC is dominated by the Federal Reserve Board members, all of whom are appointed by the president. Some reserve bank presidents sit on the FMOC, but they are in a minority.

        It is a mistake to say that U.S. monetary policy is not set by the government.

      • Gary, and when the banks funded Obama’s presidential campaign, the circle was complete!

        And while we’re about it. In 2009, Solyndra, the California-based manufacturer of solar panels promised to create 1,000 jobs with the $535 million in federal loan guarantees it received in the first months of the Obama administration. The largest private investor in Solyndra was Argonaut, an equity firm managed by George Kaiser, who was a major donor to Mr Obama’s 2008 campaign.

        Join the dots people.

      • Amschel Rothschild in 1838: ”Let me issue and control a Nation’s money and I care not who makes its laws”

        Herr Rothschild in particular should have known better. His people had a history of forced relocations whenever their government was in need of restructuring its finances. Granted, that more prevalent in the medieval period, but it’s far from a safe bet even now.

    • Great post Clive! Division and distraction is the name of the game. Divide et impera.

  85. Ditto to everything! Really!

    Now for something that has not been addressed but is very much a part of the problem:

    What we are about here is not new. To many it seems new, I understand, really. But, it’s your turn in the dock, so to speak, and that‘s the way life is. It is an old game humans play to while away their time on the Rock. Once it was called “The Crusades“, “The Reformation”, “The Inquisition”, “The Age of Reason”, “The Industrial Revolution”, “Capitalism”, “The Unification of Europe, Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8… (I think we’re up to Part 8), “The Abolition of Slavery”, “Communism”, Socialism”, “Jihadism”, Globalism, etc., etc., ad nauseum. It seems to be something that the generations at the end of one century pass on to the first generations of the new century. Like a torch. It’s quite quirky. It’s rather insane. It’s very costly. It’s very disruptive. It usually leads to bloodshed of an ever increasing measure. Anyway, as they say, “That’s Life!”

    PS: I’m actually quite serious; not entirely, but quite. If people don’t already have problems to solve or build on, they’ll invent some. (Well, they always have.) Today, your “””Impossible Mission””””, should you decide to accept (well, I’m sorry, it really doesn’t matter what you want, it really IS your can of worms), is to rid the world of all harmful CO2 (or NOT) and make everyone on the planet rich and happy in the process (or NOT). These words will NOT self-destruct in 10 seconds. Enjoy the simple things in life. Have a Great Thanksgiving Holiday. Have a wonderful life. Good luck!

    PPS: Whenever someone can’t convince you that you’re an idiot, they’ll convince themselves to hurt you. Be careful, people are dangerous, especially people with a “Cause“.

  86. I would say that the most obvious point to make is that the climate doesn’t make any distinction between Capitalist CO2 and Socialist CO2. The old USSR was probably amongst the world’s worst polluters. So I would suggest that anyone with any experience at all of that system wouldn’t be seriously suggesting putting it forward as an alternative to present day liberal capitalism.

    The economy of the future will almost certainly have elements of both socialism and capitalism. In fact that’s pretty much a description of all modern day western economies including the USA.

    However, this is putting the cart before the horse. Firstly, the science needs to be assessed impartially, and only then, should the politics needed to address the problem be considered.

    I’m confident that a majority of people would see it this way. However not a majority of contributors to climate blogs who are of a so-called “skeptical” opinion. They make the same mistake, like the gentleman Richard Rothschild, when admitted he had come to the conclusion that policies to combat global warming were actually “an attack on middle-class American capitalism.”

    Probably a very rapid conclusion. In other words because he didn’t like the cure, or what he’d perceived to be the cure, he’d decided the disease couldn’t possibly exist. Call it what you like, but in plain English that is known as denialism.

    • “Firstly, the science needs to be assessed impartially, and only then, should the politics needed to address the problem be considered.”

      So the science hasn’t yet been “assessed impartially?” Agreed.

      And everybody should back off on political “solutions” until it is? Agreed again.

      Who knew tt was a closet skeptic?

    • GaryM,

      “So the science hasn’t yet been assessed impartially?”

      No it hasn’t. Not by everyone. Anyone who has ever brought Al Gore into the argument, or called scientific findings a “hoax”, or criticised the IPCC’s links to the UN, or claimed that AGW is an excuse used by governments to raise taxes certainly hasn’t. Probably they are incapable of an impartial scientific assessment and should just butt out.

      • Bang! Who left that door open?
        ==============

      • tt,
        Who did bring Gore into the argument?
        Oh, yeah: The IPCC, WWF, Greenpeace, major media, etc. etc. etc. so I do agree they should all just butt out..
        Are you suggesting that scientific findings are never wrong or that scientists never commit fraud or deception?
        that is amazing.

  87. Many problems with this:

    1. It presumes as a given that AGW will be more than minor changes in the energy balance hidden by the noise of natural variability.

    2. It presumes that AGW will have predominately negative effects that must be mitigated at great cost.

    3. It presumes that the intelligentsia, such as those that frequent this blog, are better at determining solutions and imposing them on others than the collective judgement of a society free to choose at the individual level.

  88. ” “To what extent is this entire movement simply a green Trojan horse, whose belly is full with red Marxist socioeconomic doctrine?””

    At least 80% with a package of the usual fools who can’t face up to it making the rest of the motivations for AGW junk theory.

  89. Naomi Klein makes an egregious error –> an error of logic that I am quite familiar with. It was rampant in the excesses of the 1960’s in which I took part. She fails to question the first premise and then happily skips down the path that must logically follow.
    The error, of course, is that what she considered a prioi may not be true (and I, for one, believe it is not). She states her starting point in the paragraph beginning ‘How will we adapt to the people made homeless and jobless by increasingly intense and frequent natural disasters?’ and goes on to list the results of the IPCC worst case scenario as if they were written in stone by the finger of God. [They were not, btw.]
    With continuing hubris, she states ‘We know the answers already.’ How comforting it must be to be that sure about things so fraught with uncertainty.
    Many of the denizens here do not believe that these are the foregone conclusions of the climate on Earth. I hate to say it one more time, but that part of the science is not settled. That part of the science, what the future will look like under various CO2 emissions rates, has barely begun. Some here say it hasn’t even begun.
    There is the interesting question then of the proposed CAGW Solutions –> like the chicken and the egg — which came first? the draconian idea that ‘climate change supercharges the pre-existing case for virtually every progressive demand on the books, binding them into a coherent agenda based on a clear scientific imperative’. Michael Crichton certainly didn’t think so, and neither do I.
    There is the distinct possibility that the ‘climate problem’ has been manipulated to serve an excuse to pursue existing social and political goals.
    Naomi Klein seems to have shut her eyes to this possibility.

    • “There is the distinct possibility that the ‘climate problem’ has been manipulated to serve an excuse to pursue existing social and political goals.”

      As in Margaret Thatcher and others started this, and may see value in
      the crazies wasting their time on this pointless idea?

      “As recently as 2006, significantly more Americans thought the news underestimated the seriousness of global warming than said it exaggerated it, 38% vs. 30%. Now, according to Gallup’s 2009 Environment survey, more Americans say the problem is exaggerated rather than underestimated, 41% vs. 28%.”

      It seems to me that global warming is sort of a news filler- if things are slow they run the global warming stuff. I find the toleration of this kind of story ,though perhaps dipping a bit recently, quite high.
      I think a plausible conspiracy is media loves the fact that global warming allows a lot discussion about “interesting” weather.
      And discussing the weather has been very old favorite topic to
      discuss.

  90. “Without rethinking our decision making strategy on climate and energy, the political and cultural clashes over this issue will probably just get worse.”

    Exactly the appeasing attitude that misses a core point of politics around AGW and the cultural left that drives it. Alarmism and junk science for political purposes should be rejected and those who have supported the abuse should be punished up to the point of being jailed for fraud. That’s the proper end-game.

    It’s make-believe to think some moderate left solution is going to fly after the many decades of outrageous power mongering by greens and the tool science community that supported them.

  91. You say the debate over climate change is over? You bet it is – but not for the reasons the economic illiterates and GHG scaremongers of this world say.

    Simple observations and even simpler arithmetic will show that human activity is an infinitesimal contributor to CO2 in the atmosphere, and that carbon dioxide’s role in climate change is equally infinitesimal. All this research on temperatures is probably unnecessary, and may be bad because it distracts attention from some very plain facts. What climate scientists should be doing is quantifying human output of CO2 vs. the total CO2 activity, and quantifying the potential effects of CO2 versus all the other causes of climate change. This will establish very quickly that the theory of anthropogenic global warming is hogwash.

    Some examples: animal respiration – human breathing alone emits, by simple calculations, between 3 billion and 4 billion tons of CO2 every year. With humans constituting less than 1 percent of the animal biomass (and no more than 2-3 percent of endothermic animal biomass) on Earth, and being relatively low emitters of CO2 on a per-pound-of-body-weight basis, all animal respiration probably amounts to at least 400 billion tons, and possibly as much as 600 billion tons of CO2 per year. Think that’s too much? These figures are remarkably insensitive to changes in assumptions. And remember that other warm-blooded creatures can have much high emission rates than humans – birds, for example, emit 6 to 10 times as much CO2 in proportion to their body masses as humans do – and so do small mammals like shrews and rats. And there are trillions, not billions, of these other endotherms on the planet. But this isn’t all. Most insects also are relatively high emitters of CO2, and there are QUADRILLIONS of insects on the planet.

    And then there is volcanic and tectonic activity, and surface warming of the oceans and soil from solar radiation, all of which can be shown to emit huge multiples of the quantity of CO2 attributable to human fossil fuel burning. And as for solar luminosity, it is well known to vary substantially with sunspot and flare cycles – and the amount of solar radiation reaching the earth’s surface will further be affected by changes in the density of the interstellar matter the solar system passes through on its journey through the cosmos.

    Now, how does CO2 measure up to H2O as a heat trap? Again from simple calculations using the vapor pressure of water and relative humidity, we find that H2O accounts for from 30 to 140 times as much of the atmosphere as CO2. Don’t think H2O vapor is a heat trap? Then how do you explain why 100 degrees at 90% humidity feels so much hotter than 100 degrees at 10% humidity?

    And then there is the history of climate change, which irrefutably proves that CO2 content in the atmosphere is irrelevant to temperature. We start with the sudden melting of the last glaciation 12,000 years ago – no fossil fuel burning there. Next, the written historical record of climate change begins with the period from 1800 to 1400 BC, corresponding to the Mycenean and Hittite civilizations – no significant fossil fuel burning there either. And then we have the period from 100 BC to 300 AD, at the height of the Roman Empire – no fossil fuel burning there to speak of – and last but not least, the Medieval Warming Period, 900 to 1300 AD, ditto, no fossil fuel burning worth mentioning.

    Some interesting effects of these previous warming periods: sea level was enough higher than at present for the ports of Ostia (Rome), Ephesus and Miletus to have thriving harbors – all now high and dry inland. And because the islands on which Venice now stands were well under water, Venice could not be and was not settled befote the sixth century AD. And then there are the Viking farmsteads being uncovered or found through core drillings in Greenland – some of them as much as 50 miles behind the present front of the icecap in Greenbland.

    Of course, the history does disturb the GHG scaremongers, which is why they said in those infamous “Climategate” emails that the Medieval Warming Period must be eliminated. And this is only the tip of the iceberg of their disinformation campaign. Their willingness to falsify and even fabricate climate data, as bad as that is, is only the beginning, Their frankly fascistic tactics of blocking publication of technical papers by skeptics, shouting down speakers and cutting off their microphones at events where climate change is discussed, and even threatening skeptics with bodily harm should tell us that they know that their message is a scam.

    Why are they doing this? Economic illiteracy figures prominently here, but it is more than that – it is perverse motives to cripple the economy, lower standards of living, and punish the productive members of society and business in general.

    And the ironies here are compelling – crippling the economy can only increase social injustice, and the obsession with CO2 and policies to control it (such as cap-and-trade or carbon taxes) will only result in fewer resources being available to clean up pollution and develop renewable energy sources and non-fossil fuels. All of this will have absolutely zero impact on climate change. Make no mistake – the agenda of the GHG scaremongers has nothing to do with the environment and everything to do with blind hatred of business and productive people – and more than that, with profiteering from people’s fears.

    Finally, there is the unbelievable hypocrisy and effrontery of Al Gore whining about oh, the poor folk in third world countries and criticizing John Q. Public for driving an SUV – while he consumes 10 times as much electricity in his house (most of it coming from coal-fired power plants!) as the average American household and flies hither and yon in a private Boeing 727. Obviously, for Al Gore it is all about, and only about, making millions by playing on people’s ignorance. Maybe we should redistribute Al Gore’s wealth first?

  92. “To what extent is this entire movement simply a green Trojan horse, whose belly is full with red Marxist socioeconomic doctrine?”

    DUH!

    Watch the PBS series “Commanding Heights” (describing the century long battle between Socialism and Capitalism for the Commanding Heights of the global economy). At the very apex of those Commanding Heights is the energy sector.

    CAGW is simply the latest front line in a century old war. CAGW is nothing more and nothing less than a full frontal Marxist attack on the very apex of the Commanding Heights of the global economy.

  93. Naomi Klein’s Capitalism vs. the Climate has a nearly unintelligible title. It’s not even a good false dichotomy (if that is she was going for). I hope she intends to follow it up with something like: Capitalism vs Marxism aka Adaptation vs. Mitigation.

    As JC said, the article is provocative. Klein writes:

    The corporate quest for scarce resources will become more rapacious, more violent.

    To be sure, some corporations are led by sociopaths as are some governments. But corporations lack the resources to be anywhere near as rapacious and violent as governments. So if governments get a free pass, then corporations ought to get high praise – they are small potatoes in comparison.

    Steven Hawking predicts a global police-state for the current millennium. Certainly, some of the mitigation policies are strongly supported by Marxists. And it has to be noted that MANY governments ostensibly founded on Marxist principles have been police-states with atrocious records of human rights abuse and mass-murder. So, it is unsettling that most mitigation proponents seem uninterested that their policies might enable THAT.

    I must point out that sociopaths can be very worthwhile contributors even while possessing almost no capacity for compassion, empathy and/or conscience. We just need to recognize that people with no moral compass usually parrot the morals of whomever is buttering their bread. If closely watched by an electorate of good, decent human-beings, then great things may come from a sociopathic leader (along with much collateral mischief). On the other hand, should a truly malignant narcissist such as a Stalin come to power, well, it won’t much twinge the consciences of his sociopathic sycophants should their fearless leader find one-hundred million deaths an amusing statistic, just so long as the spoils are divided fairly and they are not among the casualties..

    Dangerously mentally ill malignant narcissists – truly evil people – do exist and their best friends are amoral sociopaths. Such a person must not have access to the seat of power in a global government. This is not about Capitalism vs. the Climate. For example, Japan is one of the most efficient users of fossil fuels in the world. But a Kyoto type agreement which asymmetrically punishes Japan would wreck their export industries and drive more business to less efficient China. Hmm… Wealth transfer to China plus higher CO2 emissions – a malignant narcissist’s dream.

    • blueice2hotsea,
      You make some interesting points but I would challenge you on your idea that sociopaths can be constructively managed for good outcomes.
      I doubt it very seriuosly. A sociopath is going to be thinking constantly how to get something from their selected victim. Deception, manipulation, playing with the facts, and palying a ‘deep game’ are all well practiced standard procedures. I think isolating and limiting sociopaths is more productive, from my experience and observation.
      Managing them for some marginal benefit is a costly and risky decision.

      • Hunter –

        Yes. Thanks. It would be better if ‘sociopath’ were replaced with ‘narcissist’. Then maybe ‘malignant narcissist’ could be replaced with ‘psychopath’ to avoid confusion.

      • Yes- without our narcissists, where would we get our politicians from?
        It is always good to stop malignancies and psychopaths- the only place I like to see them is as characters on nice morality plays like Criminal Minds or CSI.
        In person with psychopaths, there is usually theft, fire, violence and blood.

      • According to Dr Robert Hare, only a small percentage of psychopaths are the hands-on violent type. After researching psychopaths for 35 years, Hare says his second choice would have been to study stockbrokers, who score even higher on measures of psychopathy than do prisoners. Hare estimates 6500 psychopaths are in Canada’s prisons while 320,000 are in the general population.

  94. Naomi Klein. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

    Beyond Markets and States: Polycentric Governance of Complex Economic
    Systems

    Nobel lecture, Elinor Ostrom 2009

    http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/economics/laureates/2009/ostrom_lecture.pdf

    If you want a heavy-hitter female on these subjects, here you go. People like Klein are a mile wide and an inch deep.

  95. Its all Judith’s and Naomi’s fault !

    “Social progress can be measured by the social position of the female sex.”

    Karl Marx

  96. Click here and see that Naomi’s sort have cynically exploited a mutidecadal warming phase of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation — once we eliminate the influence of the AMO, we’re left with nothing more than the very gradual, perfectly natural, quite steady, multicentury long warming of 0.5C per century described in Akasofu, 2010.

    Click here and further explore the role of the AMO (and other ocean oscillations) in all this purely political hysteria mongering.

  97. ““You might know them as environmentalists, enviro-communists, eco-Marxists, neo-Communists or eco-fanatics. They all claim they want to save the world from global warming but their true agenda is to contribute to create a world government lead by the UN or in other ways increase the transfer of resources (redistribute resources) from the developed Western world to the third world. They hope to accomplish this through the distribution of misinformation (propaganda) which they hope will lead to increased taxation of already excessively taxed Europeans and US citizens.”

    Anders Behring Breivik, a Norwegian conservative, islamophobic and Christian terrorist. 2011

  98. L, I wonder if you aren’t the distaff enantiomere of a Tom Fuller.

    I think you may come to understand that the gas in the lab and in theory is not the same as the gas in the atmosphere and in observation. Somehow, there’s a slip twixt the cup and the lip, and I think you’ll notice the spill before long.
    ===============

  99. The issue that Naomi Klein brings up is real. I have also great doubts on the ability of free market system to find effectively good solutions in a situation that has the characteristics of CAGW. Stated in a different way I do believe that much unnecessary suffering will result from the path, where the free market system will lead us, if the damages of the climate change are as bad as the pessimistic end of the climate scientist tell.

    I do agree that most supportive to the political environmental movement and a significant share of those on the left are supportive to strong climate policies, because such a policy agrees in many ways with their policy preferences. I cannot find much positive in any of the proposals that Klein or the extreme eco-leftists present as an alternative.

    Looking at the issue from Finland I feel that I have a much easier task in imagining, what the real issue is. Countries like Sweden and Finland have had a much stronger role for the government in the past and we have some experience on, how it can be combined with a free market economic system. We have real experience of both successes and failures of that approach – and that has made me to dislike the thinking of Naomi Klein, which seems to me far too simplistic and totally lacking of ideas that could be real alternatives. (I haven’t read any of her books, but I have read shorter excerpts and followed some discussion of her books.)

    I quote myself with the final paragraph of the introductory chapter of the book Climate Change – Socioeconomic Dimensions and Consequences of Mitigation Measures written in 1999, when the future role of the Kyoto Protocol was wide open:

    Most of the 20th century has been characterised by the success of a business model based on the mass production of relatively low-cost short lifetime products. This has created the basis for rapid expansion in production volumes, but also required more and more resources from the environment. The real challenge of the next century is to switch to a business model where producers of low-resource products and services will prosper and where wasteful consumers turn into users of sustainable products and services. If the Kyoto Protocol is to be the first real step in halting global warming, it should also act as a catalyst towards such a new business model and consumption pattern.

    I have spent since much more time to learn, what others have been writing about environmental economics, policy options and their consequences. Based on that I might now formulate my thoughts differently, but to me the problem is still that the free market system seems well suited in promoting growth and also in finding solutions to slowly developing restrictions, but not in reacting early enough to a development of the type of CAGW even, when the evidence on the significant likelihood of such development is strong. While I have limited trust in the free market system, I have much less (or no) trust in totalitarian solutions, which have been supported by surprisingly many. I believe that there is a real problem, but I cannot propose good solutions to that.

    • Looking for the Uber Mensch to show up? ONe that is benevolent in his dictatorship.

    • I think your observations are balanced and well-thought out. Free markets are better at addressing today’s problems, not tomorrow’s. And technical leaders are more focused on discovering new opportunities for profit than avoiding loss. Perhaps contests (like x-prize), awards and increased publicity for innovation and invention for low cost CO2 solutions would be more productive than higher taxes and carbon offsets. For a command driven approach, the best safeguard from abuse would be unimpeachable mental health examinations for those who would assume the most powerful positions in government and also for those who would provide critical policy advice/science, however, that probably will not happen.

    • The real challenge of the next century is to switch to a business model where producers of low-resource products and services will prosper and where wasteful consumers turn into users of sustainable products and services. If the Kyoto Protocol is to be the first real step in halting global warming, it should also act as a catalyst towards such a new business model and consumption pattern.

      Explain the difference between that and poverty. That just sounds like a flowery euphemism for poverty.

    • Sweden is a good example of how countries can learn from their mistakes in following the socialist economic model into the abyss. But the fact that they have managed to pull back from the brink, does not in any way make them qualified to tell us we should walk up to the edge.

      The whole problem is on stark display in the train wreck that the EU is becoming. Centralization of power leads to ever more centralization of power. Every “moderate” Republican, like a George W. Bush, is at some point by a genuine progressive, ala Obama, and the limited centralization, such as the medicare drug benefit passed by Bush, becomes a more full throated socialist enterprise, like Obamacare.

      “Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.’ A truism apparently lost to history. Especially in Europe. But Greece, Spain, Italy, Ireland and Portugal are on the verge of demonstrating what a disaster this “third way” compromise between capitalism and socialism inevitably ends.

      There is a reason that Gorbachev, Wen Jiabao, Hitler, and Mussolini all welcomed private ownership of industry, as long as it is/.was combined with government control through regulation and taxation.

      Socialism does not work in the long run. And “third way” amalgams of socialism with elements of capitalism (whatever they are called) have also never worked either. No one, not even Pekka Pirila and all nis brightest colleagues, is smarter than the free market.

      • Let’s not forget focus groups, pay the money do the math.

        http://referenceworld.com/sage/socialscience/triangulation.pdf

        New Speak

      • GaryM,

        The snag with this argument is that Europe is actually less centralised than the US. There may be a European Parliament but that’s not where the power lies. It lies in the national governments of its member countries.

        The debt position of the US as whole is much worse than of Europe as a whole. However, as there is a single monetary authority in the US with real power (the US Federal Reserve) it is in a much better position to manage the debt than are the disunited Europeans.

      • “The snag with this argument is that Europe is actually less centralised than the US.”

        That’s simply not true. To begin with, the US is a single country. The EU is an amalgam of countries, at least until the folks in Brussels get their way. Each European national government has far more centralized economic contr4ol than the US, the EU is just an example of extending centralization to the international sphere. The problem with the EU is precisely the centralization of sovreignty away from the people, into an international government, closer to the national model. They aren’t there yet, but not for lack of trying.

        The eurocrats don’t have the power they want yet, but they already have all too much. The constant attempts to expand the power of the EU, particularly by avoiding referenda from the populations of the countries involved, is a disaster waiting to happen. The common currency, and the central European bank, have all contributed to the runaway debt of Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal and even formerly frugal Ireland.

        The desire to hobble the German historical leviathan is understandable. But the whole euro-process has devolved into yet another grasp for ever moire power by progressives. Gulliver is getting tired of subsidizing the Lillputians, and abandoning Greece et al to their coming defaults may force the first de-centralization of power in Europe in decades. The global free market may yet save the Europeans progressives from themselves.

      • ” The constant attempts to expand the power of the EU, particularly by avoiding referenda from the populations of the countries involved”

        Unlike the US which was careful to establish popular support, at every stage, and for every addition? :-)

        As a matter of interest, have the population of any State been consulted by referendum before being incorporated into the US? And has any State which may have wanted to break away from the Union, ever been allowed to?

      • “Unlike the US which was careful to establish popular support, at every stage, and for every addition?”

        Interesting comparison. The US is a single country, and adopted its constitution (and adds new states) through the votes of their elected representatives who were voted into office for the express purpose of governing a single country.

        Your comment is an example of what Euro progressives have been hiding from their voters for decades, their desire to form a single central government with sovereignty over Europe. The ceding of sovereignty to Brussels was not how the Eu was sold to the people.

        In the US, in ratifying the Constitution there was open debate between those who favored a more powerful central government, and those who favored more power to the states. And their differences were aired widely to the public before ratification was even attempted.

        In the EU, the political class is virtually unified in wanting to devolve more power onto the EU, because they are uniformly progressive. And there is no open airing of their intent, their main thrust its to force amendment to the EU constitution by the least democratic means possible. There is no similar debate among competing political views, because in Europe, even the “conservatives” are progressives.

      • Every state that has been admitted to the US has applied for admission, and in every case, the territory’s legislature, elected by the public for the purpose of seeking entry, had to vote to ratify admission.

        To my knowledge, no state has attempted to secede from the US other than immediately prior to the Civil War. And had slavery not been the real issue, I suspect that secession would not have been contested, by force of arms anyway.

        There is no formal procedure for secession in the US Constitution, but I suspect that it would be accomplished in the same way as admission. An application by a state, voted on by the Congress, and ratified by the state legislature.

      • Yeah. That centralized government in Singapore is really a disaster.

        And all those non-“socialist” countries with no progressive taxes and no government regulations that are prospering as compared to the socialist countries with all those progressive taxes and government regulations.

        You know, like, er…….ah…….um……..Somalia?

      • Like I said in response to you before, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. Singapore’s economy is one of the least centralized in the world. It is as far from a socialist government as you will finds in the Asian sphere. It is the economic freedom, not the statist political repression, that accounts for Singapore’s economic growth.

        As for its lack of political freedom, that is simply an indication that its future will not be as bright as its recent past. Like the Germans, Italians and Japanese of the 30s, and the Russians of more recent history, the conflict between economic freedom and political repression will result in one of the two over powering the other. Either the repression will invade the economic sphere, or the greater economic freedom enjoyed by the populace will lead them to reject the political repression.

        The Soviet Union was a corrupt, purely socialist state, erected on the carcass of Czarist Russia, and even it lasted over 70 years.

        As for Somalia, you are just showing the economic illiteracy that is so common on the left. Anarchy is not a free market, except in the fevered dreams of progressives like yourself.

      • I would say “State Capitalism” is probably a better description of Singapore’s economy that Socialist, although I would think that those of a more libertarian disposition than myself , who associate any form of State intervention in the economy with socialism may well be of a different opinion.

        Singapore, since independence, has never shied away from nationalising companies like Singapore Power, Public Utilities Board, Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel) and Singapore Airlines (SIA) if it considered such a move to be in their national interest. Such companies that were nationalised were often infrastructure or utility companies, companies meant to lay out services such as electricity or transport for the benefit of other companies. Recently, the government has taken steps to privatise these previous monopolies – SingTel and Singapore Airlines are now publicly listed, limited liability companies, even though the government still holds large shares in them.

        Singapore based companies like to operate in a free market abroad. But that’s not the way things work internally. Overseas companies operating in Singapore don’t have the same freedoms they might in say the US or Europe. There is just no possibility whatsoever that the Singapore government would allow any economically significant enterprise to fall under non-Singaporean , and that means non-Singaporean governmental control.

      • Tempterrain,

        Singapore ranks second on Heritages Index of Economic Freedom, well head of the US (9th) and any EU country (Ireland ranking highest of EU countries at 7th, but slipping).

        http://www.heritage.org/index/ranking

        Hong Kong and Singapore rank 1 and 2 in every list I have seen.

      • I notice that Australia comes third on the list after Singapore and Hong Kong. The index is claimed to measure ‘economic freedom’ and I’m just wondering how State intervention in an economy would affect that. Australia’s economy is, I would suggest, more socially democratic than the USA’s. We have labour laws which aren’t altogether to the liking of employers. We have a minimum wage. Trade Unions still have a considerable influence on the workings of government. A fair percentage of the infrastructure (water and electricity) are in the ownership of government. There are taxes and levies on the extraction of minerals.

        The health system isn’t as free as many would like it to be but it isn’t entirely left to the private sector either. We don’t have the same problems with health insurance as are common in the US. There is a state system of supporting students with higher education costs. Effectively a loan which is paid back later in the form of higher income tax.

        Does this make us any less free? I’d say it doesn’t and that the ‘heritage’ ranking looks like it confirms my assessment.

      • Gary –

        ?Singapore’s economy is one of the least centralized in the world.

        My god, man. Are you serious?

      • Too funny –

        Gary says:

        It is as far from a socialist government as you will finds in the Asian sphere.

        Non-extremist liberarians say:

        On the one hand, Singapore is a tightly regulated planned economy and on the other hand it stands out as a beacon of the
        free market system. The pioneering economic architect of Singapore, Goh Keng Swee, described Singapore as “a socialist economy that works”. The present day Singapore may be described as a “market-driven guided economy”.

        http://courses.nus.edu.sg/course/ecstabey/Singapore%20Economy-Tilak.pdf

      • Wow!

        …the state owns stakes in firms that comprise perhaps 60% of the GDP

      • Wow redux:

        This article elaborates the concept of a Singapore model of economic development which depended externally on services as much as manufactured exports. Extensive government intervention and planning, though not a rigid central plan, were essential to the successful expansion of both. Singapore’s experience illustrates an approach to economic planning which admits possibilities other than just ‘the market’ or ‘the plan’, and shows that this is not a polarised debate. Analysis of the Singapore model points to a structuralist approach and leads away from a current neoclassical ascendency in development economics, founded ‘empirically’ in part on the Republic’s success as one of the four East Asian dragons.

        http://cje.oxfordjournals.org/content/19/6/735.abstract

      • Did I forget to say wow?

        The extent of government intervention, planning, and economic activity has been an important factor in the economy’s past growth and it would be fair to say that Singapore is a planned economy that has used supply-side socialism for its development.

        http://books.google.com/books?id=15jipgI09x8C&pg=PA11&lpg=PA11&dq=singapore+planned+economy&source=bl&ots=jR8xQGaMha&sig=WaiK_8sL9X3U1TTerMijzjCmN1M&hl=en&ei=ESTHTrmUAqnn0QGI77Eq&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CDIQ6AEwAjgK#v=onepage&q=singapore%20planned%20economy&f=false

      • It would be interesting to see libertarian extremist heads explode if we had something like this in the U.S.:

        Electronic Road Pricing Scheme (ERP)

        The ERP system is designed to moderate traffic flow along popular roads and the Central Business District (CBD). Drivers have to pay to enter. All cars in Singapore are fitted with a special device, the In-Vehicle Unit (IU), that holds a stored-valued CashCard which automatically deducts the fee for each ERP gantry, when going through the Restricted Zone or CBD.

      • Sounds like Gary’s kind of place:

        At the heart of the Singapore model is the social contract that was articulated between the ruling PAP run government and the people of Singapore. In essence, it said that while the people were willing to accept more government control, give up some individual rights, and work hard, the government would create the environment that would deliver prosperity and a better quality of life. As Singapore historian Jim Baker notes, “the ramifications of the new social contract were felt first on the economic front” (Baker, 2000:367). With its exit from Malaysia, the Singapore leadership was out to convince investors that Singapore was a safe and stable country to place capital. Not only did Singapore amend its laws to guarantee the preservation of the property of foreign investors, it also demonstrated a willingness to stifle barriers to commerce such as corruption and labor unrest. The autocratic dominance of the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) also provided confidence that national policies would remain stable in the short run, while continued efforts would be made to plan for Singapore’s long term challenges.

        http://lilt.ilstu.edu/critique/fall%202003/taymazfinal.pdf

      • From Joshua’s own sources:

        “Over the years, MAS liberalized its rules and regulations on the financial market enabling it to capture an increasing proportion of world’s financial transactions. Except for prudent regulation of the banking and financial system and money market operations for maintaining liquidity in the financial system the MAS does not engage in controlling the interest rates or the money supply.”

        “Despite such heavy involvements, based on the philosophy of fiscal prudence, the Singapore Government has kept both government revenue and expenditure at relatively low levels (around 15% of GDP) and yet generated healthy and persistent budget surpluses.”

        “In general, the fiscal measures have been pro-business. The corporate tax rate has come down steadily from 40% prior to 1986 to 20% in 2005. Faced with competitive pressures from economies like Hong Kong where the corporate tax rate as of 2007 was 17.5% and other emerging economies with even lower rates, the Singapore Government announced a further reduction of its corporate tax rate to 18% to be effective from the fiscal year 2008.”

        “The Government also reduced the personal marginal income tax rate steadily over the years to enhance work effort. The highest marginal income tax rate in 1980 was 55% for assessed income exceeding S$600,000. In 2007 this was 20% for assessed income exceeding S$320,000. The income-share weighted average marginal income tax rate has come down from about 10% in 1980 to about 6% by 2007. Effectively, an average Singapore worker pays very little income tax compared to the OECD counterparts.”

        “On the expenditure side government consumption expenditure constitute about 10% of GDP and investment expenditure about 4%, most of which goes to infrastructure developments…Among the key expenditure items in Singapore lies defense expenditure. In 2006 defense expenditure accounted for 33% of the total expenditure (the single largest expenditure item) and about 5% of GDP.”

        “For healthcare financing the Government in 1984 added on a compulsory Medisave account which draws a pre-specified percentage from CPF contributions.”

        “To help the low income Singaporeans who are mostly older workers the Government in 2006 introduced, instead of “welfare”, a “workfare” bonus scheme. Instead of an unemployment allowance an individual receives the workfare allowance only if he/she makes an earning.”

        Deregulation, low taxes, low expenditures, health savings accounts, personal retirement accounts, yup, there’s a socialist economy for you. A socialist free market economy at that. Singapore’s “central plan” was to adopt free market principles.

        The fact that progressives try to claim credit for the Singapore economy means nothing. The facts are as reported by Heritage. (And Joshua’s own cite – Joshua, when you cite something in support of one of your arguments, which is really rare so I commend you, you might want to actually read the whole thing before you post it.).

        Oh, and Joshua’s cite mentioned nothing about private property. Here is what Heritage has to say about it:

        “The court system is efficient and protects private property. There is no expropriation, and contracts are secure. Singapore has one of Asia’s strongest intellectual property rights regimes, though enforcement could be improved.”

        Then there’s what that well know conservative rag the New York Times (quoting the World Bank) had to say on the issue:

        “Singapore topped an annual global ranking of business- friendly economies, according to a World Bank report released Wednesday that also named China as the best reformer in Asia over the past year.”

        http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/06/business/worldbusiness/06iht-compete.2714021.html

        How about this quote from the international Institution for Management Development: “It takes an entrepreneur just over 6 working days to get a new business going in Singapore, with low start-up costs. Overall, taking into account other factors, including business licensing, taxes, credit legal rights and investor protection, Singapore has about the most business-friendly regulation in the world.”

        http://www.mas.gov.sg/fin_development/Singapore_International_Financial_Centre.html

        Gotta love those business-friendly low regulation socialists.

      • Conservatives have been arguing for alternative road pricing schemes like congestion pricing, as a way of allowing for privately built and maintained roads, for decades. There is nothing socialist about making payment contingent on usage.

      • Gary –

        Glad you did some reading on the subject. Now, would you like to retract this statement?

        Singapore’s economy is one of the least centralized in the world.

        Too funny.

        The first time I traveled to Singapore it was after spending a couple of months in Indonesia (in 1996), and as such, I needed some medical care. All I can say is that I was extremely appreciative of their universal healthcare system where prices are tightly controlled (I got great medical care for hardly any cost).

        Maybe we should try that? I’m sure you’d sign right up, eh Gary?

      • Well, well, well, looky here:

        Except for prudent regulation of the banking and financial system and money market operations for maintaining liquidity in the financial system the MAS does not engage in controlling the interest rates or the money supply.”

        Nice to see that you’ve realized the benefits of prudent regulation of the banking system, Gary.

        And they said you wouldn’t acknowledge any facts that contradict extremist libertarian ideology. They underestimated you, Gary.

      • Despite such heavy involvements, based on the philosophy of fiscal prudence,….

        What’s that? Heavy involvement of the government in the economy? Say it ain’t so, Gary, say it ain’t so.

      • Joshua,

        Given that everything I cited, and the facts listed in each of your cites, supports my statement, no, I’ll stick with Singapore being the least socialist economy in the world. Don’t take my word or Heritage’s for it, read the quotes from the New York Times, World Bank, and your own cited example.

        As for the health care system – health savings accounts, and the fact that Singapore has a small number of hospitals, make it somewhat unique, but still less socialist than Obamacare, or the European systems.

        While there is not a true free market in health care in Singapore, it is much closer to one than most of the rest of the developed world, which was, after all, my point.

      • Joshua,

        Your economic illiteracy is showing again. No one is against “prudent” regulations of any industry. Your fantasy world in which free market capitalism is the same as anarchy does not exist, except in your fevered progressive imagination.

        Since you can’t cite any facts, you are again devolving into semantics, which is boring. If you post anything factual, I’ll get back to you.

      • Gary –

        Given that everything I cited, and the facts listed in each of your cites, supports my statement..

        You seem to have forgotten your statement, Gary. Here, allow me to post it for you yet again:

        Singapore’s economy is one of the least centralized in the world.

        Everything that you excerpted was a direct refutation of that statement.

      • Gary –

        Since you can’t cite any facts, you are again devolving into semantics, which is boring.

        Classic.

        Posting inaccurate statements that you made and showing how they are inaccurate is “devolving into semantics.”

        Your fantasy world in which free market capitalism is the same as anarchy does not exist,

        That’s your fantasy world, my friend, not mine. I would imagine that some people might hold such a belief – so maybe you should take up your discussion with one of them.

        What I argue against is the binary belief that because government regulation and/or government involvement in the economy have inherent problems, they are therefore an evil. Since you’ve clarified that you don’t hold such a belief, I’m glad to hear it. I’m happy to hear that you’re in favor of prudent government involvement in the economy, prudent government regulation, universal healthcare, tight regulation of traffic, government public works spending on infrastructure (BTW – Singapore has an excellent subway system – the stations are air conditioned and have doors that open up directly in line with the doors to the air conditioned subway cars. Of course, you’ll have to be careful because you can get fined for eating durian on the subways), etc.

        I’m in complete agreement with you on all of that.

      • Singapore’s economy is one of the least centralized in the world.

        Everything that you excerpted was a direct refutation of that statement.

        I think both of you are missing a point.
        How could something the smaller then Silicon Valley be considered centralized power.
        If all cities in the US had sovereignty- and there wasn’t Washington DC or State governments, how could this be described as centralized government power?

      • gbalkie,

        In this context, “centralization” refers to the level of central planning, ie., regulation of the economy. If you think each of my posts showed that Singapore is centrally planned, ie. over regulated, one of us can’t read very well.

        And yes, as a single city of something over 5 million people, it is not the best indicator of national economic systems. But it is an excellent example that, even on a small scale, business decisions are best left to capitalist entrepreneurs in a free market, not central planners.

        As even the CIA describes it, “Singapore has a highly developed and successful free-market economy.?

        Like Hong Kong, Korea, and Taiwan, the embrace of less regulation, less state control, less central planning, has resulted in ever greater growth and prosperity. Which is why progressives try so hard to claim they are all somehow really socialist economies.

      • gbalkie –

        How could something the smaller then Silicon Valley be considered centralized power.

        Yes – of course that’s relevant. As a city state, with completely unique circumstances in terms of history and ethnic makeup, Singapore does not serve well as an example that is very applicable to a larger discussion. In that sense, saying that Singapore is centralized is not terribly useful for generalizing because centralizing Singapore’s economy is vastly simpler than centralizing an economy for any more typical country.

        Still – I think it’s laughable to say that Singapore doesn’t have a centralized economy.

      • Gary –

        …centrally planned, ie. over regulated,…

        Too funny.

        Centrally planned = over-regulated, therefore Singapore isn’t centrally planned?

        Reminds me of your logic that conservatives don’t believe that AGW might be dangerous because anyone who thinks that AGW might be dangerous can’t be a conservative.

        Rather similar to your assertion that impugning Muller’s integrity isn’t impugning Muller’s integrity.

      • Gary –

        But it is an excellent example that, even on a small scale, business decisions are best left to capitalist entrepreneurs in a free market, not central planners.

        Who made the decisions in structuring Singapore’s economy, Gary? You’re seriously asserting that it wasn’t “central planners” in the government?

        Really?

      • Where did you go to school, bud?

        Cuba, Libya, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Belarus, and Myanmar are central planned economies. Singapore has a market based economy. In fact, it is known as one of the most open economies in the world.

      • Oyl

        Singapore has a market based economy. In fact, it is known as one of the most open economies in the world.

        I’m not sure how where I went to school is relevant, but I do believe that at most schools, the definition of terms such as “centrally-planned economy” aren’t based on political orientation. Singapore has a centrally-planned, market-based economy. Now market-based might sometimes be considered as contradictory to centrally planned (although that wouldn’t apply to Singapore) open is not contradictory to centrally planned, closed is. Not centrally-planned is the most definitive opposite of centrally planned, and if you look at the excerpts that Gary posted, you will certainly see that they are all descriptive of a highly centrally planned economy – planned, in fact, by a highly authoritarian government, although the degree of state planning has been relatively less in recent years.

        From Wikipedia:

        Singapore pursued a state-led model of economic development under the People’s Action Party, which initially adopted a Leninist approach to politics and a broad socialist model of economic development. The PAP was initially a member of the Socialist International. Singapore’s economy is dominated by state-owned enterprises and government-linked companies through Temasek Holdings , which generate 60% of Singapore’s GDP…Temasek Holdings is an investment company owned by the government of Singapore. With an international staff of 380 people, it manages a portfolio of about S$193 billion (US$157 billion) at end of March 2011.

        I hope that helps.

    • Pekka,
      There is no convincing evidence that a climate crisis is developing quickly or even slowly.
      As to which system will provide solutions to any putatitve global crisis, it is good to reflect on what Winston Churchill noted about democracies and think of how it can apply in the context of AGW:
      “Democracy is the worset form of Geovernment, except for all the rest.”
      I think it is illuminating that the same people who claim (dubiously) that we face an existential threat from CO2 not only know the technical solutions (no matter the track record of those solutions), but also know they type of government we need to solve this crisis that they perceive.
      At the least I think you might consider that this is an unlikely confluence of problem identification and solutions.

      • Hunter,

        I wrote that I see the potential problem, but not the solution.

        The alternative of “big government” with a fair bit of socialist features on top of a market economy has worked over fairly extensive periods rather well in small countries of Northern Europe, but given enough time it has the tendency of becoming too rigid and too much a structure that cannot adapt effectively to changing times. It’s also possible that its fairly good track record is strongly dependent on local factors typical for the region.

        That kind of government and the kind of society that has lived with that kind of government may have tools to respond to potential large risks, but it may very well err seriously in its response. That something crucial must be done may be accepted here even, when we lack the knowledge required for choosing the right path. Many obviously erroneous decisions have been made on details, but the verdict on the overall reasonableness of the policies has not been given. People, who want to believe in the policies may still do that and continue on the same path, while others think that the path is seriously wrong.

        One part of the ignorance concerns the severity of the threat of climate change, but I see that at least as much as a problem in understanding natural adaptation of both the environment and human societies. Over periods exceeding some 50 years the role of adaptation becomes crucial and over periods exceeding 100 years nothing sensible can be said without much better understanding of adaptation.

        The market mechanism is part of the adaptive system, but the markets are myopic. Innovations form often the future dramatically, but the innovations are not automatically effective in responding to uncertain severe risks. The natural rate of change of the markets is not fast enough in comparison with the potential rate of buildup of new restrictions from changing environment and shortage of natural resources.

        A centralized big government is not as severely bound by the natural rate of change of the system, but the totalitarian nature of a government capable of doing much more makes it the worse alternative. The worst possibility of all is, however, a development, where the democratic free market system fails so badly that the ensuing chaos brings up a development reminiscent of what happened after the WW1 in Europe.

        Let’s hope that the worst projections of the climate change are highly exaggerated – but can we leave that on hoping the best, or should we look at the worse alternatives as well?

      • Pekka,
        But how has that mixed economy worked out in southern Europe?
        We do agree on the central role of adaptation.
        But do show me examples of central planning that have gone well.
        Hoover dam specifically, and American river control in general worked out well, but modern enviros would have killed most of the projects.
        The Netherlands is a long term success. Would the AGW movement even permit today?
        Damming the Nile was turned down as dangerous by Americans, but the Soviets, fresh off of damming the Aral sea rivers, thought it was great.
        Of course the Aral sea is drying up and the richest farm land in Africa, the Nile Delta, now has problems, but those were central planned projects.

      • Why should I give examples of central planning that has gone well, when I tell that I don’t think that it’s an acceptable solution?

        The basic dilemma is that all known solutions have problems. It’s often rather easy to “prove” that the solution proposed by the other side cannot work, or is at least unlikely to work. Both sides of the controversy can do this, but the world cannot be stopped to give more time for resolving the issue.

      • Hunter,

        Pekka may be reluctant to answer the question “show me examples of central planning that have gone well.” and I’d start off with the example of the planning by the allies in winning WW2. The defence of the UK in 1940 wasn’t put out to tender and awarded to the lowest bidder!

        The pro-socialist feeling that led to the election of a very left wing Labor government in 1945 was largely inspired by the idea that if these methods could work well in wartime they could in peacetime too.

        It may not have entirely worked out out like that since, but the British are still very keen on aspects of that philosophy. Their NHS isn’t perfect but its not bad either, and I notice that the incoming Tory government had to at least give the appearance of being pro-NHS to get elected recently.

        I would argue that a modern liberal democracy has to have a sensible mix of governmental and private sector influence to be successful. It’s fair enough to argue about just where the line should be drawn, but its only the crazies on either side of the political spectrum who want it drawn in an extreme location.

      • tt,
        Most defense contracts are in fact let out to the lowest bidder.
        But the fallacy you indulge in is thinking that your concern about CO2 is the equivalent of the existential threat of Nazi Germany.
        Additionally, elections were not suspended, Look up what happened to Churchill at Potsdam.

      • “The worst possibility of all is, however, a development, where the democratic free market system fails so badly that the ensuing chaos brings up a development reminiscent of what happened after the WW1 in Europe.”

        The aftermath of WW I was not a result of the failure of “the democratic free market system.” It was a product of the long standing political divisions that gad roiled to continent for centuries.

        To the contrary, contrast that to the aftermath of WW II, where the US helped fund the creation of a functioning free market, rather than raping the economies of the losing side.

        It isn’t what people don’t know that is so dangerous, it is what they know that simply isn’t true.

      • I didn’t want to say that the reasons of the failure would be the same or even similar. My point is only that a serious failure of the existing system for whatever reason may lead to a very bad outcome including the one, where a totalitarian dictator takes over.

      • Pekka,

        “My point is only that a serious failure of the existing system for whatever reason may lead to a very bad outcome….”

        I couldn’t agree more. And right now, one of the most serious threats that could cause a “serious failure of the existing system” is the mad rush to decarbonizing the world energy economy.

        The western economies will survive a further crash in the housing market, or the devaluation of certain European countries’ debt (albeit with enormous hardship in either case). But they would likely not survive a concerted attempt by the world’s governments to essentially shut off the supply of inexpensive energy.

    • Pekka Pirilä | November 17, 2011 at 4:14 am

      Countries like Sweden and Finland have had a much stronger role for the government in the past and we have some experience on, how it can be combined with a free market economic system.

      And you can add Norway to that small list of countries which avoided the European serfdom that (for some 1000 years) spread from West to East. Impressively, Finland’s generous welfare system and high standard of living are not propped up by North Sea oil. More impressively, how has Finland avoided despotic rule for so long? What is it about the Finnish that should allow them to be both indomitable and fiercely cooperative? Is it a cultural orientation which can be shared with other nations? Is it a culture where politics takes a back seat to ethics? Regardless, please Pekka, share your insights.

      Thanks,
      bli2hs

      • Also on Finland: CNN had a program (Fareed Zakaria’s GPS) on school education in two high-achieving countries, South Korea and Finland. While South Korea gets its high standard by long school hours and evening schools (which they are trying to make illegal because it is too much education) and cultural dedication to exam success, Finland gets its success by having a teaching profession that is a highly respected career and rigorous qualifications leading to competitiveness to be school teachers.

  100. What kind of idiot believes free market economics has dominated the world for the past 30 years? Free markets have been absent since before the first world war…

    • Why stop at there? As my major oil company says, they buy the free market they want.

    • Amabo,

      The situation, re free trade, or free market economics, before WW1 was probably even more severe than now. The use of military power to set up trading zones behind tariff barriers, was a key factor in the development of world conflict in the 20 century.

      Capitalism has always had to be properly managed to be successful. The 30 year period following WW2 was probably the most successful for world capitalism when regulation world wide was high. The deregulation which started in the Anglo Saxon western countries in the 80’s isn’t looking quite such a good idea now.

      So which country is doing best in the early 21st century? There is no doubt it has to be China. I don’t think anyone would argue with the terms ‘State Capitalism’ or ‘Managed Capitalism’ as it applies in the modern day Peoples’ Republic of China.

      The yearning on the part of right wing libertarians, or left wing anarchists, for a world free of government influence is just a pipe dream. It doesn’t have any more substance than a similar yearning by ardent Communists to create an ideal workers’ state. It just isn’t going to happen.

      • The gist of your comment reads as follows:
        Government involvement in managing free trade caused most of the modern conflicts. Therefore government must be involved in managing free trade.
        Baffling.

        Also, last time I checked, the amount of regulation in the western anglo-saxon states has become larger than it was before the 80s.

      • Yes, Amabo, government must be involved in managing free trade. I’m not quite sure why you have a problem understanding that concept.

        World trade now is probably freer than it’s ever been. But it hasn’t just happened on its own. Its taken years of work and countless meetings first under GATT and later the World Trade Organisation to make it all possible.

      • PS Should also point out that ‘free trade’ and ‘free market economics’ aren’t synonymous.

        Many of us, with a more social democratic inclination, support the idea of the former but not necessarily the latter. At least not as the term is widely interpreted to mean.

      • And they don’t understand either.

      • Tempterrain,

        Here’s a bet. I will carry a back pack with a weight equivalent to that of the US Code of Federal Regulations in 1965; and you carry a pack with a weight equal to that of the current CFR (assuming you can get it off the ground).

        Who do you think will survive longer?

        (Here’s a hint, by 2009, there were 163,33 pages in the CFR – and Obama had just gotten started.)

      • should be “163,333”

      • OK I sympathise your objection to excessive complexity in taxation systems.

        The maximum rate of income tax in the US in 1965 was 75%. Maybe the average was 50%. Now I’m sure I could write up a very simple tax system of maybe a couple of pages using these figures. Another page for corporation tax of 40%. I’ll throw in a European style VAT system of 20% as an appendix. You could carry it around quite easily and not notice the weight at all!
        Is that the sort of simplicity you’re looking for?

      • No wonder you’re so confused on the extent of regulation in the US. The Code of Federal Regulations is not just tax regulations. That’s where all federal regulations have to be published. EPA, FDA, HHS, all those neat little three letter acronyms that disguise the true size and reach of leviathan.

        The IRS is only one of the 50 titles in the CFR.

  101. Climate users of the world unite. Marx was just premature.

  102. Tomas Milanovic

    This Naomi Klein is completely unknown in Europe.
    As I understood she was Canadian, I feel compassion for Canada to have to cohabitate with such a raving lunatic.
    We have also some in Europe but I don’t know any who reach such heights.

    When she says :
    Heartland’s Bast puts it even more bluntly: For the left, “Climate change is the perfect thing…. It’s the reason why we should do everything [the left] wanted to do anyway.”
    Here’s my inconvenient truth: they aren’t wrong.
    Here is where the Heartlanders have good reason to be afraid: arriving at these new systems is going to require shredding the free-market ideology that has dominated the global economy for more than three decades. What follows is a quick-and-dirty look at what a serious climate agenda would mean in the following six arenas: public infrastructure, economic planning, corporate regulation, international trade, consumption and taxation.

    This is eerily isomorphe to another speech much better known in Europe.

    “Our opponents accuse us, and me in particular, of being intolerant and quarrelsome. They say that we don’t want to work with other parties. I have to admit one thing – these gentlemen are quite right. We are intolerant. We have one goal, to sweep our opponents off the world. They should not mistake us for one of them. We have one precise aim, and we will follow it ruthlessly untill the end.”

    There is no mistake of what those 2 so astoundingly similar speeches are.
    They are a declaration of war.

    Now it is neither important nor interesting what an obviously unhinged Canadian rants about.
    The question why she should think that she is in position to declare the war on the industrial, capitalist and technological civilisation is only something that concerns psychiatry and, frankly, I think that nobody cares about the answer.

    The much more important question which has been puzzling me is why did you think Judith that this rant by an unknown fanatic deserved a specific post.
    Is it an elaborate experiment with your denizens to verify that when you present them with a declaration of war, they will answer with arming themselves too?
    Is it to demonstrate a case of dellusion where fanatical views (I understand that this Klein has no training in physics) got so inextricably entangled with scientific points of atmospheric dynamics that they can no more be separated?

    Would you care to explain your motivations why you thought that this rant/person deserved to be discussed here?

    • We have plenty of lunitics on this board. They talk in these terms all the time. While Dr. Curry is embarressed and considers it “excess” she is cut from very similar cloth. She believes in “small and local” eco-leftism as if that is all the difference.

    • 540 comments in about a day shows that a lot of people felt it worth discussing.

      Anybody who feels this, or any other post, is not worthy of discussion is perfectly free to demonstrate their conviction by staying schtumm on the topic

      • Tomas Milanovic

        Yes I fully agree with that.
        My question was why Judith thought it would deserve to be a post on THIS board.
        I doubt (but of course can’t exclude) that the only motivation would have been to get 500 or 1000 comments in it.
        Obviously I could think about a dozen of topics which could generate 500 or 1000 comments yet wouldn’t deserve to be on THIS board.

        That’s why my bets would rather be on an elaborate experiment as I wrote above – take something really crazy and agressive, throw it in the ring and watch how people react.

        It’s a pity that Judith is apparently away and couldn’t (wouldn’t?) answer this question.

    • I said upthread that this is probably the most revealing thread in the history of this blog. I’m beginning to appreciate the way Judith throws these bones out to us dogs, and then hovers above it all, taking note on which dogs do what. But this is good, because we dogs can observe the other dogs.

      This sort of Rorschach test is, as I said, revealing. It’s disturbing, but not surprising, to see the totalitarian tendencies in the people. It’s confirmed what I’ve suspected.

  103. The Iconoclast

    …97%… …overwhelming scientific consensus… …denying… …denier… denialist… denialism… The earth has warmed a few tenths of a degree — We can no longer afford outmoded concepts like freedom and individual liberty.

    Did I miss anything?

    • Iconoclast,
      You missed little. Great summation.
      Naomi is demonstrating a version of the old saying that one should keep guns from the hands of the children and the mentally deranged.

  104. It’s the cousin of “settled science”;

    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/opinion/the-truth-will-out-on-labors-carbon-scam/story-e6frezz0-1226197176697

    Talk about carbon taxes and price impacts and you will be fined. This is what the eco-left stands for, the Orwellian Authority.

  105. The are different types of Green demands being made. The symbolic demand is the claim that putting up a few windmills and recycling and taking your reusable grocery bag to the store will save the world. These things make the individual feel good but do not do much (even assuming one agrees with the problem posited). The other is famously exemplified by James Hansen who insists that coal fired power plants should simply be shut down, now. The latter case is what Klein is admitting needs to be done (to solve the problem she imagines exists), but they have no concept what this means in terms of societal disruption. Not merely rolling blackouts and brownouts (which most industrial processes can’t tolerate) but rationing and draconian rules like no lights on at night for safety, no street lights. I visited Harbin China 15 yrs ago and there were no store or sign lights on at night, no street lights, and going out at night was extremely dangerous. And when the power companies don’t supply the power, individuals and businesses buy their own generators to stay operational (e.g., in India), and no CO2 savings exist and air pollution is actually worse.

    • Craig Loehle

      You rightly mention the “societal disruption” that would result from the implementation of a drastic step, such as that recently proposed by James E. Hansen et al., i.e. to shut down all coal-fired power plants by 2030 and replace them with non-fossil fuel fired plants.

      http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/2010/2010_Kharecha_etal.pdf

      Hansen et al. do not give us a cost/benefit analysis for their proposal.

      What would the implementation of this proposal cost?

      The paper tells us that 1,994 billion kWh/year were generated from coal in 2009.

      The total, all-in capital cost investment to replace 1,994 billion kWh/year capacity with the least expensive alternate (current nuclear fission technology) is between $4,000 and $8,000 per installed kW (say $6,000 on average). [Note: If we replace it with wind or solar, it will cost significantly more, due in part to the low on-line factor and the need for standby generation capacity when there is no wind or sun.]

      1,994 billion kWh/year at a 90% on-line factor represents an installed capacity of:

      1994 / 8760 * 0.9 = 0.251 billion kWh

      This equals an investment cost of 0.251 billion * 6,000 = $1.5 trillion

      One could argue that this is “not too much”, if it helps us “save the planet”.

      But what effect would this step actually have on global warming?

      The paper tells us that the average CO2 emission is 1,000 tons CO2 per GWh generated.

      So by 2030 Hansen’s plan would reduce CO2 emissions by roughly 2 GtCO2 per year.

      Roughly half of this “stays” in the atmosphere (with the rest disappearing into the ocean or the biosphere) so the annual reduction after 2030 will be around 1 GtCO2/year and over the period from today to year 2100 the cumulative reduction would be 80.5 GtCO2.

      The mass of the atmosphere is 5,140,000 Gt.

      So the net reduction in atmospheric CO2 by 2100 would be around 16 ppm(mass) or 10 ppmv.

      If we assume (as IPCC does) that by year 2100 the atmospheric CO2 level (without Hansen’s plan) will be around 600 ppmv (“scenario B1”), this means that with Hansen’s plan it will be 590 ppmv.

      Today we have 390 ppmv.

      Using IPCC’s model-based 2xCO2 climate sensitivity of 3.2C (rather than the much lower CO2/temperature response physically observed since 1850) we have:

      Case 1 – no Hansen plan
      600 ppmv CO2
      ln(600/390) = 0.431
      ln(2) = 0.693
      dT (warming from today to 2100) = 3.2 * 0.431 / 0.693 = 1.99C

      Case 2 – Hansen plan implemented
      590 ppmv CO2
      ln(590/390) = 0.414
      ln(2) = 0.693
      dT (warming from today to 2100) = 3.2 * 0.414 / 0.693 = 1.91C

      So Hansen’s plan will result in a total theoretical reduction of global temperature by year 2100 of 0.08C.

      $1.5 trillion investment between today and 2030 for 0.08°C possible reduction of temperature by 2100?

      It is clear that why there was no cost/benefit analysis included.

      Summary: This is a hare-brained proposal.

      Max

      PS Craig, I have not seen any specific proposals made as yet that were not just as goofy as this one, once a cost/benefit analysis is made (see graph)

      Trouble with Naomi is that she cannot calculate, just bloviate.

      • The more I observe these arguments, the more convinced that it’s between the numerate and the innumerate. You have to be innumerate not to understand the simple arithmetic that you just wrote. You have to be innumerate not to understand that if there is a problem, the only strategy that has a prayer of working is to wait and hope something better comes along (and perhaps work on reducing the regulatory burden so that the capital cost per KW is reduced).

        Either that, or as Klein tipped her hand, climate (and the environment in general) isn’t the real issue.

      • The more I visit this site and read the views of those that fear the effect of additional CO2, the more I am coming to the conclusion that the ultimate goal of the cAGW believers is for a transfer of wealth from the US and the EU to developing countries. All the the “solution concepts” revolve around that notion in order to be successful. This is interesting to me because a couple of years ago I would not have thought that was at the core of the issue.

        cAGW faithful often seem to cite the “Tragedy of the Commons” as their mantra, but that does not seem to apply to someone who thinks rationally about the issue since there is not reliable evidence that a warmer world is harmful for humanity overall, over the long term. I have asked the question of the cAGW faithful here many times, and I have not gotten a single defendable response.

        Let me ask this crowd a question.

        Why is it the responsibility of a nation that has managed its population growth at sustainable levels to support nations that have uncontrolled population growth? Did the US emitting CO2 somehow force the unsustainable population growth around the world? Is it reasonable for US tax payers to have to work longer/harder to because of the unsupportable population growth of other countries?

        It really only seems that this concept is believed in the EU and to a lesser degree in the US. I just do not understand how it is the responsibility of US taxpayers to support other countries. It is great to help through private donations, but the truth is that the US is currently spending roughly 38% MORE than we are receiving in revenue. That means there will be no more free lunch and people around the world will need to largely take care of themselves.

        Sorry to all the cAGW believers, but that is the brutal reality. There will soon be virtually NO discretionary funds available from the US to help developing nations. Plan accordingly. To think other wise is delusional…Imo, but I am correct.

      • Rob,

        As spurious attempts to avoid moral responsibility for assisting others go, that pretty much takes the biscuit. You seriously think that poor countries are poor and the US is rich because the US managed it’s population growth (and how exactly did it do that anway) and those other countries didn’t?

      • manacker –

        Potential costs due to global warming are only a fraction of the cost of burning coal to society. Black carbon. Environmental damage from mining. There are substantial public health implications.

        You need to add those into your calculations. Argue with the numbers as you will – but leaving them out entirely is incomplete:

        http://www.treehugger.com/corporate-responsibility/coal-costs-us-public-up-to-500-billion-annually-harvard-study.html

      • Joshua,
        YOu miss the point of these other factors:
        It is the AGW promoters who have obsessed on CO2 at the exclusion of the other problems you list.
        Carbon black could have actually been reduced if resources wasted on CO2 obsessions had been spent develop better burning technologies to reduce carbon black.
        Reduced impacts from mining can be developed.
        The public health implications of expensive undependable energy are higher than the impacts of coal. Look at the mortality tables.
        It is the AGW community that has declined to offer nuanced decision making by focusing solely on CO2- and don’t forget they have been utterly unsuccessful in their in focus.

      • Not only that, while we have Joshua yoching about particulates, we have papers claiming that the lull in warming over the past decade is due to Chinese aerosols. The “scientific community” can’t even seem to agree whether aerosols are a bug or a feature.

      • P.E.

        Aerosols are an adjustment. When what you have doesn’t work you need an adjustment. Aerosols are so convenient.

  106. a.n. ditchfield

    CAPITALISM vs. CLIMATE
    The assessment of the state of the world by Naomi Klein is a colorful manifesto of totalitarian alternatives to a market economy and the rule of law. Fascism soon went down in military defeat while Communism sank into bankruptcy after seventy years of misrule. The manifesto has the support of Hugo Chavez, who blames capitalism for the death of an advanced civilization that once flourished on Mars. Such opinions show that if a cat has nine lives, totalitarian doctrines have the sum of the lives of nine cats.
    The doctrine of Green activists rests on three tenets they accept with an act of faith:
    We are running out of space. World population is already excessive on a limited planet and grows at exponential rates, with dire effects.
    We are running out of means. The planet’s non-renewable resources are being depleted by consumption at a rate that renders further economic expansion unsustainable.
    We are running out of time before tipping points are reached. Carbon dioxide emitted by economic activity causes global warming that will soon render the planet uninhabitable.
    When such tenets are quantified, the contrast between true and false stands out sharply.
    Is overpopulation a grave problem? The sum of urban areas of the United States is equivalent to 2% of the area of the country, and to 6% in densely inhabited countries such as England and Holland. And there is plenty of green in urban areas. If comparison is limited to land covered by buildings and pavements the occupied land in the whole world amounts to 0,04% of the terrestrial area of the planet. It has been held that 7 billion inhabitants could live comfortably on 100 000 square miles, the area of Wyoming. With more that 99.9% of unoccupied space the idea of an overcrowded planet is an exaggeration.
    Population forecasts are uncertain but the most accepted ones foresee stability of world population to be reached in the 21st century. According to some, world population may begin to decline at the end of this century. Ageing populations is the real current problem. With so much elbowroom it is untenable that world population is excessive or shall ever become so.
    The Green shibboleth is that ultimately a finite planet cannot support infinite growth, but ultimately no natural resource is non-renewable in a universe ruled by the Law of Conservation of Mass. In popular form it holds that “Nothing is created, nothing is lost, everything is transformed.” Human usage is not subtracted from the mass of the planet, and in theory all material used may be recycled. The possibility of doing so depends on availability and low cost of energy. When fusion energy becomes operative it will be available in practically unlimited quantities. The source is deuterium, a hydrogen isotope found in water, in a proportion of 0.03%. One cubic kilometer of seawater contains more energy than can be obtained from combustion of all known petroleum reserves of the world. Since oceans hold 3 billion cubic kilometers of water, energy will last longer than the human species. Potable water need not be a limitation; nano tube membranes may yet cut energy costs of desalination to one tenth of current costs and conceivably cheap enough for irrigation purposes.
    There is no growing shortfall of resources signaled by rising prices. Since the middle of the 19th century The Economist publishes consistent indices of values of commodities and they have all declined, over 150 years, due to technological advances. The decline has been benign. The cost of feeding a human being was 8 times greater in 1850 than it is today. In 1950, less than half of a world population of 2 billion had an adequate diet, above 2000 calories per day. Today, 80% have the adequate diet, and world population is three times greater.
    There is a problem with the alleged global warming. It stopped in 1998, having risen in the 23 previous years, after unleashing a scare over its effects. Since 1998 it has been followed by 13 years of declining temperatures, in a portent of a cold 21st century. This shows that there are natural forces shaping climate, more powerful than manmade carbon dioxide and anything mankind can do for or against world climate. The natural forces include cyclical oscillation of ocean temperatures, sunspot activity and the effect of magnetic activity of the sun on cosmic rays. All such cycles are foreseeable, but there is no general theory of climate with predictive capacity. What knowledge exists comes from one hundred fields, such as meteorology, oceanography, mathematics, physics, chemistry, astronomy, geology, paleontology, biology, etc. with partial contributions to understanding climate.
    Devoid of support of solid theory and empirical evidence, the mathematical models that underpin alarmist forecasts amount to speculative thought that reflects the assumptions fed into the models. Such computer simulations offer no rational basis for public policies that inhibit economic activity “to save the planet”. And carbon dioxide is not a pollutant; it is plant nutrient for the photosynthesis that supports the food chain of all living beings of the planet.
    Stories of doom circulate daily. Anything that happens on earth has been blamed on global warming: a Himalayan earthquake, the Iceland volcanic eruption, the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, tribal wars in Africa, heat wave in Paris, recent severe winters in North America, the hurricane season in the Gulf of Mexico, known for five centuries, the collapse of a bridge in Minnesota. Evo Morales blames Americans for the summer floods in Bolivia.
    Global warming is not a physical phenomenon; it is a political and journalistic phenomenon that finds parallel in the totalitarian doctrines that inebriated masses deceived by demagogues. As Chris Patten put it: “Green politics at its worst amounts to a sort of Zen fascism; less extreme, it denounces growth and seeks to stop the world so that we can all get off”. In the view of Professor Aaron Wildavsky global warming is the mother of all environmental scares. “Warming (and warming alone), through its primary antidote of withdrawing carbon from production and consumption, is capable of realizing the environmentalist’s dream of an egalitarian society based on rejection of economic growth in favor of a smaller population’s eating lower on the food chain, consuming a lot less, and sharing a much lower level of resources much more equally.”

  107. I thoroughly was impressed with Naomi Klein’s “Shock Doctrine” (TSD) when it came out. She is no dummy.

    While she gets a few things right (as I read in the excerpts here), she also misses on a lot of it. Her confirmation bias is showing, in that she accepts RealClimate’s position on climate pretty much 100%, without any of the hard-nosed open-mindedness for reality she displayed in TSD. And she has accepted that the leaders in the skeptical movement (if you can call it that) are not the institutes she (like so many on the Left) seems to think are running it all and calling the shots. If she showed the same hard skepticism of the climate change arguments as she usually applies, she would see some or all of the same errors of conclusions that the skeptics see.

    I am socially a Liberal who sides with the overwhelmingly conservative skeptical side, and I am a skeptic in spite of my distaste for conservative thinking and its pandering to the wealthy and corporate POVs. I am a skeptic because the science doesn’t meet my standards for objective science.

    When she asserts that the institutes are heading up the fight against the IPCC and the climate scientists, nothing could be further from the truth. Really. While the institutes host conferences here and there and push their “economic Armaggedon” spiels there, those reach few people. Well over 90% of the “damage” done to the climate change meme has been done by two men who are doing it on their own dime, plus the still unknown “outer” of the Climategate files. . The two men who have done the anthropogenic damage to the IPCC and climate change are Anthony Watts of WattsUpWithThat.com and Steve McIntyre of ClimateAudit.org. The Climategate files, in fact, are the single biggest reason the momentum and monopoly of the topic that the climate change scientists and the IPCC had no longer exist.

    Almost NONE of that damage comes from the institutes, though they certainly would wish it so.

    As to the damage that climate change will do to make starving people the world over come clamoring at our gates, Ms Klein (who I still admire immensely) is simply wrong on that. Whatever starvation comes will come as a result of ambitious Kyoto style policies, which are well meaning but incredibly wrong-headed. To even think for one moment that the world can go straight from here, with our now 7 billion inhabitants, to organic farming and green energy – Naomi: Green energy has been now 40 years in the making, and it is an utter and total failure. Organic farming is well and good, perhaps, for a world of 1 or 2 billion people, but it is entirely impossible for 7 billion. Going the climate change/green path will kill many hundreds of millions if we actually try to make that happen. It is the ivory tower solution that cannot work anywhere outside a laboratory or a climate model.

    I have comments to make on nearly EVERY point she makes, and while I side with her on her intent (as I do with the intent of the climate change folks), on that path lies disaster greater even than the 50 million killed in World War II.

    The real problem in all of this is not that the climate scientists haven’t communicated their POV well enough. There are actually three problems that do relate to communication, though:

    1. Each side thinks the other side has gone bonkers and has lost their critical faculties.
    2. Each side is guilty of confirmation bias, the inability to critically assess evidence, based on who is presenting it. They will not give enough (any?) credence to evidence produced by their opponents, and they allow sloppy crap to pass muster when it is produced by their own side. So, each side is able to take potshots at each other – and both sides are guilty of sloppy thinking
    3. And finally, the science – as done so far – is not powerful enough to speak for itself. The lack of transparency is given a pass by the climate change public, and that is exactly what caused the Climategate affair in the first place. Why the lack of transparency, and why the science can have so many holes in it – these are picked up, as they should be, by those who want the science to be robust. As long as the science itself is not speaking for itself, we will have people like Steve McIntyre and Naomi Klein poking their noses into it. Doesn’t anyone see that any scientific enterprise in which outsiders feel the need to pipe up with their take on things – that science is really lacking.

  108. Some political thoughts bearing on this discussion:

    Self-proclaimed “liberals” who persist in believing in and advocating the destructive and failed ideology of socialism are neither progressive nor liberal – in the wake of the failure of the Soviet Union and of China and now India FINALLY giving up on socialist economics (not to mention that other species of socialism, Nazism) – they are REACTIONARIES, they are HARD RIGHT in the current cointext.

    Now to be fair, self-proclaimed “conservatives” who harbor prejudices such as racism or homophobia are violating the basic conservative premise that each individual deserves to be judged “by the content of their character” – and in so doing they are engaging in COLLECTIVISM – no different from any other form of disregard of individual rights and merits anywhere on the political spectrum – in other words, they are HARD LEFT in the current context.

    Where does this fit in here? Simple – the GHG scaremongers want you to think they are for human progress, but they are as REACTIONARY, in every possible sense of that word, as they can be.

    The world has already had too much regrettable experience with the sort of police-state politics that is now being pushed by the GHG scaremongers. Of course they don’t stop to think how regulation kills initiatives that would improve the quality of life, or how taxation takes away capital that could be used to clean up the environment, develop sustaiinable resources, increase production capacity and efficiency – and above all, create well-paying jobs. Or maybe they do stop to think this, and this is what they want.

  109. NIMBYism is a leftist obsession that will have to go out the door for effective climate policy. We can’t afford years of litigation, whether the project is solar, wind, nuclear, or high speed rail.
    Carbon taxes, whatever else you say about them, are not wealth redistribution. They will be slightly regressive. Conservatives supposedly believe in balancing the budget, and a carbon tax is a huge potential revenue source. Immigration restriction would be a significant way to reduce emissions which conservatives could support. In theory, ending subsidies for fossil fuels and ethanol would be a conservative issue. Reducing welfare and phony disability claims to increase the domestic workforce available for agriculture is a conservative issue. It is not all left versus right.

    • Steve Funk,
      Every year without hghspeed rail as currently metasticizing is a good year.
      California’s limited hs rail is now weighing in at > $98billion, and cannot work as designed in anything but fantasy economics.
      Carbon tax is a bogus disgusting concept that will not manage the climate, not mitigate climate risk and will not impove adaptation.
      it is from the same people who thought Bernie Madoff was a great supporter of their party, right up until theyhad to forget he was a big supporter of their party.
      In Australia, to silence protests against their carbon tax, protesting stores will be fined up to a $AUS 1,000,000 for speaking out against the tax.
      this is not left vs. right. This is crazy AGW believers vs. sanity.

      • hunter,

        In Australia, to silence protests against their carbon tax, protesting stores will be fined up to a $AUS 1,000,000 for speaking out against the tax.

        Got a cite for that?

      • Sho’ nuf:

        http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/opinion/the-truth-will-out-on-labors-carbon-scam/story-e6frezz0-1226197176697

        I like this part bestest:
        “On cue comes the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, which this week issued warnings to businesses that they will face whopping fines of up to $1.1m if they blame the carbon tax for price rises.

        It says it has been “directed by the Australian government to undertake a compliance and enforcement role in relation to claims made about the impact of a carbon price.”

        Businesses are not even allowed to throw special carbon tax sales promotions before the tax arrives on July 1.”

        Stupid ideas lead to bad laws to enforce them. What is freedom of speech in the light of the great AGW enlightenment to Save The Planet?

      • Andrew Adams,

        I think this is the background:

        http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/carbon-tax-gougers-face-1m-in-fines-20110712-1hcdr.html

        Note that Hunter has deliberately distorted the story to suit his own ends. The proposed fine for companies raising their prices to unreasonably high levels, and then blaming the carbon tax, is exactly the same as implemented by the Liberal/National coalition (Australian Conservatives) when they introduced their Goods and Services Tax – some ten years ago now.

      • Yes, that seems to me a more… sober analysis.

        The relevant legislation seems to be

        Under section 29 of the consumer law, a person is prohibited from making false or misleading representations in connection with the supply, possible supply or promotion of goods or services.

        It is not unusual for businesses to use economic changes as a pretext to jack up their prices – it happened all over Europe when the Euro replaced the legacy currencies for example, so ISTM sensible to have such controls in place.

      • tt,
        Note that I relied on the opinion of a local Australian, who I find more credible than your rationalization of why the supression of free speech is justified.
        The reality is that people are being censored form their expression of an opinion.
        If they raise their prices unreasonably on a product, they will not sell it.
        your defense of censorship is sort of expected since so many AGW believers think a suspension of civil society and democracy is just the thing the AGW movmement needs.

      • Hunter,

        Just on a point of information – Australia is where I live too. I take your point about ‘freedom of speech’ but we’ve historically taken a slightly different view on that point than most Americans. Its not OK to make misrepresentations, under the guise of freedom of speech, and this law is designed to prevent that. It’s a view shared across the political spectrum. When the right wing parties make changes to the taxation system, they introduce these kind of laws too.

      • Oh, come on. It’ll do a great job of getting people from Sacramento to the Grapevine. They can walk the rest of the way. They need the exercise.

  110. I would gently remind Mr. Steve Garcia that having a wealthy class is essential to improving the standard and quality of life for everyone of all social classes – for one crucial reason: wealthy people are the ones who can afford the risks of venture capital and new product development, which are beyond the means of most other people. Punish bad actors among the wealthy (starting with Al Gore! – let’s redistribute his wealth first!) but don’t dismiss the importance to progress of the extra wherewithal that wealthy people have to contribute.

    • Chad,

      So if you and I were stranded on a desert island it would make more sense for one of us to own it all than share it 50-50? I guess I wouldn’t disagree if it was me that had the ownership. I’d be happy to let you climb up my palm trees to collect my coconuts. Naturally I’d be happy to pay you so wouldn’t go hungry. Not unless you managed to injure yourself in a fall that is. But hey, that’s the risk you’d have to take. I wouldn’t want to set up a ‘nanny state’ and actually pay you for doing nothing. :-)

  111. Michael Larkin

    A while back, I was very interested in Spiral Dynamics (SD), and reading this thread reminded me that what is missing in the analysis of the climate debate is some overarching framework from which to do that.

    So what is Spiral Dynamics? It’s something based on work by the psychologist Clare Graves and taken up by Don Beck, an American Management consultant involved in the dismantling of the South African Apartheid regime. Unfortunately, it can be presented in a somewhat “New Age” fashion, and is not without its critics, but I think the underlying principles have merit and are worth considering.

    The basic idea is of “memes”, which are denoted by different colours. The memes go through progressive development during the life of individuals and also through the development of human societies. There is an alternation between memes that have a personal influence (warm colours), and memes that have a more social influence (cold colours). Under stress, people can revert to more primitive memes than the one they usually operate from. It’s important to realise the object isn’t to evolve from one meme to the next and leave the earlier one behind. The new meme “transcends and includes” it.

    The first meme is Beige. This is the personal instinct for survival – the need to breathe, eat, eliminate, etc. Babies and populations under severe stress (e.g. times of famine and disaster) can exhibit this.

    The second meme is Purple, which is the magical/mythic principle. Purple societies live in small family groups and see the world as a mysterious, inexplicable place. Very young children perceive the world like that.

    The third meme is Red, the assertion of the ego. Examples include warlike tribes, children at the “terrible two” stage, street gangs, and in-groups at schools. This modifies Purple societies into tribal cultures; people in the tribe are recognised as belonging, but anyone outside is more or less subhuman.

    The fourth meme is Blue, in which there is the acceptance of some higher power around which society can organise itself. Blue is the first meme at which some semblance of civilisation can emerge, although the mode of government is dictatorial. Examples include Abrahamic civilisations (e.g. based on the primacy of Christendom or the Islamic Umma), but isn’t restricted to revolving explicitly around religion per se. It can include ideologies such as Fascism or Marxism. Societal groups can be very much larger than for Red, but there is still a sense of non-members of one’s group being untermensch, with the objective of converting outsiders to the one true path, and eliminating “unbelievers”.

    The fifth meme, which emerged during the Enlightenment in Europe, is Orange. This, like Red, is an assertion of ego, but in the sense of having the right to think what one wants and act in ways appropriate to that. It led to the flowering of science and technology and the emergence of modern democracy and pluralism. It tends to focus on acquisition, on personal wealth and material success as the measure of men’s worth.

    The sixth meme is Green. This is a striving for a value beyond the mere acquisition of wealth. It brings in the desire for racial and other kinds of equality, concern for the environment, and so on. The fact that the colour is green doesn’t mean that it maps precisely to the green movement. It’s a larger concept than that.

    The majority of humankind, and of its power, is currently associated with Memes 4-6, i.e. Blue, Orange and Green. Orange is dominant in the developed world, but there has been a recent upsurge of Green, arising most notably since the 1960’s.

    Each meme brings its benefits, but also has a dark side, often denoted by the adjective “mean”.

    The Mean Blue Meme (MBM) would be characterised by e.g. aggressive expansionism based on something perceived as a transcendently important principle. One can think of the Crusades, the Muslim invasions, aspects of colonialism, religious fundamentalism, and so on.

    The Mean Orange Meme (MOM) is something we have seen very recently in the banking crashes and the ongoing train wreck of the Euro (though an important stimulus for the European Union nominally has Green origins).

    The Mean Green Meme (MGM) is probably highly relevant for the climate debate. Green is a “cold” meme, and so focussed on societal visions of egalitarianism, harmony, philanthropism, and environmentalism, but there hasn’t yet been the widespread emergence of the next warm Meme, Yellow, representing the personal ability to deal with that. Hence it may be influenced by the Orange meme – which could account for it being focussed on “scientific” issues such as Global Warming, and “scientific” (not to mention materially expensive) ways of dealing with that, such as carbon sequestration, etc. The personal failing of those operating from the MGM is alleged to be narcissism.

    “Science” is being used as a vehicle, and isn’t actually the important thing in and of itself. Sure, in principle CAGW could be real, but that’s not really the issue. The issue is getting to the kind of society that the Green Meme yearns for and feels in its bones is a better one. If CAGW eventually fizzles out, something else will be adopted. Although I’m a climate sceptic myself, I have considerable sympathy with Green aims; I just happen to think that people are going the wrong way about achieving them.

    Green is also influenced by the cold Blue Meme (principled fundamentalism; which is why, I think, the climate orthodox are often accused of being religionists), and even the cold Purple Meme (think New Age and tree-hugging). Now and then, even the warm Red Meme can pop up (think of nasty things said in leaked emails, death trains, branding of people as being like holocaust deniers, or subsidised by Big Oil, and so on), particularly when under stress (think Climategate, Himalayagate, successfully published sceptic papers, and so on).

    Sceptics, of course, aren’t entire innocents. There’s quite a lot of their own tribalism (Mean Red Meme), as well as the MBM and MOM. The fact is, few on either side have the means to deal with the situation rationally and objectively, putatively due to the current rarity of the Yellow Meme (the first “second-tier” meme).

    And what is that, you might ask? Well, it’s purportedly integrative – the ability to see and honour all the preceding Memes and integrate them into a functional whole. All Memes have some positive aspects, and we need those. The idea is to transcend, but include. Without a firm foundation in the positives of the earlier Memes, individuals and societies won’t be able to reach a new equilibrium. Once there is a sufficient number of Yellow Meme individuals, so the story goes, we can move on to the next breakthrough in society, characterised by the Coral Meme.

    The foregoing is my own analysis. I don’t expect that all those applying SD will come to the same conclusions, and they may be able to demonstrate I’m wrong. But the good thing for me is that it provides some rational basis for trying to make sense out of the climate debate. It also helps me avoid identifying too strongly with any one view.

    You see, we have a strong tendency to confuse container and content. We look at something, say religion and ideology (whether left or right), and think them different and distinct things, when they are merely superficially different manifestations of the same thing. It’s not that one side is right and the other wrong, but that both are blind to their own shortcomings. People on either side of a contentious issue can behave in remarkably similar ways, and run around in circles solving nothing. The only way to solve major issues facing us currently may be to wait for us to evolve, crossing our fingers that we do so before we completely screw things up. Personally, I’m optimistic. We still haven’t nuked ourselves into oblivion, after all.

  112. “Capitalism vs the Climate” eh ?

    The problem with this kind of discussion is that it inevitably gets bogged down into what is Capitalism and what is Socialism. Is Capitalism good and Socialism bad? Is Socialism just government intervention in capitalism? Or is Socialism the same as Communism or North Korea or the old USSR?

    I would say that most sensible people would like to live in a democracy, and a mixed economy which would have elements of both Socialism and Capitalism. They like both. They like free schools and hospitals but they like to aspire to owning a bigger house, being able to leave the country and return as they please, and go shopping without a ration card at the weekend. There’s nothing wrong with that.

    There is no need to argue that bringing Co2 emissions under control requires us all to be good Soviet citizens. I can’t see myself pledging unconditional love and support for a “Great Leader” any more than the so-called skeptics on this blog.

    Let’s see what is achievable with sensible CO2 taxes and C&T schemes before we go down this route.

  113. Lord have mercy on my soul…Italy has become the new proving ground for elitist progressive dogma, on the eve of its economic collapse.

    “The new government sworn in on November 16th has the chairman of NATO’s military committee, Admiral Giampaolo Di Paola, as defence minister; the boss of Italy’s biggest retail bank, Corrado Passera, as minister for economic development and infrastructure; and no fewer than seven professors, including the prime minister, out of a cabinet of 17.”

    http://www.economist.com/node/21538778

    At least they won’t have the faux conservative Berlusconi around to obscure responsibility for the train wreck to come.

  114. If the only things that can save us from some envisioned climate horror is the kind of remedies proposed by the greens, then we must get ready for universal poverty, grindingly oppressive brute labor and starvation, and roll back all the progress of the last 2 centuries in science and technology, not to mention the the expansion of human freedom that those have given us.

    • Not to mention a 95% or greater reduction in the Earth’s population – which of us will volunteer to give up our lives to accomplish that?

    • John Kannarr

      I think we can redistribute the horror of those same remedies from just the greens, as you imply, to also the reds, and the blues.

      Bad economics comes out simplemindedly on all sides, and often from people who ought know better.

      This universal poverty you speak of, is it not as likely to come from any distortion of the purchase decision power of the poor as from green distortions?

      The brute labor you allude to, how does it come about, when the most intensive mechanisms that shift factors of production from labor to capital are new technologies, and new technologies come out of innovation, which is held back by entrenchment of old technologies?

      This starvation.. you understand 80% of fertilizers in the world are produced by the Haber process, which is fossil-fuel intensive, and competition for fossil fuels from energy and transportation drive up the price of fertilizer — and are expected to quintuple the price of fertilizer by mid-century, yes?

      And this expansion of human freedom, how do you measure it?

      Is it in freedom from coercive taxation to subsidize free riders and priviledged industries?

      Because, John, we’re far less free in the West now than we were 2 centuries ago, in that sense.

      Did we have warrantless wiretapping, botnets controlled by criminal syndicates, Presidentially-sanctioned Pentagon-scientifically-designed torture, and spam, 2 centuries ago?

      We had people who knew the price of freedom was eternal.. what’s the word?

  115. It’s amazing how little there is to discuss about. Durban restated everybody’s conviction that POOR countries will have to be supported by RICH countries. IOW everybody believes the problem is POVERTY. Hence it’s disproven absolutely the idea that the solution could ever be making everybody POORER.

    • The entire purpose of the UN is to impose global government and socialism, so of course its IPCC will trot out that wealth must be taken from those who create it and given to others.

  116. Punksta -no. The purpose of the UN is to managed conflict between nations. The “socialism” bit (old-style socialism that is, mostly based around envy and despised by Marx himself) is but one way to try manage those conflicts. Don’t mix up the vehicle with the would-be drivers.

  117. That may once have been the purpose of the UN, but no longer is. Don’t mix up what an organisation says and what it actually does.

    (As for socialism, all it says don’t merely envy your neighour, go out and plunder him).