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You're right that the Green Shift itself was not complicated, and that most other proposals were much more incoherent and messy. The reason that Canadians tended to discount it is: no one (except the incorrigibly naive) trusts governments to introduce new taxes and equally remove the old ones. This, for me, was the reason I, "didn't understand" the propsals - they looked like a shell game that was likely to have the fix exposed only once it was too late.

It's much more likely that most Canadians discounted the climate issue itself rather than irrationally picking the more unreadable policy.

Taber's wrong that it was complicated, but she's right that it was poorly communicated. Now, Liberals run from the idea because they mistake a bad sales job for bad policy.

IN any event, if I've learned anything from you're blog, it's that if a gov't chooses cap-and-trade, they'd better auction off the permits rather than give them to existing emitters, in order to get, and then appropriately transfer, that revenue. Right?

That would be my preference. There could be a case for giving them away at first in order to buy off emitters' participation in the scheme when it's first getting under way. But that should soon give way to a system where permits are being auctioned by the government.

"they looked like a shell game that was likely to have the fix exposed only once it was too late. "

How could a tax change be too late to undo? If the tax change was not revenue neutral, you could vote them out of office and replace them with a government that would ensure it was revenue neutral.

If they do a cap and trade, and auction the quotas, would the quotas be good for just one year (annual auction), or would they be good indefinitely? If the latter, then politically they would be very hard to change in subsequent years, just like the milk quotas we were discussing in Stephen's earlier post. I hadn't thought of that before. Probably others had.

The permits will be auctioned, it was in the english version of the prepared remarks.

" It [proposed Cap and Trade] must harmonize with systems in place elsewhere in the world. This will allow for carbon pollution credits to be auctioned off, and their value set by market forces. It will also allow for the buying and selling of credits in an international market."

I think Jane Taber is projecting her own stupidity onto the rest of us.

"The reason that Canadians tended to discount it is: no one (except the incorrigibly naive) trusts governments to introduce new taxes and equally remove the old ones."

The only time in my lifetime that the Fed government promised this is when the Conservatives promised to replace the MST with the GST. Which they did.

Further to Mike's point, the B.C. government recently brought in a revenue neutral carbon tax, as promised.

Why, after 4 decades or so of a declining trend in federal government spending as a percentage of GDP, folks like Todd think that only an 'incorrigibly naive' person would believe that government wasn't raising taxes at every opportunity, remains a mystery.

Stephen is right that you could vote them out at the next opportunity, but by then it's too late to not vote for them - you have to put up with the garbage until the next election. (though there is always the very remote chance that they will do what they say.) The point is still valid - there is little to no trust that governments will deliver on their platforms for tax change. Pascal's comment above is right: because they didn't sell the Green Shift well, they didn't overcome that lack of trust, allowing the other parties to exploit the opportunity. It's likely that the simplicity and overtness of the policy made it tough to ignore when compared to the ephemeral statements that generally make up election policy. I believe, regardless of the simplicity, implementing the Green Shift would have ruined the economy for at least the near long term.

Declan - I didn't say that the government will raise taxes at every opportunity, I said that you cannot trust governments to stick to their guns on proposed tax changes - whether raising or lowering. I'm not sure how showing an obvious trend in aggregate belies this. You could possibly derive, "in recent decades the federal government has incrementally reduced the tax load."

Matthew, the GST and HST is a regulatory and jurisdictional shift. It replaced the GST and PST with HST - but GST + PST <> HST, since the product and individual coverage in the PST is different than that of the GST. This is at least part of the reason that people are so agitated at the current Ottawa/Toronto HST proposal. It was initially sold as a mere simplification.

"Declan - I didn't say that the government will raise taxes at every opportunity, I said that you cannot trust governments to stick to their guns on proposed tax changes - whether raising or lowering. I'm not sure how showing an obvious trend in aggregate belies this."

Then isn't the conclusion here that no governments should talk about taxes - ever? But the Conservatives seemed to do really well when they promised to lower the GST.

I don't understand this fascination with the trustworthiness of governments when it comes to tax cuts. Governments love to cut taxes, in the same way that governments love to increase spending. Both are popular short-term moves, while the negative consequences of doing either (or both!) in an unbalanced way are only felt far down the line.

If anybody here has watched US politics over the last 15 years they'd realise that "starving the beast" (reducing taxes as a way to reduce the size of government) doesn't work; the government simply runs higher deficits.

In the long term the only way to place a hold on (or reduce) taxes is to contain spending. Governments are not really bound by budgetary constraints in the short term, so providing them with a new source of income will not lead to them increasing spending (unless such increased spending is part and parcel of the tax bill...like dedicated spending on green research...blech).

Good points Mike. (I've read some of your articles on About in the past).

This strays into reputation management, the best hard examples of which are those in communities like eBay - if your reputation goes much below 98% it is much more difficult for you to sell widely. <90% translates quite quickly into an almost complete lack of trust, leading to shop closures (or sneaky name changes). Delivery on tax promises for Canadian politicians is much lower than that, hence there's not much trust. This translates into politicians only winning when they "resonate" well with voters, meaning that people tend to vote for politicians that seem to best reflect their amorphous bundle of values.

On the Conservative move to lower the GST, the congratulations on following through was completely overshadowed by opportunistic bleating that lowering the GST was bad tax policy. It was one of those very large changes that made lots of headlines - mostly to the negative. Of course the promise not to screw with Income Trusts was a significant example the other way, and there are a myriad of other examples at all levels of government. If the eBay system is any indication (and it doesn't translate directly for a lot of reasons), there's somewhere near a 50 to 1 ratio on fulfilling to failure of core mandates to maintain trust. I can't think of (m)any politicians that come close.

It's not that they shouldn't talk about taxes, it's that they should, on a massive scale, do what they say they will do. Until that becomes the norm, you'll always have (tax) policy discounted, and elections will continue as soft-ideologically, popularity contests. (We could keep them more accountable by using crowd sourcing tools to do a detailed count of politician/party performance.)

(My apologies to Misters Rowe and Gordon for the continuation of slight off topic comments. I am always excited to read your smart, well written, topical, (did I already say smart?) economics blog that is about Canadian issues. Thanks very much.)

I read Ignatieff's speech and it seems like a way to get world government. All he wants to do is bring in more policies that make no sense. His best option would be to strengthen property rights and go with free market environmentalism.

The carbon tax was simple enough, but at the end of the day people don't get all the money back because it doesn't take into account how much you consume and how much you reduce, and the tax-cuts offered by the Liberals would not give you all your money back, so its nothing but a transfer of wealth scheme.

Specially Ignatieff's ideas of following the US really scares the crap out of me, due to the constant Obama fantasy that people are starting to forget due to his failed economic and social policies. Most likely Iggy will implement a cap and trade, which sounds like the proper government mandated cap and trade (not the NDP pollute then tax), but it seems as if were going to have it set by the US and therefore have different jurisdictions around the world with different levels of taxation, unless the UN takes it over. So I guess Harper's idea of having all nations implement the same policy would be more competitive due to the simpler taxation levels and the same increase in costs that are passed on to the consumer.

The worst part is that we have thousands of scientists opposing the man-made theory but yet, governments are still planning to go with cap and trade or carbon taxes.

My post probably sounds all over the place so I'm going to write a blog about it in a few minutes. :)

PS: The GST was a political move, it was not supply-side economics with the belief of restraining government spending. The GST was aimed at middle-income families and increasing economic output in different sectors. The people affected by that were mostly typical Liberal voters and union NDP members(not the university Marxists).

"The people affected by that were mostly typical Liberal voters and union NDP members(not the university Marxists)."

Most unionists - even CAW members - don't vote NDP. University marxists may, but I can't imagine there are many of those left.

Matthew, you would be surprised how many Marxists still live around Carleton, I can point to about 10 professors easily in one department and most PHD students in certain departments.

Most unionists I know vote NDP, they really hate free-trade with a passion. They go on with the typical, "They took our jobs".

I also wrote a small blog on the Liberal cap-and-trade, I'm a little tired and irritated about the issue of Global Warming, so anyone do comment. I also added a small joke in it for Dr. Rowe.

Targets seem like an important thing for Ignatieff to tell us. 50 or so Liberal MPs have already committed to 25% below 1990 GHG emissions levels by 2020 and 80% by 2050 through the KyotoPlus initiative. At their recent convention the Liberals agreed to those numbers (suggesting up to 40% cut by 2020), if caucus and party opinions suggest where Ignatieff might head. Those numbers are what the NDP planned around using their cap-and-trade plan too, and they projected about $6 billion in auction receipts once price hit $60/tonne, which was coincidentally the Green's carbon tax price too. Dion would have set the carbon price at $40/tonne in a similar timeframe. I know Ignatieff would probably say that it all depends on international trading and caps and so on, or the outcome of Copenhagen, but it would be nice to see all the imagined steps involved from today to 80% below 1990 by 2050 and without gratuitous backloading and wishful thinking. I mean that's not "oh clever we designed an LED lamppost in Nova Scotia" levels, that's "we have moved away from widespread automobile use" levels.

One thing Ignatieff said is that he'll quadruple output of renewables by 2017. I think Harper already promised to quadruple renewables back in 2007.

As for being a "dimwit", he certainly shows signs of it. A while ago, when he boosted the tar sands as "awe-inspiring", he also said that the Green Shift killed the Liberals by putting it in terms of prices. "What happened was, everybody who ran a tractor, everybody who ran a boat, everybody who drove a truck for a living said, 'There's only one thing I understand about this - you've just added to my cost of living.' "

It's interesting that none of the so-called scientists who support the CO2 theory weren't consulted on what levels should be dropped for us to meet an acceptable level. Politics at its best. Pulling numbers out of nowhere.

Justin, the 80% reduction from 1990 levels is consistent with containing atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases below that which would cause a 2 degree increase in average global temperatures, I think. With 2 degrees being seen by some scientists as the tipping point beyond which radical warming might occur due to a cascade effect, and anything much more than 2 degrees being associated with some of the more intolerable effects of climate change. In my extreme layman's understanding it would be that any significant climate change is bad, but some change is worse than others.

I've done some research on the subject and yes, that's their view. The problem is many scientists argue against the IPCC predictions. An increase in temperatures is actually a wonderful thing. They also proved that there would be no drastic changes in the sea temperatures, which would create worst weather. I found an interesting documentary from the CBC which shows the point of view from many professors who aren't being heard and who have had their name removed from the initial and continual IPCC reports.


"An increase in temperatures is actually a wonderful thing"

Why is it that self identifying conservatives are so willing to undertake radical, even reckless experiments with nature?

Can we agree to take for granted, if only for the sake of argument, that C02 concentration are going-up drastically, and that they are going-up due to human activity. With a little back of the envelope arithmetic you can convince yourself that this is at least plausible. And if you look at data from ice cores:


there is at least a prima facia case to be made that CO2 is going up due to human activity. No need to involve any climatologists (who are apparently pulling off the biggest hoax in the history of man kind for the sake of 5 digit salaries and the joys of hanging out in Antarctica)

Ok, so if you are a *conservative*, presumably you are all about *conservation*, and you want to *conserve*, thus you're skeptical of radical changes. Doesn't fundamentally changing the composition of the atmosphere get your conservation juices flowing?

If you don't trust climatologists to get it right or believe they are corrupt, and you think there is enough credible disagreement between those who say "it's really bad" and those who say "it's no big deal", as a *conservative* wouldn't you, just on principle, want to err on the side of caution and avoid radical experiments?

Just asking.

Todd, you need to make the distinction between the likelihood of follow through for a government that promises a stupid but politically popular move (kill the GST, no tax on income trusts) and a government that promises a smart but politically unpopular move (carbon tax). Surely it's obvious that the latter has a much higher probability of being carried out than the former if the government in question is elected?

I'd be interested to hear your theory on the mechanism by which a carbon tax will ruin the economy - please include an explanation of the nordic countries which have had carbon taxes for years and years without suffering any noticeable ruination of their economies and why Canada is different.

Off topic, its sad to see intelligent people wasting their time engaging with Justin's crazy ramblings.

Why do you think that humans survive in warm areas? Now think of if temperature goes up in cold places.

And this isn't a conservative thing, it's actual science if you take into consideration fields such as physics, chemistry, astrology, climatology,etc...

CO2 are going up, yes, caused by human activity, yes. Changing the atmosphere? Most CO2 actually gets recycled and doesn't properly reach the different levels of the atmosphere.

I'm a Libertarian, and I actually follow science, the problem is that too many people believe Al Gore. I said that there is disagreement, 98% of the science community says that CO2 global warming is a Hoax. The only people who ever get on TV are IPCC scientists, actually I never saw any, just politicians. And yes, it's called being responsible instead of implementing new taxes or policies that would hurt people drastically if something is not true. Dangerous ideas like that were started in different stages of society, we can go back to the anti-semetic times where "modern fascist Liberals" supported the killing of many people due to their 'supposed' inferiority. So I'm proud as a Libertarian to stand on the side of caution because taxation, or even for the extremist environmentalists who support limiting human movement and even life. Humans excrete the most CO2 out of all sectors, just having us alive is creating the large amounts of CO2.

Margaret Thatcher was actually one of the leaders of the environmental movement back in the UK, her motivations weren't for CO2 or recycling, it was simply due to her will to secure energy without having to go through more strikes from coal miners. She wanted nuclear power. Other politicians are using the CO2 hoax as a reason to switch to different energy sources because they worry of a shortage or increase in gas prices down the road. Their being dishonest instead of coming out and saying our problem. Except, there are plenty of oil reserves around the world that haven't been used which will fuel the world for a long time. If inflation was equal for all people, then the cost wouldn't be a problem, but as we know, oil prices rise to match inflation, but effect people disproportionally.

Patrick, what does being a conservative or a libertarian have to do with this situation? Conservatism doesn't always mean to conserve, the conservative movement in some ends wants to preserve but in others it has become a movement of small government by believing that freedom should be exerted without the influence of a small elite. Or the 'New Right' in the US which advocates a welfare state and strong interventionist policies abroad.

Declan, crazy ramblings? Mind explaining?

Justin, your rambling IS crazy. For example:

"I said that there is disagreement, 98% of the science community says that CO2 global warming is a Hoax"

is absolutely laughable, as is your claim that you "follow science".

Have fun living in your little fantasy world (best wishes from an actual scientist).

Matt, scientist of what?

The majority of the scientific community has really been silenced and has feared arguing against the CO2 theory. The Solar Variation theory makes a lot more sense from what a few climatologists and physicists have said, while many argue that there is no agreement among anything for climate change. And from the IPCC reports, I can't be other than skeptical with the basis that a simple graph, which I might add has been proven wrong as when CO2 increases, the temperature is suppose to increase but it has actually gone down past its initial high point. Of course I'm referring to the hockey stick curve. I find it even more ridiculous that none of it truly looks at the historical temperatures of the planet which doesn't fit with the CO2 theory.

Researchers always want funding, and their funding is being denied if they go against the government's wishes, fact. Not only, what do most climatologists do with their PHD afterward? A valuable question to ask. For all the people suing Al Gore who are scientists, over 300 000, it must mean that there is something to the claim that CO2 is further not true. The oil companies don't have enough money to pay off all the scientists around the world who oppose the CO2 theory.

So instead of calling my ramblings crazy or living in my "fantasy" world. Answer those points.

"scientist of what"

Are you even speaking English any more?

I'm a physicist, Justin.

Like I said: have fun in your sad little fantasy world. Some people believe in alien abductions, some people believe that the US government was behind the World Trade Center attacks and some people believe that there's some sort of climate conspiracy.

Declan: You're probably right. Unfortunately, the deniers have won. The experiment will continue. I am seriously worried that it is going to end very badly all us. It's a hell of a gamble.

Justin: Your response was a little incoherent, but I gather you believe GW is a hoax. I think that is flat out crazy. BTW, I hear their is some nice tropical real estate for sale in Tuvalu.

It's Saturday morning, it's a little early for writing, and English is actually my second language so maybe you might want to go a little easy on the language issue.

I haven't heard you discredit anything so far. Just laugh and start going on about alien abductions. So you can't discredit the self-interest and statistics on the scientific community revolving clime change? Most of the youth will jump and have on to Al Gore's movie(which has 35 errors in it), but some are still not convinced such as myself, and just saying that it's ridiculous to question it, when a great number of scientists have come out against it, doesn't really seem that professional or logical from your point.

It's not a language issue. The argument itself made little sense. I speak French pretty well (though my written French is not so great anymore as I don't use it very often in AB), so feel free to respond to me in your official language of choice.

My main problem was with you not answering my skepticism of the Global Warming theory with arguments, instead of going around and calling me crazy for questioning it.

The language issue was just to inform you, as you don't know me and I don't know you, so the English comment could of been misinterpreted by anyone.

Justin, go peddle your nonsense somewhere else. You make idiotic assertions like "98% of the scientific community thinks global warming is a hoax" and you expect us to take you seriously? I am a scientist, all of my friends are scientists, my wife is a scientist, etc. I would be surprised if ANY of them think that global warming is a "hoax". Some might think that the negative effects are being overstated, but that's a far cry from your brand of conspiracy-theory denialism.

I'll let you in on a little secret: actual scientists HATE pseudoscientific cranks like global warming denialists. We don't appreciate it when somebody thinks that a bit of "research" on the internet qualifies them as an expert when we've literally spent decades studying the subject.

As a physicist I can tell you that I'm literally bombarded with emails and letters from random kooks claiming to have discovered a flaw in general relativity or a wonderful new theory of light. I therefore have a lot of sympathy for the climate science people. At least my work is only vaguely politicized...

Matt, the 98% was overstated and not precise, agreed.

I don't think my arguments are nonsense, it's a valid question to argue whether climate change is caused by man or the sun or any other theory.

I'm not saying I'm an expert, far from it, and I understand how it can be annoying if that's what you have researched and concluded. But you still have to understand that for people to endure social policies from government because a few scientists said so is a little difficult to swallow, especially when there are opposing theories. I guess I'm just use to more criticism with regards to political science.

"Actual scientists HATE pseudo-scientific cranks like global warming denialists", so then what do you call the scientists who have come out in opposition to global warming? Like I said, the oil companies can't all pay them to swing a different way. When 300 000 scientists want to sue Al Gore for fraud, while only roughly 2000 scientists support the IPCC reports, it's a little difficult to believe the CO2 theory. So people like Tim Patterson at Carleton is a kook for saying: "there is no correlation between CO2 and the Earth's temperature." Or I guess Ian Clark at the University of Ottawa is a kook for saying that only the sun will drive climate change, CO2 emissions have no effect with regards to climate change. So your saying that they're not actual scientists because they oppose your view of clime change?

As said before, I have done research online, spoken to some professors. I don't have degrees in astrophysics or the natural sciences , but the majority of the Canadian population doesn't either. So where do we get our information when 2000 scientists could easily be bribed. If you go back and look at the IPCC, it was simply started by the UN and not because scientists were crying out about it. I found it funny that the general theory use to be that CO2 would cool the planet and now its suppose to warm it? I guess their following yearly charts instead of long-term historical ones.

Justin, there is too too much in your post above.

Read the IPCC reports and learn enough about the science they are based on. It's all referenced. I think opinions of average citizens should be based upon the consensus of scientific opinion (since we have science, it seems a shame not to take advantage of it, and base our opinions from its fruits). The space where scientific opinion resides is pretty wide, but not oceanic. There is even wider expert opinion on what to do about global warming.

Individual scientists say kooky things all the time: non-experts have to careful of assessing the opinions of scientists in fields outside their realm of expertise, or of scientists who go against consensus opinion: it likely those people are wrong. Scientific consensus doesn't develop for no reason. There is nothing "wrong" about some scientists questioning opinions, even widely-held ones, even outside their area of expertise: that is partly what science IS. But there is a lot that can go wrong in developing public policy by ignoring and misrepresenting a consensus scientific opinion. And at the personal or group level, there is a lot that can go wrong when you try to fit unscientific and invalidated belief into your view of the world.

Retreating into fantasies based on mass bribery of climate scientists (for which there is no evidence!) and 300000 "scientists" fantastically planning to en-masse sue Al Gore (for being, what, "wrong"?): those are discreditable ideas based upon an inability to face up to the fact that global warming is a real, measured, verified, predicted and understood by scientific theories developed and refined over the last 150 years.

That is not to say that trying to mitigate this problem couldn't cause real pain. So looking at all that could go wrong just from a policy response to global warming, much less harms from global warming itself, the reticence in believing it is real, much less confronting it, is understandable, but it still can't be justified.

So, my advice to you is to buck up, Justin Donelle.

Justin; If you don't intuitively know how solar radiation is transferred into molecular motion, (temperature) by greenhouse gasses, there are some flash aps at this site that explain it. If you don't believe that the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere doesn't directly correspond with the discovery of coal, and the IR, why?

"carbon taxes up, other taxes down. What's so hard to understand?"

The reason why we must artificially modify market laws. That's very hard to understand.

Manny: externalities.

Example - a stream runs through my property and my neighbor's property. He's a farmer, I make steel. It costs money to treat waste products, I'd rather not increase my costs, so I just dump my waste in the stream below the point where I take up my drinking water. This fouls the down stream waters and the farmers cows drink it and die.

Without 'modifying market laws', there is no reason for me not to foul the stream. So along comes trespass law that says I can't foul the stream because it affects my neighbor negatively. Now the farmer can sue me for damages and ask the court to force me to stop. Would you say this a bad thing?

Well, the same logic applies to the atmosphere, only it's a harder problem because it's inter-temporal trespass. People today like cheap energy and the market provides no incentive for them not to radically modify the atmosphere in ways that will have extremely negative impacts at some point in the future, possibly after they are dead. Unfortunately, future generation can't sue the past for damages or get the courts to issue retro-active cease and desist orders.

Chris, I have read the IPCC report and found inconsistencies and changes from 1995, most notably as they decided to forget the to mention the medieval warm period and the little ice age. Dr. Mann turned his graph over from actuality and into nothing but a curve to try and change how temperatures actually change through time. He wanted to scrap the past and go on with the idea of continuous increases. I don't even know if I want to answer your view that average citizen should follow the "scientific consensus". We can go through our history and see where scientific consensus was and what happened, keep in mind the Nazi scientists who supported the Aryan search, which dominated mainstream. Government silenced and support those scientists as they are doing with research funds today. Scientists are not cute puppies that are never wrong or self-interested. Scientists are humans and as such can manipulate data or ideas to suit themselves. Businessmen don't just do it, scientists could get funding if they make something scary enough. Let's not forget what the first IPCC commissioner (I believe that was his title) said with regards to people not following the IPCC's ideas unless they were devastating. I find it funny how at the start of the commission he would start by saying that. But also, the so-called "consensus" use to say that we were suffering from Global Cooling with regards to CO2, we found that one out to be wrong before. The REAL Data shows that since 2000-2001 we have begun a period of global cooling as temperatures have fallen a few degrees. And even if we were to say that global warming would happen, the temperature increases would be gradual and therefore we and other animals would adapt, or the fittest would survive. But the Armageddon that Gore and the others are selling about drying up rivers and all that, well where there are temperature increases, precipitations will follow and evaporation will fuel the clouds. So doesn't it end up canceling each other out? Scientific opinion is global warming is happening, it is not, or "we're not sure".

People who go against scientific consensus are "likely those people are wrong"??? Wow... maybe we should look at Universities and how many students walk out with a degree and have the cognitive qualities to truly embrace anything by pursuing research instead of just quoting their prof and their small ideas. Through history it has often been the minority who were right on different issues. It could be said of those who are suing Al Gore for fraud as it could be the other way, keeping in mind that it's a symbolic lawsuit and his misrepresentation of data. Well last time I checked also, climate change and aspects revolving around it need more than one type of scientist, and so far by saying that people outside of their realm of expertise can be taken the wrong way very easily, criticism is what makes people think and cognitively analyze situations. "And at the personal or group level, there is a lot that can go wrong when you try to fit unscientific and invalidated belief into your view of the world.” So as we have gone over climate from the 1400s, there is a constant shift in temperature but it seems normal, but in the past 50 years the global cooling has been proven wrong and the Mann's Hockey Stick chart has been proven wrong because the climate on average has gone down over the past 9 years.

"Retreating into fantasies based on mass bribery of climate scientists (for which there is no evidence!)" Are scientists not humans? To get funding for your research and secure a position is a viable incentive for a scientist to lie, especially when the other person most likely will not verify because he or she believes in the scientists authority. There are a lot of con artists and professionals with PhD's who have committed many crimes before, it isn't new. The tools over the past 150 years haven't gone far enough, because to predict that things will happen over the long-term implies they can currently predict in the temperature and actions in the short-term. I'm still waiting for the climatologists to get the temperature right for 3 days from now. Climate change is real and can be measured and verified, it cannot be predicted very easily and I fail to see how the scientific community has found anything when both of their theories for cooling or warming have been proven wrong. CO2 temperatures have increased even more over the last 9 years and yet global temperatures have decreased. There are still places that see gains and lose but the theory the planet warming up constantly is false.

For the policy response vs. global warming. Either are a trade off because you can either do something and hurt people by believing global warming is real, or you can hurt people by doing nothing and letting them die. The problem is that so far any small increase would not destroy us, and we would adapt easily as the planet has for so many years.

I also was not familiar with the expression "buck up"; I looked at it online and got 1 moderate comment and 2 others pretty out of line, so hopefully it was the nice expression, ha-ha.

Edeast, it had been a while since I did chemistry and had a fun time with the graphs, my problem is those revolving the predictions of temperature, ice and snow, as well with the one revolving evaporation didn't seem that troubling to me. The ice and snow will melt somewhere and grow in greater numbers somewhere else. Evaporation will match the increase in temperature and create storms, yes, so it balances itself off, we have had storms throughout the world whether the oceanic engine makes them worst or mild, that's the world we live in.

Patrick, in the free-market, you could shoot your neighbor for poisoning your cows or have other disagreements and break each others property. It comes down to the greater social value of your neighbor having to agree with you to prevent you from damaging his property or the other way around. Imagine being in a classroom or at work with someone you despise, you’re going to work with him/her to get by. As I always say, markets don't fail, government policies fail. I do agree with the future generation, but I think we need to learn about fiscal restraint and deficits before we start talking about future generations for climate change.

Just to keep this with economics and policy I thought we should keep in mind about special interest and motivations behind my views of global warming and the scientific community.
Friedman Greed
This is the problem with believing in general consensus.

Justin, Libertarian are not anarchists. They generally acknowledge that one of the few legitimate reasons for government is to enforce private property rights. You may find this site interesting:


Scientific consensus is self correcting. It's not a matter of belief or opinion. Either your theoretical predictions are verified by experiment or not. The Gordian Knot with GW is that, if the theories are correct, by the time the theories are verified it's too late to avert catastrophe.

Patrick, the term "libertarian" groups a lot of beliefs, most commonly classical-liberalism and anarchism. I'm an anarcho-capitalist and I do use the libertarian term when I'm not around political scientists. Classical-liberals agree with private property rights that are enforced through a public law force. Anarcho-capitalists such as myself see it as a problem and believe in private security to defend our property.

But there are plenty of views about the environment and security at the Mises Insitute, FEE, or Liberty Fund.

(On a side note, is it Patrick Coe?)

That's very extreme. And no, it's not.

A determinist take is out this week. Gobal warming unstoppable? Reminds me of Farewell to Alms. The paper is here.

Justin: I'm afraid your political beliefs will never be represented in a country like Canada. Perhaps you'd be happier in Somalia, where there is effectively no government to meddle in your affairs.

edeast: If correct, profoundly depressing.


You remind me of my second son also called Patrick (an econometrician and computer whiz) who when faced with grim environmental news I said something to the affect: “Make use of a profound depression, don't get constipated sitting on your hands with a thumb up your ass. Take out the thumb but don’t suck on the plumb.” Or, was it my first son, an environmental scientist, I said that? Definitely wasn’t my third son who is a business manager and usually too busy to sit around. Imagine the four of us sitting around the kitchen table discussing all sorts of issues with my daughter serving us tea. She touches my old worn wrinkled calloused hands,and with pride in her eyes, says: “How do you know, Dad, being a simple family farmer.”

Denial is not so weird, when understanding that parents on seeing the death of a child may deny she or he is dead, despite the obvious evidence before them. Loof believes it has to do with hysterics and absolute feelings – and why religious fundamentalists will deny evolution; why libertarians as market fundamentalists will deny climate change despite all the evidence.

Lawrence Solomon wrote a book based on his National Post Series called: “The Deniers: The World Renowned Scientists Who Stood Up Against Global Warming Hysteria, Political Persecution, and Fraud”. The National Post series for 27 of the “deniers” is here: http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/story.html?id=c6a32614-f906-4597-993d-f181196a6d71

These professors are remarkable, world renown scientists outstanding in their field. Was Solomon’s journalism valid (relevant and reliable) or perhaps propaganda: hyping a personal cause and degrading opposition? While Loof only does studies for personal use now; he loves to learn and constructed a survey to study the issue. He took the list, was able to find 22 of the “deniers” email addresses, emailed them with a copy of the article Solomon did on them, a cover letter explaining the study, and simply asked them to pick a # (and comment if they wanted too) as to whether:
1. Facts are correct and the author is broadly accurate in your view.
2. Factual error(s) and the author is broadly accurate in your view.
3. Facts are correct and the author is misleading in your view.
4. Factual error(s) and the author is misleading in your view.

Loof got a reply from 16 out of 22.

Four chose #1; 4 #2; none chose #3; and 8 #4.

75% found factual errors and split 50-50 between broadly accurate and misleading.

Loof also received fascinating comments. Four of the eight who picked #4 said words to the affect that their work had been grossly misrepresented and denied being deniers at all. Quite the opposite in fact.

Loof concluded that while Solomon was correct in some detail and broadly accurate with scientists in his camp (but uses "hyperbole" as one scientist in the denier camp said); I believe he is, in essence, a propagandist in effect who degrades the work of others. I don’t believe he does this consciously; he does this because he has an absolute feeling and in studying the evidence only sees that which suits his feelings of denial.

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