Libertarians are unable to see climate change

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By David Collyer, cross-posted from Prosper

Prime Minister Tony Abbott and his government do not believe in climate change. They have erased all of the measures Rudd and Gillard introduced to shift Australia to a low-carbon future.

If they merely doubted climate change, they would simply zero-price the behavior-changing settings and await more information. This is usually what cautious, evidence-based conservatives do. But no, their beliefs trump the science and they are acting boldly to turn those beliefs into law.

Does ignoring science seem as bizarre to you as it does to me?

When anti-abortionists talk of beliefs, they refer to the biblical injunction “thou shalt not kill” and, agree or not, there is a certain logic and coherence to their views. Yet underlying values seem absent from climate change denier rhetoric, or at best remains unexplained.

Matt Bruenig and George Monbiot might have the answer.

The Abbott government is populated with libertarians, sporting its new face: a procedural justice account of the world based heavily on property rights.

Monbiot:

“Their property rights are absolute and cannot be intruded upon by the state or by anyone else. Any interference with or damage to the value of their property without their consent – even by taxation – is an unwarranted infringement.

“It is a pitiless, one-sided, mechanical view of the world, which elevates the rights of property over everything else, meaning that those who possess the most property end up with great power over others. Dressed up as freedom, it is a formula for oppression and bondage. It does nothing to address inequality, hardship or social exclusion. A transparently self-serving vision, it seeks to justify the greedy and selfish behaviour of those with wealth and power. But for the sake of argument, Bruenig says, let us accept it.

“Let us accept the idea that damage to the value of property without the owner’s consent is an unwarranted intrusion upon the owner’s freedoms. What this means is that as soon as libertarians encounter environmental issues, they’re stuffed.

“Climate change, industrial pollution, ozone depletion, damage to the physical beauty of the area surrounding people’s homes (and therefore their value), all these, if the libertarians did not possess a shocking set of double standards, would be denounced by them as infringements on other people’s property.

“The owners of coal-burning power stations in the UK have not obtained the consent of everyone who owns a lake or a forest in Sweden to deposit acid rain there. So their emissions, in the libertarian worldview, should be regarded as a form of trespass on the property of Swedish landowners. Nor have they received the consent of the people of this country to allow mercury and other heavy metals to enter our bloodstreams, which means that they are intruding upon our property in the form of our bodies.

Bruenig:

“Almost all uses of land will entail some infringement on some other piece of land that is owned by someone else. So how can that ever be permitted? No story about freedom and property rights can ever justify the pollution of the air or the burning of fuels because those things affect the freedom and property rights of others. Those actions ultimately cause damage to surrounding property and people without getting any consent from those affected. They are the ethical equivalent – for honest libertarians – of punching someone in the face or breaking someone else’s window.”

Monbiot:

“So here we have a simple and coherent explanation of why libertarianism is so often associated with climate change denial and the playing down or dismissal of other environmental issues. It would be impossible for the owner of a power station, steel plant, quarry, farm or any large enterprise to obtain consent for all the trespasses he commits against other people’s property – including their bodies.

“This is the point at which libertarianism smacks into the wall of gritty reality and crumples like a Coke can. Any honest and thorough application of this philosophy would run counter to its aim: which is to allow the owners of capital to expand their interests without taxation, regulation or recognition of the rights of other people. Libertarianism becomes self-defeating as soon as it recognises the existence of environmental issues. So they must be denied.

The strident polemics have prevented any meaningful shifting of the burden of taxation from labour to pollution via Pigouvian taxes.

As the US economists EK Hunt, Robin Hahnel and Michael Albert have argued for decades, not only do capitalist markets provide no incentive to correct external effects, it provides every incentive to maximise their impost onto others if this increases profit.

Libertarians and conservatives denounce Pigouvian taxation because it would serious decrease profits for those doing the cost externalisation, e.g. the wealthy and big business. Because uncorrected external effects are so rampant and thus a sign of the grave inefficiencies of capitalism, they have to be denied to even exist.

And if the victims of negative externalities claim a proprietary right to compensation, so might the perpetrators of positive externalities – land value capture and all that.

Moreover, excluding others from a parcel of land can be characterised as a negative externality, and the rental value of the land as the measure of the compensation payable, in which case Georgism is but a species of Pigouvianism. Therefore the existence of externalities must be denied.

Climate-change denialism is but a species of externality denialism.

Unconventional Economist
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Comments

  1. Only an idiot can’t see climate change.

    Only an idiot would come up with solutions that don’t have at its’ core, population stability.

    Conclusion: THE THREE MAIN PARTIES ARE IDIOTS

    • Careful, careful, I remember that there was a political movement gaining a lot of ground back in the 1930’s based on equating population control with the moral high ground.

      • Really? Which movement are you talking about?

        The main political movements people associate with that era were massively pro population growth, far in excess of our wimpy ‘Big Australia’, to the extent that one of them invented a ‘First Class Mother’ medal for women who bore >10 children.

    • “THE THREE MAIN PARTIES ARE IDIOTS”
      +1
      and why? Frankly one only need to see the reader posts in Carbon Economy topics here to see why. Our modern democracy is failing because as a people, we collectively cant get our act together and actually see what the science says.

      Nick Davies summed it up best (http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2008/s2348362.htm):
      “Climate change is very interesting because what you’ve had there is a kind of three-way battle involving PR overwhelming journalism.

      So you had a big bunch of corporations led by Exxon who were in the business of denial and who spent a fortune setting up front organisations and academic think-tanks to put out reports to justify their position of denial.

      Then you had a breakaway group of corporations by Shell and BP who are much more subtle. They said okay there’s a problem with climate but we are part of the solution. And they also generate PR stories to serve their purposes.

      And then third corner you have the environmental groups, people like Greenpeace, who even though they have the scientific consensus on their side nevertheless engage, as I’ve shown in the book, in some pretty breathtaking exaggeration in order to manipulate the media to take up their position.

      In the middle of this kind of three-way fight you have the equivalent of civilians in a war zone that is to say the readers and consumers of news media, who suffer like civilians do because they’re being bombarded with misinformation and how any of us are supposed to know what the truth is about climate change and its implications when actually the news is being subverted by PR from three different directions it’s really a very worrying thing when you see the structural likelihood of media being vehicles for PR stories.”

      The empirical evidence overwhelmingly demonstrates that the IPCC has consistently UNDERSTATED the impacts/degree of global warming occurring (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6321351.stm). Yet it is obvious many here cant see that. Don’t expect parties in a modern democracy to do anything meaningful that is in conflict with powerful private capital interests without a united voice that is in the majority. Any concern that exists for this issue has been hopelessly divided and confused. In this world we get what we vote for and that as you can see, is not what we need.

      • …” In this world we get what we vote for and that as you can see, is not what we need”….

        Exactly….We are doomed no matter which of these three imbecile parties hold the wheel….Democracy cannot survive because it’s based on giving people what they want…..I’m not pro any other kind of government but democracy will fail.

        It is inevitable Australia’s well being and world civilization will collapse because we’re so collectively f3cking dumb, so greedy, so selfish, so short sighted, so benevolent (only with other peoples’ stuff)…..

        See that’s where the lie sits….We pretend to give give give but only when it doesn’t hurt us…So if these moron parties from the left wing started to consider that with more and more people, it’s going to be impossible to give.

        We can have fairness or we can have a large population. WE CANNOT HAVE BOTH.

    • Too right, rich42.

      The various attempts at smart-arsery appearing here serve only to demonstrate yet again there are three kinds of dissemblers – there are liars, damned liars and then there are those who deny climate change.

      The denialist themes are dogs’ vomit.

      They are the depraved games of the treasonous.

  2. They are the same kind of people, and in some cases the same people, who deny that smoking causes lung cancer and heart disease.

    • migtronixMEMBER

      Pretty please stop with the holocaust/smoking/spherical/gravity denialism crap!!

      You’re the same people who don’t deny they just print money to save banks but somehow deny you can do it to save the Earth? WTF?

      • migtronixMEMBER

        unhinged.

        Why does that word keep popping up? Like denialist and logorrheic?

        Curious…

        Why do you guys all sing from the same hymnbook??

      • Mig,

        It is interesting to note that it is often the very same people who pride themselves on their self-imagined finer moral feelings and superior righteousness by reason of their passionate devotion to “saving the planet” — “We must think of the children!!”, they cry — who live in abject denial of the manifest reality that all these matters are ALL about money, and power.

        Here is another example, apropos your observation.

        TPTB have printed upwards of $30 Trillion just to save the bankstering system. That printing continues.

        According to the US Federal Reserve Bank, between 2007 and 2010 that central bank alone created $1.7 Trillion per week out of thin air to prop up so-called “Too Big To Fail” banks around the world.

        But on the other hand, apparently, we can not similarly just print the mere $175 billion per year that UN Special Advisor Jeffrey Sachs (“the world’s best known economist” – TIME magazine) calculated as being all that is necessary to “end extreme poverty in the world” —

        http://barnabyisright.com/2012/04/09/the-only-thing-preventing-an-end-to-world-poverty/

        The “we must take action on climate change” faithful insist on mindlessly parrotting the high priests’ repeated line, that “putting a price on carbon” is the “lowest cost”, “most efficient”, “free market” solution to “saving the planet”. Apparently, “saving the planet” has to be done at the “lowest cost”, and ONLY at the “lowest cost” (wtf?)

        They refuse to face the reality that this officially-anointed “solution” has been well proven to be nothing more than a galactic financial fraud.

        “Save the planet”?

        “Think of the children”?

        Imbecilic hypocrites.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        Why do you guys all sing from the same hymnbook??

        Because we’re all replying to you.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        They refuse to face the reality that this officially-anointed “solution” has been well proven to be nothing more than a galactic financial fraud.

        Or maybe they face the reality that most of the world is run by neoliberal Governments, and anything less than a “market” solution will never get legs.

      • migtronixMEMBER

        You’re not the arbiter of intellectual rigor Lorax, I know this only too well…

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        Exactly! You all “think” the same, without thinking…

        Indeed. Just like most people agree 2+2=4 “without thinking” because they’re “reading from the same hymnbook”.

      • migtronixMEMBER

        Wow! Your idiocy knows no bounds!!

        How many other ways do you know to write 2+2?

        Moron

      • You’re not the arbiter of intellectual rigor Lorax…

        Yes, but I like to think I am fairly rational and considered, and if I’m going to barrack for an position that runs counter to the majority of society, and most importantly the majority of scientific opinion, my views would be more qualified and equivocal.

      • And this kind of stuff isn’t changing any minds…

        Wow! Your idiocy knows no bounds!! How many other ways do you know to write 2+2?Moron

      • “If you run into an asshole in the morning, you ran into an asshole. If you run into assholes all day, you’re the asshole.” quote from Raylan Givens, Justified.

      • migtronixMEMBER

        “Well, I never heard it before, but it sounds uncommon nonsense.”

        Alice in Wonderland. Justified.

        just like most people agree 2+2=4 “without thinking” because they’re “reading from the same hymnbook

        That’s not changing any mind either, I made a point about specific words popping up, otherwise known as rhetoric for those so conversant, not a general theme such as mathematical abstraction…

      • I’ve noticed that you go all Pete Thong on a Friday.

        Last week I was genuinely going to ask if you were drunk.

        Can you explain what it is you are trying to say here ? Are you saying you think global warming is all bullshit, or are you saying it’s true, but we should just print money and deal with it ?

      • migtronixMEMBER

        Are you saying you think global warming is all bullshit, or are you saying it’s true, but we should just print money and deal with it ?

        I’m saying, and I’ll try not lose you with the science talk, that a lower atmospheric infrared heating effect occurs where there are larger concentrations of molecules capable of refracting that wavelength EM, just like rainbows in the rain. This is not a problem.
        Will this cause heating of the atmosphere which will be absorbed by the oceans. As night follows day it surely will — to what extent is unknown as the heat transfers are not laminar but extraordinarily turbulent.

        Do we stop using fossil fuels because someone decides they want to charge you extra? NO !!

        So you tell me Lev, if you’re of sober mind, DO YOU believe a tax will save you? How many climate scientists have done climatic impact studies on the effects of pricing carbon? Or pricing Methane? Or Ethanol? Or water vapour?

      • migtronixMEMBER

        By the way it’s Tong not thong no idea where your mind was but suspect too busy denigrating me…

      • Bubbly,

        LOL. I love that. Was MTBing with a group of blokes couple of weeks back. Very respectfully slowing down letting bush walkers past. Been doing it for years. No probs. Then one angry bloke pushes our smallest member off the track (with bike over edge). Unpleasantness ensued. I said “you don’t get along with people do you? I bet you’ve got a patchy employment record and it’s all somebody else’s fault”. It was funny – he looked at me a bit shocked – like he thought I Knew him from somewhere..

      • migtronixMEMBER

        HRH and yet I promise you I’m the mildest walker you’d encounter, aware of my surroundings and the obstacles in my path, being alert and courteous as I passed.

        Not conceited and self assured professing unsolicited advice to others via attributions…

        @mambo I’m well aware but thank you for the reference, and desisting from insults (no its not ironic it’s sincere and I well know I’m guilty)

      • OK Migtronix & Opinion8red,

        You guys are arguing against a solution – that is largely irrelevant.

        The ONLY question is:
        – Do you believe that the world is warming and that humans are the cause of most of it? (and if not why not).

        The solution is to replace fossil fuel use with alternative energy sources – there is no need to reduce our standard of living or reduce our energy usage if the sources of energy are not fossil fuels. SIMPLE. A carbon tax is just ONE of many tools to achieve this outcome.

        It can be done pretty easily within the next decade with a few simple bits of legislation:
        – all new builds must meet minimum energy compliance – which includes solar cells.
        – all houses sold must meet minimum energy compliance – which include solar cells.
        – Change car registration to cost more for carbon producing cars, with electric cars registration of zero.
        – have some cost for industry for using carbon, to encourage low carbon (renewable or nuclear) energy.

      • migtronixMEMBER

        @glam

        Yes there’s warming with increased output of certain molecules, we also output other molecules that reflect heat back to space.

        100% man made? Doubt it. Why? Sun

        Carbon tax is a bullshit non solution the burden of proof is on you because science says nothing about taxes!

      • “You guys are arguing against a solution – that is largely irrelevant.”

        No, it is not “largely irrelevant” at all. It is an absolutely critical point. So no great surprise, it is one that none of the true believers are willing to face.

        WHY is it such a critical point?

        BECAUSE … fuckwits … it is not merely “a” solution.

        It is, and always has been, THE officially-anointed solution of the Powers That Be, per the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol!!!! —

        http://unfccc.int/kyoto_protocol/mechanisms/items/1673.php

        It is THE ONLY “solution” that your beloved UN IPCC and all the other trough swilling sociopaths will countenance.

        It is THE ONLY “solution” that the world’s “most esteemed economists” (invariably employed by banks) repeatedly endorse, and publicly barrack for.

        And, as abundantly proven over and over and over a fucking ‘gain, this “solution” is nothing more than a galactic financial fraud, that does not and WILL NOT solve the fucking problem.

        THAT’S WHY IT IS FUCKING RELEVANT.

        Get it?!!??

      • @migtronix

        “100% man made? Doubt it. Why? Sun”

        You do know that there is no current correlation to the global warming trend and solar output from the sun? We are currently in a historically low solar output period but still 8 of the hottest 10 years in record have been during this low solar output period.

        And if you think it is the sun, why is it hotter on Venus than it is on Mercury, even though Mercury is closer to the Sun? The answer is that Venus has runaway CO2 warming!

      • @migtronix“100% man made? Doubt it. Why? Sun”

        And I don’t mean to sound patronising – but don’t you think this would have been the first thing that the Climate Scientists would have looked at? The Sun has been dis-proven to be the cause of this current warming trend (going since 1850’s). The ONLY correlation to the warming trend is CO2 concentration in the atmosphere.

      • migtronixMEMBER

        You say THE ONLY I say rubbish, but yes. Now what? Tax sunlight too?

        BTW I know climate scientists know about the sun it’s the politicians who don’t

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        100% man made? Doubt it. Why? Sun

        No-one has ever claimed climate change is “100% man made”.

        You are, as usual, arguing fallacies along with your FUD.

      • @migtronix
        “You say THE ONLY I say rubbish, but yes. Now what? Tax sunlight too?”

        No, you have not understood what I have said. I said, the only thing that corresponds to the warming TREND is the concentration of CO2 – which is why scientists are so certain. There are multiple things that can cause the earth to warm, but NONE of them correlate to the current warming trend. The solar output causes the ups and downs in the trend.

        The current lack of solar output means we SHOULD be in a below average temperature period – BUT we have had 8 of the 10 hottest years on record. Think about that.

      • migtronixMEMBER

        I’ve thought about it and it doesn’t make sense unless you talking surface temperatures, but that’s neither here nor there.

        How does a tax achieve a reduction in temperatures?

      • Mig: “How does a tax achieve a reduction in temperatures?”

        Oh come on, Mig! Are you saying putting taxes on smoking did not achieve a drop in the number of smokers and number of cigarettes smoked?

      • migtronixMEMBER

        Do you believe that the world is warming and that humans are the cause of most of it? (and if not why not).

        I was responding to that smithy so your usual FUD lines falls predictably short.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        I was responding to that smithy so your usual FUD lines falls predictably short.

        Yes, you were.

        And in your usual fashion, you changed the original poster’s “most of” to a straw man fallacy of “100%”.

  3. ………”Rudd and Gillard introduced to shift Australia to a low-carbon future.”…….

    I’d love to see the sums they were working on that included a doubling of the population…It’s just an absolute lie, a deception, a disgrace by ideologist nutter left wingers. They are full of it.

    • migtronixMEMBER

      Correct they want to bail out big business with a stream of ready customers/borrowers, and because that can’t mean more CO2 being put out it means they’re going to price you out of electricity just like they are pricing you out of housing…

      No one wants to deliver more electricity at a smaller footprint, and getting there by stabilizing pop growth until our power generation networks have been new gen’d.

      Greenies are hypocrite pr!cks which is why they go so easily into bed with Labour.

      • Well said Mig…It’s a disgrace. We need some new party to save us from the nut bag 3 parties.

    • @rich42 “I’d love to see the sums they were working on that included a doubling of the population…It’s just an absolute lie, a deception, a disgrace by ideologist nutter left wingers. They are full of it.”

      No, I am afraid you are (a right wing ideologue anyway?).

      Once your sources of energy are not carbon intensive it does not matter how big your population is or how much energy you use. As it is humans emitting carbon into the atmosphere that is the problem. The population size only matters if they are all using fossil fuels as their main source of energy.

      We could build a couple of big stonking nuclear power plants today and legislate for low carbon cars (and build more public transport) and have the energy needs for a doubling of the population while emitting a tenth of our current carbon.

      • ……”We could build a couple of big stonking nuclear power plants today and legislate for low carbon cars (and build more public transport) and have the energy needs for a doubling of the population while emitting a tenth of our current carbon.”……..

        Is that what will happen? No. So…It’s just an absolute lie, a deception, a disgrace by ideologist nutter left wingers. They are full of it….

        Carbon emissions are THE REASON population has been able to grow exponentially since the industrial revolution…..Technology is not going to give the world more carrying capacity…And why the f do the left want it anyway? It’s just bizarre…

        Besides. What about all the other issues too many people cause..Warming isn’t our only environmental issue. Too many people is a disaster for absolutely everything we do.

        BTW, I’m certainly not right wing…I hate them too.

        Don’t love the left glamb….They are a clueless disaster that should be condemned by anyone with a brain..

  4. migtronixMEMBER

    This is usually what cautious, evidence-based conservatives do. But no, their beliefs trump the science and they are acting boldly to turn those beliefs into law.

    Well said David thank you, and also the mention of Pigou

    • Nothing we did or do matters if we continue to populate…So, what was the point of Labor and Greens charade? It’s all BS.

      • migtronixMEMBER

        Still David’s critique of the traditional conservative vs neo cons is well place.

        Indeed! Traditional conservatives are all for stable pop growth…

      • @willy_nilly

        …”You do know that peak population growth”….

        That old chestnut….Slide of hand…trick.

        It’s still growing. GROWTH may have peaked but the numbers are STILL climbing. Australia’s off the scale…500k in 13 months.

        Ridiculous, stupid moron politicians. Every single one of them. Get rid of the whole festered grub lot of them. They care not for you or me or our kids. None of them.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        You do know that peak population growth was in 1965 and global growth rates have been declining since then?

        I have raised this more than once.

        Rich42 believes humanity requires immediate culling, but isn’t prepared to consider the implications of that belief.

      • Willy,

        I hope you sent your Japan graph to the current PM, Leader of the Opposition, and previous three PMs, who could all learn something from it.

      • @dr smithy…”Rich42 believes humanity requires immediate culling, but isn’t prepared to consider the implications of that belief.”….

        Where have I said that?

        So growth has peaked…So what? The numbers are still rising. Are you denying that? It’s just semantics, arguing the word GROWTH when numbers are rising…..

        Culling is ridiculous, stopping births is not……..Stop NUMBERS rising in Australia, and get our politicians to tell the UN to do their job. Instead of dithering with relatively non issues, do their job.

        …”but isn’t prepared to consider the implications of that belief”….What are the implications? A better world, with no starving people, more to go around to fewer people?…Or are you referring to the implications the strongest westerners can’t continue to rape the rest of the world?

        The left are so confused it’s unbelievable. They champion fairness but their policies ensure the exact opposite.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        Where have I said that?

        Every time you attack someone who doesn’t believe in immediate and drastic population reduction.

        So growth has peaked…So what? The numbers are still rising. Are you denying that? It’s just semantics, arguing the word GROWTH when numbers are rising…..

        It’s not semantics at all. It means (given current trends) growth will stop at a future point without having to go all oppressive on the third world.

        Culling is ridiculous, stopping births is not……..

        They’re already “stopping births”.

        If you want to stop them any more, you’re going to have to venture into oppressive techniques like forced contraception or sterilisation.

        What are the implications?

        The implications of pro-actively trying to reduce population, rather than just letting growth slow, die, and reverse naturally ?

        I would have thought those implications are pretty obvious – you’ve got to go out deliberately killing people, not helping those who are sick and injured, etc.

        The left are so confused it’s unbelievable. They champion fairness but their policies ensure the exact opposite.

        There’s no confusion. Their policies aren’t just the “we should facilitate people dying” ones you seem to want.

      • @drsmithy

        ….”Every time you attack someone who doesn’t believe in immediate and drastic population reduction.”…NO, I attack INACTION…Worse, taking people from other countries to Australia.

        Of course it will stop, but extrapolating it isn’t appropriate…… It will stop way way way beyond our carrying capacity which will lead to far more misery than if the left got out the way and let adults deal with it.

        …”If you want to stop them any more, you’re going to have to venture into oppressive techniques like forced contraception or sterilisation.”…..No one wants that…offer it to those that want it…Stop incentives in the west.

        ….”There’s no confusion. Their policies aren’t just the “we should facilitate people dying” ones you seem to want”……..I don’t want them as much as they are essential to stop a catastrophe that you, me our kids will be involved in.

        The left are a joke, when was the last time you ever heard them say anything about population other than that clown Shorten wanting a bigger Australia….Condemn the fools that they are. They are killing Australia for their own purposes and people like yourself that know there’s a problem are not doing anyone any favours by sticking up for the treasonous fck wits….They are in the way of real solutions….This needs to be debated, instead we’re bringing in 500k people in 13 months…It’s beyond ridiculous, it’s criminal against future Australians.. Most people don’t have a clue there’s a population problem anywhere and that would be a start wouldn’t you think to educate?…Instead we’re shackled with everybody too scared to mention anything non PC….We’ve been conned and it’s the grub left that’s made it happen. Too stupid to know the capitalists have played them.

      • willy,

        Enjoying graph from Treasury – note in relation to the effect of demographics on economic activity, if it plays out per this graph, working age population has a very strong chance of shrinking from 2040 onwards.

        So scariness way understated.

      • @willy nilly…”500,000 includes temp visa holders and permanent migration was what again?”….

        What does that matter…Still occupying, consuming, shitting, wasting……

        No I don’t think I do need to get a grip….It’s the people that are not alarmed to the core that need to reconsider their position.

        The environment is going backwards? YES
        The best ecologists in the world have Australia at a max carrying capacity of 12 million? YES
        The population is growing? YES
        Is anything being done about it? NO
        Ecologies crash right? YES
        Then they can’t carry as much? YES

        Yep. Nothing to worry about here. Look, I know it’s unlikely to happen tomorrow or next decade or the one after that…but…fuck…shouldn’t we be working out how to live sustainably without this BS growth thing? We’re leaving future generations one very big mess to clean up and smart people know full well what they’re doing.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        Of course it will stop, but extrapolating it isn’t appropriate…… It will stop way way way beyond our carrying capacity which will lead to far more misery than if the left got out the way and let adults deal with it.

        What, you mean with a good old-fashioned world war ?

        Or maybe you mean cut back on welfare and access to healthcare so more people die ?

        Pray tell, how do you think the “adults” will address the problem, and who you think those “adults” are ?

        .No one wants that…offer it to those that want it…Stop incentives in the west.

        Right. So pretty standard progressive policy, stymied primarily by right-wing religious extremists ?

        The left are a joke, when was the last time you ever heard them say anything about population other than that clown Shorten wanting a bigger Australia

        When do I hear the left talk about population as a problem ? Most of the time there’s a relevant conversion on the topic.

        Labor is not a left-wing party. They haven’t been since (at least) the early 2000s.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        The best ecologists in the world have Australia at a max carrying capacity of 12 million? YES

        Who ?

    • ….”So pretty standard progressive policy, stymied primarily by right-wing religious extremists ?”….

      Progressives huh….They are the worst tragedy to hit the world…What are they progressing in?

      Reduce population or there will be further widespread pain among people…That’s not so hard to understand.

      Who? Flannery, Suzuki….12 million maximum….Not 50 million.

  5. Stephen Morris

    Libertarianism is a religion.

    As with most religions, the believers tailor their theology to fit their self-ineterst then pat themselves on the back and say, “My!! Aren’t we virtuous.”

    As with most religions, the believers simply cannot grasp that their belief is merely a belief.

    For one demolition of Libertarian theology see this piece on Nudge.

    To see Libertarian theology dissected in terms of Coasian Symmetry, see here.

    • migtronixMEMBER

      +1

      Libertarianism meets conservative Catholic dogma.

      You couldn’t get more antinomian!!!!

    • To see the libertarian argument presented in its most convincing form, see:

      http://mises.org/daily/661

      I personally don’t see why this argument is the one that is beyond the pale, and the shambles of vested interests and policy tokenism and rent-seeking and bureaucratic empire-building and quasi-religious faith that is the way the CAGW machine actually is taking us, is the one beyond question.

      If it actually was showing any evidence of being devoted to objectivity on the mitigation/cost/benefit side, I would be agnostic on the issue.

      I am pleased to have become a part, on this forum, of efforts to get some objectivity into the urban planning and transport planning branches of the subject of “mitigation”. I am glad that certain people can see in those cases, how the popular policies are all about rent seeking and not about actual achieving of alleged targets under a sensible cost-benefit assessment at all. I just still hold that genuine and intelligent people like these are in a tiny minority and that the vast majority of CAGW true believers are so utterly clueless about the economics and the mathematics of cost-beneficial mitigation, that there is not a hope that cost-beneficial mitigation is going to happen.

      The politicians are also either utterly clueless, or cynical cronies and vote-buyers. The worst of the lot are “free market” mainstream political parties that happily buy votes by going along with the ignorant mainstream alarmists, and sell the public out to their crony capitalist rentiers in the course of enacting “popular” policies that at best are tokenism but more generally are gouges of the public and the general interest.

      Here is an example of what would make me agnostic on the issue: a shift of taxes OFF INCOME and onto land and fossil fuel use. How many CAGW true believers are calling for that and not compact city planning and public transport (those things being redundant if the major fiscal incentives were in place)? I will most certainly fight if my fate and that of my fellow humans is to be determined by the most stupid people, even if they have an underlying cause that has some credibility. As with certain “popular” totalitarian movements in the past, unintended consequences are absolutely guaranteed, not merely a potential disappointment in an otherwise well-meaning burst of progressivism.

      I would bet on it that a political movement guided by the beliefs of the masses regarding “saving the environment”, would make a worse mess of it. The mechanisms might be slightly different to the ones that caused communism to make the worst mess of it in the history of the industrial era, but I would bet on it that the outcomes would be “unintended”. It is somewhat revealing that environmentalists who are the most vocal about the sins of industries in free markets, have NOT been involved at all in producing the rich stream of literature and analysis regarding Communist economies environmental impacts.

      The accusation that ideological beliefs colour one’s ability to see reality, most certainly cuts against Statists at least as much as it does against libertarians.

      • Stephen Morris

        “The accusation that ideological beliefs colour one’s ability to see reality, most certainly cuts against Statists at least as much as it does against libertarians.”

        Some of us would go further and argue that there is no “reality”, only conflicting beliefs concerning reality.

        Taking that to its logical conclusion will turn one into a democrat(*), as explained here.

        – – – –

        * A real democrat, not a “I-believe-in-democracy-provided-democracy-is-defined-as-the-things-I-prefer” type of democrat. Real democracy is a logical proposition, which may explain why so many people find it hard to comprehend.

    • Libertarianism is a religion.

      Agreed … and like all economic doctrines there is little hard evidence that is works any better than countless other ideologies.

      On the other hand we have plenty of hard evidence that carbon emissions are adversely affecting the climate — certainly, there is a considerable risk that this is the case — and given that we will eventually have to ween ourselves off fossil fuels, why not accelerate the process?

      Why can’t the fruitcake denialists that infect this blog comprehend this common sense?

      Knock yourself out Mig, Op8, Phil, 3d1khead.

      • migtronixMEMBER

        and given that we will eventually have to ween ourselves off fossil fuels, why not accelerate the process?

        With taxes?! Stop making a fool of yourself Lorax.

      • This is not a discussion about how we should reduce emissions, it is a discussion about why so many (libertarians in particular) deny there is even a problem.

        Lets address that first and then we can talk about policy responses.

      • “Why can’t the fruitcake denialists that infect this blog comprehend this common sense?”

        Why can’t YOU comprehend common sense?

        It is “common sense”, is it, to willfully and persistently ignore the mountains of evidence that emissions trading — the officially anointed “solution” — is a proven financial mega-fraud, from the ground up?

        It is “common sense”, is it, to willfully and persistently ignore the fact that printing Trillions to “save the financial system” is an ongoing reality, but that “saving the planet” demands ONLY the “most efficient”, “lowest cost”, “free market” mechanism?

        If you are going to hurl around labels of “fruitcake denialist”, start with yourself.

      • Again, this is not a discussion about how we should reduce emissions, it is a discussion about why so many (libertarians in particular) deny there is even a problem.

        Lets address that first and then we can talk about policy responses.

      • Lets see if we can find some common ground:

        Do you agree that humanity will have to ween itself off fossil fuels eventually, and given that there is considerable risk that carbon emissions are adversely affecting the climate, should be attempting to accelerate the transition to non-carbon energy sources?

        (Note: I am making no assumptions about what those energy sources are. It could be conventional nukes, thorium, fusion, hydro, solar, wind, geothermal etc.)

      • migtronixMEMBER

        There’s a problem, our politics is bullshit! I’ve been practicing a small carbon footprint personally for over a decade and was never much of footprint maker to begin with. Further more I’M ALL ABOUT RENEW TECH.

        The reason we don’t have it ISN’T science its monopolies. FFS.

        EDIT: Carbon tax is just another f-ing monopoly

        I’m not sure if you’re trying to find common ground with me Lorax because my only issue with talking “market based solutions” when the technologies ALREADY exist and all the “market based solutions” do is create a market for polluter. Great outcome!

      • Lorax,

        “Lets see if we can find some common ground: Do you agree that humanity will have to ween itself off fossil fuels eventually…”

        I have stated my position on the matter of fossil fuels on numerous occasions. To briefly reiterate, that arguments over CAGW notwithstanding, it is IMO quite idiotic to rampantly consume finite natural resources for energy production, when a transition to 100% renewable energy sources is and long has been perfectly feasible, and merely a matter of issuing (usury-free) electronic digits to pay for it … plus, alas, first overcoming the infinitely greater problem of how to eliminate monopolistic predatory control by self-serving psychopaths and their political puppets.

      • The term “CAGW” is an invention of the denialist echo chamber and rightwing blogosphere. By using it, you label yourself as an idiot who gets his marching orders from antiscience polemicist sites.

      • Stephen Morris

        Greens also tailor their theology to fit their self-interest then pat themselves on the back and say, “My!! Aren’t we virtuous.”

        This is one thing Greens and Libertarians have in common.

    • “Libertarianism is a religion.”

      Not really different to any other political spectrum. Most people’s political views are shaped by their limited experiences in life and often people hold onto those beliefs regardless of how well they are challenged.

      I don’t really see how your points demolish Libertarianism. It just highlights that different Libertarians have different views and that’s highlighted by the different types. How is that any different to any other political ideology?

      • Stephen Morris

        Each of the articles demolishes the claim made by fundamentalist Libertarians that their faith is somehow special and superior to all others:

        a) the first demonstrates that libertarians cannot agree even amongst themselves which Articles of Faith are essential and which are not. Why then should anyone else accept the fundamentalist claims that they are some sort of Absolute Truth? and

        b) the second article (on Coasian Symmetry) shows how each and every “liberty” necessarily involves destroying the symmetrically opposing “liberty”. Simply tagging one’s own preferences with an emotive tag like “liberty” does not make them self-evidently correct (as the fundamentalist libertarians seem to claim). They remain preferences, just like everyone else’s.

      • You don’t think that fundamentalists from other ideologies view their preferences as superior? You are clearly just speaking from your own bias against a particular political leaning that you don’t agree with.

        Not all Libertarians think and act in the narrow frame that you are trying to paint them.

      • Stephen Morris

        The acid test for Libertarians is whether they accept that the People should have the “liberty” to choose the form of government they prefer for their country or state.

        If they do accept that liberty then they become democrats first and libertarians second.

        If they do not accept that liberty, then by what principle do they claim that their own preferences regarding the form of government are to be privileged over the preferences of other people? Under what “Charter from Heaven” do they assert the right to decide that the liberty of the People to choose the form of government they prefer for their country or state must be subordinated to their own idiosyncratic interpretation of “liberty”?

  6. C02 = AGW? in the Reply section.

    Not this pants again.

    MB is getting boring on this topic.

    Are we now 18 years with no change?

    Sea levels on nautical maps unchanged?

    Jog on girls.

    • Sea levels on nautical maps unchanged?

      Nautical maps have indeed changed due to warming – there is a new sea lane through the arctic circle where there used to be ice. The route comes within Russia’s 200 nautical mile zone of responsibility – Russia’s maritime safety authority recently lifted a requirement for vessels to be escorted through that section as the risk of iceberg collision has been deemed to have diminished.

      • And there are no records in history of that and other favourite alarmists dog-whistles happening before, long before there was global capitalism emitting CO2?

      • That one, no – not since the development of Suezmax tankers (effectively since the end of WWII), since a major milestone was getting laden Suezmax tankers through for the first time.
        Yes, smaller vessels have been able traverse the route from time to time, obviously due to far grater maneuverability.

        Other dog whistles, no idea.

      • The Canadian lady isn’t saying there is too much ice – her obstacles are red and green tape.

        Apparently oil spills are okay if they happen approximately where they’ve happened before, but not somewhere new.

      • Oil spills are endemic wherever there is shipping.

        Absence of ice in no way removes the need for ” search-and-rescue, harbours of refuge, oil-spill mitigation, communications and navigational aids” which are just base requirements for SOLAS-era shipping.

      • migtronixMEMBER

        @stat no but it makes it a shitload easier to set them up doesn’t? Bloody hell, why aren’t they there already?


      • Bloody hell, why aren’t they there already?

        Um, cos there’s no shipping, on account of how it was a year-round ice sheet up until ’07.

        Noticed this story being called “alarmist” just now. Not sure why, people in shipping are generally in favour of more ocean to sail in, as long as they don’t have to pay for the infrastructure that keeps the ships safe.

      • migtronixMEMBER

        on account of how it was a year-round ice sheet up until ’07.

        Right. And its been closed up a few times since too.

        So we have better tech and yet this is still difficult, but hey that’s ok I’m sure it’ll be 100% usable in few years…

      • What’s your point?

        10 years ago it was never open sufficiently for a supertanker.

        Now it is open sufficiently for a supertanker a couple of months a year. Not enough to justify the infrastructure to make it a serious alternative to one of the canals, but enough to make it worthwhile for a few operators on the spot market to do it each year, when no one could do it before. No more, no less.

        Although, if (when) one of them does an MOL Comfort (or M/V Immen), that’ll be the end of that.

      • migtronixMEMBER

        My point is a less than decade long window is hardly anything to shout home about — UNLESS — moving fossil fuels to be burnt up somewhere else is so important than cutting costs of the journey will make you super-tanker rich!

        Because, you know, save the planet!

      • Yes, that’s exactly the goal, but not rich – just cut the fuel bill enough to stay in business, and avoid extortionate canal tolls. If I’m carrying LNG, I’ve got more cargo to sell at the end of the trip too. What’s not to like?

        Biggest problem for commercial viability actually seems to Northwest passage draft restrictions are more severe than the Suez. If all the ice went away 12 months every year, that would still be a problem. Good way to move the world’s fastest growing cargo – empty containers – though.

        Anyway, ships are ships, we could be carrying anything at all, even plasmas for Bluebird.

        If you’re on the spot market, you’ve got to be the cheapest – cents on the dollar matter.

        A decade window is significant – it’s half of most vessels’ life time.

      • migtronixMEMBER

        Alright Stat well argued, I conceed there is both a viable, lower cost sealane now available to cargo haulers and their customers that was unavailable until recently AND that thanks to their brave efforts we’ll get plenty more in the future 😉

    • Muzz,

      What, you think they’re going to change nautical charts because the level has changed by 100mm?

      According to a Marine Geoscientist from UWA sea levels have been increasing.

      • migtronixMEMBER

        For how long have sea levels been rising? You’ll find it’s hundreds of years. Ask the Dutch..

      • General Disarray

        For how long have sea levels been rising? You’ll find it’s hundreds of years

        Straw man. Sea levels have been far higher and far lower. What’s important is what causes that to happen.

      • migtronixMEMBER

        What’s important is what causes that to happen.

        Strawman! Melting ice causes it to happen, unless you think rain come from space?

      • migtronix
        Only melting land ice, not sea ice. All the sea ice in the world could melt and it would not rise the sea level 1mm

      • migtronixMEMBER

        Willy I know that I’ve seen ice melt in my G&T before

        EDIT oh and only if it flowed to sea otherwise you get inland seas. Doesn’t Australia have one?

      • Mig: “Strawman! Melting ice causes it to happen”

        Wrong. Thermal expansion is the biggest factor in our lifetimes.

    • Is that picture a of you at the top of the page?

      Take your blinkers off mate and examine the data. You can start with the numerous articles in Science and Nature. I wouldn’t bother with the low impact journals if your time poor.

      • migtronixMEMBER

        I can say the same thing to you!

        What about rising salinity in the water table? No longer a problem?

        What about all the phosphate and sulfate we’ve been pumping into the oceans? Has no global effect? Why?

        What about all the iron we’ve brought to surface, doesn’t rust the planet huh?

        What about all the antibiotics we use to keep food “fresh”? Doesn’t fucking matter?

        Where are you hypocrites on the exhaustive study of those effects?

        Red not Green is what you are

      • Mig, you seem to have an incoherent view of this topic. I sometimes think you post merely to get reactions. 🙄

      • migtronixMEMBER

        @mambo no I remember when I was greeny leftie kid growing up and how all those concerns collapsed into the great Gore Hockey stick! And it shitz me

    • General Disarray

      Are we now 18 years with no change?

      If you’re willing to ignore the trend in average temperatures while just referring to a peak, sure.

      Sea levels on nautical maps unchanged?

      Don’t know. What’s the measurement tolerance on a nautical map?

      Jog on girls.

      Clever.

    • OK @Muzzer018 – we have debunked your myth of no nautical maps unchanged.

      How may more climate change myths do we need to debunk?

      You know this is not a Yes/no answer. There only needs to be sufficient evidence for it to be sensible for humans to make some changes. Do you insure your house against fire and theft? There would need to be almost 100% evidence for NO human induced global warming for it to me madness not to ‘take out some insurance’

      • Debunked? Was that not a fair question?

        Thanks for the offer, feel free to debunk the medieval warm period and Roman warm period. What brought about the end of the iceages?

        How many more? All of them thanks, don’t wave “consensus” at me as if that were scientifically sensible.

        Explain why those involved in the climate gate felt they needed to take the steps they did.

        Feel free to get emotional. Cry if you need to I’ll not judge you….

      • medieval warm period – was local warming, not global “While the Medieval Warm Period saw unusually warm temperatures in some regions, globally the planet was cooler than current conditions.”

        Roman warm period – This paper has been debunked as well “Esper’s tree-ring measurements come from high latitudes and reflect only summer temperatures. The implications of this study are vastly overstated by the authors,”

        For every climate gate you throw out there are dozen more ‘paid for by big fossil fuel’ papers that get shown to falsify or mislead.

        Please show me evidence that the world is not warming. Or if you believe it is warming, show another correlation beside C02 emissions?

        Consensus – 97% of scientific peer reviewed papers that state an opinion as to the cause of global warming say that humans are the cause. Can I ask you if 97% of experts said you house will probably burn down, would you take out insurance?

        Not emotional – just trying to use Scientific Reason (you know, the thing that has doubled life expectancy, landed a man on the moon, allowed you to type this on the Internet, but somehow does not work for Climate Science for some unexplained reason).

        Dig your head in the sand and ignore the evidence if you must and listen to Andrew Bolt instead of the scientists – seems a very sensible thing to do!

  7. No one denies the climate changes. However many are skeptical when it comes to the ever changing wide ranging claims of the alarmist global warming brigade.

    This skepticism is well merited. If ever a movement had religious overtones, it is AGW fundamentalism.

      • +2, 3D

        When will the sacrifices end to this god. Even when we are walking around with only a fig leaf, ( keep in mind walking uses energy too) They will still want more.

        Stop walking, stop eating, Protect the fig leafs !

    • I wouldn’t know about that. I definitely prefer science over religion as a basis for decision making. And I do think that it makes sense to practise risk management when confronted by risks.

      • Exactly Ian. Risk management is what it should be about. 3d1k et al may well sing that the climate is always changing but they are implying that it will change back to some type of utopian norm of the early 19th & 20th centuries (hence their do-nothing stance). However, all the main indices are pointing to climate changing in one direction; one that is associated with downsides to the way we live and to the economy.

      • migtronixMEMBER

        Me too. Science says fiat currency is unsustainable. Now go do something about it will you…

      • Oh sorry Fitz, I forgot – nasty greed…

        “IPCC official Ottmar Edenhofer, speaking in November 2010, advised that: “…one has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. Instead, climate change policy is about how we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth…”

      • I’m open to suggestions Mig. 3d How are those coal mining stocks going?? Go you good thing!!! 3d I sincerely enjoy your comments, and they enlightening on occasions. They brighten my Fridays.

    • 3D, you are an example of the inane propaganda Nick Davies was talking about in my post above. For those that are lost in this sea of propaganda and misinformation, here is an overview by our own Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO http://www.bom.gov.au/state-of-the-climate/documents/state-of-the-climate-2014_low-res.pdf?ref=button which broadly supports the position of the IPCC which has been demonstrated to be conservative in terms of its predictions of sea level and temperature rises (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6321351.stm ) .
      The confidence of these predictions has only increased in recent years because, according to our own Bureau of Meteorology, temperatures are only increasing at lower levels of the atmosphere (troposphere) where the CO2 collects (due to higher molar mass than air) and not the upper levels of the atmosphere (see what is causing warming here http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/change/?ref=ftr#tabs=About-climate-change) . So the empirical data gathered demonstrates current global warming is occurring largely as a result of greenhouse gasses like CO2 and these are a result of human activity. Before some of the usual suspects post any rubbish on irrelevant crap re this point, here is a picture to explain the greenhouse effect for you http://www.dec.ny.gov/images/administration_images/greenhouse.jpg

    • +1. They’ve been banging on about it for 20 something years.

      Nuthin’s happened. Nuthin.

      Oh god if anyone is religious it’s the left. The right is far, far more tolerant of freedom of speech.

      • “The right is far, far more tolerant of freedom of speech”
        …because these days many of them simply don’t listen. I note yet again there’s no real evidence provided by you so here’s mine.

        “Nuthin’s happened. Nuthin. ”

        Consult empirical data which is provided above.

      • migtronixMEMBER

        Yup all that is true, problem is the right is closing up debate now thats its moving 100% neo-con.

        Necons ARE left, they are Troskyites. This is a 100% fact.

        was an American columnist, journalist, and writer who was dubbed the “godfather of neo-conservatism…

        where he majored in history and was part of a small but vocal Trotskyist anti-Soviet group

        But I know I know its ignorant to be informed in this hipster land of ours…

      • Bluebird, you obvious do not have a scientific background and/or a big fan of Andrew Bolt.

        Please search for and read “summary for policymakers ipcc” – it has been dumbed down so people who think that nothing has happened for 20 years can understand it.

        You do know that 8 of the hottest 10 years in history have been in the last 10 years?
        You do know that if you are younger than 32 you have never experienced a ‘below average’ temperature for January or May in Australia? So nothing going on, nothing at all.

        It seems to be freedom of speech from the PR companies of the big polluters vs the scientific community.

  8. Can I just ask what is a country to do that has as its main exports Hyrdrocarbons, Coal, Iron Ore which needs Coking Coal in its transformation. MB seems to be raising the alarm about the prices for these commodities falling over time and yet advocating a world where their value as the ultimate end game is reduced even further. And a debt in the trillions based on its ability to keep selling the above mentioned exports

    Without those exports this country would quickly become a failed state. We will never export Solar Panels or any other manufacture to make up for the loss of the above. And all the while the only Nation that has any real world power is spilling blood and treasure and fighting proxy wars in the Middle East and now Eastern Europe to gain control of the Hydrocarbon supply

    • Armchair Greenies Rod.

      Many people who cry about AGW still drive around in high powered cars and light their houses with multiple halogen down lights etc.

      When the power goes off they are the first to start crying, why is that so often the case?

      IMO complaining becomes a habit and as it develops some types of people find it useful to drape it under the banner of “Fighting for the little guy” or “Stop killing our mother earth” to try and hide from people pointing out they are socially awkward. They are professionals at being offended or even being offended on someone’s behalf. Sarah Hanson Young is to my mind exactly that type of rancid individual.

      In the same way that I won’t accept there’s a budget crisis until we stop NG and super tax breaks. I will not stay awake at night with worry over AGW until we see a change in the way these so called green groups manage themselves. That and when they can stop tampering with the data. If the data is there fair enough, but if they have to doctor the figures as they have been caught doing over and over again, then is it our fault people remain cynical? No it’s theirs.

      • Everyone has an anecdote like this to tell: you are at a meeting where people are discussing with such tremendous sincerity how to save the planet, and then someone asks, “put up your hands everyone who came here by car”……..

      • desmodromicMEMBER

        Are the climate scientists that tamper with the data trained in the same universities as our medical researchers and engineers? If so, how do you explain the apparent difference in conduct of the different professional groups?

        Do you still see your doctor or is the risk too high if the diagnosis is based on weight of evidence rather than certainty?

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        Many people who cry about AGW still drive around in high powered cars and light their houses with multiple halogen down lights etc.

        I see from this thread the conservative inability to think in anything except black and white extremes is on full display.

        Along with their mistaken belief that the plural of anecdote is data.

        That and when they can stop tampering with the data. If the data is there fair enough, but if they have to doctor the figures as they have been caught doing over and over again, then is it our fault people remain cynical?

        It’s your fault you parrot denialist claptrap like “tampering with data”.

      • @PB “Everyone has an anecdote like this to tell: you are at a meeting where people are discussing with such tremendous sincerity how to save the planet, and then someone asks, “put up your hands everyone who came here by car”……..”

        There is no argument about this but let’s be realistic, choices in terms of energy are constrained and you are hardly making a worthy argument with this anecdote. I like to go off-road and camp regularly but there really isn’t an alternative energy that will enable me to do what I enjoy doing. Similarly, attempts at stimulating investment in alternatives and influencing personal choices for the better are stymied by myopic thinking like yours. If you think about it, your little anecdote above can be used to justify a carbon tax.

        When all is said and done, AGW is something that requires a response. Hiding behind the CAGW tag is just a weak way of presenting a small target when there is no science to counter what the mainstream science says. Instead, the strategy chosen is to blur the line between what is the scientific consensus and what isn’t (ie: throwing the CAGW tag around without actually meaningfully addressing the implications presented by mainstream AGW science). That’s a pretty piss weak approach – no substance at all.

        For those lost in a sea of propaganda/misinformation, I will post this again. Here is an overview by our own Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO http://www.bom.gov.au/state-of-the-climate/documents/state-of-the-climate-2014_low-res.pdf?ref=button which broadly supports the position of the IPCC which has been demonstrated to be conservative in terms of its predictions of sea level and temperature rises (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6321351.stm ). The confidence of these predictions and related modelling has only increased in recent years because, according to our own Bureau of Meteorology, temperatures are only increasing at lower levels of the atmosphere (troposphere) where the CO2 collects (due to higher molar mass than air) and not the upper levels of the atmosphere where it’s cooling (see “what is causing warming” here http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/change/?ref=ftr#tabs=About-climate-change) . So the empirical data gathered demonstrates current global warming is occurring largely as a result of greenhouse gasses like CO2 and these are a result of human activity. A picture to explain the greenhouse effect for you and the significance of the observations by BOM can be found here http://www.dec.ny.gov/images/administration_images/greenhouse.jpg.

    • Anyone selling a morally dubious product has to face the same question. There are no easy answers.

      But part of a solution might be making a genuine effort to wean ourselves away from being so reliant on coal exports. For example, by actively promoting our manufacturing rather than sacrificing it on the altar of free trade fundamentalism.

    • “And a debt in the trillions based on its ability to keep selling the above mentioned exports” So we better get our acts together and do something about this dependence as you cant stick your head in the sand forever and you can’t assume alternatives will always be uneconomical. Have you heard about Porters 5 forces analysis and the threat of substitutes?
      “We will never export Solar Panels or any other manufacture to make up for the loss of the above. ” Did you arrive at this conclusion after consulting the force in a quiet contemplative moment master Yoda? Technology evolves and so can we. At the moment we seem to have thrown all our eggs in a couple of baskets. Not wise.

  9. Robert Sherlock

    There are lots of policies that can reduce carbon without taxing:
    1) Allow new subdivisions to recycle their water with the use of septic/aerobic systems (huge amount of electricity needed to pump the sewerage around the city) at the same time increases tree growth (trees take carbon out of the air) This is no cost, no harm, environmentally friendly, and costs of development can decrease – Win win win

    2) Allow businesses to deduct fully ANY upgrade that reduces emissions (this does not cost the government anything overall but it does help business)

    3) Allow businesses to build large offices in any suburb, and encourage Master planned communities with a mixture of business and housing to reduce commuting

    These are the kinds of things that need to be done FIRST, before spending millions trying to add another layer of red tape.

    • Sherlock, whole BOOKS could be written about the “low hanging fruit” means of mitigation and adaptation that are NOT the focus of the CAGW industry.

    • * Allow people to ride bikes with a 1000w electric boost.
      * Allow transport that competes with gas-guzzling taxis.
      * Allow people to run an extra small car without extra charges.

    • We could all stop breathing out !

      I get the feeling some people have simply never bothered to read a single book on this issue.

  10. General Disarray

    Very interesting, HnH

    Most of the libertarians I’ve met are just conservatives that are willing to accept some things they don’t like if it means less tax.

    Binary thinking also seems to be an issue. It’s common for them to refer to their libertarian principles and being consistent with these principles when discussing their position on a complex issue. I’m not sure if this is genuinely how they parse all information or just a convenient way to argue against positions they don’t like, yet have very little logical reason for opposing when faced with the evidence.

    If only the world was black or white instead of the innumerable shades of grey.

  11. Denis413MEMBER

    I just thought it should be as simple as:

    “if you can do two things, both produce the same outcome, one is sustainable, one is not, you make it law to do/change to the sustainable one?”

    The climate/environment will benefit by default. The discussion should be about finite resources, and using (just a little bit) of foresight…

  12. I agree, it’s pretty obvious that the only solution to the problem is to give the bankers the power to trade Carbon Credits.

    • Love the satire, hope everyone on here is intelligent enough not to mistake that for a sincere comment.

  13. Correct. But I notice no one ever advocates stopping the export of gas or coal. This country is a third world commodity economy with Land Boomers as an extra together with a rancid political class that do their bidding. Those are the facts. Advocating a world where we dont have these exports is to bring on the end of the Society we have now. It may not be a total disaster I think Argentina is probably the best example

    Carbon is essential for all life on earth. This country depends on it to finance our outrageous lifestyles and pay the interest on the Trillion dollars in mortgage debt.
    We can make a change tomorrow and tell China and Japan to install solar panels in blast furnaces and power stations. But we wont do that. Then green groups would have no more conferences to fly to.

    • But I notice no one ever advocates stopping the export of gas or coal.

      I have, certainly coal anyway.

      • migtronixMEMBER

        From the book “Study of the Embargo of Coal Exports from South Africa: Report of a Study ”

        Australia: The Customs Tariffs Act of 1987 prohibited the import of South African coal.

        Now, again, I ask you, how is it we can do this to stop racism in South Africa but CAN’T get it done politically to save the Earth?

        And why am I a denialist for asking these questions?

        I’d love to crash all the polluter stocks by having a handful of governments say “Anyone with shares in fossil fuel producing companies, or their financial backers, have 90 days to get out of their positions”

        Stocks would go to virtually zero, government can buy them up for pennies on the dollar and start using the profits made from existing sales to fund alt tech.

        Why can’t that be done, why do you JUST HAVE TO have a tax?

      • But I notice no one ever advocates stopping the export of gas or coal.
        Yes it could be Australia’s gift to the world.

        @Mig. Don’t care if its a tax, levy or LAW. Just set the policy levers so that the country is able to quickly respond to the predicted downside of global warming. And don’t put up impediments to stop individuals accessing distributive power.

      • migtronixMEMBER

        @lath ditto! It’s the stupid unending debates about the best way to make bankers richer disguised as following scientific principles unmolested by vested interests that drives me up the wall.

    • There you go again. Can’t mount a decent attack on mainstream AGW science so you resort to simplistic stereotypes. Pretty low brow mate.

  14. Global warming is only one environmental issue. Why have we (Australians, the Greens, Labor) stopped talking about all the other environmental issues?

    Acid sulfate soils, salinity, erosion, desertification, killing the highest number of species on the planet….

    Why? Because the Greens and Labor couldn’t give a fock about the environment. It’s all a con, a scam, a lie. How could they mention any of these environmental issues without population needing to be discussed?…In fact, how can they discuss warming without population entering the debate?

    LIARS…. Left wing, evil, lying ignorant imbecilic morons.

    • Acid sulfate soils, salinity, erosion, desertification, killing the highest number of species on the planet….
      Well, the so-called environmental movement has a good record on limiting destruction of the ozone layer, reducing lead emissions and on acid rain. All courtesy of scientists raising the problem. Note it didn’t come from politicians, or economists or IT specialists….

    • General Disarray

      That’s ridiculous.

      Those issues doesn’t get the sexy headlines but it’s completely false to say “the left” ignores them.

      LIARS…. Left wing, evil, lying ignorant imbecilic morons.

      Ridiculous.

      • …..”Those issues doesn’t get the sexy headlines but it’s completely false to say “the left” ignores them.”….

        So headlines are more important than the environment.,…

        They are….LIARS…. Left wing, evil, lying ignorant imbecilic morons.

        AND…defending it makes it okay. They should be condemned by everyone including environmentally aware people such as yourself and me….Otherwise nothing will ever change.

  15. “Despite the ETS being the world’s largest carbon market, companies regulated by the EU ETS represent only 13% of global carbon market participation, according to Point Carbon. Furthermore, about 90% of all permits are traded in the unregulated and nontransparent OTC (over-the-counter) derivatives market–itself dominated by five global banks.”

    http://physicsandsocietybc.wordpress.com/2013/02/18/eu-emissions-trading-scheme-corruption-speculation-fraud/

    “Carbon offsets are another fundamental problem with carbon trading. The EU ETS is the biggest buyer of credits issued through the UN-backed Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). By using offsets to meet emissions reductions targets, the purpose of capping emissions becomes obsolete. Companies can simply buy credits to pollute from so-called emissions reduction projects in the South, thereby eliminating the need to reduce pollution at source and, as extensive research has shown, exacerbate social and environmental problems for communities in the South.”

    http://climateandcapitalism.com/2011/05/05/fraud-and-scams-in-europes-emissions-trading-system/

    “Even the World Bank’s ‘State and Trends of the Carbon Markets 2010’ analyses that hedging and speculation now comprise the majority activity within the carbon market, rather than it being the ‘vehicle’ through which corporations and governments can meet emissions caps:

    ‘The market, which used to be dominated by banks and utilities, witnessed a growing presence of funds, energy-trading firms, and increasingly sophisticated utilities and industrials that used the options market for hedging (both volumes and prices) and profit-making transactions. The bulk of activity now comes from volatility and other relative value trades rather than asset-backed trades (i.e., financial and technical trades now account for a greater portion of market activity than do trades for compliance purposes).'”

    http://www.corporatewatch.org/news/2010/jul/21/carbon-carousel-vat-tax-fraud

  16. This analysis, although interesting is very wide of the mark.

    Libertarianism is not about “property rights” – it is SPECIFICALLY about anti-government. They believe the world should be run by business.

    Global corporates have gotten hold of this and now use it to their advantage – using the old big bad, inefficient government full of bloated self serving politicians as the catch cry.

    Libertarianism is the vanguard of global corporatism. A better and more familiar term for Libertarianism is fascism.

    Again – its pure fascism.

    The REASON why they hate global warming is because the solution is the greatest hand over of power from the project of corporate ascendency to government – it would be an own goal and utterly obliterate them and their power base. Both energy companies, and the impost of regulation on unfettered energy use and consumption.

    It would be an impost on their power base as energy companies via their relationship to the military, the Shah of Iran anyone.

    It would entrench the government as an institution which is in control of the world, is looking after the interests of humanity, destroy the wealth source (fossil fuel) destroy the power structure (fossil fuel, centralised transmission), destroy the power projection and pretence (military).

    Quite frankly I think if these guys were to assume total control they would turn around and say we will deal with climate change. But to let governments do it – would destroy them.

    • General Disarray

      @Leviathan

      Libertarianism is the vanguard of global corporatism.

      Yep. The IPA is a perfect example of that.

    • Big business control government therefore we need more government to control big business who control government therefore we need more government to control big business who control ….

    • Stephen Morris

      As explained in the Nudge piece, property rights are a creation of the State.

      Or as the great Ronald Coase famously remarked in his Alfred Nobel Memorial Lecture:

      “. . . what are traded on the market are not, as is often supposed by economists, physical entities but the rights to perform certain actions, and the rights which individuals possess are established by the legal system.”

      Libertarians’ beloved property rights exist only because the State stands behind their enforcement.

      When Libertarian fundamentalists talk about “property rights”, they are simply arguing that the State should do what they want.

      In this they are no different from other self-interested people.

      Like religious fundamentalists of all kinds, Libertarian fundamentalists like to think their theology can transform self-interested preferences into absolute truths.

      To say, “I’m a Libertarian therefore everyone should do what I want” is as inane as saying “I’m a Christian therefore everyone should do what I want.”

      • This is a wonderful response.

        So well constructed, thought out and insightful.

        To my mind I am seeing religion in every aspect of my life now. Not my life – rather – those around me. Society has bestowed upon itself the right to be heard, to have an opinion, often conflated with free speech, the right to think freely and openly however one wills.

        And granted – this is fair.

        The problem is that this freedom to think has morphed into freedom to assume that whatever it is one is thinking, is also equally true, valid or viable as the most rigorous science of our time.

        And so science itself has become optional. Science, truth and facts are politically incorrect as they point to our foibles. Using science, facts, logic and reason to highlight the illogic, regressive nature of anything anyone is espousing from their – “whatever” – has become offensive and lacks sensitivity to people being allowed to simply say, think and declare whatever they want no matter how perversely moronic it is.

        Subsequently we have ideas, like vaccines causing autism, the rise of extreme religion, and economic theorists basing their entire credibility on phantoms.

        People can say, think and do what ever they want today, and literally proclaim it as fact – and anyone who questions it, or stands up to it is a misogynist, racist, bigot, bully, insensitive, etc, etc.

        The invisible hand – the hand of God – the Midas touch – Gods hand words in mysterious ways, efficient allocation of resources, an endless procession of religious icons in modern scientific vernacular.

    • An ignorant definition.

      Care to justify this non-sequitur ?

      “Libertarianism is not about “property rights” – it is SPECIFICALLY about anti-government. They believe the world should be run by business.”

      Its funny how no libertarian is in favor of businesses being granted special privileges or rights over individuals, and only socialists and crony capitalists believe in granting government favors and powers to large corporations, yet libertarians are the ones accused of being cronies ?

      • migtronixMEMBER

        I’ve discovered there are, in the general parlance, two versions of libertarian: the version you, and indeed I, espouse and the Chicago School kind…

      • Stephen Morris

        I’ve discovered there are as many versions of Libertarianism as there are people who profess to being Libertarian.

        Just as there are as many versions of Christianity as there are people who profess to being Christian.

      • Libertarianism is its manifestation from the top down. Not the individual proclamations of its adherents slushing the galleys with red herring guts.

        Murdoch speaks prolifically and vociferously on the issue and is the rotten head – and he is no red herring.

        His first words on almost any issue are – get rid of government – great. The only means the people have of collectively representing themselves in any meaningful way dispatched to sate the lust of fascists.

        I’m sure you have more, much more wonderful definitions of Libertarianism – but until I see them being espoused by the most powerful of your kind forgive me if I gloss over these back aisle ruminations.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        Its funny how no libertarian is in favor of businesses being granted special privileges or rights over individuals […]

        The problem is they are also not in favour of individuals being granted special privileges over businesses.

  17. rob barrattMEMBER

    “Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely”
    This reality nicely encapsulates all comments about “idiot” parties”, “Green hypocrites” etc etc. etc.

    The reality? Once you get close enough to the inhale the intoxicating aroma of power – it becomes all about you, you , you. Don’t look for policy, look for people seeking their own advantage as individuals or (initially) as a group.
    Welcome to the human race. Buy a bottle of Grange (if you aren’t a politician) and batten down the hatches for climate change.

    • rob barrattMEMBER

      I should in fairness add that the above effect becomes most prevalent in a hung parliament where there is no clear public consensus on policy.

  18. I strongly believe in private property rights and smallish government but I think it’s stupid to think that we don’t have a common obligation to neighbours and the planet.

    To equate a carbon tax or an incentive to be more efficient with infringing on private property rights is just plain dumb. Only an idealogical imbecile thinks that.

    Let’s see where these mindset lies in 300 years time when the planet is just rebalancing (by making life really tough).

    • We don’t allow for property rights over air, which would solve most environmental issues.

      All air on the planet is socialised, and thats why we have a tragedy of the commons happening.

      • I’m a practical person.

        So in the real world, how would you isolate air?

        You can’t.

        Therefore we need to legislate for everyone’s behaviour. Same as the roads.

        Very different from private property rights over my land.

        #frackoff

  19. This is a very good article. I have forwarded the link to some of the Libertarian cnuts I know. 😈

  20. Amazing that people think the Abott government is remotely libertarian.

    Where are the calls for ending the drug wars, cutting military spending or allowing gay marriage from the ranks of the coalition?

    Is Paid Parental Leave and increased government spending on medical research remotely libertarian ?


    • Where are the calls for ending the drug wars, cutting military spending or allowing gay marriage from the ranks of the coalition?

      Suprisingly few libertarians in Oz or the USA seem to go for those things, especially number two on your list.

  21. UE, this is a fantastic article…

    Lets call bullsh*t on so called “Libertarians”, and lets call them what they actually are – Monopolists.

    Liberty for all. But only when I benefit from it – screw the rest fo you peasants.

    • +1

      At its best, libertarianism is intellectually vacant. If your ideology can be dismantled by a moderately intelligent 6 year old, it’s a pretty poor ideology.

      The ‘libertarians’ we see today aren’t even that smart.

      • I replied here, but Spambot ate my homework.

        This comments thread is a disgrace and utterly predictable.

        Perhaps the Abbott government is not stiffened with libertarians, they have merely stolen their rhetoric to protect uncosted externalised imposts.

        It is all about money, rent-seeking and protecting monopoly. If the ALP and Greens had a sliver of insight or a shred of integrity, they would take down the entire Abbott government with a single stroke.

      • migtronixMEMBER

        This comments thread is a disgrace

        Yes I think you’re right David, I’m ashamed I played my part.

  22. Those who want Australia to reduce CO2 emissions have to take a deep breath and accept they will not achieve there goal by making energy more expensive. It is political suicide as Rudd, Turnbull and Gillard have shown.

    Stop banging your head against the wall and wailing at the pain it causes.

    Try the other approach, of making non-CO2 energy so cheap people voluntarily choose to stop using fossil fuels.

    This is can be done using nuclear energy. If only Australia would turn away from its ludditism w.r.t to Nuclear energy.