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The Road Not Taken IV: My other hysterical comments on climate science & how Austrians hamstring themselves

In my initial post, on how Austrians strive for a self-comforting irrelevancy on climate change, I copied my chief comment to Stephan Kinsella.

I copy below my other posts and some of the remarks I was responding to on Stephan`s thread, including the one that I was unable to post – for some reason I am trying to figure out (but that Stephan tells me was not a result of moderation by him; I note my full apology, as stated in my update to my preceding post):

  • TokyoTom

    fundamentalist: “I love the responses from the GW hysteria crowd.
    They have nothing to offer but ad hominem attacks and appeals to

    Am I excluded from the “hysteria” crowd, Roger? Because if I`m in,
    you seem to have entirely missed my post, and my point, as to the
    consistency of your arguments with Austrian principles and the
    effectiveness of approaches like yours in dealing with the rest of the
    world – including all of the deluded and others who are engaged in bad

    Published: October 30, 2009 9:44 AM

  • Stephan Kinsella
    [Note: this is the comment to which I responded with the remarks copied on my preceding post]

    “Tokyo” asked me to respond to his post but it’s so rambling I am
    not sure what to respond to. To me this is very simple. I think we are
    in an interglacial period. It’s going to start getting cooler
    eventually, unless by then we have enough technology and freedom (no
    offense, Tokyo) to stop it. If there is global warming maybe it can
    delay the coming ice age by a few centuries.

    If there were really global warming why not just use “nuclear
    winter” to cool things down? You don’t see the envirotards advocating that! 🙂 (see Greenpeace to advocate nuking the earth?)

    In any event as I see it there are several issues. Is it warming?
    Can we know it? Do we know it? Are we causing it? Can we stop it?
    Should we stop it?

    It seem to me we do not know that it’s warming; if it is, it’s
    probably not caused by Man; and if it is, there’s probably nothing we
    can do to stop it except effectively destroy mankind; there’s no reason
    to stop it since it won’t even be all bad, and in fact would be overall
    good. I do not trust the envirotards, who hate industrialism and love
    the state, and seek anything to stop capitalism and to give the state
    an excuse to increase regulations and taxes; why anyone thinks these
    watermelons really know what the temperature will be in 10, 100, 1000
    years, when we can’t even get accurate weather forecasts a week out, is
    beyond me.

    That said, I’ll take the watermelons seriously when they start
    advocating nuclear power. Until then, they reveal themselves to be
    anti-industry, anti-man, techo-illiterates. (See Green nukes; Nuclear spring?.)

    Published: October 30, 2009 10:03 AM

  • TokyoTom

    [my prior version ran off without my permission; this is a re-draft]

    It seems like I can lead a horse to water, but I can`t make him think,

    We all have our own maps of reality and our own calculus as to what
    government policies are desirable and when, but as for me, the status
    quo needs changing, and the desire of a wide range of people – be they
    deluded, evil, conniving or whatnot – to do something on the climate
    front seems like a great opportunity to get freedom-enhancing measures
    on the table and to achieve some of MY preferences, chiefly because
    they help to advance the professed green agenda. [To clarify, I didn`t mean that I want to advance “the green agenda”, but that the pro-freedom policy suggestions I have raised should be attainable because greens and others might see that they also serve THEIR agendas.]

    I see no reason to sit at home or simply scoff or fling poo from the
    sidelines, and let what I see as a bad situation get worse. There`s
    very little in that for practically anyone here – except of course
    those who like coal pollution, public utilities, corporate income
    taxes, big ag corporate welfare, political fights over government-owned
    resources, energy subsidies and over-regulation, etc. (and those folks
    aren`t sitting at home, believe me).

    I can keep on questioning everyone`s sanity or bona fides, or I can
    argue strongly for BETTER policies, that advance shared aims.

    Does Austrian thinking simply lack a practical political arm, other
    than those few who have signed up to support special interests?

    Ramblin` Tom

    Published: October 30, 2009 11:51 AM

  • TokyoTom

    Stephan, if I may, I am appalled and offended by your shallow and
    fundamentally dishonest engagement here. That there are a string of
    others who have preceded you in this regard is no excuse.

    You: (i) post without significant comment a one-page letter from a
    scientist – as if the letter itself is vindication, victory or a
    roadmap for how we should seek to engage the views and preferences of

    (ii) refuse to answer my straightforward questions (both above and
    at my cross-linked post, which you visited) on how we engage others in
    the very active ongoing political debate, in a manner that actually
    defends and advances our policy agenda, and (putting aside the
    insulting and disingenuous “Tokyo asked me to respond” and “it’s so
    rambling I am not sure what to respond to”); and

    (iii) then proceed to present your own view of the science, the
    motives and sanity “watermelons” (as if they`re running the show), a
    few helpful, free-market libertarian “solutions”, like open-air
    explosion of nuclear weapons to bring about a “nuclear winter” effect!

    And my attempt to bring your focus back to the question of how we
    actually deal with others in the POLITICAL bargaining that is, after
    all, underway is met with silence – other than your faithful report
    back from your trusty climate physicist expert policy guru friend about
    …. science (all being essentially irrelevant to my question, not
    merely the cute little folksy demonstration about how the troubling
    melting and thinning of Antarctic ice sheets actually now underway
    simply CAN`T be occurring, but also a further failure to address the
    very rapid ocean acidification our CO2 emissions are producing)!

    Maybe it`s me, but I find this type of insincere and shallow
    engagement on such a serious issue to be a shameful discredit to the
    Mises Blog (even if it does cater to those who prefer to think that the
    big to do about climate – which may very well result in a mass of
    ill-considered, costly and counterproductive
    legislation – is really groundless and so can simply be ignored, aside from a bit of internal fulminations here).

    If you are not actually interested in discussing policy on a serious issue, then consider refraining from posting on it.

    Maybe it`s not my position to expect better, but I do.



    Roy Cordato (linked at my name) said this:

    “The starting point for all Austrian welfare economics is the goal
    seeking individual and the ability of actors to formulate and execute
    plans within the context of their goals. … [S]ocial welfare or
    efficiency problems arise because of interpersonal conflict. [C] that
    similarly cannot be resolved by the market process, gives rise to
    catallactic inefficiency by preventing useful information from being
    captured by prices.”

    “Environmental problems are brought to light as striking at the
    heart of the efficiency problem as typically seen by Austrians, that
    is, they generate human conflict and disrupt inter- and intra-personal
    plan formulation and execution.”

    “The focus of the Austrian approach to environmental economics is
    conflict resolution. The purpose of focusing on issues related to
    property rights is to describe the source of the conflict and to
    identify possible ways of resolving it.”

    “If a pollution problem exists then its solution must be found in
    either a clearer definition of property rights to the relevant
    resources or in the stricter enforcement of rights that already exist.
    This has been the approach taken to environmental problems by nearly
    all Austrians who have addressed these kinds of issues (see Mises 1998;
    Rothbard 1982; Lewin 1982; Cordato 1997). This shifts the perspective
    on pollution from one of “market failure” where the free market is seen
    as failing to generate an efficient outcome, to legal failure where the
    market process is prevented from proceeding efficiently because the
    necessary institutional framework, clearly defined and enforced
    property rights, is not in place.”

    Published: October 31, 2009 1:00 PM

  • TokyoTom


    “Did rising temperatures cause an increase in atmospheric carbon-dioxide concentration”.

    This is a great, basic question; I`d love to answer it (actually, I
    already did, though a bit indirectly), but you see, I`m one of the
    nasty obfuscating members of the socialist hysterical crowd, so I
    really should defer to others here who have better ideological and
    scientific stature here (and who hate ad hominems and love reason),
    such as fundamentalist, or perhaps even our confident lead poster,
    Stephan Kinsella (who has nothing to offer on the question of how
    libertarians should engage with others on the political front), or even
    our humble physicist climate system authority, Dr. Hayden.

    Gentlemen, take it away.

    Published: October 31, 2009 11:31 AM

  • TokyoTom

    I`m sorry I don`t have time now to respond in more detail to those
    who have commented in response to mine, but let me note that not one of
    you has troubled to actually respond to my challenge, which was based
    on Austrian concepts of conflict resolution, understanding of
    rent-seeking embedded in the status quo, and the recognition that the
    present debate on climate, energy and environmental issues presents
    opportunities to actually advance an Austrian agenda.

    In my view, we can either try to improve our lot, by seeking items
    such as those I laid out previously or condemn ourselves to irrelevancy
    by standing by and letting the big boys and the Baptists in their
    coalition hammer out something worse from our Congresscritters.

    For this, the correctness of our own views of climate science
    matters little – nothing, in fact, unless we are willing to DO
    something about it, by engaging with OTHERS who have DIFFERENT views.

    For those who have too much trouble remembering the legal/regulatory changes that I suggested, here they are:

    [pro-freedom regulatory changes might include:

    * accelerating cleaner power investments by eliminating corporate
    income taxes or allowing immediate amortization of capital investment,
    * eliminating antitrust immunity for public utility monopolies (to
    allow consumer choice, peak pricing and “smart metering” that will
    rapidly push efficiency gains),
    * ending Clean Air Act handouts to the worst utilities (or otherwise
    unwinding burdensome regulations and moving to lighter and more
    common-law dependent approaches),
    * ending energy subsidies generally (including federal liability caps for nuclear power (and allowing states to license),
    * speeding economic growth and adaptation in the poorer countries most
    threatened by climate change by rolling back domestic agricultural
    corporate welfare programs (ethanol and sugar), and
    * if there is to be any type of carbon pricing at all, insisting that
    it is a per capita, fully-rebated carbon tax (puts the revenues in the
    hands of those with the best claim to it, eliminates regressive impact
    and price volatility, least new bureaucracy, most transparent, and
    least susceptible to pork).

    Other policy changes could also be put on the table, such as an
    insistence that government resource management be improved by requiring
    that half of all royalties be rebated to citizens (with a slice to the
    administering agency).]

    Many others come to mind.

    Well, what`s it going to be? Relevancy, or a tribal exercise in disengaged and smug self-satisfaction?

    Published: October 31, 2009 12:37 PM

  • TokyoTom

    1. Christopher and mpolzkill:

    Thanks for the favor of your comments.

    I was asking if Austrians never seek to practically engage others on
    questions of policy; the first of you brings up Ron Paul, but one man
    is not a policy, nor are his sole efforts a policy program; the other
    of you suggests succession from the U, which is hardly an effort at
    pragmatic engagement with anybody over a particular issue. (BTW, here
    is Ron Paul`s climate program.)

    I can see some engagement by libertarians on this issue, but such
    seeds either (i) die when they fall on the rocky ground of the Mises
    Blog or (ii) represent work by people paid to criticize one side of the
    debate, and consistently ignore problems with the definitely
    non-libertarian status quo.

    Why libertarians do not see any opportunity here for a positive
    agenda? Do they prefer to be taken as implicit supporters of the
    government interventions that underlie most enviros` complaints?

    2. fundamentalist:

    “I don’t see anyone doing that except the GW hysterical crowd.
    Honest scientists like Hayden try to present evidence and reason so
    that we can have a real debate, and the hysterical crowd flings poo
    from the sidelines.”

    Thanks for your direct comment (even as you lace it and others with
    ad homs), but can`t you see you also are missing my point? Are you NOT
    interested in trying to cut deals that would, say:

    * accelerate cleaner power investments by eliminating corporate
    income taxes or allowing immediate amortization of capital investment,
    * eliminate antitrust immunity for public utility monopolies (to allow
    consumer choice, peak pricing and “smart metering” that will rapidly
    push efficiency gains),
    * end Clean Air Act handouts to the worst utilities (or otherwise
    unwinding burdensome regulations and moving to lighter and more
    common-law dependent approaches),
    * end energy subsidies generally (including federal liability caps for nuclear power (and allowing states to license),
    * speed economic growth and adaptation in the poorer countries most
    threatened by climate change by rolling back domestic agricultural
    corporate welfare programs (ethanol and sugar),
    * insist that government resource management be improved by requiring that half of all royalties be rebated to citizens,
    * end federal subsidies to development on barrier islands, etc. or
    * improve adaptability by deregulating and privatizing roads and other “public” infrastructure?

    Or is it more productive to NOT deal with those whom you hate, and
    stand by while special interests cut deals that widen and deepen the
    federal trough?


    Published: November 1, 2009 2:21 AM

  • TokyoTom

    Allow me to outline here a few responses to the arguments raised by
    Dr. Hayden, even as I do not pretend to be an expert (and, to be
    pedantic, even though they are largely irrelevant to the question of
    whether Austrians wish to take advantage of the opportunity presented
    by the many scientists and others who have differing views, to roll
    back alot of costly, counterproductive and unfair regulation).

    1. Models: Dr. Hayden disingenuously casts aside what modern physics
    tells us about how God plays dice with the universe (via random,
    unpredictible behavior throughout the universe), and the limits of
    human knowledge (including the ability to measure all inputs affecting
    climate, including all of our own), and essentially asks us to wait
    until our knowledge is perfect, and our ability to capture and
    number-crunch all information relevant to the Earth`s climate
    (including changing solar and cosmic ray inputs and ocean behavior)
    before any of us, or our imperfect governments, can take any action on

    Physical and practical impossibility aside, is this how any human or
    any human organization structures its decisions? Narrowly, Dr. Hayden
    is of course right that “the science is not settled”, but so what?

    2. Was there a tipping point 300 million years ago (or whenever it was when CO2 levels reached 8000 ppm) ?
    Dr. Hayden plays with language, suggesting that a “tipping point” means
    something irreversible over hundreds of millions of years, when it`s
    very clear that there have in the past been numerous abrupt changes in
    climate (some taking place in as little as a few years, with a general
    return to prior values sometimes taking very long periods of time) and
    that scientists today are talking about tipping points that may be reached in human lifetimes.
    Will we lose all mountain glaciers? Will the Arctic become ice-free in
    winter? Will thawing release sufficient methane from tundras and seabed
    clathrates to push the climate even more forcibly than CO2? Are we set
    to lose glaciers in Greenland and Antarctica, regardless of what we do?
    Will we dry out the Amazon basin, and interrupt the Asian monsoon?
    There is plenty of concern and evidence that these things are real

    3. “Global-warming alarmists tell us that the rising CO2 concentration is (A) anthropogenic and (B) leading to global warming.”

    But you never tell us whether you, too, Dr. Hayden, are an
    “alarmist”. Further down you acknowledge that “Nobody doubts that CO2
    has some greenhouse effect” admitting (B) (though not that it may be
    the chief factor), but as far as (A) goes, you only acknowledge that
    “CO2 concentration is increasing”. Care to make yourself an alarmist by
    admitting what cannot be denied – that man is responsible for rising
    CO2 concentrations? Or you prefer play with laymen`s ignorance by
    irresponsibly suggesting that rising CO2 is now due to warming oceans
    and not man`s activities?

    – “CO2 concentration has risen and fallen in the past with no help from mankind.”

    Yes, but what relevance is this now, when man is undeniably not simply “helping” but clearly responsible?

    – “The present rise began in the 1700s, long before humans could have made a meaningful contribution.”

    So? Does the fact that CO2 fluctuates naturally do to things other
    than man`s activities mean humans` massive releases of CO2 have NOT
    made a “meaningful contribution”? It`s very clear that the Industrial Revolution caused a dramatic rise in CO2. Surely you don`t disagree?

    – “Alarmists have failed to ask, let alone answer, what the CO2
    level would be today if we had never burned any fuels. They simply
    assume that it would be the “pre-industrial” value.”

    “Alarmists” of course is simply an unhelpful ad hom; and as for the rest, concerned scientists and laymen clearly note how CO2 has fluctuated prior to the Industrial Revolution.

    There undoubtedly many clueless laymen, just as there are some
    clueless scientists, so your sweeping statement may be narrowly

    But in the big picture, it is clear that man has had a drastic
    impact on CO2 levels – so what, precisely, is your point, except to
    confuse the issue?

    – “The solubility of CO2 in water decreases as water warms, and
    increases as water cools. The warming of the earth since the Little Ice
    Age has thus caused the oceans to emit CO2 into the atmosphere.”

    Sure, but this doesn`t mean man hasn`t been the dominant contributor to atmospheric CO2.

    Further, of course, warming oceans CEASED to release CO2 at the
    point that atmospheric CO2 started to make the oceans more acidic.

    – “The historical record shows that climate changes precede CO2
    changes. How, then, can one conclude that CO2 is responsible for the
    current warming?”

    The lag in the historical record BEFORE man simply shows that CO2,
    which has an acknowledged warming effect, was a warming reinforcer and
    not an initiator. This does NOT, of course, suggest that massive CO2
    releases by man magically have NO effect.

    4. Assuming that we ARE changing climate, is that a bad thing?

    – “A warmer world is a better world.” Maybe, but are there NO costs,
    losses or damages in moving to one? And do those people and communities
    who bear these costs or kinda like things as they are have any choice,
    much less defendable property rights?

    – “The higher the CO2 levels, the more vibrant is the biosphere, as
    numerous experiments in greenhouses have shown. … Those huge
    dinosaurs could not exist anywhere on the earth today because the land
    is not productive enough. CO2 is plant food, pure and simple.”

    I see; this is not a question of fossil fuel interests homesteading
    the sky (or being given license by govt) and so being entitled to shift
    risks and costs on us, but them beneficiently bestowing gifts on
    mankind – or dinosaurs, as Dr. Hayden may prefer! Wonderful gifts that
    cannot be returned for centuries or millenia! Yippee!

    [This is only scratching the surface of the letter, but I`m afraid I need to run for now.]

    Published: November 1, 2009 4:51 AM

  • TokyoTom [Note: my original post contained some bolding that went haywire and bolded most of the post; I`ve fixed that.]

    Okay, here`s a few more unconsidered thoughts to show how hysterical
    I am, am hooked on religion, hate mankind, [want to] return us to the Middle Ages
    and otherwise take over the world:

    – “Look at weather-related death rates in winter and in summer, and the case is overwhelming that warmer is better.”

    Sure, for If only it were so simple. The increase in AVERAGE global
    temps that we`ve experienced so far has meant little warming of the
    oceans (a vast thermal sink), and has shown up at higher latitudes,
    where we have seen a very marked warming and ongoing thawing, a shift
    of tropic zones away from the equator, disruption of rainfall patterns
    and stress on tropical ecosystems; all of this is considered to be just
    the beginning of a wide range of climate effects that have not yet been
    fully manifested for GHG and albedo changes so far,. much less to
    further increases in GHGs.

    – “CO2 is plant food, pure and simple.”

    It IS a “pure and simple” plant food, but your rhetoric implies much
    more – essentially that CO2 is NOTHING BUT plant food, and large
    releases of it have no effect on climate. And this, as you well know,
    is NOT a “pure and simple” matter.

    – “CO2 is not pollution by any reasonable definition.”

    You mean not by your reasonable definition, or under
    historical standards. But what IS “pollution”, but a social construct
    to describe the outputs of human activity that some of us have found to
    be damaging to our persons, property or other things that we value?
    Were CFCs released by refrigeration equipment “pollution” before we
    discovered that they damage the ozone layer?

    Scientists may be qualified to measure particular outputs and their
    consequences, but otherwise have no special insights into what others

    – “A warmer world begets more precipitation.”

    Sure, as warmer air generally holds more water – which in turn has a
    warming effect, let`s not forget. But as for the water itself, climate
    change leads to more severe rain events in some places but to droughts
    in others. And let`s not forget that a warmer world means that mountain
    snows don`t last until spring and summer as they once did, leaving
    streams and forests drier, and adversely affecting agriculture that
    relies on such water.

    – “All computer models predict a smaller temperature gradient
    between the poles and the equator. Necessarily, this would mean fewer
    and less violent storms.”

    Not so fast; this doesn`t hold for rain events or tornadoes.
    Further, independent paths of research indicate that while the North
    Atlantic may end up with fewer hurricanes, warming is likely to make them more intense.

    – How, pray, will a putative few degrees of warming melt all the ice
    and inundate Florida, as is claimed by the warming alarmists?

    First, note again the Dr.`s use of a strawman; no one is expect an
    imminent melt of “ALL” the ice. But significant melting and thinning of
    coastal ice IS occurring, and not merely on the West Antactic
    peninsula, which the good Dr. would realize if he`d trouble himself to
    compare his simple mental model, of reality with FACTS. As previously
    noted, coast ice sheets are plugs that slow the flow of glaciers from
    the interior. As these plugs are removed, the glaciers flow more
    quickly, via that exotic phenomenon we call “gravity”. I`ve already
    addressed this above, with links.

    – “If the waters around it warm up, they create more precipitation.”

    Yes, but does the new precipitation balance the ice being melted?
    Actual, detailed observations tell us that, despite your absolute
    certainty, that we are seeing increasing net mass losses far inland,
    not merely in Greenland but also in Antarctica. Your religious-like
    faith in your own superior understanding doesn`t make the facts go away.

    – “The ocean’s pH is not rising. It is falling, ever so slightly.
    Obviously your respondent has not the faintest clue as to how pH is
    defined. (BTW, the oceans are basic, not acidic.)”

    Yes, the good Dr. catches my mistake – pH is falling rather
    remarkably (from basic towards acidic) – but he too hastily skates past
    the main point, which is that this is due to increased atmospheric
    levels of CO2, which prove that the oceans are NOT actually releasing
    CO2 (or they`d be becoming more basic).

    I provided links in this last year here:

    Here`s more:

    From the Plymouth Marine Laboratory (UK) :

    “Until recently, it was believed that the oceans contained so much
    disolved carbonate and bicarbonate ions that any extra would have
    little effect. In fact this absorbtion was generally acknowledged a
    valuable process in protecting the planet from the worst effects of
    rising temperatures and climate change. However, in 2003 a paper was
    published in Nature (vol 425) which suggested that the increases in
    atmospheric CO2, occurring over the last 200 years, has actually
    increased the acidity of the oceans by 0.1 of a pH unit.The pH scale is logarithmic and this change represents a 30% increase in the concentration of H+ ions.

    “However, atmospheric concentrations of CO2 have been
    higher during previous times in Earths history and these high CO2
    periods didn’t cause ocean pH to change. The difference now is that the
    rate at which CO2 concentrations are increasing, is 100 times greater
    than the natural fluctuations seen over recent millennia. Consequently,
    the processes that ultimately balance the carbon cycle are unable to
    react quickly enough and ocean pH is affected. About half of all
    released CO2 is absorbed by the oceans but even if we stop all
    emmissions today, the CO2 already in the atmosphere has been predicted
    to decrease ocean pH by a further 0.5 unit.”


    “Dissolving CO2 in seawater also increases the hydrogen ion (H+)
    concentration in the ocean, and thus decreases ocean pH. Caldeira and
    Wickett (2003)[1] placed the rate and magnitude of modern ocean
    acidification changes in the context of probable historical changes
    during the last 300 million years.

    Since the industrial revolution began, it is estimated that
    surface ocean pH has dropped by slightly less than 0.1 units (on the
    logarithmic scale of pH; approximately a 25% increase in H+), and it is
    estimated that it will drop by a further 0.3 to 0.5 units by 2100 as
    the oceans absorb more anthropogenic CO2.[1][2][9] These changes are
    predicted to continue rapidly as the oceans take up more anthropogenic
    CO2 from the atmosphere, the degree of change to ocean chemistry, for
    example ocean pH, will depend on the mitigation and emissions pathways
    society takes.[10] Note that, although the ocean is acidifying, its pH
    is still greater than 7 (that of neutral water), so the ocean could
    also be described as becoming less basic.”

    “The term global warming has given way to the term climate
    change, because the former is not supported by the data. The latter
    term, climate change, admits of all kinds of illogical attributions. If
    it warms up, that’s climate change. If it cools down, ditto. Any change
    whatsoever can be said by alarmists to be proof of climate change.”

    Wonderful observation, except for the fact that IT`S WRONG; the
    change instead being deliberately led by Republicans; leading
    Republican pollster/ spinmeister Frank Luntz in 2002 pushed Republicans
    to move the public discussion away from “global warming” to “climate
    change”, because, as Luntz wrote,

    “’Climate change’ is less frightening than ‘global warming.’
    … While global warming has catastrophic connotations attached to it,
    climate change suggests a more controllable and less emotional

    Of course there IS the inconvenient fact that “climate change” is
    actually more accurate than simple “global warming”, but who cares
    about accuracy anyway, right Dr.?

    – “the earth has handily survived many millions of years when CO2
    levels were MUCH higher than at present, without passing the dreaded
    tipping point.”

    I already addressed above the point that while the Dr. seems to
    what to recreate the Cretaceous, the better for dinosaurs, most of us
    seem rather to like the Earth that we actually inherited and that the
    rest of current Creation is adapted for. He is obviously a physicist
    and not a biologist, and doesn`t seem to give any thought to the
    rapidity of the scale at which we are conducting our little
    terraforming experiment, and te challenges the pace of those changes
    are posing to ecosystems.

    – “To put it fairly but bluntly, the global-warming alarmists
    have relied on a pathetic version of science in which computer models
    take precedence over data, and numerical averages of computer outputs
    are believed to be able to predict the future climate. It would be a
    travesty if the EPA were to countenance such nonsense.”

    To put it bluntly, this is largely rubbish; there is a tremendous
    and growing amount of climate change DATA. You just make it your habit
    not to let facts get in the way of your own opinions. I would be a
    travesty if we continue to countenance posts such as yours, questions
    of relevance to Austrian purposes aside.

    – “I don’t do politics”

    Fine; I can see why that would not be your forte. But what`s very
    puzzling is that you seem to think that climate science IS your forte,
    when all you`ve show is a shocking level of arrogant ignorance.

    – “I don’t pretend to be an economic theorist.”

    And on a blog dedicated to Austrian economists, just why, one
    wonders, do the “giants” in our Mises world keep filling the Blog pages
    with post such as this, which are, on their very face, IRRELEVANT, to
    the question of how Austrians wish to address the preferences of other,
    the misuses of government and the management of unowned common

    – “he only difference between the Republicans and the Democrats
    is, in practical terms, their rhetoric. I don’t pretend to be an
    economic theorist.

    – “But the notion that we can run an industrialized giant on
    chicken manure and sunbeams doesn’t even pass the giggle test. Except
    in Washington.”

    At long last, you say something something intelligible. Except
    Washington spends trillions on nonsense at the drop of a hat, if you
    haven`t noticed recent events.

    Published: November 1, 2009 10:02 AM

  • TokyoTom

    Sorry if I`ve been a bit intemperate; that I`m rushed doesn`t excuse it.

    Dr. Hayden, you are entirely welcome to your own opinion and your
    own mental map of reality, but not to your own facts. As to your
    opinion and mental map, they are by your own admittance uninformed as
    to matters of economics and political science, but I must confess that
    I find your understanding of climate science to be seriously wanting.

    Given these, I fail to see what you offer here, other than a
    convenient, if very thin, cover for others here who don`t want to
    think, or to fight to make the world (or our own government) better.



    Published: November 1, 2009 10:11 AM

  • TokyoTom

    Bala, I appreciate your polite persistence; I`m sorry I haven`t responded yet, but I`ll get to you.

    Please note that my time is both limited and my own (though indeed
    others have claims on it), and I have no obligation to spend any of it
    responding to your importunings regarding climate science, which are
    now shading into impertinence.

    Feel free to draw whatever conclusions you wish, but a fair reader might note that:

    – my priorities may (unsurprisingly) differ from yours,
    – my chief points (and Austrian principles as to how to engage with others) have nothing to do with climate science per se,
    – I explicitly make no pretense of being a scientist or climate expert, and
    – in any case, there is no simple course to understanding reality; we
    are all forced to make decisions as to how much energy to devote to
    puzzling things out on our own (and overcoming what we know of our own
    subconscious cognitive filters) versus outsourcing this effort to
    others (by accepting things without deliberation, “on faith” as it

    Others who have been around longer will know that I`ve also devoted
    what they might consider an unreasonable amount of my time over the
    past few years, “hysterical” trying to help others work through climate
    science (and policy) issues.


    Published: November 1, 2009 8:46 PM

  • TokyoTom


    – “Tom, believing you live in a Republic with 300,000,000 people is a delusion which heads off all actual pragmatism.”

    This is not a delusion I have, but in any case it`s not at all clear
    that this or any other delusion “heads off all actual pragmatism”.

    – “Until there is actual representation, everything said by we
    proles is literally hot air (unless it’s happens to coincide with
    whatever benefits the regime).”

    I use “our government” simply as shorthand for what you call “the
    regime”, but perhaps may be more accurately described as a multicentric

    In any case, the painstaking efforts of LVMI to grow the Mises
    website, and the welcome reception of and contribution to those efforts
    by everyone here – yourself included – belies both your near-nihilistic
    cynicism and your conclusion, as to virtually every topic discussed
    here. Words are deeds, though they be more or less frivolous, weighty,
    insightful or consequential.

    If the other Mises bloggers agreed with you as to the possible
    efficacy of their words, either generally or on this particular topic,
    they simply wouldn`t bother to post.

    However, I share your concern about efficiacy, which is why I
    criticize posts such these (whether by Stephan, George Reisman, Sean
    Corrigan, Walter Block, or Jeffrey Tucker), which are, by and large,
    more of a circle jerk than an effort to engage.

    – “thank you for being respectful”

    My pleasure, but you hardly need to thank me; this is a community, after all.

    – “even though you mistakenly think I’m a nut.

    In this case, it is you who are mistaken (not that you ARE a nut, but that you think I think you are).


    Published: November 1, 2009 9:35 PM


This is last version of the comment that I tried to post several times:

method fan:

[my first attempt apparently failed to post, so apologies if this shows up twice]

– “You are insofar wrong, that not only this “data” is analysed but it is also used to “predict” the future of reality by using it in simulations!”

You miss my criticism of Dr. Hayden`s refusal to examine facts about ongoing melting in Antarctica, but of course I do NOT disagree with you that current and paleo data can be used to “predict” the future.

But of course a scientific understanding of the world, and information – in this case, both about the past and current trends of climate inputs – certainly can give us useful information about what the future may hold in store for us.

“There is no sound experimental proof that human activity-emitted carbon dioxide is the cause for some sort of global warming.”

Nicely phrased; there of course plenty of experimental proof that carbon dioxide is an atmospheric warming agent, but no experimental proof that it is “the” cause for any global warming.

While we are now running such a global experiment – one that started centuries ago and will not be played out for centuries hence and is, for all intents and purposes irreversible – and thus cannot, in the Popperian sense, even be considered an “experiment”.

Whether our ramping up of the experiment is prudent or principled are entirely different questions, and properly the subject of much discussion.

– “These guesses remind one of the idea that rain dances are the cause for rain.”

I`m tempted to make a comeback, but surely you realize your flip comparison is entirely inapropos.

Here`s hoping for more sincere discourse.


  1. TokyoTom
    November 4th, 2009 at 17:06 | #1

    ls, I appreciate your interest and considered suggestions, which sound good. There was an earlier point when I had more comments, but they seem to have tailed off when spam grew.

    Are you suggesting my posts are too long generally, or just this one?

    However, you might note that some of these longer posts serve the additional purpose of broadcasting, backing up and keeping available comments I`ve made elsewhere.

    Do other blogs get more comments? I suppose that even w/o comments I feel that at least people are listening, as I get between 20-40% of user blog traffic at any time.

    Thanks again. I must be doing something right, too, if I`ve got you biting your tongue on negative comments!

  2. liberty student
    November 3rd, 2009 at 02:58 | #2

    You post a lot of really long material, and it doesn’t seem like there is a lot of commenting.

    Maybe you should break it up into more smaller posts, and engage your audience more than trying to promote a particular position. You will probably get more attention to the topic and your ideas that way.

    Just some food for thought. I completely skimmed this, after skimming your long comments on the Mises blog. If you can’t capture my attention in 3 or 400 words, I have to move on. There is simply too much content online to read blog comments and posts that are essay length.

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