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Bob Murphy’s Bogus “Consensus” Argument on Climate Change

Bob Murphy’s got a new climate change post, originally written for the Institute of Energy Research, now gracing the pages of The Mises Institute.

I made a few remarks, but my links seem to have triggered a spam filter, so I’m re-posting them here.


what they actually found was that of the sampled papers on climate change, only one-third of them expressed a view about its causes, and then of that subset, 97% agreed that humans were at least one cause of climate change.

Thanks, Bob. That sounds like there are damned near ZERO climate scientists who argue that human activities (CO2, other GHGs, soot, particulates?) AREN’T a cause of climate change.

I co-authored a Cato study with climate scientists Pat Michaels and Chip Knappenberger, in which we strongly opposed a U.S. carbon tax. Yet both Michaels and Knappenberger would be climate scientists who were part of the “97% consensus” according to Cook et al. That is, Michaels and Knappenberger both agree that, other things equal, human activity that emits carbon dioxide will make the world warmer than it otherwise would be.

WOW. So EVEN the Cato guys (the ones who deceived Jerry Taylor into thinking CO2 does nothing, and who quit and started Niskanen when he realized he’d been lied to) AGREE that human-emitted CO2 (fossil-fuel emissions; that have increased global atmospheric levels by ~50%, and are also affecting ocean pH and vegetation) WILL MAKE THE WORLD WARMER? [Alarmists!] Do YOU agree with them too, Bob?

[From Leder’s New Republic piece:]

Deniers have managed to undermine how the public views climate science, which in turn makes voters less likely to support climate action.

Interesting that you don’t address this charge about rent-seeking/-defending behavior at all. Could it have something to do with who funds IER, which pays you? IER and its more honestly political sister group American Energy Alliance (which also pays you) are fossil fuel industry front groups; they were once funded in part by Exxon, until it decided (1) in 2008 to “discontinue[] contributions to [IER and] several public-policy research groups whose position on climate change could divert attention from the important discussion about how the world will secure the energy required for economic growth in an environmentally responsible manner” and (2) to come out in 2009 in support of carbon taxes:

Your unwillingness to be straight up with your motives on this topic, especially at the Mises Institute, is disappointing — and doubly so, since you’ve made a noble appeal for truth-in-advertising, something foreign in the political discussion to which all AGW issues now seem to descend.

The sad result? Unfortunately at Mises Institute it’s pretty much exactly the debasement that you decry: “the reaction here is to guffaw at the hubris and creepy lack of doubt about how the world [works],” on the parts of scientists and other alarmists.

It’s too bad our leading Austrian thinkers won’t explain, much less live up to, their principles, but I DO thank you for showing more careful readers how strong you, Pat and Chip think the case is among scientists for concern about AGW. 


I wonder if Bob’s posting at the right site? Or is this the kind of crap that the Mises Institute wants for traffic and that ‘Austrians’ these days lap up in order to avoid hard thinking about big-government crony capitalism?

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