Search Results

Keyword: ‘clean air act’

Are libertarians interested in Lessig's call for cross-partisan action (campaign reform and Constitutional amendment) to clean up Congress?

October 9th, 2010 No comments

As I have previously noted, renowed Harvard Law professor Lawrence Lessig is also seriously concerned about political corrpution and the Citizens United decision.

I recommend to readers his recent Washington Post op-ed, his related WaPo interview by Fred Hiatt and his August talk to TED Boston (which can be found here, though Lessig has yanked it because of an apparently spurious Lincoln quote about corporations).

In addition, as I think there is a role for libertarians to play in informing the discusssion, I copy here his September call for a non-partisan effort to reform Congress at Fix Congress First! (emphasis added): 

Where We Are, Where We’re Going

September 22, 2010

By: Lawrence Lessig

On Thursday, the House Committee on Administration will take a vote on the Fair Elections Now Act — the bill that we, along with many others, have been pushing for the past two years. The Committee will pass the bill. With a bit of luck, and a lot more pressure, the managers of the bill believe it could have the votes to pass the House as well. If they’re right, and if the Speaker allows the bill to come to the floor, then for the first time in a generation, the House will have ratified fundamental and effective campaign finance reform.

This optimism will surprise many of you. As I’ve travelled to talk about this issue, the overwhelming attitude of people who want better from our government is that our government is incapable of giving us better. The House ratifying Fair Elections would be the first, and best evidence, this skepticism might be wrong. It would also be a testament to the extraordinary work of organizations like Public Campaign and Common Cause (especially the campaign director, David Donnelly), as well as many others, including MoveOn, the Coffee Party, You Street (as in “not K Street”) and many of you. This victory would give American voters an idea worth fighting for. It would be a critical victory, at least if we can gather the final few votes needed in the House. (You can help in that by using our Whip Tool).

But we should recognize that this victory would also be just a first step. I don’t believe the Senate will pass this bill this session, which means the fight must begin again in January. So as we’ve been at this now for almost two years, I wanted to give you a sense of where we are and where we’re going. I also want to begin to share with you my own sense of how to get there.

This isn’t a short letter. But I hope you’ll take the time to read it. (Here’s a PDF if you want to print it). We all need to understand the kind of fight this will be. And after many sleepless nights thinking it through, I believe I have a sense of what victory will require.

Reform Movements, Past

The fight to win in the House has been a traditional legislative battle waged effectively and well. I joined this fight late, and I’ve been happy to help however I can. But the kudos here goes to those I’ve already mentioned. Fingers crossed, they will have done what the experts thought was impossible.

But as I’ve said many times before, we cannot rely upon this inside the beltway fight alone. The change that the Fair Elections Now Act would effect would change Washington fundamentally. There are too many inside DC who depend upon the system as it is — for their own wealth, and future. They are not about to permit this fundamental change, and they have not yet even begun the fight against it.

Instead, the battle to pass this reform will require something that none of us have seen in our lifetime — a broad based, cross-partisan, citizens movement that demands fundamental change in how our government works.

This movement must take aim at the core corruption that is our government. Not the corruption of bribery, or improper (as in illegal) influence. Instead, it must attack the in plain sight corruption of the current system of campaign finance. Our Congress has become dependent upon their Funders. Their attention is devoted to their Funders. And like a 5 year old watching his dad on his BlackBerry, we get that we’re no longer the most important souls in their lives. In a very precise sense of the term, this Congress has been corrupted by this competing dependency. We must change this.

The last best example of this sort of change is a movement that is as misunderstood as any in American history — the Progressive Movement. Most of us today think the “progressives” were liberals. No doubt many were. But as I described in a piece for the Huffington Post, Progressivism was actually a multiparty movement. It was a Republican, Wisconsin Senator Robert La Follette, who took up the Progressive cause for the Right, by challenging a sitting Republican President, William Howard Taft. La Follette lost, but he inspired Republican Teddy Roosevelt to return from the wilderness to wage a third-party campaign against Taft. In that election of 1912, America had an extraordinarily broad range of ideologies to choose among: Eugene Debs ran as a Socialist, Taft ran as a “standpat” Republican, and two Progressives ran between these two extremes: TR, a former Republican, and Woodrow Wilson, a new kind of Democrat. Almost 70% of Americans voted for these two leading Progressives, with Wilson — the more conservative, small government, pro-liberty Progressive — beating Roosevelt by almost 15 points.

Of course, the Liberal Progressives of 1912 wanted different things of government from the Conservative Progressives. But despite these differences, they shared a common recogniti All Progressives believed that government had become corrupted. That with its appointed Senate, and enormously powerful corporate funding of elections, our democracy, they all believed, was no longer a democracy. The government had become dependent not, as Federalist No. 52 puts it, “upon the People alone.” Instead, it was the People who were left alone, as the government did what ever it could to curry favor with the richest and most powerful in society.

Progressives of all stripes wanted to restore that democracy — again, not because they all agreed upon a single platform for government action, but because they all believed that the platform of democracy had to be restored if we were to be true to the best ideals of the founders.

Cross-partisanship was thus the first feature of that Progressive Movement. Headlessness was a second. Though there were many important Progressive leaders, the Progressives had no single leader. Every Progressive group did their own work in their own field. None tried (for long at least) to claim the authority of the movement as a whole. Everyone recognized a common need to reform a corrupted government, and worked with astonishing public commitment to achieve that reform in addition to the particular policy objectives that their wing of the Movement wanted to push.

Finally, there was one more critical element to the Movement’s success: citizens. This was not ultimately a movement controlled by politicians. Of course, we remember the movement for its politicians. TR, and Wilson, and perhaps now that I’ve mentioned him, La Follette. But politicians were not the lifeblood of that movement. Citizens were. There were thousands of leaders in hundreds of fields, from women’s suffrage to the temperance movement, to labor reform, to judicial and electoral accountability. These citizens were the giants. Yet the overwhelming majority of these people never dreamed of running for office. They had been awoken from a slumber by the repeated and grotesque excesses of a corrupted government. And they worked hard to end that corruption, not to become famous senators, or president. But so that they could go back to their private life, and do the private things they wanted to do.

It was this cross-partisan, headless, citizens movement of passion that changed the American government at the turn of the last century. Not in perfect ways. In some cases, not even in smart ways. But the point to remember is that this change happened in the only way real change ever does: From the many, putting aside key differences, to focus the swarm upon the key problem in government: corruption.

Reform Movements, Today

As hard as this might be to believe — given the way most of us are oriented by party leaders who want to keep us loyal to the way things are now — each of these elements of the old Progressive movement is returning to American politics.

Start with passionate citizens: We have not in our lifetimes seen as angry and frustrated a citizenry as we now have. That anger sometimes expresses itself poorly, but we need to get beyond this critique. From the Tea Party to the Coffee Party to the millions of Americans who call themselves “Independents,” America is filled with citizens who are desperate to end the corruption that is our government. Many of these citizens thought they had their reform leader in 2008. All of them are now looking for the leaders who can deliver the reform that 2008 didn’t.

“Leaders,” not “leader.” The key here is the plural. We are used to movements in the style of Mussolini: charismatic leaders, like FDR, Kennedy, Reagan, who unite millions to a cause. But that’s not what’s happening here. No doubt there are leaders, but none who can pretend to speak for the full breadth of this movement. Indeed, my heroes are people like Mark Meckler, and Jenny  Beth Martin, who however much I disagree with them on policy substance, conceive of the movement they are trying to build (the Tea Party Movement) as a swarm, not an army; as headless, not the borg. This is the model of real reform. It is the model that our reform too must make successful.

And finally, cross-partisanship: The Tea Party Movement has been framed as right wing. Its most successful candidates are on the far right of the Republican Party (localized at least: Scott Brown is no Rand Paul, but he is the Right of Massachusetts). But the most significant and important part of the Tea Party Movement is the demand for fundamental change, not just a change in parties. And in this respect, they are no different from many of us on the Left. No doubt, we don’t have common ends. But we do have a common enemy. And we need to find a way to push a common movement that defeats this common enemy, through the peaceful mode of revolution given to us by our framers: Democracy.

In the next two years, I want Change Congress to help this Neo-Progressive movement. That may well not be the right name, given how misunderstood the term “progressive” now is, but it is the right idea. We need to build a community of citizens, each taking the initiative to teach a message to Republicans, Democrats, and Independents alike: that regardless of your party, regardless of what you want government to do (or not do), the current system is the enemy. And regardless of what you want government to do (or not do), you won’t make progress to your ends until this system fundamentally changes.

This lesson won’t come from lectures by law professors. It won’t be taught by senators, or candidates for president. We will only spread it if we can get at first thousands, and then millions, to carry the word friend by friend. In house parties, over dinner, in Rotary Clubs, and in small meetings. We need to provide the tools, and build a platform to help spread the message. But the message here is not Read-Only. It is Read-Write. We must give citizens the resources to enter into this debate, and then encourage them to spread the message as broadly as they can.

This will make our work somewhat different from others in this movement. The standard form of digital advocacy today is clicktivism — finding ways to get people to react to messages, to push support (and of course, raise dollars) to one group and then another. The strategy is simple: Build a list of people who agree with you, and push their buttons so they click yours in return, and send you cash, and support.

We want to do something different. We want to build a conversation that engages a wider and wider community, focused on the single objective of fundamental reform. We want that community to spread the message. Not just our message, or my message, but their message, or at least a message remixed, hand-made, by them.

Here’s how are are going to do this.

We’re first going to build out more explicitly the cross-partisan character of Change Congress [now Fix Congress First]. Already our board has an extraordinary mix of talent. In the next 6 months, we will expand that mix more. All of these leaders are leaders in their own field. None of them intend to be leaders in government. Indeed, as I think about who to recruit to this list, the single question I ask myself is this: Can this person inspire others without others believing the inspiration is just the first step to their own political campaign?

Second, while we continue to build the board, we will also strengthen the communities that it supports. Today, many of you associate the work of Change Congress with me. If we are successful, next year, the vast majority of Change Congress followers will not even recognize me among the many who are pushing this message. None of us, me especially, will try to claim control of this movement. All of us, and me especially, believe there is only a movement when there are many cells of strength each pushing in its own way. Remember: A swarm, not an army; headless, not the borg.

Third, as we multiply the parties, and multiply the leaders, we will push to spread tools that anyone can use to learn, spread, and teach the message. Through SlideShare, we will make available the assets anyone needs to craft this story in the shape that makes most sense to them. Through our video channels on Vimeo, YouTube, and, we will make available as many of the telling of these stories as possible, for you to use however you can to do the same with your friends. The mission here is shared. The responsibility is all of ours. And through the work of all of us, we will build a recognition of the kind of change that is needed here.

Justice Louis Brandeis, perhaps the greatest, and certainly the most misunderstood, Progressive of the last century, warned “the greatest menace to freedom is an inert people,” and demanded “that public discussion is a political duty.” When I first read that quote, it sent a chill down my spine. For of course: We, as a People, have become “inert.” We have not lived up to our “political duty.” We have instead allowed the professionals to take over our politics.

But we have a chance to do something here. It will take an enormous effort to teach and then persuade. We don’t have easy anger to tap into here. But as I’ve found as I’ve given more than a hundred talks over the past few years, there is real anger and real commitment to this issue once the issue is understood. Our role in this must be this ground campaign — building a large and powerful base that recognizes the peculiar corruption of this Congress, and how it must change.

Here’s how you can help:

  1. Visit Don’t simply sign up for the mailing list. Instead, read about the Fair Elections Now Act. Skim the blog to get a sense of the current conversations happening around election reform. Convince a friend, online or off, about the need for fair elections. If we can get one million people each to have a real conversation about corruption and campaign finance, we will have succeeded.
  2. Do join the Fix Congress First mailing list if you’d like to stay informed. Better yet, tell us if you’d like to volunteer, and we’ll let you know when opportunities arise.
  3. Visit the Fix Congress First whip tool to see which members of Congress haven’t yet supported the Fair Elections Now Act. Call your representative if he/she is not a supporter, or send your thanks if she/he is.
  4. Use your networks. Spread the word. Take things into your own hands. Tell us how we can help you and how we can do better.
Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Clean-up in Aisle 7; Or, In Which I Heroically Litter Walter Block's Post on Littering

July 26th, 2010 No comments

 I refer to Walter Block’s the July 14 Mises Blog post Defending the Litterer, an excerpt of his “Defending the Undefendable” book.

In his final two paragraphs, Block concludes:

In the light of the inflexibility of the government, and its apparent lack of interest in accommodating public tastes, how is the litterbug to be viewed? The litterbug treats public property in much the same way he would treat private property if he were but free to. Namely, he leaves garbage around on it. It has been demonstrated that there is nothing intrinsically evil about this activity, and that but for governmental calcification, it would be as widely accepted in the public arena as it is in the private. It is an activity that should be regulated by people’s needs, not by government fiat.

We must conclude, therefore, that far from being a public enemy, the litterer is actually a hero. The courage exhibited by the litterer, given the intense campaign of vilification directed against him, is considerable. Even more important, the behavior of the litterer who purposefully “takes the law into his own hands” can serve as a protest against an unjust system.

I left the following comment:

TokyoTom July 25, 2010 at 10:49 pm

If littering is “heroic”, then so is the wholly self-interested use of other publicly-owned resources, open-access commons, and poorly-policed private property. Who cares what others – envirofascists, the lot of them (from my neighbors to others who use the resource)! – think? It is our DUTY to be heedless of others; those smug goody two-shoes who think they’re doing the “right thing” by not inconveniencing others (or who ridiculously devote time and effort to clean up what us good libertarians – as a public service – despoil) are actually doing everyone a DISSERVICE, by refusing to help accelerate a shift of all property into the hands of people who will fall all over themselves to cleanup after us!

Brilliant; I see it clearly now: BP is being HEROIC for messing up “wild resources” like “fish”, “shrimp” and “oysters” and “walruses” in the Gulf, the livelihoods of the lowlifes who catch them, and the budgets and property of other people living down there who like a “clean environment”. It’s the polluter, after all, whose public-spirited acts show that the real problem is not the one who indirectly injures others, but the government system that hasn’t assigned private property rights to all so-called “common pool” resources (or gotten out of the way, so the big boys could claim them for themselves)!

Same is true with all of those corporate polluters whose concentrations of money enabled them to persuade judges to ignore strict common-law protections of private property, and who deliberately proceeded to pollute Willy-nilly (in a public-spirited way, of course). Rather, it was all of those stupid people forced to breathe in the dirty air, drink the dirty water and on or in pollute land who then petitioned big brother to help who were wrong, and who subverted the noble goal of the industry owners of homesteading pollution rights to do pretty much whatever they wanted.

But I’m confused about one small thing: if “public-spiritedness” is for enviro fascists and suckers, then why are you appalling to it by calling litters “heroes”? Doesn’t our mission – to see the end of all public ownership and the destruction of all commons – demand that we eschew all sappy appeals to “community” or common good, and insist on individual selfishness instead?

This would be good to know, because it would mean that LvMI commenters could put down the burden of trying to police comment threads, or upbraiding authors who disappoint. Instead, we could all nobly (oops, selfishly, I mean?) become litters, even here!


Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

More lunacy? James Murdoch/News Corp. argues for "Clean energy conservatives can embrace"

December 7th, 2009 No comments

Readers might also want to take note of this December 4 recent WaPo op-ed by James Murdoch, chairman and chief executive (Europe and Asia) of News Corporation, which is targetted at getting Republicans involved in approving climate legislation.

Now is a good time, given the shift generated by the Climate Hack and ongoing economic difficulties. Perhaps a “conservative” or two might even consider clean energy policies that would actually produce GREATER economic freedom? I`m not holding my breath; such proposals have been roundly denounced even here among what passes for the thoughtful at LvMI.

What`s wrong with Murdoch? Doesn`t he know that emails have shown that climate change is the figment of the imagination of a vast left-wing conspiracy by idiots, evil capitalists and co-religionists like the Catholic Church, who want to destroy civilization, or at least to put us and foolish leaders in China, India and elsewhere under their boot? 

The piece will be surprising only to those who haven`t been paying attention to the Murdochs.

Much of the piece – justifications for Republicans to agree to climate/clean energy legislation – is nonsense, but the closing paragraphs are worth a gander (emphasis added):

Competition trumps regulation. A sensible clean-energy
policy should free, rather than constrain, markets. Smart policy
corrects market failures and provides certainty, stimulating investment
in the technology and infrastructure necessary to build an economy
based on clean energy.
Washington must ensure that such investment will
be rewarded. The government shouldn’t “pick winners” –– it should
unleash competition, ensuring that the cleanest businesses thrive and
the dirtiest are held accountable. A well-crafted federal law to limit
pollution is better than unfettered regulation by the EPA or
ever-changing regulation by the states.

The seeds of these opportunities have already been planted. And
companies that have taken the lead are prospering. At News Corporation,
we have saved millions by becoming more energy-efficient, overhauling a
range of systems from the production of such shows as “American Idol”
and “24” to energy usage in our buildings around the world. This has
yielded savings that help us invest more in talent and has inspired us
to look for further opportunities to improve.

You do not need to believe that all climate science is settled or
every prediction or model is perfect to understand the benefits of
limiting pollution and transforming our energy policies — as a
gradually declining cap on carbon pollution would do. This is the
moment to champion policies that yield new industries, healthy
competition, cleaner air and water, freedom from petroleum politics and
reduced costs for businesses.

Through market-based incentives we can achieve clean energy at the
lowest cost and with the strongest incentives for innovation —
ensuring that the energy solution will help, not harm, the economy.
Republicans such as Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) get this and are working
across party lines to build support for new legislation. Previously
conservation-minded conservatives are missing in the heated
partisanship of today’s politics. It’s time they found their voice

“The Climes, They Are A-Changin`”!

Categories: climate change, Murdoch Tags:

Republicans (Sen. Lindsey Graham & others) give Dems a climate deal? In exchange for streamlining for nukes, "clean coal" subsidies, offshore drilling, carbon price ceiling & import taxes

October 12th, 2009 No comments

Senate Dems, who lack sufficient votes on their own to approve a cap-and-trade bill over a possible Republican fillibuster, have sought help from sympathetic Republicans, who have apparently used this leverage to broaden the bill and to extract key concessions on various issues; such  concessions are sure to please a wide range of lobbying groups, and it looks like there may be a good chance that they will be sufficient to slip a cap-and-trade bill past opposition from coal-producing and -burning states.

The framework of the bi-partisan package was spelled out on Sunday, October11, in a joint NYT op-ed, “Yes We Can (Pass Climate Change Legislation)”,  by liberal Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) and conservative Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC).

While details are sketchy (and details sure to still be fought over), it looks like Pres. Obama will have, if not final legislation, then at least high prospects for a cap-and-trade bill that he can use for the negotiations that will start in a few weeks in Copenhagen (over the shape of a global climate treaty to replace the expiring Kyoto Protocol).

Excerpts from the Kerry-Graham op-ed are here (emphasis added; with a few comments in brackets):

Many Democrats insist on tough new standards for curtailing the
carbon emissions
that cause global warming. Many Republicans remain
concerned about the cost to Americans relative to the environmental
benefit and are adamant about breaking our addiction to foreign sources
of oil
[Republicans are so easily jerked around over “energy security”].

However, we refuse to accept the argument that the
United States cannot lead the world in addressing global climate
change. [but do China, India and others want to follow?] We are also convinced that we have found both a framework for
climate legislation to pass Congress and the blueprint for a
clean-energy future that will revitalize our economy, protect current
jobs and create new ones, safeguard our national security and reduce
pollution. …

First, we agree that climate change is real and threatens our
economy and national security. That is why we are advocating aggressive
reductions in our emissions of the carbon gases
that cause climate
change. We will minimize the impact on major emitters through a
market-based system that will provide both flexibility and time for big
polluters to come into compliance without hindering global
competitiveness or driving more jobs overseas. [cap-and-trade]

Second, while we
invest in renewable energy sources like wind and solar, we must also
take advantage of nuclear power, our single largest contributor of
emissions-free power. Nuclear power needs to be a core component of
electricity generation if we are to meet our emission reduction
targets. We need to jettison cumbersome regulations that have stalled
the construction of nuclear plants in favor of a streamlined permit
that maintains vigorous safeguards while allowing utilities to
secure financing for more plants. We must also do more to encourage
serious investment in research and development to find solutions to our
nuclear waste problem

Third, climate change legislation is an
opportunity to get serious about breaking our dependence on foreign
. For too long, we have ignored potential energy sources off our
coasts and underground. Even as we increase renewable electricity
generation, we must recognize that for the foreseeable future we will
continue to burn fossil fuels. To meet our environmental goals, we must
do this as cleanly as possible. The United States should aim to become
the Saudi Arabia of clean coal.
For this reason, we need to provide new
financial incentives for companies that develop carbon capture and

In addition, we are committed to
seeking compromise on additional onshore and offshore oil and gas
— work that was started by a bipartisan group in the Senate
last Congress. Any exploration must be conducted in an environmentally
sensitive manner and protect the rights and interests of our coastal

Fourth, we cannot sacrifice another job to competitors
overseas. China and India are among the many countries investing
heavily in clean-energy technologies that will produce millions of
jobs. There is no reason we should surrender our marketplace to
countries that do not accept environmental standards. For this reason,
we should consider a border tax on items produced in countries that
avoid these standards
. This is consistent with our obligations under
the World Trade Organization and creates strong incentives for other
countries to adopt tough environmental protections
.[probably just a signal to China & India; any bill would have to leave flexibility to the Administration.]

Finally, we
will develop a mechanism to protect businesses — and ultimately
consumers — from increases in energy prices. The central element is the
establishment of a floor and a ceiling for the cost of emission
This will also safeguard important industries while they
make the investments necessary to join the clean-energy era. We
recognize there will be short-term transition costs associated with any
climate change legislation, costs that can be eased. But we also
believe strongly that the long-term gain will be enormous. …

If Congress does not pass legislation
dealing with climate change, the administration will use the
Environmental Protection Agency to impose new regulations. Imposed
regulations are likely to be tougher and they certainly will not
include the job protections and investment incentives we are proposing. 

The message to those who have stalled for years is clear:
killing a Senate bill is not success; indeed, given the threat of
agency regulation, those who have been content to make the legislative
process grind to a halt would later come running to Congress
in a panic
to secure the kinds of incentives and investments we can pass today.
Industry needs the certainty that comes with Congressional action.

Joe Romm on the left applauds the proposed deal (though there is sure to be disagreement about support for coal, nuclear power and offshore oil & gas exploration), and Bill Scher says “Sen. Lindsey Graham Crosses the Climate Rubicon” and thus “made a deal all but inevitable”.

On the right, Michelle Malkin reports that she was right to warn about Republican turn-coats, the National Review `s Gore-haters are dispirited, and MasterResource, the coal-funded “free market” energy blog by libertarian Rob Bradley, has nothing to say.

Political scientist Roger Pielke, Jr. notes the lack of precision and suggests that Republicans now have the upper hand in negotiating the bill.

More reaction and background that readers may find useful is here:

Let’s Try This Again: Are There GOP Senators Who Will Back The Climate Bill? (Bill Scher, Campaign for America`s Future, October 7, 2009)
Senators link drilling with cap-and-trade (Houston Chronicle, October 6, 2009)
Is Lieberman at it again? (Politico,


On the Climate Bill Fence: How Sen. Graham Got There by Bill Chameides (Dean of Duke U`s school of the environment) | Aug 27, 2009

– More on other senators by Bill Chameides

From a libertarian perspective, I ask other libertarians and those on the right whether it is not too late to get a leaner climate/energy bill, that would:
  • instead of a cap-and-trade program (that hands out emissions permits free to existing fossil fuel users, with costs being borne regressively by energy users), use upstream carbon taxes, with the revenues rebated per capita to all Americans;
  • allow limited use of offsets in lieu of taxes (effectiveness of eligible offsets to be insured for a period of 50 years) by Lloyd`s of London);
  • eliminate subsidies for all energy technologies (including ethanol and biofuels)
  • provide that at least half of all revenues taken in by the federal
    government and state government for offshore oil & gas leases and for coal leases will be paid per capita to citizens (and state residents);
  • allow nuclear fuel reprocessing and breeder plants, while eliminating federal insurance for nuke plants;
  • eliminate the grandfathering of dirty coal-burning plants under the Clean Air Act;
  • allow immediate tax deduction of a ll capital expenditures (eliminating multi-year amortization limits);
  • eliminate mandates that public utilities increase use of green, renewable fuels, in favor of the removal of antitrust protection for the grant of local monopolies (and other measure that introduce real competition into the retail power sector), and application of Commerce Clause protection to those who want to sell power out-of-state;
  • establishes energy efficiency targets, as opposed to mandates, with awards to category winners, and publishes results;
  • privatize the TVA (by distributing shares per capita to all who are served by TVA);
  • publish information on the locations of coal fly-ash storage sites;
  • make it clear that federal and state licenses for energy facilities and mines are not licenses to pollute, do not extend any immunity for actual damages caused, and do not prevent injunctions for facilities identified as causing particular damage; and
  • to dampen NIMBYism, establish compensation schedules for federally-licensed facilities, and encourage states to do the same (based on distance and like wind and water flow).

Google electrifies power consumers by pairing its free PowerMeter software with a power monitor provider; sideteps public utility monopolies

October 9th, 2009 No comments

“If you cannot measure it; You cannot improve it.”

— Lord Kelvin

I noted in February (“Empowering power consumers: Google beta tests software to give consumers real-time info“) that Google, whose climate change-related efforts I’ve blogged about previously,
has been beta testing a new “PowerMeter” software that – when coupled with a “Smart Meter” installed by the local utility – will help consumers to measure, track and compare their real-time
electric usage, thereby allowing them to make better choices as to when
and how they use electricity, and to better match such use
to the pricing programs of their utilities. Google testers
have found that the software allows them to relatively easily cut use
(by an average of 15%), and to save on their electricity bills by an
even greater percentage.

Google has just announced that it has side-stepped the need for consumers to wait for their utility to install a smart meter, by partnering directly with TED (“The Energy Detective“), the provider of the TED 5000 device, presently priced at about $200, that consumers can  have attached to their power supply.

More information is here (from The Energy Circle, which has been testing PowerMeter with an earlier TED device) and here (CNET).

Next up? Hope springs eternal that developments like this will remind policy makers, pundits, pressure groups (like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and browbeating enviros like Joe Romm) that the real reason for the nasty public squabbling over “green” power mandates and subsidies (as I noted in a recent post about Steven Milloy`s railing about “evil” GE and federal stimulus
) is the fact that power markets are not free, but are burdened by sweet – and horrifically inefficient – cost+ deals to the public utilities. As I noted previously:

While there are plenty of root causes for the calls for legislative
and regulatory mandates in favor of clean / green / renewable power,
such as:

  • concerns about climate change,
  • the political deal in favor of dirty coal under the Clean Air Act, 
  • the enduring role of the federal and state governments in owning
    vast coal fields (the royalties from which it does not distribute to
    citizens but go into the General Pork Pool), 
  • the unwillingness of state courts, in the face of the political
    power of the mining industry, to protect persons and private from
    pollution and environmental disruption created by mining,
  • the deep involvement of the government in developing, encouraging and regulating nuclear power,

the most obvious and proximate root
cause is something that attracts far too little attention – the
frustration of consumer demand for green energy, and the inefficient
and inaccurate pricing and supply of electricity
.  It`s prettty clear that the
grant of public utility monopolies and the regulation of the pricing
and investments by utilities greatly restrict the freedom of power
markets, from the ability of consumers to choose their provider, to the
freedom of utilities to determine what infrastructure to invest in, to
even simple information
as to the cost of power as it varies by time of day and season, and the amount power consumers use by time of day or appliance.

With freer markets, we would see much more competition, better
pricing, much more cost-saving (and conservation), and more money
flowing into green power. So why is so little attention being paid to
all of the gains that could be achieved from less – and more rational –
power regulation?

Rob Bradley cheers on coal, but are all those who want to better manage commons and environmental impacts "Malthusian" idiots, or only in the case of coal?

February 5th, 2009 No comments

Rob Bradley has a new post up at MasterResource, cheering on big (and now “clean”) coal, which has apparently received assurances from the Obama administration – after being bad-mouthed by NASA scientist Jim Hansen, Steven Chu and Obama himself – that, despite pressures from the “Malthusian anti-energy crusade” regarding climate change impacts, the recent massive TVA fly-ash spill and opposition to destructive mountaintop removal practices in Appalachia, coal will remain profitable during Obama’s term and central to US energy supplies.  Hooray!

But I wasn’t quite clear on all of Rob’s message, so I asked him a few questions in the comment thread:

Rob, are the John Badens, Terry Andersons, Bruce Yandles, Elinor Ostroms and others who want to find ways to manage our commons better – by improving ownership, incentives and pricing signals – also part of a[n evil] “Malthusian crusade”?

I just wanna make sure I know who to hate.

As for that big fly-ash breach/spill in Tennessee, I’m glad that you didn’t point out how this was a result of government ownership of TVA, with the added benefit that costs will be borne not only by direct and indirect victims, but by taxpayers as well. No sense in pointing out how government is so often in the way, particularly if it detracts from our “we hate enviros!” message. Last thing we ever want to do is to reach a shared understanding with enviros of the institutional underpinnings of problems, since that means our funders might lose some of their fairly purchased, government-given special privileges.

While it’s clear that “free-market” Rob cares little about whether the coal industry continues commercial activities that shift the environmental costs and risks (including potential costs arising from GHG emissions) to others, I forgot to ask Rob whether, as a hearty cheerleader for those poor coal underdogs, he also supports their position that the government should subsidize their change in business model by (a) having Uncle Sam pay the bulk of capital costs for IGCC (integrated gas combined cycle plant) [something like $1 billion for the first one with CCS], (b) giving them a further break (reduced royalties) on the sweet deals they already have for stripping coal from public lands and (c) – now that the federal government is getting into the busy of running the financial sector – making sure that power producers that want to use coal have easy access to credit, by twisting the arms of those uppity Wall Street financiers who with their fancy new “Carbon Principles” and “Enhanced Due Diligence” seem a bit too reluctant to extend credit for coal-fired power plants.

Here’s hoping Rob weighs in further.  I want to make sure I’m not messing up when I try to distinguish the “white hats” from the “black hats”.   From what I can tell so far, seeking to manipulate government policy for your own benefit is evil – as long as you’re not a coal firm, and we call the evil ones “Malthusians”.  Right?

Rent-seeking: CEI’s Chris Horner comes clean and acknowledges that climate denialists and alarmists are peas in the same pod

January 14th, 2009 2 comments

In an earth-shaking 😉 essay in today’s Human Events, CEI‘s Chris Horner comes clean and acknowledges that climate denialists and alarmists are peas in the same rent-seeking pod. 

We have encountered Horner,  former lawyer and now full-time scourge of envirofascists on behalf of the firms that fund the Competitive Enterprise Institute (and author of “Red Hot Lies: How Global Warming Alarmists Use Threats, Fraud, and Deception to Keep You Misinformed), a number of times here previously.  I consider Chris to be very knowledgeable and insightful, but it seems to me that his passion paints him into a corner as a spokesman for one side of the commercial interests seeking to influence policy, hinders a broader self-awareness, and leaves him with little ability to reach out to persuade others.

Says Horner:

Further, the premise behind most alarmist slurs, of the “tobacco scientist” variety and the ritual claims of “ties” to “big oil” or “industry,” is that a scientist’s convictions and those of other dissenters are for sale. Yet it is illogical to assume that dissenters can be bought but alarmists cannot. Looking at the balance sheets on both sides, their logic would conclude that the greatest amount of corruption occurs on the alarmist side.

With federal expenditures on climate-related research soaring above $5 billion annually – more than we spend on AIDS or the National Cancer Institute – and hundreds of billions in “rents” to corporations pushing these schemes should the alarmist campaign succeed, the potentially corrupting factor of money cannot be ignored.

Someone saw a good investment in giving Al Gore $300 million for his “climate crisis” re-branding campaign. Gore’s advisor (and, officially, NASA astronomer) James Hansen and other activists receive enormous sums of money underwriting their alarmist activities, sums that no “skeptic” has ever been accused of receiving. Meanwhile Gore—the king of claiming that those who disagree are merely in it for the money—makes millions annually from all manner of enterprises premised upon the climate crisis, and his lucre will increase several fold upon passing the laws his alarmism demands.

The difficult truth is that the alarmists cannot logically fault the skeptics’ credibility without also faulting Gore’s credibility, and that of their heavily compensated alarmist mouthpieces. Yet no “skeptic” receives as much as Gore or even Hansen from shouting falsities about the issue.

The delicious irony found in the global warming alarmists’ claims is that it is they who closely resemble the “tobacco scientists” they accuse those who oppose them of being, and are quite plainly the ones stuck on “denial”.

Several thoughts occur to me:

First, most of Horner’s points are perfectly fair, but it’s interesting that he can make them while ignoring what they imply about himself and others who are denialists (since Horner calls those concerned about the effects of releasing all of the fossil carbons “alarmists”, for the sake of balance, let’s call him and others “denialists”, as opposed to “dissenters” or “skeptics”).

Second, Horner fails to distinguish between amounts spent by governments and amounts spent by rent-seekers directly.  While large government expenditures are “potentially corrupting”, such expenditures clearly do NOT directly corrupt the results of scientific investigations, nor do they directly influence decision-making by government, politicians or others.  As a result, such expenditures are certainly in a different class than direct and indirect rent-seeking (via paid mouthpieces, contributions to think tanks, campaign contributions, junkets and the like) by special interests.

Third, while Horner is right to note that there are large amounts flowing to support rent-seeking via alarmist mouthpieces like Gore, there is nothing really new here – this is just plain old garden-variety rent-seeking of the same type that we have seen from the denialists (fossil fuel interests and others who have different preferences regarding rights to the atmosphere and science/defense-budget priorities).  In one sense this is a relief – as it clarifies that the chief financiers of the alarmism are not out to destroy capitalism – but  one is left wondering WHO, precisely, is doing the funding and what precisely are their objectives.  While some may be looking for favors from government, others may be sincerely concerned about the potential consequences of releasing all of the fossil carbon stored up since the Age of Dinosaurs and the lack of any market mechanisms to express their preferences.

Fourth, while more information on rent-seekers is needed, it’s clear that most of them are commercial interests, whom our laws say are legal persons and our courts have declared to have the same Constitutional rights to spend freely to influence government via “free speech” as do you or I.  While a discussion of the merits of legal personhood is beyond the scope of of this post, I wish to draw attention to the role of limited liability, in fuelling the growth of (i) the corporate form, (ii) rent-seeking (at all branches of government) by corporations, and (iii) public pressure by citizens’ groups (and faux-citizens’ groups) to fight over the wheel of government.

Finally, Horner oversteps when he argues that the alarmists’ views must be based on a premise that “scientist’s convictions and those of other dissenters are for sale”. I think a little more nuance is called for.  We are cognitively wired as tribal animals.  That means we are inclined to see “our side” as right, and the other side as lying and scheming. While very clever rent-seekers know this and try to use it to jerk us around, this does not mean that any particular group – or its spokesmen – has consciously sold itself out.  Rather, as William Butler Yeats famously noted, “the worst are full passionate intensity” – and each of us is good at the self-deception needed to provide the requisite conviction and self-righteousness.  Perhaps not only Al Gore, Jim Hansen and Horner’s frequent sparring partner Joe Romm share this quintessential human trait, but also Chris Horner himself?

"Clean coal" leaves a big mess; which faceless employee, manager or shareholder committed this tort?

December 26th, 2008 3 comments

Yes, I’m referring to the bursting of the TVA holding dam in Kingston, TN a few days ago, leaving a Christmas Eve present of millions of cubic feet of wet fly ash several feet deep over hundreds of acres downstream, including now valueless private homes and property, and flowing into the Clinch River and Tennessee, where fish kills have been reported.  A video from a helicopter fly-over here; local coverage is here

Enviros and the press were fairly quick to point out that the federal government has declined, under industry pressure, to more strictly regulate the disposal of fly ash (replete with heavy metals and arsenic, and which has been captured in increasing amounts as clean air regulation requires greater “scrubbing” from power plant emissions) – but I’d like to make the point that this is the kind of faceless tort that we get from limited liability corporations, including federally-owned ones like the TVA , where shareholders have little interest and zero practical ability to monitor the risks created by the corporation. 

Further, this type of rent-seeking and money-influenced political balancing is
par for the course, and is a natural outcome of the replacement of the pro-industry, “pollute for free” era with the “government regulates industry” era that Walter Block speaks of

Limited liability:  a gift of the state that keeps on giving!


Lomborg misapplies the "Copenhagen Consensus" to ignore carbon pricing and yet argue for massive government investments in clean energy

September 4th, 2008 No comments

I copy below comments I made on a related thread at Roger Pielke, Jr.’s Prometheus science policy blog, regarding recent duelling op-eds on climate change policy between the left-leaning Danish political scientist Bjørn Lomborg and economist Gary Yohe.

Lomborg has stirred up discussions of environmental issues with his books, The Skeptical Environmentalist (2004) and Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist’s Guide to Global Warming (2007), and conceived, organized and directs the Copenhagen Consensus Centre at the Copenhagen Business School, where Lomborg is now an adjunct professor.  Yohe, on the other hand, is a professor of economics at Wesleyan University (Ph.D. Yale), is a leading economist on climate change an one of the Lead Authors of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s Third and Fourth Assessment Reports.

At issue in the dust-up between Lomborg and Yohe were discrepancies in interpretation of (1) the conclusions of the 2008 Copenhagen Consensus – by which a panel of leading economists tried to prioritize various government policies for improving welfare in the developing world – and (2) the challenge paper on climate change that Yohe, Richard Tol and others prepared and submitted to the Copenhagen Consensus panel.

My remarks were as follows; for more context, please see Pielke’s post and thread (linked above), as well as his follow-up post (here) (minor edits and emphasis added):

Round 1:

If I may venture a few comments:

“1. It seems to me that Tol and Yohe have a point that Lomborg has confused his readers as to what Yohe and Tol concluded, but fail to focus on the point of confusion – only Roger seems to have caught the drift, but doesn’t identify any responsibility for Lomborg in it.

Lomborg first mentions Yohe as “one of the lead economists of the IPCC” who “For the Copenhagen Consensus … did a survey”. But in concluding what climate policy should be, Lomborg completely ignores the strong recommendation of Yohe and Tol (for a policy that focusses on mitigation, with R&D investments to be primarily market driven and some limited government-funded efforts to aid adaptation in developing countries) for “the best climate solution from the top economists from the Copenhagen Consensus”, without making any effort to clearly distinguish Yohe/Tol from those who voted on the CC ranking.

Says Lomborg, “if we are to find a workable and economically smart solution, we would do well to look at the best climate solution from the top economists from the Copenhagen Consensus. They found that, unlike even moderate CO2 cuts, which cost more than they do good should focus on investing in finding cheaper low-carbon energy. This requires us to invest massively in energy research and development (R&D). Right now, we don’t – because the climate panic makes us focus exclusively on cutting CO2.”

But none of these conclusions can be derived from the Yohe/Tol work, and since Lomborg first refers to them, it is a puzzle that he did not do a better job of distinguishing their conclusions from those of the CC voting panel of economists.

2. The disjunction between Lomborg scoffing at Tickell’s concerns about the immediate and long-term effects of a global average warming by 2100 in the range of 3-4 degrees C (with costs to global GDP of only a few %) and but then nevertheless insisting that climate risks “requires us to invest massively in energy research and development (R&D)” is more than a bit much.

If there’s no serious problem, why should our governments do anything about it? If there is – and a global average temperature increase of 3-4 degrees C sounds EXTREMELY serious to me – why is having governments throw money at the best solution? Why does Lomborg think the CC ranking means we should ignore what the entire economics profession has been telling us for decades about pricing carbon, and about letting private markets determine where investment funds should flow and what other behavior changes are warranted?

3. Lomborg’s assertion that “climate panic” makes us focus exclusively on cutting CO2, at the expense of R&D, is not merely unsupportable but manifests a fundamental misconception – apparently also embedded in the CC process – as to what drives (and who makes) investment in market economies.

Absent a serious concern about climate change, there is simply little justification for government funding of low-carbon energy R&D investments. That we are finally seriously talking about such investments in the US (Warner-Lieberman was full of such pork) is only a result of what Lomborg dismisses as “climate panic”. Clearly, then, mitigation and government R&D funding can go hand-in-hand and in fact are intimately linked.

But the more basic confusion is that R&D of the type Lomborg and the CC calls for is in fact already underway – in the private economy. Because there is really little justification for the government to directly be making such investments, it is wrong to somehow lump this R&D into government expenditures, in the manner that both Lomborg and the CC do. Rather, the vast bulk of such investments can be made by the private economy once carbon pricing mechanisms – which are really a form of factor pricing with respect to what has until now been a valued but unpriced open-access resource – are in place.

For purposes of the CC valuations, the only real governmental cost that should be measured is the cost of establishing measures to administer carbon prices; these can be extremely cheap if carbon taxes are used, or more expensive if politicians prefer opacity and side deals for rent-seekers (cap and trade). In either case, the administrative costs will be much less than the level of private R&D that carbon pricing will elicit from markets.


Round 2:

 “I would agree with davidacoder: the misrepresentation here lies in the silly rules of the CC exercise and the liberties Lomborg takes in describing the conclusions.

The whole premise of the CC is that if governments are going to spend a limited pot of money, what would they spend it on? The economists’ panel recognized the foolishness of this in part by putting Doha at second to the top – and explained that freeing trade costs nothing and in fact improves GDP. Much the same for climate change – although in this case the economists didn’t focus on the question of whose pocket the money was coming from. To pose the issue starkly, if governments imposed and fully rebated carbon taxes, what do the carbon taxes cost the governments? Nothing, but an effective mitigation industry nevertheless springs up. Meanwhile, governments remain free to spend on other priorities.

Of course, an observer might note that if governments DON’T rebate carbon taxes or permit revenues, they actually have MORE revenues to spend on a Copenhagen Consensus agenda, not less.

Accordingly, the CC ranking tells us almost nothing about climate change policy.

Thomas Schelling’s explanation for the low ranking for climate change specifically confirms that they were looking only at government dollars spent, for which one looks at mitigation only if it is the government paying industry/utilities to mitigate:

“The reasons why climate change measures came out so low on the list of priorities are that, for one, the Conference tried to look at cost-benefits, and, for another, its original idea was to rank things in terms of priority for immediate expenditure of money. Therefore, we proposed to eliminate poverty over and above anything else. The trade liberalization ranked fairly high. This was expected, whenever economists got together to talk about a variety of things including trade liberalization. The climate issue became lower ranks, because the paper on climate advocated for the project that stretched out to the year 2250 with the estimated costs to be in many trillions of dollars. We did not see how spending any part of 50 billion dollars on climate change measures would make a difference, although putting way down the list did not necessarily mean that we considered it as not an urgent subject. We put climate way down the list of priorities, because we did not see how spending a little bit of money over next few years would significantly improve the cost effectiveness.”

Further, as I and others have noted, the papers presented and the conclusions of the economists panel certainly don’t tell us, as Lomborg would have it in his editorial, that mitigation strategies “cost more than they do good”. This is a liberty too far, not only from the Yohe/Tol paper, but from Chris Green’s as well. Green specifically suggests using a mitigation-spurring carbon tax to raise the pot of money for government-spent R&D:

“If the $60 billion were raised by a carbon tax, then even a tax with a 25% cost of public funds would stay within the CC budget constraint ($60 + 25(60) = $75 billion). A tax of $4 per ton CO2 on just 50% of the approximately 30 GtCO2/yr (~8GtC/yr) currently emitted would raise 60$ billion/yr. But frankly, if it were politically feasible, I cannot see why we cannot do better by starting with a more robust $8-10/tonne CO2, and then allow the tax to rise gradually over time. To keep within CC ground rules the extra revenues could be used to reduce other taxes that have even higher marginal costs of public funds.”


Round 3:

 “Roger, as to justifications for government R&D soending, I think my main point stands; namely, that Lomborg is wrong to blame “climate panic” and a focus on mitigation for stymieing low-carbon energy R&D investments.

In market economies, it is the private economy that makes investment decisions and drives wealth, not the government. While there is plenty of low-carbon energy R&D investments already underway, one of the the most effective ways to get more research done is to send the market carbon pricing signals. The government may of course decide to drive research by spending for it itself, but this is money that has to come out of the pockets of the private economy.

In either case, the government can only act in a meanful way if politicians are supported by a sufficiently serious concern about climate change. Those who argue for mitigation are NOT getting in the way, but are obviously pushing things along. If Lomborg believes that the best way to move policy along is to bash his putative allies and throw government money/pork to those are blocking policy change, then even while I oppose pork I’d at least be able to understand where he is coming from.

In response to my position that “Absent a serious concern about climate change, there is simply little justification for government funding of low-carbon energy R&D investments,” you argue that “The costs of energy, energy demand, energy security, and non-climate environmental concerns all provide solid justifications for such investments.” In this, apparently I am even more of a “non-skeptic heretic” than you, who take a classic big-government position (hard to say whether your position is liberal or conservative these days, after we’ve just wasted trillions in Iraq on an “energy security” fantasy).

The market addresses all of these concerns well. The only items I have sympathy for are some you haven’t listed – but which Jim Manzi argues for at Cato:

“improved global climate prediction capability, visionary biotechnology to capture and recycle carbon dioxide emissions, or geo-engineering projects to change the albedo of the earth’s surface or atmosphere”

We should leave decisions on particular investments in energy technologies with private markets. Governments will never have more knowledge than markets do, and they tend to give us pork-barrel boondogles instead, like synfuels and corn-fed ethanol.”


Some comments (2006) to Chris Mooney about anti-Malthusian Ron Bailey on doomsayers, extinctions and DDT

January 6th, 2015 No comments
Here are some comments that I sent to Chris C. Mooney in response to his June 2, 2006 blogpost, “Some Ron Bailey Writings.”

Chris, in addition to the comments I’ve already given, let me note the following:

1. On Club of Rome and the Malthusian issue generally, the doomsayers were right to perceive problems that are still with us, but they failed to understand how market supply and demand work to call forth new supplies and technologies. Now we use sand [glass fiber] instead of copper for our telecommunications. They were very wrong on commodity prices, but what were the consequences? We adapted, so it can hardly be said to be one of the “worst” abuses of science (in any case the projections were not an abuse of science, but mistaken modelling).

In the big picture, Club of Rome was exactly right about a point on which we are still struggling – like any other species, humanity is a part of its environment and we must be concerned about our impact on the environment. Without the proper feedback mechanisms – which are provided now soleyl by disease, war and properly functioning markets – we will expand up to the Earth’s carrying capacity, overshoot and crash, as we have from time to time in the past, as Jared Diamond points out (but Diamond doesn’t understand environmental problems as market-failure problems either).

Are all the feedback mechanisms working properly worldwide? There is still lots of misery and starvation in the third world, and where markets don’t work we have internecine slaughter like in Rwanda and constant instability in Haiti. Global ecosystems and environmental services are still at severe risk, and regional resources like Asian and South American tropical forests, tropical reefs and oceanic fisheries, and wild species everrywhere, precisely for reasons that Ron Bailey understands well – because markets do not work well where property rights – private or communal – are not clearly defined or not effectively enforced.

On this, I recommend that you take a look at Ron’s piece last year on the problems and solutions for New England fisheries: How to Save New England’s Fishing Villages – If only the fishers will allow it. The solution? Creation of private rights that allow a market to function; here, “Individual transferable quotas” (ITQs) that are exactly the same as taken for SO2 trading in California under the Clean Air Act and the GHG emissions permits now trading under Kyoto. These tragedy of the commons issues persist globally and must be addressed, unless we wish to see ineffectively owned resources destroyed.

It’s also worth pointing out that the Malthusians have been wrong only becuase our technological ingenuity has enabled us to wrest more and more from nature. Nature may be getting a break in the West, but it’s due not only to fossil fuels (and a AGW cost that is not being paid) but also because we’re sourcing more and more from the developing world – the oceans are being strip-mined, the Amazon being converted to soybeans and the Asian tropics to palm plantations, and the second/third worlds are definitely converting forests to food. Environmental services are not costed into the moder economy.

I also recommend you look at the Business Rountable’s policy paper on how to help the developing world improve their economies and prepare for climate change – in particular recommendations 2 (kleptocracy – “public” resources are not protected but exploited to line the pockets of elites) and 5 (lack of effective propertty rights) specifically point out that these institutional failures lie at the core of the third world’s problems.

2. I think there is more recent information about one in seven of all bird species being threatened. Whatever the rate is, it is huge, and just like fisheries, it’s entirely due to the lack of effective property rights. The bright spots are where landowners have figured out that they can get a good income from using and protecting wild resources. We’re still fighting about whales, even though we have obvious solutions such as ITQs being applied to other fisheries in NZ and AK.

Ron can argue with you about the numbers of species, but he really can’t disagree that the loss of this genetic information is a disgrace many worse than the burning of the library of Alexandria, and certainly is a result of failed markets that should be fixed.

Since libertarians like Ron and others on the right actually know all about the problems of market failure, where is the big effort being made to fix these problems?

3. On DDT, I imagine you know that Tim Lambert at Deltoid already has all of the answers handy.

4. This isn’t one of your questions, but I think it is fair to note that the failures of the left relating to science have really been failures to understand the institutional reasons for problems and so failures to propose the right solutions. Those on the left who have been saying that we need to change human nature or abandon capitalism have been saying so because they simply don’t know otherwise how to “fix” capitalism’s flaws.

But as I imagine you know, the misuse of science the right, on the other hand, has been entirely intentional, cynical and venal, and designed to allow favored interests (rent-seekers) to continue to pay cheap for dear public resources (including using the atmosphere as a GHG dump), for the financial and partisan benefit of those running the government. See John Baden, a grandfather of libertarian, free-market environmentalism for his take on the corrupt Republicans:

Good luck!



Categories: Uncategorized Tags: