Archive for the ‘geo-engineering’ Category

Crazy Bill Gates on the need for energy innovation: We need to "fix market barriers and dysfunctions"

February 18th, 2010 No comments

[Note: Snark inside.]

As I mentioned earlier, Bill Gates has recently posted his thoughts on how to address climate issues.

Since we know Gates has been funding scientific inquiry into (and patent rights regarding) methods to dampen “climate change” affects that are expected by many to arise as a result of CO2 emissions and other factors, astute group-thinkers know that Gates has already embraced lunacy.

I invite the free thinkers to read more about Gates’ wild and crazy thoughts (such as my own refrain that libertarians and conservatives should take advantage of climate concerns to put pressure on removing barriers to innovation); here are a few excerpts (emphasis added):

Why We Need Innovation, Not Just Insulation

Posted 01/24/2010
Conservation and behavior change alone will not get us to the
dramatically lower levels of CO2 emissions needed to make a real
difference. We also need to focus on developing innovative technologies
that produce energy without generating any CO2 emissions at all.

People often present two timeframes that
we should have as goals for CO2 reduction – 30% (off of some baseline)
by 2020 and 80% by 2050. …

To make the 80% goal by 2050 we are going
to have to reduce emissions from transportation and electrical
production in participating countries down to near zero. …

If the goal is to get the transportation and electrical sectors down to
zero emissions you clearly need innovation that leads to entirely new
approaches to generating power.

While it is all well and good to insulate houses and turn off lights,
to really solve this problem we need to spend more time on accelerating
innovation. …

Unfortunately, you can never insulate your way to anything close to
zero. But because 2020 is too soon for innovation to be completed and
widely deployed, behavior change and efficiency still matter.

Still, the amount of CO2 avoided by these kinds of modest reduction
efforts will not be the key to what happens with climate change in the
long run.

In fact it is doubtful that any such efforts in the rich countries will
even offset the increase coming from richer lifestyles in places like
China, India, Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, etc.

Innovation in transportation and electricity will be the key factor.

One of the reasons I bring this up is that I hear a lot of climate
change experts focus totally on 2020 or talk about how great it is that
there is so much low hanging fruit that will make a difference.

This mostly focuses on saving a little bit of energy, which by itself
is simply not enough. The need to get close to zero emissions in key
sectors almost never gets mentioned. The danger is people will think
they just need to do a little bit and things will be fine.

If CO2 reduction is important, we need to make it clear to people what really matters – getting close to zero.

With that kind of clarity, people will understand the need for the goal
to be zero and begin to grasp the scope and scale of innovation that is
needed. …

To achieve the kinds of innovations that will be required I think a
distributed system of R&D with economic rewards for innovators and
strong government encouragement is the key. There just isn’t enough
work going on today to get us to where we need to go. …

We should at the least fix market barriers and dysfunctions that
prevent these gains from being realized. That’s just being smart.

But it’s not enough to slow the growth of CO2 given the strength of demand driven by the poor who need to get access energy.

No amount of insulation will get us there; only innovating our way to
what is essentially zero carbon energy technology will do it. If we
focus on just efficiency to the exclusion of innovation, or imagine
that we can worry about efficiency first and worry about energy
innovation later, we won’t get there.

The world is distracted from what counts on this issue in a big way.


[Update] Geo-engineering: Say It Ain't So, Bill! World's richest man revealed as sugar daddy to vicious/crackpot/envirofascist cult "scientists"

February 4th, 2010 No comments

[Note: Hope the obvious snark isn`t too confusing; some simple thoughts on an alternative view are at bottom.]

An obviously deluded Bill Gates apparently:

  • has become a global warming/carbon cultist and/or
  • has been suckered by carbon-trading swindlers or modern-day sellers of snake oil serums, and/or
  • has a plan to get even more rich by cornering the market on climate moderation services, in part through abusively seeking patents on techniques to geo-engineer the stratosphere.

An article at “Science, the propaganda arm of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, revealed on January 26 that Gates has been funding “atmospheric scientist” Ken Caldeira and others over the past three years, out of his own pocket and to the tune of $4.5 million. Caldeira was recently in the news in connection with Steven Levitt’s and Stephen Dubner’s latest Freakonomics book, which showed that even in the unlikely even that it turns out that puny mankind actually influences the climate, that wizbang mankind has a simple and easy solution. Gates, it turns out, is co-conspirator in Intellectual Ventures, the venture started by genius Nathan Myhrvold, whom is also prominently referred to in Freakonomics. Apparently, Intellectual Ventures has already been busy filing patent applications.

It`s not entirely clear what Gates, Myhrvold, Caldeira, Levitt and Dubner are up to, but since faithful readers at LvMI all know that climate change simply isn`t happening, whatever it is, it can`t be any good, can it? Sure, Gates and Myhvold are privately funding science, but aren`t they really simply creaming information off of the public investment in climate research, while seeking monopoly gains through crackpot geoengineering schemes that they hope their elite friends in our Big Brother government will fund via a massive, coercive use of tax dollars? And isn`t this exactly the reason why Levitt and Dubner, as front men, have been softening up the public for this type of soaking?

[If there`s going to be any large-scale geoengineering, LvMI readers all hope it will be conducted in a purely private manner, as suggested by our own thinking men, who have been in the forefront on intelligent schemes for man to cool the planet (by the atmospheric use of atom bombs to induce a mild nuclear winter).]

Here are a few excerpts for time-pressed readers, including some insightful remarks in the comments by a reader who is up to Gates`s tricks, and some possible further misdirection by Caldeira:

Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates has been supporting a wide array of research on geoengineering since 2007, ScienceInsider has learned. The world’s richest man has provided at least $4.5 million of his own money over 3 years for the study of methods that could alter the stratosphere to reflect solar energy, techniques to filter carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere, and brighten ocean clouds. …

Caldeira and physicist David Keith of the University of Calgary in Canada have been in charge of deciding how to dispense the money ….

Recipients of the funding include Armand Neukermans, an inventor based in Silicon Valley who is working with colleagues to design spray systems for the marine clouds, and students and scientists working for Keith and Caldeira. Funding has also helped support scientific meetings in geoengineering in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Edinburgh, Scotland, and aeronautics research related to altering the stratosphere.

There are other grantees, Keith says, but he declined to identify them or say why. “This is like a little private funding agency,” he says, though he says they plan to release more information.

Gates has shown interest in geoengineering research before. He is an investor in Intellectual Ventures, a Seattle, Washington–area firm that pursues inventions and has applied for patents on techniques to geoengineer the stratosphere. Along with officials from that organization, Gates applied for a patent in 2008 to sap hurricanes of their strength by mixing surface and deep ocean water.

What’s his ultimate goal? Gates “views geoengineering as a way to buy time but it’s not a solution to the problem” of climate change, says spokesperson John Pinette. “Bill views this as an important avenue for research—among many others, including new forms of clean energy.” (Pinette works for BCG3, a think-tank type firm Gates started last year which has no apparent role thus far in supporting geoengineering.) “Scientific and technological advances are making it possible to solve big, complicated problems like never before,” writes Gates on the Web site of the Gates Foundation, which is also not involved in the geoengineering work.

Here’s an insightful comment by a level-headed reader:

At it is stated that Bill Gates and Caldeira have filed for a joint patent. All the world should take that into consideration when looking into the ethics of all this. Caldeira has gone from science to money and that Genie aint ever going back into the bottle.

It also says that Caldeira doesn’t advocate deployment. So patents are made by people who dont intend to use them?

There is a major crime going on here. Science is the same thinking that got our world into the tipping point on the cliff position we are in now. Einstein wouldn’t have the problem solving the problem.

Caldeira’s WORDS are correct…we should not deploy. Thats where it ends. There will never be trust from humanity at this point…not to THESE people.

The message from science is so confused….we are warming, we aren’t , we can spray the atmosphere, but we will lose the corals…

and even more troubling…our skies are SPRAYED EVERYDAY…Mr Caldeira doesn’t seem to want to admit what half the world knows by now…Perhaps a third grade science student should teach him a little about contrails.

So why trust him…or any of them. They are arrogant beyond belief.

It is really quite simple: either we use geoengineering or come up with a cheap clean energy production technology. If neither of those two things happen to prevent the carrying capacity of the Earth from falling dramatically, the human population will have to be culled, either deliberately or through a natural bottleneck.

We are indisputably into The Sixth Great Extinction, and preserving the Earth for future generations is BY FAR more important than the fate of the current generation of selfish mass murders who would rather destroy the Earth’s ecosystems than change their self-destructive habits.

By the way, I am only stating the facts, not advocating any action. There is only so much any one individual can do.

[Here’s a start on an alternative read, for those of you who made it this far:
  • Bill Gates, not a stupid man, is honestly worried that we (including China, India, etc.) may be boxing ourselves in on climate change, and regards the potential consequences as serious enough that it is worth his investment into investigating how we might abate such changes.
  • Myhrvold and Caldeira honestly hold their own similar views that climate change is a concern and that geo-engineering research is desirable.
  • Scientist Caldeira – assuming those are indeed his comments – illustrates the concern that has been widely expressed by scientists about how mankind has been rapidly altering ecosystems, threatening not simply biodiversity that they personally highly value, but also the ability of those ecosystems to support still burgeoning human populations. To put it mildly, Caldeira is “hair-on-fire” concerned]
  • All of this should give pause to those who, understandably reluctant to see a further expansion of government, prefer to believe that there are no real risks as economic actors who bear no liability for any subsequent consequences continue, at an accelerating pace, to free up all of the Earth`s stored fossil carbon, to alter albedo via soot and land changes, to strip indigenous lands in favor of corporate-owned monocultures, and to strip the seas of wild fish and to alter the pH of the oceans. (a litany which is all easily documented)

Bob Murphy speculates on "The Benefits of Procrastination: The Economics of Geo-Engineering" – Cui Bono?

December 19th, 2009 2 comments

Bob Murphy (Senior Fellow in Business and Economic Studies at Pacific Research
Institute, and economist with the Institute for Energy Research) has a recent post up on the wonders of “geo-engineering” as a cure-all any potential negative consequences for our unmanaged, unrepeatable experiment with the Earth`s climate and ocean systems, appearing online as the “featured article” at The Library of Economics and Liberty.

David Henderson, whose Econoblog appears at LEL, has a post up that calls attention to Bob`s piece. I tried to post the following comment there, but since it didn“t post immediately I`ve decided to copy it here.

I note I`ve made a number of posts on geo-engineering over the past two years, including no little head-scratching over the lack of any consistent concern for principle with which Austrians seem to approach the topic.

Given Bob`s speculation on benefits, I couldn`t resist my own obervations on “who benefits”, which I have addressed more carefully here.

Here`s my comment:

Murphy may have a point about the cost of Waxman-Markey, but beyond that he is arguing at strawmen and failing to consider alternative policies, such as:

– cap-and-dividend (or alternately using revenues to eliminare corporate and payroll taxes),

– enhancing efficiency/conservation by eliminating public power monopolies,

– eliminating subsidies for dirty coal embedded in the Clean Air Act, and

– removing federal insurance caps and easing licensing hurdles for nuclear power.

We can do much to address climate concerns in ways that clearly enhance wealth, and carbon can be priced in ways that are progressive rather than regressive, but we never hear a peep about this from Bob. Does he not want a freer and more efficient economy?

Further, Bob totally fails to address ocean acidification (ecept to quote Gavin Schmidt to indicate it may be a problem), and it seems that Bob doesn`t really have a clue about the very long-term duration of the threat posed by emissions of CO2. Absent very extraordinary measuers, we are committing the climate to millenia of change.

GDP arguments are singularly unconvincing, not simply because damage to ecosystem assets is not counted (other than perhaps perversely as positive GDP growth as people are forced to pay money for adaption), but also because such they fail to measure RISKS, and in any case, such measurements are fundamentally incapable of measuring PREFERENCES [or disputes over rights].

Sure, we have to seriously consider geo-engineering options, because we now, for all practical purposes, have no real prospects of stopping rapid growth in CO2 levels as economic growth continues worldwide. We have painted ourselves into a corner, and continue to tighten the corner for our children. Bob fails to understand that the geo-engineering options he considers are all very limited bandaids with potential costs that are unlikely to be borne solely by those who try to implement them.

Finally, given all of the uncertainities about the costs and benefits of geo-enginnering options AND the existence of policy options other that cap-and-trade, Bob is totally unjustified in his sweeping generalizations that procrastination may be optimal. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” comes to mind, as well as the thought that if one has trepidations about the nature of the road ahead, it makes sense to get ready, including studying geo-engineering – but it`s hardly a precaution if one, instead of taking his foot off the gas, rather slams it down on the pedal – exactly the “conservative” course that Bob actually counsels.

Let`s not ignore that the “status quo” course is actually a path of continued massive geo-engineering, via CO2, other GHGs, soot from coal fires and coal-powered plants, and continuing tropical and Siberian deforestation.

How convenient that the “conservative” course is the one that suits those who have been generating climate risks, and who are loath to surrender their “homesteading” rights over our atmosphere and central governments.

And how convenient that they pay Bob.

For climate fever, take two open-air atom bombs & call me in the morning; "serious" libertarian suggestions from Kinsella & Reisman!?

November 4th, 2009 No comments

First, George Reisman, and now, Stephan Kinsella.  I have asked two of our leading lights whether they and libertarians are striving for a self-satisfied irrelevancy on climate issue, or wish to be taken seriously, and they both, with self-professed seriousness, announced that we should, in Stephan`s words, “investigate nuclear winter as a way to offset alleged global warming“.

I`m afraid these proposals leave me a bit stunned. On first blush – nay, lengthy consideration – such proposals can not in the least be considered libertarian, or something libertarians could countenance. This is the way to libertarian relevancy, and to take both the challenge of statist climate change proposals and libertarianism itself seriously? 

I don`t get it – is this obvious sarcasm or straightforward mockery of climate concerns, an inside joke, from which suspected “watermelons” are excluded, or am I just not on the right sober, libertarian wave-length?

And am I the only one who notices and is jarred by the cognitive dissonance in these messages from our leading lights? You know – puny man can`t possibly be affecting the climate, but if so, it`s something we can easily fix with a little “geo-engineering” (even if we have to use the state), so let`s just let our little ongoing and uncontrolled world-wide climate geo-engineering experiment continue?

Readers` help appreciated!

I copy below relevant passages, both from Dr. Reisman and from Stephan (emphasis added).

1.  George Reisman: Global Warming: Environmentalism’s Threat of Hell on Earth  March 16, 2007 (emphasis added):

In contrast to the policy of the environmentalists, there are rational
ways of cooling the earth if that is what should actually be necessary,
ways that would take advantage of the vast energy base of the modern
world and of the still greater energy base that can be present in the
future if it is not aborted by the kind of policies urged by the

Ironically, the core principle of one such method has been put
forward by voices within the environmental movement itself, though not
at all for this purpose. Years ago, back in the days of the Cold War,
many environmentalists raised the specter of a “nuclear winter.”
According to them, a large-scale atomic war could be expected to
release so much particulate matter into the atmosphere as to block out
sunlight and cause weather so severely cold that crops would not be
able to grow. …

Certainly, there is no case to be made for an atomic war. But there is a case for considering the possible detonation, on
uninhabited land north of 70° latitude, say, of a limited number of
hydrogen bombs. The detonation of these bombs would operate in the same
manner as described above, but the effect would be a belt of particles
starting at a latitude of 70° instead of 30°. The presence of those
particles would serve to reduce the amount of sunlight reaching most of
the Arctic’s surface. The effect would be to maintain the frigid
climate of the region and to prevent the further melting of its ice or,
if necessary, to increase the amount of its ice. Moreover, the process
could be conducted starting on a relatively small scale, and then
proceed slowly. This would allow essential empirical observations to be
made and also allow the process to be stopped at any time before it
went too far.

This is certainly something that should be seriously considered by
everyone who is concerned with global warming and who also desires to
preserve modern industrial civilization and retain and increase its
amenities. If there really is any possibility of global warming so
great as to cause major disturbances, this kind of solution should be
studied and perfected. Atomic testing should be resumed for the purpose
of empirically testing its feasibility.

2.  Stephan Kinsella & TokyoTom, Physicist Howard Hayden’s one-letter disproof of global warming claims  October 29, 2009

Stephan Kinsella October 30, 2009 10:03 AM

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?)


TokyoTom November 3, 2009 4:01 AM

Austrians know very well that resource battles very often become
politicized as soon as government steps in; are “misanthropes” and
“rotten watermelons” responsible for the state grant of public utility
monopolies, the lack of court enforcement of common law rights to
protect property from state-licensed corporation that led to massive
pollution problems, the massive state role in the development of
nuclear weapons (that you & George Reisman mock-seriously suggest
the federal govt ought to start using again in the open atmosphere) ….


Stephan Kinsella November 3, 2009 8:00 AM

I don’t remember Reisman’s proposal, but I never said the feds should do it. I’m an anarchist, remember?


3.  Stephan Kinsella & TokyoTom, In which I applaud another balanced, productive post by Dr. Reisman, and draw attention to a post by Lew Rockwell on the need for more power competition (Apr 23 2009)


# Friday, April 24, 2009 2:27 PM
Stephan Kinsella

left yabbers about nuclear winter caused by nuclear bombs. This implies
nukes can be used to cool things down. The left yabbers about global
warming. Why is it unreasonable to investigate whether nuclear bombs
could not be used to cool things down and offset global warming? Which
one of these two contentions are you watermelons not serious about?

# Friday, April 24, 2009 9:45 PM

I was just talking about the frumious bandersnatch and in walks the
yabberwocky!  Such coincidences are to be celebrated!

But surely you`re not serious about open air nuke tests to combat
climate change, but Reisman was, and on the LVMI main pages.  His
discussion was not the type of facetious one you throw out to dodge
addressing it.  You disappoint me.

What the left yabbers about is worth mocking, but anyone worth his
salt as a libertarian would do like Lew and spend a little time
acknowledging that preferences for green power, etc. are perfectly
fine, explaining that the reason for their frustration is public
utility regulation that stifles competition and protects utilities, and
suggesting approaches that would foster consumer goals while advancing

But it`s so much funner to be like George, right?

What would Ludwig von Mises have said?…/draft.aspx (quoting Reisman`s translation)


# Sunday, April 26, 2009 2:25 PM
Stephan Kinsella

it’s time to drop your sarcasm and just be direct and clear. I am
serious–why not investigate nuclear winter as a way to offset alleged
global warming?

As for all the fulminating against global warming… are you aware
that we are in an interglacial period, probably somewhere near the
middle? The earth is bound to start cooling and heading towards another
ice age before long. If global warming is real, it will only delay
this–which is good. In any event, suppose we impoverish ourselves to
slightly decrease the warming for a few decades, until natural cooling
starts anyway. Why do this.


# Friday, May 08, 2009 7:54 PM

thanks for your comment, but I`ve been preoccupied.  However, it`s hard
to believe that you want Dr. Reisman`s suggested testing of atom bombs
in the Arctic to be taken seriously from ANY perspective, much less a
libertarian one.  There are obvious issues about the role of
government, consent and compensation of those facing fallout risks, the
problem of interfering with Arctic ecosystems and access to resources
that are coming available as a result of thawing, potential releases of
methane by the explosions themselves, plus small things like
international treaties as crf notes.

Are you suggesting that I`m “fulminating” about “global warming”?
 I`ve just been trying to steer the discussion from fulminations by
Reisman (and fawning worshippers) towards actual libertarian principles
and productive engagement.

“are you aware that we are in an interglacial period … Why do this”?

I don`t agree with your suppositions, but at least they provide a start for conversation.  

My reading indicates that climatologists agree that the Milankovich
cycles are in a unique period of overlap and, given the forcings that
we have already made (starting millenia ago with albedo changes/methane
releases resulting from agriculture), this interglacial is expected to
last for another 50,000 years, and that man`s activity is by far the
largest climate forcing variable – and we`re only heading north.  This
involves heavy pollution and will be accompanied by other large costs
to private and shared assets, including drastic changes in ocean
chemistry and ecosystems.

Mises, Yandle and others recognize that societies invested in
establishing informal and formal private and communal property rights
systems in order to tame tragedy of the commons problems and lead to
more efficient plan formation; IMHO it`s time for us to start managing
our atmosphere and oceans, instead of allowing those who profit from
exploiting these resources (a wealthy class of investors and
executives) to continue to do so while playing a rent-seekers` and
spoilers`s game that allows them to continue to shift costs to the rest
of us.

A focus on this will also help to shift down the environmental
Kuznets curve and improve the protection of private health and property
in China and elsewhere.


4. Greenpeace to advocate nuking the earth?

Scientist publishes ‘escape route’ from global warming
reports the emergency plan to save the world from global warming, by
altering the chemical makeup of Earth’s upper atmosphere. Professor
Paul Crutzen, who won a Nobel Prize in 1995 for his work on the hole in
the ozone layer, believes that political attempts to limit man-made
greenhouse gases are so pitiful that a radical contingency plan is
needed. … he says that an “escape route” is needed if global warming
begins to run out of control. … Professor Crutzen has proposed a method
of artificially cooling the global climate by releasing particles of
sulphur in the upper atmosphere, which would reflect sunlight and heat
back into space.”

Hey, if that doesn’t work, why not use the phenomenon of nuclear winter to cool things down? You know, explode a few nukes, kick up dust, cool things down. Any takers? Greenpeace? Earth First?

Senate to host presentations by Am. Meteorological Soc. on geoengineering and carbon capture

November 18th, 2008 No comments

On Friday, November 21, the American Meteorological Society is putting on a seminar at the U.S. Senate entitled “Two Engineering Measures to Reduce Global Warming: Injecting Particles into the Atmosphere and “Clean” Coal”.   The presentations will address the following interesting questions:

  • What is geoengineering?
  • How might injecting sulfate aerosol particles into the stratosphere result in a temporary planetary cooling?
  • Would this be analogous to creating the equivalent of a long-term volcanic eruption?
  • Would this be a permanent solution to a global warming or an exercise in buying time to effectively address the root cause of the climate problem?
  • What is the logic behind it and what are the mechanics of it?
  • What sorts of policies would likely have to be in place in order to engage in such a venture?
  • Who decides and who is liable if things go awry?
  • Does science inform us of the potential risks and negative impacts of engaging in such a venture?
  • Is clean coal and carbon capture and storage one and the same?
  • What is meant by the term ‘clean’ in clean coal?
  • Does the technology currently exist to produce clean coal on a massive scale and if so, at what cost relative to today’s energy costs. What are the risks of leakage of CO2 from underground storage reservoirs after the fact?
  • Who is likely to be liable for leakage?
  • How much of a difference would clean coal technology ideally make in mitigating our present climate trajectory?

The moderator will be D. Anthony Socci, AMS Senior Science Fellow,  and the speakers will be:

Alan Robock, Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science; Director of the Meteorology Undergraduate Program, and Associate Director, Center for Environmental Prediction, Department of Environmental Sciences, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ  (an IPCC participant)

Dale Simbeck, Vice President and Founding Partner of SFA Pacific, Inc., Technology and Energy Consultants, Mountain View, CA

The announcement of the seminar outlines some answers to the above questions.

It appears that the AMS management still that that climate change is an important concern, and one that is sufficiently pressing that “geoengineering” efforts (which acknowledge the continued rise in atmospheric GHG levels) merit analysis.  It is not clear what Senate committee is sponsoring this seminar.

[Update] Another Clear Thinker at Mises warns us about "The vicious lie behind the global warming scare"!!!

June 26th, 2008 No comments

This time it`s David Veksler, with a post on the main LvMI blog, with the title I`ve quoted above.

Why is it that so many Mises commentators flee from reason and prefer a fever-pitched focus on strawmen when it comes to addressing environmental issues?

I copy below my comments on the thread [note:  I’ve added a few links, along with bracketed comments]:

David, I read your post with interest, but came away disappointed, for a number of reasons.

First and foremost, you didn`t identify the “vicious lie” behind the global warming scare.  What`s the lie, what`s vicious about it, and who`s behind it?

Second, even if THERE BE VICIOUS LIARS behind the AGW scare (the monolithic movement of envirofascist/commie/watermelon man-haters), you really haven`t helped me figure out why it`s so important  that we should focus our attention and energies on the vicious liars

Do they occupy the entire universe of people who have announced their concern over climate change, man`s likely role in it and what if anything we should do on  a organized basis about it?  Or do they so predominantly provide the driving power and strategy for such concerns that we should simply ignore everyone else as mere puppets of the All Powerful Enviros – that is, all of the prestigious National Academies of Science (East, West and South), other scientific associations, the period internationally reviewed digests of ongoing scientific work regarding climate change, all of the world leaders who have backed study and action for the past twenty years, corporate leaders (including captains of insurance, finance, industry, power and fossil fuels), leaders of established religions, and defense and intelligence heads?

Third, assuming again that there are vicious enviro-liars, you clearly overstate their views on geo-engineering, which run the gamut from reflexive opposition to a nuanced recognition that, given the long-lasting effects of GHGs and the continued ramp up in emissions worldwide, some degree of geo-engineering may be desirable. [Enviro-liars like me have made a number of blog posts on geo-engineering]

Fourth, you paint, without support or discussion, a rosy picture of how cheap and effective geo-engineering is likely to be.  I`m not very well-read in this, but from what I`ve seen, they are not cheap or certain and offer potential negative consequences as well.

Fifth, you ignore the fact that the institutional settings in which geo-engineering will occur are clearly statist.  The firms that have started to explore “ocean fertilization” have done so in the expectation that carbon capture and sequestration efforts would be compensated under incentives created by carbon-trading schemes.  While your tacit approval of use by states of tax dollars to cure problems that our industries have created for us seems hardly libertarian – in the face of adamant opposition to the decades-old arguments (by vicious liars like Stephen Hawking [whom you link to], Joe Stiglitz, Kenneth Arrow, Thomas Schelling, Robert Mendelsohn, William Nordhaus, Martin Weitzman and Gregg Mankiw [many whom I’ve referred to a number of times]) that governments introduce disincentives to GHG releasing activities – it certainly seems rather prevalent.  [In effect – the principled/preferred approach seems to be to let industry transfer costs to others and THEN use government/tax dollars to pay for remediation; that way, politicians can dole out pork twice – first, by looking the other way; then, by regulating in a way that locks in advantages for established firms.]

Dr. Reisman, for example, has thought long and hard and come up with a number of brilliant statist ideas, for which he longs for a good old-fashioned heavy industry-loving left to spearhead, including the following:

“there is a case for considering the possible detonation, on uninhabited land north of 70° latitude, say, of a limited number of hydrogen bombs. … This is certainly something that should be seriously considered by everyone who is concerned with global warming and who also desires to preserve modern industrial civilization and retain and increase its amenities. If there really is any possibility of global warming so great as to cause major disturbances, this kind of solution should be studied and perfected. Atomic testing should be resumed for the purpose of empirically testing its feasibility.”

Sixth, you fail to explain to your readers on the basis of Austrian understandings – from von Mises through Block and Cordato – why we should not take seriously the expressed concerns of the vicious enviro-liars (or others) about AGW.  Are there no problems that arise when property rights are not in place for open-access resources or are not clearly aligned to external costs, or if homesteading and private transactions are not practical?  Or when resources are “owned”, but mismanaged by governments and fought over by rent-seekers in political battles?  In such cases, do Austrian insights tell us to ignore the preferences and frustrations of particular groups of people, in favor of other groups that apparently have done a better job of purchasing political influence? 

Seventh, as a tactical matter, are essays like this the best approach to productively engaging the all-powerful enviro-liars?

Shall we ignore any underlying commons problems simply because we hate the vicious enviro-liars?  Or is it your view that, in hating the enviro-liars, we most effectively resolve commons issues – by clarifying that powerful industries (those few not controlled by enviro-liars, that is) have first dibs on them, and that those with other preferences need to pay off industry (and their political handlers)? [Of so, then have we just clarified the applicable property-rights rules?  Great!  Now citizens and other groups will know how to proceed to with “market” transactions!]

I could go on, but as you can see, I`m simply puzzled and lack your clear views about whom we should hate and what we should do.

Sadly, my confusion seems to be shared by a number of others here, who also seem confused about the principled basis and efficacy of hating enviro-liars, whomever and wherever they may be.

In fact, the responses by others here are almost enough to make a good Austrian wonder whether even the Mises board has been infiltrated and infected by vicious enviro-liars!

You might consider asking the blog administrators to take close note of those who are clear sympathizers of the enviro-liars, and where appropriate to suspend commenting or blogging privileges, such as for particularly vicious and unprincipled man-haters.  Watermelons should be roasted whenever and wherever found, I say!  Enviro-haters, unite! 

Or maybe you`re way ahead of me on that? 

[There’s gotta be a good way, after all, to remove the “stain” of those nasty enviros or to at least to contain the infection threat posed by their evil but insidious views.  Let me know if I can make any further suggestions.]



More on deliberate cooling via geo-engineering

June 21st, 2008 No comments

See Ron Bailey’s recent summary of developments about whether it may be possible to buy time on climate change with technological fixes.

Libertarian Iain Murray supports government funding of geo-engineering approaches.  See my previous posts for more on geo-engineering.

More at the NYT’s Dot Earth blog

Possible geo-engineering obviously poses a number of sticky issues regarding government action in this area, including justification, choices of technology and responsibility for possible risks.


GeoEngineering – More on How to Cool the Globe

October 24th, 2007 No comments

More on geo-engineering at the NYT by climate scientist Ken Caldeira:

I will visit later the question of whether this is something that should be investigated.