"He's a snake in the grass, I tell ya guys; he may look dumb but that's just a disguise; he's a mastermind in the ways of espionage." Charlie Daniels, "Uneasy Rider" "Free market" Rob Bradley prefers to mock enviros rather than to make common cause - TT's Lost in Tokyo

"Free market" Rob Bradley prefers to mock enviros rather than to make common cause

Robert L. Bradley, Jr. is an energy expert (author, former speechwriter for Key Lay and director of public policy analysis at Enron, founder and CEO of Institute for Energy Research) with libertarian leanings. 

But in a series of posts on climate issues on the recently launched  "free market" energy group blog MasterResource that he spearheads, Rob doesn't come off as much of a libertarian, free-market guy as he suggests, since he doesn't so much advocate for free market approaches to such issues as he takes evident pleasure in mocking enviros (and the preferences they share with many others) - all while ignoring that the status quo isn't free of rent-seekers (precisely as Roderick Long and Ed Dolan have criticized libertarians).

1.  Take, for example, his January 25 post, Why Do the Alarmists Feel Bad About Debates–and Debating?.  In this post, Rob examines an online debate between scientist Joe Romm of Climate Progress and Jerry Taylor of Cato, notes that Joe later seems to acknowledge that Jerry did better in the debate, but skips over some of Joe's chief criticisms of "skeptic" opponents by concluding:

Mr. Romm has all but conceded that the skeptics of climate alarmism beat the alarmists in debate, posting about it here and here. He blames it on the dishonesty of the "deniers," but in fact they might have a much stronger intellectual and practical case. And I dare say that Romm does not feel he did particularly well against Taylor in their online debate and is not itching to debate him again, particularly in person.

But if I am wrong, I say: let’s get a big audience for it. Make the stakes high. Sell tickets. Poll the audience. It will be that entertaining!

Here was my comment to Rob:

Well Rob, Joe Romm isn’t ALL alarmists, but I’d say it’s rather clear that he’s saying that “scientists” are not good policy debaters - as it’s something that they’re not trained in. I suppose you would hardly disagree.

On top of that, Joe Romm and others simply are not trained in public choice or Austrian perspectives on political economy issues, so he clearly doesn’t understand what Jerry patiently tries to explain. But there’s rather alot of that to go around - across the political spectrum and on many, many issues - and I rather fail to understand how mocking that who lack understanding is a good way to open their minds to how wealth creation occurs and to the perils of using the state.

In addition, Jerry Taylor is clearly different from - more open and intellectually honest - most of the other debaters Joe Romm refers to.

2.  In another thread, Rob suggested that "doing nothing" was the preferred policy approach to climate; thankfully, in response to a comment from me, Rob expressly noted that

a free-market approach is not about “do nothing” but implementing a whole new energy approach to remove myriad regulation and subsidies that have built up over a century or more.

Great!  Inquiring minds are waiting to hear about what it is that Rob Bradley and others at "MasterResource" actually recommend as an approach to climate concerns!

Meanwhile, can we stop pretending that "enviros" are the only ones fighting over the wheel of government, much less that they can hold a candle to wealthy corporate insiders?

Published Wed, Feb 4 2009 9:02 AM by TokyoTom


# MasterResource/Tom Tanton: another muddle-headed "free-marketer" who think it's fine that coal gets to shift pollution costs to others

Friday, March 6, 2009 7:50 AM by TT`s Lost in Tokyo

Sadly, so-called "free-marketers" are often so busy smacking down bad arguments from greens

# Rot at the Core: Rob Bradley at "free market" MasterResource blog shows his true colors as a rent-seeker for fossil fuels

Wednesday, March 11, 2009 8:14 AM by TT`s Lost in Tokyo

How? By shutting down polite and reasoned debate, from a perspective that is certainly more free market

# On Bob Murphy`s narrow attack on Krugman`s support for the Waxman-Markey climate bill

Thursday, June 11, 2009 11:33 PM by TT`s Lost in Tokyo

I just stumbled into Bob Murphy `s June 8 post at the LvMI Daily site, and submitted a few comments.

# The Road Not Taken II: Austrians strive for a self-comforting irrelevancy on climate change, the greatest commons problem / rent-seeking game of our age

Friday, October 30, 2009 3:14 AM by TT`s Lost in Tokyo

# A libertarian immodestly summarizes a few modest climate policy proposals

Thursday, November 5, 2009 7:43 AM by TT`s Lost in Tokyo

[Folks, I hope you do a better job than I do at saving draft posts before they`re finalized; I just lost

# Public Service Announcement: Google, GE, NRDC and The Climate Group call for real-time information technologies to cut emissions

Saturday, December 19, 2009 2:28 AM by TT`s Lost in Tokyo

# Towards a productive libertarian approach on climate, energy and environmental issues

Wednesday, February 10, 2010 8:02 PM by TT's Lost in Tokyo

[This is a work in progress and largely taken from previous posts, but readers might find some value