"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" The Road Not Taken IV: My other hysterical comments on climate science & how Austrians hamstring themselves - TT's Lost in Tokyo

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

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

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

  • TokyoTom

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

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

    Published: October 30, 2009 9:44 AM

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Published: October 30, 2009 10:03 AM

  • TokyoTom

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Ramblin` Tom

    Published: October 30, 2009 11:51 AM

  • TokyoTom

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



    Roy Cordato (linked at my name) said this:

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

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

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

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

    Published: October 31, 2009 1:00 PM

  • TokyoTom


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

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

    Gentlemen, take it away.

    Published: October 31, 2009 11:31 AM

  • TokyoTom

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

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

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

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

    [pro-freedom regulatory changes might include:

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

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

    Many others come to mind.

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

    Published: October 31, 2009 12:37 PM

  • TokyoTom

    1. Christopher and mpolzkill:

    Thanks for the favor of your comments.

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

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

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

    2. fundamentalist:

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

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

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

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


    Published: November 1, 2009 2:21 AM

  • TokyoTom

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

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

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

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

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

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

    - "CO2 concentration has risen and fallen in the past with no help from mankind."

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

    - "The present rise began in the 1700s, long before humans could have made a meaningful contribution."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Published: November 1, 2009 4:51 AM

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

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

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

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

    - "CO2 is plant food, pure and simple."

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

    - "CO2 is not pollution by any reasonable definition."

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

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

    - "A warmer world begets more precipitation."

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

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

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

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

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

    - "If the waters around it warm up, they create more precipitation."

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

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

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

    I provided links in this last year here:

    Here`s more:

    From the Plymouth Marine Laboratory (UK) :

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

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

    From Wikipedia">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ocean_acidification">Wikipedia:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    - "I don’t do politics"

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

    - "I don’t pretend to be an economic theorist."

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

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

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

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

    Published: November 1, 2009 10:02 AM

  • TokyoTom

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

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

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



    Published: November 1, 2009 10:11 AM

  • TokyoTom

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

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

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

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

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


    Published: November 1, 2009 8:46 PM

  • TokyoTom


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    - "thank you for being respectful"

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

    - "even though you mistakenly think I'm a nut.

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


    Published: November 1, 2009 9:35 PM


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

method fan:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

- "These guesses remind one of the idea that rain dances are the cause for rain."

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

Here`s hoping for more sincere discourse.



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

Monday, November 2, 2009 8:58 PM by liberty student

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, November 4, 2009 11:06 AM by TokyoTom

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

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

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

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

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

# On climate, another libertarian bravely fights to keep Mises' light under a bushel

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 11:44 AM by TT's Lost in Tokyo

I just left the following closing comment on Jim Fedako's December 30 Mises Economics Blog post,