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

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

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 environmentalists.

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 by Stephan Kinsella

The 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 by TokyoTom

Stephan, 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 liberty.

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

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


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

Tom, 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 by TokyoTom

Stephan, 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?

Published Wed, Nov 4 2009 7:06 PM by TokyoTom


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

Saturday, December 19, 2009 4:11 PM by TT`s Lost in Tokyo

# A note to Lew Rockwell regarding the reflexive irrelevancy of libertarians on the climate/big government morass

Sunday, December 20, 2009 3:38 AM by TT`s Lost in Tokyo

# Geoengineering: Say It Ain`t So, Bill! World`s richest man revealed as sugar daddy to vicious/crackpot/envirofascist cult "scientists"

Thursday, February 4, 2010 10:00 AM by TT's Lost in Tokyo

[Note: Hope the obvious snark isn`t too confusing.] An obviously deluded Bill Gates apparently: become

# Tornadoes, fires and floods, oh my! Time to stop hiding our heads in the sand. Who benefits from our loading of the climate dice?

Friday, May 6, 2011 3:43 AM by TT's Lost in Tokyo

No doubt a locally cold winter helped many readers put behind them thoughts about last year's worldwide