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A libertarian solution to global warming

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Eugene Posted: Fri, Mar 18 2011 4:01 AM

In case ACC is real and dangerous, what can the free world do about it? Should we just uphold property rights? I think that's quite complicated, because you can't easily trace a particular emission to the damage of property of a particular individual. After it all its such a long process of many decades, so how can someone really provde a sufficient evidence to justify conviction?

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Conza88 replied on Fri, Mar 18 2011 6:26 AM

"Should we just uphold property rights?"

Property rights are axiomatic, they will always exist. The distinction you mean is 'private' property rights, and there is no "just" (as in it being something small and minimal thing towards meeting the goal of providing a solution to the "problem" of "global warming").

"I think that's quite complicated"

The principle is pretty simple actually. Compare it to the bs policies that currently exist.

"because you can't easily trace a particular emission to the damage of property of a particular individual. "

You can't? That's one massive assumption & history proves otherwise.

"After it all its such a long process of many decades, so how can someone really provde a sufficient evidence to justify conviction?"

Problem is the state not respecting private property rights (besides it's mere existence). Solution - get rid of the state.

For more - see this playlist
 

Ron Paul is for self-government when compared to the Constitution. He's an anarcho-capitalist. Proof.
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Merlin replied on Fri, Mar 18 2011 7:40 AM

If the existence of man-made global warming is proven satisfactorily, emitting CO2 or other ‘greenhouse gases’ would become aggression.

 

The Regression theorem is a memetic equivalent of the Theory of Evolution. To say that the former precludes the free emergence of fiat currencies makes no more sense that to hold that the latter precludes the natural emergence of multicellular organisms.
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If the existence of man-made global warming is proven satisfactorily, emitting CO2 or other ‘greenhouse gases’ would become aggression.

No.  If person A builds and factory and then person B builds a house on a coast, guess who homesteaded the climate.  If Factory A is the only factory on Earth and can't be causing global changes on its own, then a million other people build factories, does Factory A suddenly become aggression?

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Eugene:
In case ACC is real and dangerous, what can the free world do about it? Should we just uphold property rights? I think that's quite complicated, because you can't easily trace a particular emission to the damage of property of a particular individual. After it all its such a long process of many decades, so how can someone really provde a sufficient evidence to justify conviction?

Statist "solutions" to ACC are counter-productive. They essentially want to impoverish humanity and implement a new socialistic dark age so we won't use as many fossil fuels. Problem is that less capitalism means less technological progress, which means delaying the invention of cleaner fuels. Thus environmental socialism actually leads to more CO2 emissions by delaying technological progress and therefore decarbonization. Capitalism has always led to a lessened environmental impact, decarbonization has been going on for hundreds of years. Humanity wen't from burning hay to burning lumber to burning coal to burning petroleum, and now solar and nuclear. That has been happening because of free markets, not because of environmentalist busybodies who wanted to social engineer the world. If ACC was real, the best thing to do about it was to let a radically free market produce more clean energy sources.

"They all look upon progressing material improvement as upon a self-acting process." - Ludwig von Mises
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Merlin replied on Fri, Mar 18 2011 7:03 PM

Caley McKibbin:

If the existence of man-made global warming is proven satisfactorily, emitting CO2 or other ‘greenhouse gases’ would become aggression.

No.  If person A builds and factory and then person B builds a house on a coast, guess who homesteaded the climate.  If Factory A is the only factory on Earth and can't be causing global changes on its own, then a million other people build factories, does Factory A suddenly become aggression?

 

I’m afraid it does. And it doesn’t matter whether the factory was set up first: if real, man-made global warming is, well, global. So, unless one is the first to settle on a planet, no one can homestead a right to cause global warming. And even if we find out now, this does not provide a carte blanche for all prior agresisons. We might not hold those prior agressors accountable since neither they nor us knew that agresison was going on, but agresison must stop nonetheless.

After all such agresison is stopped, perhaps some general agreement on the acceptable level of emissions would be reached, and rights to emit would be sold (who’d get the money is another matter).  

The Regression theorem is a memetic equivalent of the Theory of Evolution. To say that the former precludes the free emergence of fiat currencies makes no more sense that to hold that the latter precludes the natural emergence of multicellular organisms.
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And it doesn’t matter whether the factory was set up first: if real, man-made global warming is, well, global. So, unless one is the first to settle on a planet, no one can homestead a right to cause global warming.

It does matter when someone demands restitution from someone else for something that happened.

If you think that everyone contributing to an effect is responsible for a result that occurs at a certain point, I defer to the marginal revolution.

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Merlin replied on Fri, Mar 18 2011 8:02 PM

Caley McKibbin:

And it doesn’t matter whether the factory was set up first: if real, man-made global warming is, well, global. So, unless one is the first to settle on a planet, no one can homestead a right to cause global warming.

It does matter when someone demands restitution from someone else for something that happened.

If you think that everyone contributing to an effect is responsible for a result that occurs at a certain point, I defer to the marginal revolution.

 

 

Of course, that’s why I was careful to differentiate between restitution and stoppage. If we’ve been doing something until now which no one knew could cause damage to health or property, then of course you can’t just ask for restitution for damages incurred. Everyone will have to take the loss.

Still, this does not mean that you can continue to do whatever you’ve been doing, simply because you started before we knew it was causing damage. So, you need not pay, but you must stop. It seems sensible to me.

The discussion made me think of the huge asbestos claims that nearly brought Lloyd’s of London to its knees in the early 90’. Now that I think of it, they should not have been liable for anything, for at the time when the workers health was being eroded by asbestos, no one knew asbestos could do that. So, from then on asbestos should have been considered hazardous, but no one should have been held liable for damages incurred prior to the discovery.

 

The Regression theorem is a memetic equivalent of the Theory of Evolution. To say that the former precludes the free emergence of fiat currencies makes no more sense that to hold that the latter precludes the natural emergence of multicellular organisms.
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Eugene replied on Sat, Mar 19 2011 3:57 AM

Regarding asbestor, I disagree. First of all I don't think he should be liable even if he knew asbestos is not very safe. No one should have expectations that the working environment is safe. If you want safety you need to ask for a safety certificate. However if he promised very high standards of safety, he should be liable because the working environment wasn't safe. It doesn't matter whether we knew about the dangerous effects of asbestos at that time or not. Strict liabiliy implies that he should be liable nonetheless. For example he could have used only materials that were proved to be safe.

Regarding ACC. Indeed you can't homestead climate change because there always were people who lived in the coast area for example. Now Merlin, how do you suggest that in case ACC is real, we stop polluters?

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Merlin replied on Sat, Mar 19 2011 9:19 AM

Eugene:

Regarding asbestor, I disagree. First of all I don't think he should be liable even if he knew asbestos is not very safe. No one should have expectations that the working environment is safe. If you want safety you need to ask for a safety certificate. However if he promised very high standards of safety, he should be liable because the working environment wasn't safe. 

 

 

It would depend on the contract. If in it the workers  specifically accepted all health hazard, than indeed there would be no problem. But where the contract says nothing at all, I cannot bring myself to assume that they have made such a commitment. So, if the contract says nothing, there is liability. 

 

 

Eugene:

 It doesn't matter whether we knew about the dangerous effects of asbestos at that time or not. Strict liabiliy implies that he should be liable nonetheless. For example he could have used only materials that were proved to be safe.

 

Wow, you killed innovation in one fell swoop right there. Materials might be in use for decades before statistically significant data emerges to prove or hint to some connection with a disease (if we take statistics as decent proof, which Rothbard did not). So, if it can be proven at all, it can be proven only after quite some time. But if people know that this new material could turn out to cost them huge sums, they won’t use it! But if they won’t use it, we’ll never gather enough data and we’ll never know whether it was dangerous or not! All innovation would stop!

And again, please imagine that we’re in the ’80, and suddenly it is discovered that smoking causes cancer, and that second-hand smoke does too. Should all smokers be executed there since they have been actively trying to murder everyone else? Should all their property be confiscated to pay reparations? Not even Stalin would have tried that!

This is clearly unfeasible and unjust. How can you punish someone because he was ignorant of the effect of some agent while that information did not exist? It’s like punishing medieval doctors for manslaughter since they did not use penicillin which could have saved millions of lives. It nonsense.

 

Eugene:

 Now Merlin, how do you suggest that in case ACC is real, we stop polluters?

 

As I said in a previous post, if some agreement on the acceptable level of emission can be reached (say, we see that the atmosphere can dispense of X tons of emission per year), than rights to emit X tons could be auctioned, or distributed equally among all members of society.

If, in extremis, every degree of emission turns out to be unacceptable, emission should stop and be considered aggression, just like murder would. 

 

The Regression theorem is a memetic equivalent of the Theory of Evolution. To say that the former precludes the free emergence of fiat currencies makes no more sense that to hold that the latter precludes the natural emergence of multicellular organisms.
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Eugene replied on Sat, Mar 19 2011 10:03 AM

Who will make the auction? The government? What if there is no government?

 

Regarding asbestos. I said that if the workers have agreed to work with materials the property of which is still uknown, then the employer is not liable. He is however liable if he said that he guarantees high safety and uses materials the safety of which is not documented.

I also disagree that workers should assume that working conditions are safe. They should assume nothing. So safety was not specified in the contract, I don't believe the employer should be liable at all if the working place was not very safe.

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krazy kaju replied on Sat, Mar 19 2011 10:55 AM

The idea that CO2 emissions will somehow be subject to property rights in a free market is a little absurd. The transaction costs for such a scheme are just way too high. The free market "solution" to global warming is having skyrocketting insurance premiums for areas which are likely to be flooded, thereby encouraging people in those areas to relocate.

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Merlin replied on Sat, Mar 19 2011 12:11 PM

Eugene:

Who will make the auction? The government? What if there is no government?

 

I corrected myself. Just divide such rights equally to all, and let the market determine who’ll on whom many.

 

Eugene:

He is however liable if he said that he guarantees high safety and uses materials the safety of which is not documented.

True.

Eugene:

I also disagree that workers should assume that working conditions are safe. They should assume nothing. So safety was not specified in the contract, I don't believe the employer should be liable at all if the working place was not very safe.

 

Well, someone must take the loss caused by health hazard sin the workplace, and where the contract says nothing in advance, we must assume something ‘as default’. And since there is no contract, I just see the worker and the employer as two unrelated guys. If the employer’s decisions or actions (“what material to use?”) causes the damage, than he should pay. On the other hand, if some worker injures an other, or if a worker just falls of the building, that is certainly no problem of the employer. So, it will depend on the situation at hand. 

 

The Regression theorem is a memetic equivalent of the Theory of Evolution. To say that the former precludes the free emergence of fiat currencies makes no more sense that to hold that the latter precludes the natural emergence of multicellular organisms.
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Merlin replied on Sat, Mar 19 2011 12:14 PM

krazy kaju:

The idea that CO2 emissions will somehow be subject to property rights in a free market is a little absurd. The transaction costs for such a scheme are just way too high. The free market "solution" to global warming is having skyrocketting insurance premiums for areas which are likely to be flooded, thereby encouraging people in those areas to relocate.

 

 

Perhaps, but then we’re explicitly giving up and delivering to the sea huge tracts of land, which could be saved (assume flooding is 10% certain and irreversible). So, if the added production that could be gotten out of that additional land  would be over the cost of a scheme such as what I propose, than indeed it would not be fine to let these areas disappear. Of course, no one will actually take pen and paper and calculate the costs, but the most effective way to go about this would emerge in time. 

The Regression theorem is a memetic equivalent of the Theory of Evolution. To say that the former precludes the free emergence of fiat currencies makes no more sense that to hold that the latter precludes the natural emergence of multicellular organisms.
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Eugene replied on Sat, Mar 19 2011 4:51 PM

What if ACC is such significant that huge floods will cover half of the current land, and natural cataclysms will leave millions dead? Surely you wouldn't suggest to just relocate so that the factories could continue destroying your land.

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Merlin replied on Sat, Mar 19 2011 5:17 PM

Eugene:

What if ACC is such significant that huge floods will cover half of the current land, and natural cataclysms will leave millions dead? Surely you wouldn't suggest to just relocate so that the factories could continue destroying your land.

 

I don't. I'm for emission quotas.

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Merlin:
I'm for emission quotas.

Well, that's obviously the purpose of warmism. If you control emissions you control industrial production, and if you control industrial production there's really nothing in modern society you don't control. Warmism is not a particularly well disguised attempt at implementing socialism for the earth. That's why climate change has to be manmade, if we decide it's natural it wouldn't work. And that's why it has to be mitigated, if we decide that it's better to deal with the consequences, or that it's too late to do anything about it, it wouldn't work either. If warming was natural it would be a problem that the market can fix, if we wanted to deal with the consequences that would be a problem that the market can fix, but mitigation requires state intervention. Warmism was designed to be a problem that the free market can't fix, a problem that requires state-socialism. But it's really remarkably unlikely that such a problem could exist. Just think about the likelihood of manmade emissions having an effect on the atmosphere, but not such a great effect that the damage was done and it's too late for mitigation to work. It's insanely unlikely, like hitting bulls eye on a dartboard from the other end of a football field. And it's not true, the science is made up to lead to the conclusion that emissions have to be controlled. That's why the science is fake and artificial, it has to lead to a predefined conclusion. Actual science isn't that predictable. But controlling emissions is obviously unworkable. We don't even know how much of a reduction would sufficiently mitigate climate change. Nobody has a clue how the atmosphere works, they aren't even sure whether more CO2 in the atmosphere causes warming or cooling. And they definitely don't know what rate of emission reduction would have what effect. Anyone who says they know how to micromanage the atmosphere is obviously lying. The libertarian solution to climate change is realizing that it is a political fraud.

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I'm for emission quotas.

You can't pick an arbitrary % of transgression and apply it to everyone.

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Merlin replied on Sat, Mar 19 2011 9:15 PM

EmperorNero:

Merlin:
I'm for emission quotas.

Well, that's obviously the purpose of warmism. If you control emissions you control industrial production, and if you control industrial production there's really nothing in modern society you don't control. Warmism is not a particularly well disguised attempt at implementing socialism for the earth. That's why climate change has to be manmade, if we decide it's natural it wouldn't work. And that's why it has to be mitigated, if we decide that it's better to deal with the consequences, or that it's too late to do anything about it, it wouldn't work either. If warming was natural it would be a problem that the market can fix, if we wanted to deal with the consequences that would be a problem that the market can fix, but mitigation requires state intervention. Warmism was designed to be a problem that the free market can't fix, a problem that requires state-socialism. But it's really remarkably unlikely that such a problem could exist. Just think about the likelihood of manmade emissions having an effect on the atmosphere, but not such a great effect that the damage was done and it's too late for mitigation to work. It's insanely unlikely, like hitting bulls eye on a dartboard from the other end of a football field. And it's not true, the science is made up to lead to the conclusion that emissions have to be controlled. That's why the science is fake and artificial, it has to lead to a predefined conclusion. Actual science isn't that predictable. But controlling emissions is obviously unworkable. We don't even know how much of a reduction would sufficiently mitigate climate change. Nobody has a clue how the atmosphere works, they aren't even sure whether more CO2 in the atmosphere causes warming or cooling. And they definitely don't know what rate of emission reduction would have what effect. Anyone who says they know how to micromanage the atmosphere is obviously lying. The libertarian solution to climate change is realizing that it is a political fraud.

 

 

I can’t believe I wrote that! OK, I mean within the constraint of the thread. Which implies that I’d be for quotas if (in that order):

  1. global warming was real, than
  2. global warring was man-made, than
  3. global warming was caused by emissions, than
  4. global warming was reversible, than
  5. we could come to a generally accepted agreement on the degree of acceptable emissions, than
  6. we would see that implementing emisisn quotas would be less costly that actually letting global warming work its magic unhampered

Now, I do not believe that a single one of these constraints applies, with the possible exception of the first. So, I’m not really for emission quotas. But taking this extreme example of a very complex problem, a free market could still come up with a solution, and indeed a quite efficient one, given all.

 

The Regression theorem is a memetic equivalent of the Theory of Evolution. To say that the former precludes the free emergence of fiat currencies makes no more sense that to hold that the latter precludes the natural emergence of multicellular organisms.
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Merlin replied on Sat, Mar 19 2011 9:20 PM

Caley McKibbin:

You can't pick an arbitrary % of transgression and apply it to everyone.

I don’t. But if the arbitration industry would come to accept proof that, say, our atmosphere can disperse 5 million tons of CO2 per year, than any emission above that would be aggression. Now, in order not to punish anyone more heavily that others, we’d distribute quotas for 5 million tons of emission evenly  ( say quaotas for 0.7 gramns of emision for every earthling) and then let the market decide how those rights would be distributed. So I don’t see this as a particularly arbitrary solution. Its actually as voluntary as it gets, under the assumed circumstances. 

The Regression theorem is a memetic equivalent of the Theory of Evolution. To say that the former precludes the free emergence of fiat currencies makes no more sense that to hold that the latter precludes the natural emergence of multicellular organisms.
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Let us assume that man-made global warming is real (and, to be frank, I do believe it is).

I would favor a carbon tax; whether or not you Austrians believe in negative externalities, it's clear that if pollutants are becoming incredibly detrimental to the stability of our global weather patterns, then carbon emissions have obviously not been properly priced!

"I'm not a fan of Murray Rothbard." -- David D. Friedman

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Let us assume that man-made global warming is real (and, to be frank, I do believe it is).

Based on?

I would favor a carbon tax; whether or not you Austrians believe in negative externalities, it's clear that if pollutants are becoming incredibly detrimental to the stability of our global weather patterns, then carbon emissions have obviously not been properly priced!

And where should the government set this tax?

Freedom of markets is positively correlated with the degree of evolution in any society...

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I don’t. But if the arbitration industry would come to accept proof that, say, our atmosphere can disperse 5 million tons of CO2 per year, than any emission above that would be aggression. Now, in order not to punish anyone more heavily that others, we’d distribute quotas for 5 million tons of emission evenly  ( say quaotas for 0.7 gramns of emision for every earthling) and then let the market decide how those rights would be distributed. So I don’t see this as a particularly arbitrary solution. Its actually as voluntary as it gets, under the assumed circumstances.

This is why I was talking about marginal factoring of climate change.  This does not follow from first-come libertarian law theory, nor de facto law theory for that matter.  The people on the critical margin are the only ones that can be justly held.  The only theory that says that everyone is equally responsible for anything is the communist one.  When you switch from the idea of injunction against everyone to permission quotas, the matter is changing from stopping transgression to doling privilege.  A pollution quota is a privilege to pollute.  It's like license to kill rather than stopping killers.  That has nothing to do with libertarianism.

Anyway... the first step to reducing air pollution would be abolishing zoning.

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Jon Irenicus:
And where should the government set this tax?

Since a market is nonexistent, there can be no perfect solution (hence the need for a Pigouvian tax); however, I do believe a $0.00 tax (as it stands) is one of our worst options. At best, we need to have a trial-and-error process, and I would recommend starting low.

"I'm not a fan of Murray Rothbard." -- David D. Friedman

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The biggest problem with a tax is that you risk penalising people who have already homestead emmissions in the atmosphere for what is essentially a non-criminal activity. I think taxation is the worst of all possible options, including doing nothing, especially since the money will not go to compensate the damaged.

Freedom of markets is positively correlated with the degree of evolution in any society...

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A tax is also a privilege to pollute.

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krazy kaju replied on Sun, Mar 20 2011 12:57 AM

I quote Rothbard:

why should social costs be minimized? Or, why should externalities be internalized? The answers are scarcely self-evident, and yet the questions have never been satisfactorily addressed, let alone answered. And there is an important corollary question: even given the goal of minimizing costs, for the sake of argument, should this goal be held as an absolute or should it be subordinated, and to what degree, to other goals? And what reasons can be given for any answer?

            In the first place, to say that social costs should be minimized, or that external costs should be internalized, is not a technical or a value-free position. The very intrusion of the word should, the very leap to a policy position, necessarily converts this into an ethical stand, which requires, at the very least, an ethical justification.

            And second, even if, for the sake of argument, we consent to a goal of minimized social costs, the economist still must wrestle with the problem: how absolute should this commitment be? To say that minimized social costs must be absolute, or at least the highest-valued goal, is to fall into the same position that the cost-benefit economists scorn when it is taken by ethicists: namely, to consider equity or rights heedless of cost-benefit analysis. And what is their justification for such absolutism?

            Third, even if we ignore these two problems, there is the grave fallacy in the very concept of "social cost," or of cost as applied to more than one person. For one thing, if ends clash, and one man=s product is another man's detriment, costs cannot be added up across these individuals. But second, and more deeply, costs, as Austrians have pointed out for a century, are subjective to the individual, and therefore can neither be measured quantitatively nor, a fortiori, can they be added or compared among individuals. But if costs, like utilities, are subjective, nonadditive, and noncomparable, then of course any concept of social costs, including transaction costs, becomes meaningless. And third, even within each individual, costs are not objective or observable by any external observer. For an individual's cost is subjective and ephemeral; it appears only ex ante, at the moment before the individual makes a decision. The cost of any individual's choice is his subjective estimate of the value ranking of the highest value foregone from making his choice. For each individual tries, in every choice, to pursue his highest-ranking end; he foregoes or sacrifices the other, lower-ranking, ends that he could have satisfied with the resources available. His cost is his second-highest ranking end, that is, the value of the highest ranking end that he has foregone to achieve a still more highly valued goal. The cost that he incurs in this decision, then, is only ex ante; as soon as his decision is made and the choice is exercised and his resource committed, the cost disappears. It becomes an historical cost, forever bygone. And since it is impossible for any external observer to explore, at a later date, or even at the same time, the internal mental processes of the actor, it is impossible for this observer to determine, even in principle, what the cost of any decision may have been.

http://mises.org/rothbard/efficiency.asp

The reason I post this is because the release of CO2 is ultimately a question of externalities. The above deals with externalities.

The costs associated with global warming are subjective, as are the benefits, thus we cannot make any reliable cost-benefit analysis regarding global warming or programs which attempt to prevent or slow global warming. Questions like "is there a libertarian solution to global warming" inherently contain a value-judgment, i.e. that global warming is bad. Well tell that to the coal miners, oil drillers, truckers, dairy farmers, etc. who earn a living doing things which greatly increase CO2 emissions. Because one cannot compare the utility of the coal miners to the disutility of (say) the residents of the Maldives, there cannot be any meaningful cost-benefit analysis regarding global warming.

Ultimately, questions regarding global warming or anthropogenic climate change require answers from the fields of ethics and justice, not economics. And it might just be me, but I don't see where one finds an ethical justification for limiting how many times a person can breathe (you emit CO2 when you exhale).

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So to answer Merlin directly: IF emitting CO2 were considered aggression, then a quota would be the wrong way of dealing with it. If someone has a right not to live in an environment with CO2, then the proper way of dealing with it would be that the aggressors would have to compensate the victims for their emissions of CO2. The problem here is that EVERYONE is an aggressor, including the victims. Furthermore, being an aggressor in this case is necessary to live (if you never exhale, you'll die). Non-human beings and non-sentient beings are also aggressors. Even a Rothbardian natural rights system of ethics and justice cannot justify making emitting CO2 a crime - after all, a system of natural law is supposed to be the ethical system best suited for the survival of man, but no ethical system can be best suited for the survival of man if it holds the emission of CO2 to be immoral.

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Student replied on Sun, Mar 20 2011 2:02 AM

it is probably telling that many of the responses to this thread have not so much revolved around explicit libertarian solutions to acc at all, but instead have focused  speculating whether polluting ghgs can be considered an "agression" and whether or not you can "homestead the climate."

if i were ruminating man, i would  wonder outloud whether this wasn't a perfect illustration of how rothbard's reliance on an over simplified application of the coase theorem for solving all pollution related problems (assign property rights and the market will work it out one way or another) is far less attractive when you see it in action (how do we assign property rights to a global climate??? uh, well, we'll homestead it!!! yah that's the ticket). 

of course, that's not me. im really just a song and dance man. so i will leave you with this ambigious tune from the talking heads.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3t5nmgRVMs

"and as things fell apart, no one paid much attention."

Ambition is a dream with a V8 engine - Elvis Presley

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krazy kaju replied on Sun, Mar 20 2011 11:19 AM

Student, you don't seem to understand that economics is supposed to be a value-free science. As such, Rothbard's "solutions" to problems of pollution and such weren't based on economics, but on his ethical beliefs (natural law). The Coase Theorem, on the other hand, relies on the idea of "efficiency," which requires the interpersonal comparison of utility (which is, btw, impossible). Thus, statements that imply that Rothbard relied on an "over simplified application of the coase theorem" are simply ignorant of the facts. If anything, Rothbard borrowed some of his ideas from the system of common law used in the United States and the UK, an organic system of law that has already dealt with these problems.

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Eugene replied on Sun, Mar 20 2011 12:53 PM

krazy kaju, what do you suggest then. How in the an-cap world do we deal with it?

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Chyd3nius replied on Sun, Mar 20 2011 1:01 PM

People would adjust to conditions of warming. In ancap technology develops faster than nowadays so it would be easier. Besides If quite sure that any kind of statist intervention can't stop waming and emissions. They can't calculate.

-- --- English I not so well sorry I will. I'm not native speaker.
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Eugene replied on Sun, Mar 20 2011 1:06 PM

My question assumes that ACC is absolutely catastrophic. So given that, how can the an-cap society combat it?

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Eugene:
krazy kaju, what do you suggest then. How in the an-cap world do we deal with it?

How would we deal with it? Are you implying that it (meaning global warming) is a bad thing? By whose standards? Certainly not by people who:

  • Choose to breathe.
  • Own, operate, or work for coal, oil, or natural gas companies.
  • Choose to be dairy farmers.

Facts are facts, and you cannot say that anthropogenic climate change is bad without some ethical justification.

As I posted earlier:

krazy kaju:
The idea that CO2 emissions will somehow be subject to property rights in a free market is a little absurd. The transaction costs for such a scheme are just way too high. The free market "solution" to global warming is having skyrocketting insurance premiums for areas which are likely to be flooded, thereby encouraging people in those areas to relocate.

In other words, if sea levels do continue to rise, people will relocate to areas that will not be flooded.

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Student:
it is probably telling that many of the responses to this thread have not so much revolved around explicit libertarian solutions to acc at all, but instead have focused  speculating whether polluting ghgs can be considered an "agression" and whether or not you can "homestead the climate."

if i were ruminating man, i would  wonder outloud whether this wasn't a perfect illustration of how rothbard's reliance on an over simplified application of the coase theorem for solving all pollution related problems (assign property rights and the market will work it out one way or another) is far less attractive when you see it in action (how do we assign property rights to a global climate??? uh, well, we'll homestead it!!! yah that's the ticket).

Well, above I made the case that ACC is a completely artificial theory, that's specifically designed to not be solvable in a free market, and that such a threat can't really exist in reality. In other words, a climate problem that requires mitigation is nonsense. So it's no problem that libertarianism can't deal with it.

"They all look upon progressing material improvement as upon a self-acting process." - Ludwig von Mises
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Eugene replied on Sun, Mar 20 2011 1:33 PM

Again, you ignore my initial assumption, which is that ACC is absolutely catastrophic and will cause massive earthquakes, tsunamies, floods that will kill hundreds of millions. What do we do in this case?

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Eugene:
Again, you ignore my initial assumption, which is that ACC is absolutely catastrophic and will cause massive earthquakes, tsunamies, floods that will kill hundreds of millions. What do we do in this case?

Make popcorn.

"When you're young you worry about people stealing your ideas, when you're old you worry that they won't." - David Friedman
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Eugene:
My question assumes that ACC is absolutely catastrophic. So given that, how can the an-cap society combat it?


Well which question are you asking, exactly? How would a stateless society deal with the catastrophe brought on by previous CO2 emissions, or how would CO2 emissions be reduced in a stateless society so as to avoid future catastrophe? For the latter, I think there are many reasons why a stateless America would emit less carbon, though admittedly, a lot of the savings would be had from reducing the federal government to a smaller state. Should the choice be between a very limited regulatory state to a fully contractual society, it's certainly possible there would be more CO2 emissions in the latter than in the former, especially in the short-run. But whatever savings are to be had in the statist society may be outweighed by some other costs, and I think in the long-run, the stateless society could do better.

If you're asking the former question, I would answer n/a. In the face of such a catastrophe, civil society - if it continues to exist at all - would likely be subject to centralized states. If the state already exists, it would claim more control, particularly in its effort to maintain authority. If there is no state, the most powerful and willing interests would claim control. This process may or may not exacerbate the crisis, though again, there are reasons to think that the statist society may do a worse job in promoting the 'public interest.' (e.g. the politically connected use the existing statist institutions to save themselves at the expense of the masses)

"People kill each other for prophetic certainties, hardly for falsifiable hypotheses." - Peter Berger
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Eugene:
Again, you ignore my initial assumption, which is that ACC is absolutely catastrophic and will cause massive earthquakes, tsunamies, floods that will kill hundreds of millions. What do we do in this case?

Sell iodine, survivalist magazines, dried food, flashlight batteries and blankets.

Don't let some global calamity get in the way of making a profit!

"When you're young you worry about people stealing your ideas, when you're old you worry that they won't." - David Friedman
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krazy kaju:
In other words, if sea levels do continue to rise, people will relocate to areas that will not be flooded.

I'm convinced that some people will let themselves drown just so they can cry "market failure!"

they said we would have an unfair fun advantage

"enough about human rights. what about whale rights?" -moondog
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