I have recently read a few things that believed in global warming. They mentioned that one of the most effective ways of fighting global warming was to expand free trade as rapidly and as much as possible. For instance many government protectionist policies create over use of domestic resources, especially forest lands whose overuse is suppossed to be a main factor in global warming since they naturally suck in CO2.
Also the plethora of subsidies that every single nation uses for agriculture and other industries causes over utilization of land for these industries (and takes away from natural carbon sequestering) because even if nations are trading with each other these subsidies allow the industry to ignore comparative advantage and therefore not contract like it should under a normal free trade regime.
If private property were expanded as part of this global push for free trade then you would see even more reductions in global warming according to these people. Most of the forest lands in the developed world have actually expanded due to the timber trade having property rights to it's forests, where they plant more trees and think in the long term for their industry. On top of this the more capitalistic countries have expanded more and more green land due to proper efficency of land use all because of property rights and technological innovation from the market where less land is needed for more things.
On the other hand the most important carbon sequestering forests are the ones in the tropical climates such as the Amazon. These are forests where there are next to no property rights to the forest land AND the most readily available fuel for the locals is wood due to poor energy grids. So they go and overuse the resouce. Now if they had less local market distortions for their local industry, applied property rights to their forests and other lands, and were allowed greater international trade where they could get better sources of fuel and wealth many of the so called global pollutions problems could be met without government regulations but by government backing off.
Essentially the market could solve global warming (if it is real) since the problem of global warming is an issue of supply (CO2, Forests and green land) and demand (CO2, forests and green land). If true free trade were expanded the entire world economy would be revolutionized. So to say that global warming is due to the market is disingenuous. If global warming is real it is more due to the governments of the world screwing with the natural structuring of global supplies. Potentially global warming could be solved without the need to move to alternative energy sources since there would be more effective use of the earths land amongst other things. It seems global poverty is what makes the most pollution due to poor and inefficent technologies in the developing world.
Deist:It seems global poverty is what makes the most pollution due to poor and inefficent technologies in the developing world
That statement is a partly true. I should not leave out the massive subsidies in the developed world that over utilize resources. Also the trade barriers that the wealthier countries put up prevents these poorer countries from tapping into the wealth of the developed world and getting the technological innovation they need. The problem is that these poorer countries also place up protectionist barriers at times.
This is what I don't understand about you Americans: why are you so obsessed with "global warming"? Why have you made a religion out of it? Why are you trying to get the whole world to follow your whims, no matter the costs involved? Someone please respond.
Back to the original question now. If the whole thing was totally and completely privatized (meaning no government grants and intervention) it would work like this. A few companies would invest in research to see if there's a connection between human activity and "global warming". Another few would boast that they have a minimal CO2 footprint, thus appealing to the "concerned persons of the world". Others still would go over to their lawyers and consultants, ask if CO2 is a pollutant in the same way as chromium salts or anodic slimes, hear that there's no universal consensus (because there are no government grants to researchers) and then go on as nothing happened. Case closed.
The world has much more pressing problems that can be solved through free trade. Too bad "global warming" is recieving so much of the limelight as to shade everything else. Water resource depletion because of government intervention, soil corrosion and depletion because of vast, highly demanding monocultures (again caused by the government intervention), whole countries starving over vast natural resources (because they cannot exploit or sell them, again through government intervention)... this will not affect us in 50 years but in 5 years, maybe less.
Kakugo:This is what I don't understand about you Americans: why are you so obsessed with "global warming"? Why have you made a religion out of it? Why are you trying to get the whole world to follow your whims, no matter the costs involved? Someone please respond.
I thought most of the GW hysteria was comming from Europe. Either way it's the political left that is pushing the climate change agenda. The whole thing is just back door communism. Look forward to a War On Pollution the near future.
Agreed. Kakugo, the problem is not that Americans are obsessed with GW. It's that there's a lot of loud-mouthed left-leaning hysteria-pushing fearmongers who get a lot of attention from the media. To make matters worse, a lot of these people also exert substantial control over the teachers' unions and the public education system. The result has been that nonsense like GW has varitably replaced science in many school classrooms. This results in a lot of kids coming out of schools - even some colleges - knowing nothing of science other than GW theory - which for some reason brings to mind "manbearpig is real! I'm serial about this!" Most Americans could actually care less. So long as we don't feel the pinch too lightly at the pump, we're still going to prefer our trucks and SUVs over sedans and sports cars. So long as the lights stay lit and the electric company doesn't charge us too much, we could really care less whether the source of our power is coal, fission, fusion, or herds of hamsters on giant wheels spinning a hand-crank AC generator. If you asked most Americans what they thought of anthropogenic GW, they probably wouldn't know what you're talking about unless you spelled it out for them, simply because most of them don't really care. The ones who care are usually going to be 2nd and 3rd rate teachers and professors, politicians, press officials, or college students - and I am here referring to so-called "students" who think that college life is about getting drunk and going to protests rather than burying your nose in a book.
So, yeah. Does GW get a lot of noise and media hype? Oh, absolutely. Is it an almost-religious thing with most Americans? No, most of us could hardly care less - beyond how badly it inconveniences us.
And, yeah, DBratton, most of the hype originated in Europe. The US was concentrating on "Global Cooling" and a pending ice age starting sometime in the early 21st Century (or something like that), when a little known climatologist in Europe - I think he was Norwegian, not 100% certain - pointed out that even though the period around the 1960s to early 1980s had seen substantial cooling on average, there was an overall warming trend that had been going on since the early part of the 1800s. Well, the Green Party, which had caught on in Europe and was an environmentalist mask for Communist Partys (it wasn't PC to be communist), found out about this and started using it as a pusher. They had already managed to get either themselves or like-minded people (socialists) into positions of political power and influence. They were then able to use that influence to bend reports and the like coming out of the United Nations during the 1990s - such as the scientifically disavowed IPCC - in their favor to say what they wanted. By and large, this was constant temperature going centuries and millenia back until 1800 when it started going up in conjunction with the Industrial Revolution. Only issue was that they failed to mention the fact that the data began like that in the early 1800s because prior to the start of rise data there was no data whatsoever. (The Daily Article yesterday got that quite right.) Well, other scientists pointed out that, "wait a minute...you can't say that, because there isn't any data for 1500!!" This, of course, through the UN and other such organizations into collective apoplexy as they realized that they had just committed social and political suicide, but not to fear, science came to the rescue. Taking full advantage of the fact that attaching "global warming" to any study of climatology, meteorology, or even astrophysics got massive amounts of funds, they started doing some research on it so that they could keep their funding base to do real research. (Yeah, that's pretty sick and corrupted, I know, but that seems to be what you gotta do when the government controls bulk amounts of university science funding.) Well, what they came up with was a plot of almost regular up and down variations. Since then, I've heard a lot of "climate change" talk but very little "global warming" talk.
That's the short version as I see it. I could be wrong, and if anyone has any information that could augment or correct anything in there, it would be extremely appreciated.
Deist:Essentially the market could solve global warming (if it is real) since the problem of global warming is an issue of supply (CO2, Forests and green land) and demand (CO2, forests and green land). If true free trade were expanded the entire world economy would be revolutionized. So to say that global warming is due to the market is disingenuous. If global warming is real it is more due to the governments of the world screwing with the natural structuring of global supplies
What if global warming is a real, but largely natural phenomenon, and human-caused changes are minimal or nil? That's the direction I'm leaning towards. That would mean that there's little or nothing that humans can do to stop it or change it. Even so, greater freedom and greater property rights will give people greater flexibility in adapting to global warming, so it's still a pro-market position.
The main difference I've found between the US and Europe on the matter is this.
In Europe the common man on the street (or even the engineer in his study) thinks that it's just another scam to get more money, help the manufacturing complex (how long before old cars will be forcibly scrapped?) and create new jobs (how a bout a Climate Change Control Agency?). The few who do believe in the whole thing are hardcore enviromentalists (though there's non consensus even among them) and, mainly, urban elitarists (a very vociferous and political powerful but numerical insignificant minority).
In the US the theory has found more widespread acceptance between the "lower" strata of the population: while the normal, hardworking Joe probably doesn't give a damn, there are normal people who are at least "scared" with the whole Global Warming phenomenon, if not downright obsessed. While campaign aimed at "reducing your CO2 footprint" fail miserably in Europe (mostly because of the very high costs concerned) in the US they manage to gather at least some support.
Let me ask another question: I am trained as a chemist and I often wonder how corn-derived ethanol is supposed to "fight Global Warming". If the problem's CO2 any combustion involving organic compounds (yes, even Gaia-friendly alcohol) should be verboten. Is this just another case of bad science or just another colossal "good" lie?