ED Notes:

Schultz leaned in on AGW and came up empty.   It is a thoughtful and constructive article built on false premises. 


See my and another comment below for the crux of the critique.


A Conservative Answer to Climate Change

Enacting a carbon tax would free up private firms to find the most efficient ways to cut emissions.

By George P. Shultz and James A. Baker III

Updated Feb. 7, 2017 7:07 p.m. ET

WSJ Article Link

TG comment:

 Normally I find George Schultz's commentary very informative and thoughtfully bipartisan, and greatly aimed at solving a problem, but in this case I have to disagree on all counts.


His idea of a carbon tax coupled with an entitlement is in both areas first of all not conservative nor libertarian.  An add-on tax will not replace existing taxes just because that is the way the Fed Gov acts.


Leaning into any notion that CO2 is an issue and we can kill part of our economy, increase government and dependency on welfare is not sound policy.   If we are to lead then lead in real science.   Lead in economic growth, as Lomborg has been writing about for years.  Lead in reason and data and not political interests. 


Also applying the precautionary principle to global climate is not warranted.   Simply put if the models predicted 0.5C increase by the end of the century then no crisis.   See the site at Cato and see what you think:  https://www.cato.org/carbon-tax-temperature-savings-calculator



James Ring’s comment:

IPCC Third Assessment Report

Chapter 14



Last paragraph:

“In sum, a strategy must recognize what is possible. In climate research and modelling, we should recognize that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible.”


This information was not included in the Summary Report for Policymakers given to the press and public.


If the climate is indeed a coupled non-linear chaotic system (who can doubt the IPCC) then there is no rational or scientific basis to make a definitive statement about a future state of the climate.


At this point the coupled non-linear chaotic nature of the climate makes scientific observations academically interesting but they by themselves have no relevance in predicting the future state of the climate. The climate is a system which means the relationships among these observations are what is important not the observations themselves.


All the public discourse regarding the future state of the climate has been based on the false premise that the current climate models are predicting the future state of the climate when in fact the models are merely projecting these states.


Predictions are the purview of science. Model projections can only agree with predictions when the models duplicate the real world.


To base public policy on an unknowable state of a system defies common sense. However, too much money and political power is at stake for the Central Planners to do otherwise.


I would argue that the Climate Model True Believers are the ones taking an unscientific approach to the subject.


In January 1961 President Eisenhower in his Farewell Address identified the situation in which we find ourselves today:


“Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades.


In this revolution, research has become central; it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.


Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers.


The prospect of domination of the nation's scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded. Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.


It is the task of statesmanship to mold, to balance, and to integrate these and other forces, new and old, within the principles of our democratic system -- ever aiming toward the supreme goals of our free society.”


Other relevant publications from Eric Hoffer are: “The True Believer” and “The Temper of Our Times”


From “The Temper of Our Times”: “Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business and eventually degenerates into a racket.”


TG comment to James:

Well written James.  Furthermore if one reads sections of the IPCC report it has said that the inability to model clouds is a serious concern.  A Stanford Professor estimated what the accuracy of the IPCC temperature predictions might be.   His analysis indicated that at the end of the century the temp error could be +/- 14C.  

It might be disheartening to have the error be several times the prediction but since this is pseudo-science, it is another day in politics.  


Section for a video or follow-on comment

We should revisit occasionally what the proper role of government is.   As the constitution was a good sense of direction, we need a core set of principles to add in order to deal with the future.


So many want to engineer society, remove risk, assist certain groups, rather than let individuals thrive and raise communities.  Why?


Is Democracy where we all "get it good and hard" or is it the best means to a free society?


Should we roll with the special interests, or make the government achieve its proper role, what is that role, and how to do this?


When do deficits and governments become too large?


Government is becoming more elitist while trying to sell corrections to problems it created, what makes this possible?


Could include a pic

This could also be inserted into the field above, or erased


Currently as a society, we are having a most difficult time discussing political issues.  What is driving this?   And why a rebirth in political culture would be a good thing.


Market Economy

Are "markets" dead as some would conjecture? Or is free enterprise what got us here?


Economic Theories

At the heart of economics there are several possible economic schools of thought, the essence of these schools of thought and how they relate to our lives.


Add Comments


Powered by Disqus