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Saturday, July 19, 2008

Hard Hitting Climate Analysis

I am really surprised Gore's partners in crime* at Env-Econ or Aguanomics haven't talked about his big speech on Thursday. IER should have our response posted on Monday, which of course I will link.

Until then, here's a sneak peak. Gore said:

And by the way, our weather sure is getting strange, isn't it? There seem to be more tornadoes than in living memory, longer droughts, bigger downpours and record floods.

Well, I guess that phrase "seem to be" can exonerate him of any ridiculous statement that follows, but the claim about tornadoes is totally wrong--at least according to NOAA (see graphic below). I didn't bother researching the other claims, but I bet the last five years aren't unprecedented for them either. Keep in mind, we're talking physical measurements here. Obviously there is more economic harm if there are more people and more property on coastlines, etc. That by itself doesn't prove that nature is getting angry at our coal-fired power plants.





* Because all three support a carbon tax, and taxes are theft in my book. Get it?

3 comments:

  1. Because all three support a carbon tax, and taxes are theft in my book. Get it?

    I know you're trying to be clever, but I need to "set this straight".

    The substance of taxation is theft. That does not mean that calling something a tax instantly makes it bad.

    Example: if I screw up and somehow dump enough water on someone's house to flood it, and then the courts issue (and banks comply with) an order to deduct sufficient credits from my bank accounts and insurance policies to repair the damage, I consider such extraction of wealth justified. And here's the kicker:

    This conclusion does not change when you call such forced recompense a "tax".

    So, if there were a system, some kind of international agreement, in which any instance of fossil fuel use were accompanied by a mandatory payment to an agency charged with mitgation of resulting climate change, such that the payment sufficed to mostly cancel the share of damage due to that oil use, that extraction would look remarkably similar to tax. It may even be called a tax. But it wouldn't have the substance of a tax, because it would be nothing more than recompense for a tort (that happens to be too valuable to preemptively stop).

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