11 Dec 2015

A Quick History of the Climate Change Policy Debate

Climate Change 14 Comments

1) CHORUS: Look at the peer-reviewed literature, you evil deniers. 97% of scientists agree, we need massive carbon tax STAT!

2) BOB: Actually, neither the IPCC reports nor the Obama Administration’s chosen computer models support the policies that are being pushed in the name of “consensus.”

3) NOAH SMITH: Ha, you think we can trust the economic computer models? You dolt! The economists who make those models don’t trust them!

4) BOB to Twitter fans: And there you have it folks, an admission that these computer models–upon which rest the argument for trillions in new taxes–aren’t trustworthy.

5) NOAH: Ha ha you Luddite! ‘Me no trust computers, me dumb Austrian.’

6) NOAH (high-fiving fan who piled on): Exactly right! I guess Bob will use “praxeology” instead of empirical science. Idiot.

What have I missed, kids?

14 Responses to “A Quick History of the Climate Change Policy Debate”

  1. Capt. J Parker says:

    Dr. Murphy, You missed the part about humanity coming to an end. I don’t remember the date that it is going to happen. I looked through IPCC AR5 for a table of projected humanity end dates based on various carbon consumption scenarios but I couldn’t seem to locate it. Other than this one detail, you summary of events seems accurate.

    • Bob Murphy says:

      There you go again, expecting the published papers to contain something backing up rhetoric. Why do you hate the 3rd World?

    • anon says:

      You were looking in the wrong decade. Humanity came to an end in the 1970s when mass starvation began and we resumed living like savages scrambling for every mouthful of food.

      One of the most useful things social science has to teach us is that failed projections are a forgivable failure of useful if limited empirical models, but failed predictions are just the sign of an arrogant, superstitious mind.

  2. Craw says:

    I cannot tell if Smith is being ironic in the dolt link. I won’t waste the time trying to find out. If he thinks computer models cannot be doubted he’s a fool and worse. In any case his objection to you is not cogent, since you are claiming the policies are not aligned with the model.

    • E. Harding says:

      Ken B, why’d you remove your site&Gravatar and start calling yourself “Craw”.

      • Tel says:

        Something got stuck in it.

    • Tel says:

      Noah Smith has made an internet career out of being deeply recursively meta-ironic about everything, to the point where no only can’t you figure it out, but actually no one can, not even Smith himself. It’s quite an achievement in performance art, something hovering between the Jim Rose Circus and the Tokyo Shock Boys.

      What I can say about Noah: he’s a lot more open minded than most economists, but I guess that comes across as a bit cynical and backhanded, possibly because it is.

      • E. Harding says:

        “Noah Smith has made an internet career out of being deeply recursively meta-ironic about everything”

        -Except, for some reason, the plight of poor Blacks in America and women and Blacks and Mexicans in tech (why not some other country? oh, right…). After he temporarily blocked me for stuff like this:
        he demanded my real identity for some reason. And he and I agreed to never discuss Blacks or IQ ever again.

        Noah is really close-minded. He might be more intellectually open than most economists, but that’s more due to his broader education. I like the unpredictability of his positions on various issues.

        • Tel says:

          Come on Harding, all modern academic positions require demonstrable proof of self flagellation, especially on racial equality, white man privilege, blah blah blah, whatever.

          You must be a hard man wanting to deprive Noah of his income.

          • E. Harding says:

            “You must be a hard man wanting to deprive Noah of his income.”


  3. Major.Freedom says:

    “What have I missed, kids?”

    I know. You missed figuring out that Noah Smith is an ignorant, economically illiterate blockhead whose polemics should, after being repeatedly refuted, mocked instead of treated as if he will ever improve his understanding of the world?

    Don’t feed the trolls!

    • Tel says:

      Now, now, MF, I always make sure my insults could, at first glance, give the appearance of being polite.

  4. guest says:

    For reference, here’s a helpful playlist of short lessons explaining praxeology:


  5. Bawse says:

    Uh yea Bob, no one cares what that pissant has to say.

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