31 May 2017


Climate Change, Trump 3 Comments

==> I push back against Ed Dolan’s claim that Hayek would probably have supported a carbon tax.

==> I had seen some people linking to this CNN story about the “Trump leaked sensitive information to the Russians” stuff. It is really unusual. I encourage you to click the link and read the story. It sounds remarkably close to, “Senior WH officials told CNN that President Trump committed a serious breach of national security when he leaked intelligence to Russian visitors that Administration officials had leaked to CNN back in March. The information we are now reporting to the world should not have been mentioned by Trump to these Russians behind closed doors. In fact, it was so sensitive that we at CNN did not report it to the world back in March, the way we are reporting it to the world right now.”

Yes, of course I’m exaggerating…but barely.

3 Responses to “Potpourri”

  1. Josiah says:


    I had the same thought. The folks mad at Trump for leaking have leaked more information to a wider audience than what they criticize Trump for doing.

  2. Tel says:

    Over several days, US intelligence officials spent hours on conference calls making specific requests to CNN to withhold certain details of the intelligence information.

    No one at CNN has a security clearance, and they claim to have been “requested” not to publish this information by US officials. If any official comes to discover that classified information has leaked out and is in the hands of people without clearance or stored in any insecure way, they MUST follow full protocol for a security breach, and that sure as heck does NOT include asking nicely for a bunch of journalists to, “You know, do the decent thing for you country and that”.

    Thus, we know for sure that this supposedly sensitive information is not at all classified. It’s simply one of the many things that government officials would prefer to keep out of the newspaper if possible.

    I’m quite confident that an organisation with the resources of the Russian government has at every stage known a lot more about this than anyone at CNN.

    • Harold says:

      So can we summarise your thoughts on Hayek as his agreeing that a carbon tax could in principle be the right way to go, but that he probably would not agree with it because of practical limits on knowledge? If this is the case, it does leave the door open.

      He says “because we are rarely in a position to ascertain whether the particular circumstance to which the theory refers exist in fact in any given situation.”

      That “rarely” gives some wriggle room. We can speculate that Hayek would think that the carbon case was one of those rare positions where we are in a position to know.

      The Friedrich piece does contain other errors, such as
      “But what about a price for the most important scarce resource of all—the limited ability of the earth’s atmosphere to absorb greenhouse gas emissions?”

      I don’t think there are any limits – we could have 100% CO2 in principle. I am sure he meant something else, but it would be helpful if he said so otherwise it undermines his argument.

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